Who is the human behind your burger. What stories do they have to tell you?
Disclaimer: The individuals and their stories in this article represent themselves as humans. They DO NOT claim to represent the opinions of any companies, restaurants or corporations. Their stories have NO affiliations with any specific brand nor make any claims about any companies, restaurants or corporations, but rather paint a picture of their human experiences in the restaurant industry.
“Tell us about your job.”
“ I have a lot of crazy stories. One time a man came into the restaurant, he was like a religious fanatic, and he went in the men's room. A customer came out and said there was a man doing something strange in the men’s room. So we went into the men’s room, and the man was baptizing himself in the men’s room toilet.”
“From the life you’ve lived, what’s the best advice you can give me?”
“Don’t ever let anyone tell you what to do with your life. It’s your life. Not your parent’s life. You’ll end up regretting the things that you didn’t do. I should have been a teacher. I didn’t listen because everyone told me that I wouldn’t make any money, but I should’ve done it. And when you meet the love of your life, you’ll know it. My parents were so mad I got married so young, but when I met him, I knew. I do not regret that.”
“What do you want to tell the world about working in a restaurant?”
“Well, I have a story about a customer calling me a weirdo. So, my family taught me to thank anyone in uniform or a veterans hat or shirt for their service to our country. One day at work I was cashing out a man with a veterans hat on, so I said, ‘Thank you for your service sir.’ Then he walked away with his wife and I heard him say, ‘She was a weird one wasn’t she?’ I was so offended!”
“What’s the worst and best thing about your job?”
“This one lady always comes in with her husband and loves shiny pennies, so I always make sure that I give her shiny pennies for her change. I love those regulars. That’s one of my favorite parts about working here. I know what the worst thing is. I hate when I am hostessing and I say, ‘Hello, how are you doing today?’, and then someone just says ‘two’ or ‘three’ or something and don’t even answer.
“What’s the best part about working here?”
“Working with you!”
“What’s your passion?”
“My passion is gardening. I used to take courses on agriculture that I found really interesting because I love the idea of self-sustainability. Gardening is a really calming experience for me. I once did a biotechnology project on the hybridization of tomatoes. I wanted to create a new breed of tomato, so I crossed the common sweet 100 tomato or the cherry tomato with goldies or yellow tomatoes. The outcome had the best traits of both breeds in my opinion. My project yielded red tomatoes with yellow speckles. Then, I back-crossed them to go from red tomatoes to yellow ones again. I kept playing around with it and observing the traits I got from each crossing. I’d love to be a biotech scientist, and take a couple more years of college, but for now, I’m content with my garden. I love the creativity mixed with science. If I could do it I definitely would do it right now without a doubt, but I just can’t.”
“Tell us about your experience working in a restaurant.”
“ It’s really fun, and the people here are really nice. I don’t really have any stories… I haven’t been working here for that long except... one time I threw an egg at my coworker in the cooler. Well, actually two times. I work here so that I can help pay for my high school tuition and have a little extra money to spend. Wait, I’m not ready, don’t take it yet! Let me put my ears on!”
“Tell us about working in a restaurant.”
“The work isn’t always pleasant. Some of the things we have to clean up… My one teacher from high school said that everyone should have to work as a waiter or waitress because you learn how to take the heat for things that are certainly not your fault, but you have to always respond with patience and understanding--if you want to get paid. Yeah, working as a dishwasher was my first job and it’s definitely not something that everyone can handle. Dealing with people treating you like a third-class citizen can get rough on a daily basis for anyone.”
“What do you want the world to know about working at a restaurant/the food industry?”
“This job is hard because sometimes hangry people can be very rude and impatient. Sometimes manners and common courtesy get lost between the customer and their cheeseburger. I completely understand it, but I don’t like being treated poorly all the same. I have a lot of empathy for other people who work in the restaurant industry because you encounter a majority of lovely, nice people in a day, but you most likely get one person who is pretty rude, and that puts a damper on your day.”
“What do you have to say about the stereotypes for the industry?”
The majority of us are educated or seeking a degree. I’m working on my degree in nursing. I’m a full-time student, and I also work 4 days a week here. I do it because I love it. I also have another job as a nursing assistant. A lot of us are seeking a degree or already have a degree, but can’t find stable jobs. A very high percent of people with bachelor’s degrees do not have jobs.
“Tell us about your job.”
“We get paid for smiling. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Whenever I go to the store and a cashier is mean to me, or just aren’t really particularly friendly, they still get paid. However, if we are not friendly enough, if our smiles are not big enough, if the food does not come fast enough, if something costs extra and the customer doesn’t agree, we don’t get paid. When I go shopping at Aeropostale you can be mean mean to me, and you’ll still get paid. Plus comission. People sometimes get angry when they still have to pay for their checks if something goes wrong. Or if they didn’t realize a certain drink wasn’t a free refill.”
“What do you have to say about the stereotypes for the industry.”“You should all go and read Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich.”