When coming to Jacksonville State University, I was worried about two things: passing my classes after having extreme high school senioritis and paying for my place, far away from parental rules.
Applying for jobs is always nerve wracking. Not knowing whether you exaggerated your resume enough, whether your 'hopefully' future boss was not able to tell it was exaggerated, and thinking of how many Taco Tuesdays you will need to miss in order to save money for rent. There are not many immediate businesses in small towns, so it is given that every other person your age is applying to the same job as well. Thankfully, through my last three years of attending a university in my small town, I made many great friends who work at a local restaurant that set me up with an interview. Although, a few stigmas worried me:
When considering serving, I feared that college students would not tip because after all, we are all broke college students. I also knew during the summer months and holidays, dorm-living students are home bound. Even students with their own apartments and houses are headed home for family time and washing machines. So I assumed this meant that business would slow down which would reflect on my tips. After mentally processing everything, I knew I needed money nonetheless, and a job is a job. Thankfully, I learned quickly that I should have never worried.
In a small town restaurant, the customer experiences a slower pace than fast food and major restaurants which creates a better atmosphere. As a server, you can spend quality time with your customers and make their visit more enjoyable. This is a benefit because regulars are an important part of the success of the business (and the employees). Most of the time, the servers and customers even start to look forward to hearing how each other's weeks have been. I think everyone has experienced the fake smile and high pitched voice of a scripted server asking for a drink order. Whereas we are genuine, and are actually focused on the customers' happiness. I also learned that coworkers are friends, not fiends. My small town serving job has became my home away from home. This is my favorite part because everyone is family and we help each other with personal problems as well as work issues.
Therefore, if you have not experienced local cuisine, start driving and try something new!