The Glamour And Glitz Of Doing Nothing
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Politics and Activism

The Glamour And Glitz Of Doing Nothing

The reality of being a hostess.

The Glamour And Glitz Of Doing Nothing

If you have a position in the field you studied in college, you are lucky. If that income covers your rent and then some each month, you are incredibly fortunate. Most of us find work in what cities like New York have in abundance: restaurants.

Servers and bartenders are the ones who bring cash home every night, which makes them the main breadwinners of the staff. For those of us who tend to be less sociable, a food runner position might be a closer fit. However, those boundaries have to be tested in order to get over them; for someone who wants to make the leap, becoming a hostess can be the stepping stone.

1. You are the queen (or king) of fake smiles.

If this is your one complaint of your job--that you have to fake smile all day--you have it easy. I say this as a fellow complainer because in the moment, if you're in a bad mood or not feeling well, it's hard to not whine. As you adjust to your job as hostess, you'll find it in your soul to not look miserable.

2. You're (seemingly) just a pretty face.

Okay, not exactly. You are keeping order in the restaurant in the sense that you are allowing each server to have the same number of opportunities for tips. You are the first and last person the customer sees, which means you need enough pep in your step to make them feel welcome, like you really cannot wait for them to come again. But don’t expect everyone to return your “have a good one” comment because many will collect it on the way out by making eye contact, but will continue walking as if you are a night light that goes on when you pass by.

3. You (try to) call the shots.

Before you get to your, “Would you like a table or a seat at the bar?” routine, you will have customers pulling out their wallets to show ID. In my case, it tends to be people visibly older and stronger than me, assuming I am the bouncer. That, or they will ignore me altogether and seat themselves.

4. Everyone knows your name.

Hostessing was my first reason for ever needing a name tag that wasn’t a sticker. It took time getting used to having strangers call me by name to ask for a napkin or for directions to the bathroom. The split second before looking down and remembering can be quite confusing.

5. Cleaning: the highlight of your shift.

If the doors have windows or are made of glass, it is usually your job to clean them when needed, since you aren't really doing anything else and you're right there anyway. This is when you get to step outside, walk around a bit in the space of the entryway. Really milk it. Buy more time--as if a spec of dust will make someone lose their appetite.

It isn’t fast-paced and it isn’t exciting, but it’s work and someone has to do it--and by “it” I mean pay bills.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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