Why I Love My Food Service Job
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Student Life

Why I Love My Food Service Job

Sometimes we just need a little reminder.

Why I Love My Food Service Job
The Huffington Post

I've always loved to write. A lot of us have even used writing as a tool to remind ourselves of life's daily activities, whether it's a grocery list to keep track of what items you need to purchase, or a reminder on a calendar, or a sticky note on your desk.

For me, this article is similar as it functions as a reminder to me. Not so much to remember that I need to do something, but more as a reminder of encouragement.

I work in the service industry-- for a Dunkin' Donuts franchise, to be specific. I love my co-workers, the job is fun and keeps me moving, but sometimes it just feels stagnant. There are many days where I leave feeling like I'm not really doing anything with my time. I've worked in the service industry since I was 16. My first job was at Little Caesars, and I moved up to management there and it was really tough but super rewarding. Now that I've backed down from a management position to something a little more laidback, sometimes working just doesn't feel as goal-oriented and fulfilling as it used to.

How many articles do I see about fast food that have such a negative stance? It's super relatable to read the frustrating aspects of our jobs (I have definitely read quite a few of those articles and laughed along: "Yeah, I've had those crazy customers!"), but a very underrated aspect that I rarely see is a list of why our jobs rock sometimes. Yes, there are rough days! But there are also sunny ones, too, and those need to be acknowledged!

For the days where we feel like our jobs aren't worth much, sometimes we need a few reminders and these are a few of my own:

1. My co-workers are the best

I have met a few of the most influential people of my life at my jobs in the service industry. It's a disservice to people I've met who I love and respect very much to say that working with food is a waste of time.

I have met some great friends, who I'm able to come in after a rough day and just enjoy myself once I clock in. We make the best out of any bad situations and just roll with the punches. Some days better than others; and that's okay!

2. I love what I do

Sure, there are days where I feel like I hate my job. Sure, there are days where customers have been rude and I'm trying not to blow up. But, for the most part, it is so rewarding to know that you've done a service to the people of your community. You're serving people the food product they've come for. I'm making coffee that is going to fuel someone's morning, and providing good service just makes their day that much better!

I have always wanted a job that is rewarding and sometimes super challenging because it's from those challenges that we grow! Working in something so heavily involved with customer service checks those boxes right off, and I'm able to evaluate my day and see that even if it seems inconsequential, I've still made a difference by offering the best of me to people I don't even know... and sometimes you do get to know the customers that come in. To see the look of surprise on someone's face when you recognize them and their "usual" is so worth it!

3. The growth is undeniable

When you first start a job in food service, it's really tough! You have to know the menu, you have to learn the procedures, and-- the hardest for me-- you have to get used to the system that rings up customers. I remember looking at the screen at Dunkin' for the first time and just feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and the strange layout of buttons....

Now, I feel like I could do this job in my sleep. That's a true testament to how we're growing, but not just that-- there's personal growth that comes with the job, too. Learning to deal with tough customer complaints is a big one. Not losing your cool is a key part of that difficult aspect of the service industry... there are times where I've failed, and there are times where I'm pretty confident in saying that I have done a really good job. Leaving these situations with a confidence in growing is key; even when I fail, I know there will be the next time and that I can fix what's not working.

I have also grown socially-- work friends are the only people you can truly talk about work with and have a blast doing it. But it's when you're able to build connections that go deeper than that and learn to react in social settings, that is truly rewarding. Leaping through the social hoops in life can be so weird, and entering a work environment is like a forced social setting. You meet people who are so different than you, who have different world views and ideas than you, and you can build connections. I've learned a lot from the people I work with and I'm so appreciative of that!

4. I love what I sell

I'm super goal-oriented to the brink of exhaustion for other people. I love pushing new products, and I love getting other people excited about new products. It's only fun when you really love what you're selling, though... and there's nothing I enjoy more than coffee and bakery goods. Of course, I'm going to enthusiastically offer customers our new coffee flavors... because I love them and I want other people to experience them, too! It really does make a difference. I take huge pride in what I do, even when it's tough.

5. I've learned to manage a budget

It's no secret that fast food workers make low wages. I'm not going to get political here, but having a tighter budget has helped me learn to manage things in my life. What social events can I go to and which ones can I skip? What things can I order on a menu at a restaurant without feeling guilty because it dug too deep into my already-shrunken wallet? There's a huge growing experience in that, especially as I grew up and slowly added more responsibilities and bills to my life. With a car payment, a phone payment, gas money, college supplies and books to pay for, it starts to get a little tight. Working with a smaller budget has been an annoyance but also a blessing and has taught me quite a bit of life lessons about what I should and could spend my money on.

6. Flexibility is amazing

As a college student with a lot of things to juggle (church, school, homework, and of course--socializing), having a job that is super flexible is key to my success. When I need time off, it's not a problem. My schedule changes and rotates around other priorities in my life, which is great to have.

I have a job that understands that I have other things to do and is willing to work around that!

7. The discount

Do I really need to elaborate on why I love and appreciate my employee discount? Nah.

So when the work feels unrewarding, and everything seems moot, I have to remind myself that my job is great and I love what I do. Sometimes it's tough, sometimes it's hard, but I seriously wouldn't take back those experiences for the world. Don't discredit what you do or how you make your money. If you work hard, there's no shame in your job or what you do. Do what makes you happy and if you ever need a reminder, make a list of the good things about your job. If you can't find anything, maybe it's time to look around for something else!

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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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