There are no parks open after restaurants close, no churches or libraries welcoming the walkers of the night into their domiciles. There is nothing wholesome to do besides drink, and nothing tastes as good as that first shot mixed with that first beer and a cigarette, after a long shift of dealing with the fucking public.
I clock in at 4:30 pm, most days. That’s if I am off for the morning shift, otherwise I stay clocked in from 10 a.m. until whenever. A normal, full-time server will work at least three doubles a week. There is no designated time you will get off, no specific hour for the doors to close, no planning a movie or a date afterwards. You leave it up to the universe every single shift, and in the restaurant industry the universe is an unpredictable bitch sometimes.
As a server, the industry does have its advantages though. I can usually take off whenever I want, easily get someone to cover my shift, take three to four vacations a year. I hustle when I need the money, and chill when I don’t.
I’ve tried the retail, marketing, PR, management, radio, fundraising, those 9-5s, rush hour traffic, but they all become monotonous, redundant, boring, not to mention the pay is not nearly as good.
Being a server allows me to easily find a job anywhere I want to go, with instant cash at my disposal, because there are no paychecks to wait for.
I converse with every type of human being on an everyday basis, from lawyers to retirees, to drug dealers and school teachers, MLB Coaches, mayors, pilots, kids, drunks, divas, grandmas and grandpas, escorts and cops, and I judge nearly all of them, especially the ones who always ask when it is that I am going to find a real job.
The restaurant industry is not only a stepping stone, but always a resource to fall back on and utilize for its full advantages.
The connections you can make are vast, the stories are ever-changing, and the freedom is priceless. Besides if you work in a restaurant, you will never go hungry, because everyone has to eat.
Don’t get me wrong, those twelve hour days, with only a half-hour break, where you are constantly moving and running around for only $2.13 an hour, in which you will never see a paycheck for and still have to pay back taxes on every year, can become overwhelming and unbearable at times. The business changes with the seasons, and every day is a gamble. It’s not for everyone. This industry is brutal.
There are four Ds to the restaurant industry.
Statistics claim restaurant careers are one of the top fifteen careers with a 40% higher divorce rate than others. As for the other three Ds, they are just subtle side effects that sneak up on you before you even realize you’re caught up.