Marking one decade of working anywhere gets you thinking whether or not that was the best idea for your life. I have to say, after many thoughts … Yup. It’s been the best idea.
There is this common misconception about servers in restaurants and anyone in the service/retail industry for that matter. People who work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and nights are often frowned upon. I once remember a professor of mine saying “you want a salary”, as if having a annual salary was the only option for success. I see things very differently, I did then. I still do. An annual salary offers a feeling of security, maybe, but is that feeling what everyone wants? No. Some people want to work their asses off and have the challenge of not knowing how much they are going to make per year. Some people want to feel more in control of how much they make, rather giving away all their control to some higher up who makes all the decisions about their life for them.
In the last ten years I have watched people treat servers and bartenders poorly, like garbage, frankly. Somehow these people believe that they are superior lifeforms because they don’t wait on people. It is easy for servers and bartenders to brush these people off everyday, even at every table if need be. You know why that is? We make a shit load of money. We work when WE want to. We have never paid for a babysitter in our lives. We have raised our own children and are happy about who they have become because we KNOW them. We are not jealous of sitting at a computer for eight hours a day. We are not sad about not growing old. We enjoy having awesome friends and working in an exciting fast paced environment. We don’t wish we had “Saturday chore day” (ew). Did I mention we make a lot of money? Like wayyyy more than the people that so rudely judge us. We make more CASH in a day than they made in three at their “important” job. We are not worried that you are smarter than us … because you aren’t. It is a fact that most servers have college degrees, are in college or are serving in addition to a lame job because they HATE their lame job and it makes them poor. We DO have health insurance, vacation time and 401ks.
Mostly, we are uplifted by meanies because they remind us that we are much better people than they are. Restaurant workers get treated so badly that they go out of their way to treat other people well, especially those in the service/retail industry.
The last decade of my life has been a choice. I made the choice to finish my degree and pay for it myself. I made the choice to have a giant wedding and pay for it myself. I made the choice to buy a house and pay for it myself. I made the choice to have children and raise them myself! I decided that doing anything right now other than working in the service industry would mean that I was either not working at all or working while someone else was being paid to raise the children that I have been dreaming about my entire life. I made the choice that my life is about more than me right now. I can make a change whenever I want to because this is MY life. I don’t need to fit anyone else’s mold for what my life should look like.
When you look at how long you’ve worked somewhere and you wonder whether you should feel bummed about it or grateful, it is important to reflect on the reason you did it. I have a have been able to make good money at a job that compliments and fits my life perfectly. I have never had to take work home with me. I throw on a t shirt and jeans in two seconds and run out the door.
I am grateful and proud of the last decade of my life. I am not the same person as I was ten years ago but I am just as productive. I had goals when I started my job, I reached them. I have goals now and I’m reaching them every single day. I could not have felt as free to be me or reach my own personal goals, challenges and triumphs without this job. I have made friendships that will last a lifetime and can call so many of my past and current coworkers family. I can not think of a better way to spend the last decade of my life.
Cheers to ten years! I’m not sad about it at all!