Monday, March 11, 2013

Would You Rather Be Writing?

Recently I watched a discussion on MSNBC about the service industry in this country, and in particular, the restaurant industry. I found it interesting that the arguments that were made were the same ones I had in all the years I worked either as a server, or in management. I want to say, for the most part, it is an awful business to work in. 

Yes, I'm sure there are a 'few' restaurants out there that are nice to work for, I did like some of them, but for the most part, it is one of the most thankless jobs there is. 

Between the horrible hours, the crappy pay, or the lack of pay if your sick, the average tips, and simply allowing the public to be responsible for paying most of your wages, is in my opinion, unacceptable. 

I was never so glad than to leave that business for good. I pray I never have to wait tables again!

Not so much the actual job, but the companies, or even solely owned ones, are the problem. They take complete advantage of the workers, whether you're a cook, or server, you are in for a hard job, for slave wages. 

I have often wanted to write a book of the truth behind the business, but it has left me with such a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach that I don't think I could get it down on paper without a lot of anger spewing out. Truly, a horrible way to make a career. 

Since I left the business 4 years ago, I sympathize for the people still running their ass off, scrubbing for inspections, and having their hard earned money being stripped away from them in either unfair taxes, or having to tip the bussers, bartenders, or expediters when those people are at least making minimum wage.

My back, shoulders, feet, and neck, will never be the same. I live with chronic pain every day. 

But, there is some good news, I learned to work with the public. I learned about the business from the bottom up, and I've learned that you need to fight for what you believe in. I have also learned, I don't do well with idiot bosses, so it's best I work for myself.

The best decision I have ever made is to stay home and write. With the blessing of my husband who has to go out and make the money, I have had the privilege of staying home and doing what I love for a change. 

I'm sure there are many of you out there that are in a job you hate. I'm also sure that some of you love your job and I'm curious about what those jobs are. Yes, some of you have educations behind you and chose wisely, where other's, like me, never knew what they wanted to do. Although, I did always know I wanted to write.

Leave me a comment and let me know what type of work you do besides writing, or if you are finally fortunate to stay home and do what you love. 

Please forgive the rantings of working in the restaurant business, but sometimes you have to get things off your chest. Just be glad I didn't say everything I feel about it, it would have been a 3 page blog post!

Until Thursday, I hope all of you have a great week, and don't forget to add your thoughts below, I love reading them and getting to know you and your thoughts!

Love, Lisa 


  1. I always wanted to be a teacher and I loved teaching BUT I did not enjoy the battle which educating children became. I have fond memories of the happy, fulfilling and stimulating teaching times marred by the morons who preferred to waste their informative, young years. A time and opportunity they would never receive again. I have done several other p/t jobs and therein is the key to enjoying the job. I enjoyed waiting on in restaurants and serving behind bars but they were only for short periods of time. they were a learning experience and not essential for my life. People who have support of partners and can stay at home and write are fortunate.

  2. Thanks for your comment Lady M! I did go to school for aesthetician and did that for 4 yrs, but when 9/11 happened, the spa industry went down for a time and I ended up back waiting tables. I did like serving, it was the idiots who ran the businesses and the pay that I hated! I am grateful to be home now!

  3. I've never worked in the restaurant business but all of my daughters have. One still is a pastry chef at a place on the boardwalk in New Jersey and her husband is a server at the same restaurant. They seem happy, but they're young and have ambitions of other things eventually.

    I've almost always been in management and usually like most of my jobs. My favorite was a decade long stint as a manager for a touring theater company. I was in my thirties and it was during the 1980's. It was a great time for that kind of life style--kind of like always being on vacation while occasionally having to work at a job I loved. Never can understand these rock stars who complain about life on the road. It's a dream job as far as I'm concerned.

    I'm home now writing because my last job closed shop in business unfriendly California. It will be nice if I actually start to make money at it, but my wife has a very good paying job and is very understanding of my current situation. Beside my social security kicks in this month so I'll be contributing to the bank account again.

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    1. That's good to hear your SS will be kicking in, that will be a nice addition to the acct. As far as jobs, I hope your daughter and her husband to aspire for better careers, because that is a tough one to get anywhere with. I would have loved to travel in my job too. A close friend of mine is a comedienne and does that full time. She travels the country and gets paid a lot of money for an hour and a half show. She used to bitch about it, but most would dream about it!

  4. I have never worked in a restaurant, but had many friends who labored at this type of work. An unrewarding area, according to many of them. My bro-in-law owned a state of the art Restaurant for many years. Too much of a hassle. That's why I treat these workers with respect, when I frequent any restaurants. Thank God I'm semi-retired, as I co-own an entertainment agency with my brother. This is the reason why I'm able to pursue my passion for writing..

    In the past I have worked in construction, which I hated, ditch digger, Janitor, Body Guard, Bounty Hunter, and investifgator for a Private Eye. Loved the last three, but were somewhat dangerous. Counseling, and the entertainment fields were my favorites. Blessings.

    1. I'm glad to hear you treat restaurant workers with respect. It is a tough job, people have no idea how physical/mentally exhausting it is. My shoulders are so bad from years of carrying those trays filled with plates. When I was younger I enjoyed it more. As I got older, I tried to get into another line of work but it never panned out. Bar-tending is a good job, but it's for the young too.

  5. I have been (breathe): A paper delivery gal, Christmas mail delivery gal, A cafe assistant, Retail assistant - various, Bank clerk, Insurance adjuster, Student – several times (I needed lots of educating obviously)a Telephone operator, Announcer, Chiropodist, Chiropractic assistant, Marketing Research Officer, Volunteer for a Human Rights Institute, P.R volunteer for Make a Wish foundation, Teacher – (mostly) of English - High school (for boys), & University Language Dept., Literacy and English as a second language teacher, Audio Visual technician, Health Care Educational materials coordinator, Trainer/Workshop Facilitator, Reflexologist, Publisher/editor

    Darn, now I’m feeling OLD! You had to ask!Some of those jobs weren't great - but I honestly believe we learn something from everything we do - no experience is ever a waste of time.


    1. Sherlene, you make me tired. I agree that we learn from everything we do, no matter what the situation.


    2. Me too, and although I have never worked that many odd jobs, i have worked others besides restaurants. It is true you learn from each one, but I think I got enough lessons after 35 yrs off and on lol!

  6. Hey Lisa,

    I've never worked in food service, but you, my sister, my sister-in-law, and others I've known have. All have told me "stay away." I do try and treat wait staff with respect, because I know how thankless it can be. Most people take for granted that these people love the job, a lot under tip, and others treat them like servants. My sister-in-law always goes back to the table after my father-in-law leaves a tip, because she knows he never leaves enough. All us 'kids' have had to supplement his pittance.

    I started my work life volunteering at the Humane Society. I then got a really sweet babysitting job where I worked all weekend, made really good money for the time, and was able to pay for the gas in my car and--books!

    After high school, I wanted to get away. Even though my gut said something different, I chose a school and degree that didn't work out. Instead of changing gears and doing what I should of done in the first place (get an English degree), I took a job in banking. It was supposed to be temporary, but you know how that goes.

    I've worked banking, retail, in a motion picture film lab, and a trust company until I was laid off. I worked there for almost twenty one years. I learned a lot at that job. It was hard losing it.

    Since then, I've worked a temporary contract as an administrative assistant and a seasonal job as a customer service manager.

    My pick! The seasonal job. It's a family owned business renting inflatable bounce houses, games, and other party type fun. The people are great to work with. I just wish it could be year round.

    But, my all around favorite thing is writing. It's my hope and prayer that someday I can do it full time and not have to work except at the craft.


    1. Yes, there is no denying that it's a daunting job, and one that you don't look forward to going to each day. II certainly don't miss it. I too am a big tipper. I would feel horrible if I left a cheep one!

  7. I'm a little late to the party, but it's because my corporate day job has been super busy and stressful in the last week. I posted about it earlier this week:
    (gee, I didn't realize how long that url would be--sorry).
    I worked as a waitress many years ago and it's the reason I always tip well. I've worked for all sorts of organizations and my most favorite is working for myself (management consultant and mediator) and least favorite has involved politics--big P (as with elected officials) politics.

  8. I'm with you on the favorite job, that's mine also, although I am a licensed aesthetician and did enjoy that. Don't worry about being late, i enjoy your comments all the same! ;-)