“So, what is your REAL job?” – A Rant About The Service Industry
Working in the service industry can be stressful, to say the least. Customer after customer in a lightning fast environment, all with their own personal preferences and needs. Of course, those needs are expected to be understood and known 100% from the get-go without any prior knowledge or cues. Then, in the midst of it all, one of these customers finally begins to show interest in the individual serving them. However, this curiosity often comes from a misguided place, “So, what is your real job?”…enter the frustration.
Jobs, like serving and bartending, have their pros and cons. As with anyone who works, people who get into a service industry position need money. Some decide to go the route of Business Casual. These people are working their 9 to 5 at a cubicle or desk in order to make their hard-earned money. For some reason, this is what people consider a “real job.” But, busy restaurants and bars, or those with high-priced food and drinks, can bring in a lot of money for their servers and bartenders. This detail seems to be forgotten for those who are not in the industry. (Of course, in places of the world where tipping isn’t a cultural norm, the situation may be quite different, I have not spoken to any service industry workers in these areas).
Those who work for their tips in the US can actually make more on a busy night than someone working an office job, granted those nights are often the most stressful. But, this stress is experienced by anyone who works hard for their money. It’s all dealing with clients and making sure the boss is happy, right? There is nothing to say that service industry jobs are of any less importance or caliber than an office job. Happy Hour is dedicated to those working that 9 to 5 that need to wind down after a hard day at work. The person behind the bar should be a knight in shining armor, not someone to talk down to because they didn’t get the Master’s degree required for a cubicle. In fact, that person may very well have a Master’s with no desire to work in an often high-school like environment attempting to hold a stick up their ass for the sake of professionalism. Yes, there are endless careers in several fields, this is only a small example.
All ranting aside, just because someone is serving food or drinks, does not make them any less a person than someone who puts on a suit before work. Of course, not all people in the service industry think that it is a career, and the same goes for some working office positions. But, some people gladly choose service industry jobs because they have the potential to pay high wages. The idea that a service industry job needs to supplement something else is preposterous and only fuels the fire of the American Dream that we all know is fake, unattainable, and completely misguided.