Lies we tell ourself
We all lie to ourselves, its all part of a natural tendency to protect our own self-esteems and our ever precious ego.
Waiters are no exception.
It is nearly unbelievable the things fellow servers say to each other, especially when one of us is about to leave the flock.
Servers I have know who graduated college or decided to move on to "real jobs" are often derided and mocked for doing so.
"There's no flexibility."
"Really, what are you going to do with that degree, we make as much money as they do."
"Have fun in your cubicle, you're going to hate it."
These are often the words of the poor, deluded lost souls of the restaurant industry.
I have often tried to open the eyes of the blind, I have no issue with those in the "biz", however I walk with my eyes open and have no illusions on what this business is.
For better or worse.
For instance, the argument that we make as much as the "cubicle sheep."
That may be true, for now, but those cubicle sheep have things such as raises, bonuses and promotions and will quickly pass you by.
In our business you will make the same at 25 that you will at 55.
Tortoise and the hare.
As far as promotions go, in most restaurants waitstaff makes as much or more as their management. Which is why the best and brightest don't take that career path for the most part.
Flexibility? It may be harder to get a day of at a split second's notice, but in better employment you have such things as paid days off. Not to mention vacation pay.
At my last job I did have vacation and after working there nearly five years it was still only one week.
Which is shit, you might as well not even offer it.
Having cash money in your pocket is a big one.
The problem is most servers don't save enough to cover their taxes, let alone try to save or invest.
401k's in this biz?
As a general rule, forget it.
The big one though is health care. Many restaurant's either offer none, or marginal benefits at best. A friend of mine recently left his management position because it barely covered him, let alone his wife and kid.
The industry sees little sick pay, which I have discussed on here before.
Either you come in sick, cover your shift (good luck at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning) or you're fired.
My old company did offer sick pay.
However it was minimum wage and the only notification of it was buried in the back of the employee handbook.
I did an informal survey and only one person on the waitstaff was even aware of it. The assistant managers even had no idea that it was offered and I don't recall a single person taking advantage of this while they were ill.
They just came in and infected the rest of us and most likely dozens of customers.
All the while the poor smuck at the insurance agency, bank or accounting firm was nestled safely at home, without fear of loss of income or their job.
The biz is backwards, and we deride and mock those wanting out.