Sunday, June 7, 2009

Waitressing is the Answer

What is the question? The question is: How am going to make rent this month? Or maybe: How am I going to get those new shoes for my child? Or even: How can I afford groceries? The economy has done what it's done. We have suffered. Or we haven't. For some of us, getting by is just something we must do, be economy bad or good.
Faced with the scary decision of possibly having to sell my beloved horse for the greater good of my family, I decided to look at whatever other choices I had with my time as an alternative. I got a job at Mamacita's International Grill late last August. I had never waitressed before. I thought it might be something I could do and this particular restaurant had a great atmosphere. I love it.

I love it for a number of reasons. The first is, lets face it, I got lucky. I work for the nicest family who treat their staff as family. Our own family come first. So much so, that my son was just hired as a lunch time busser! I have been invited to family celebrations and I fear I have been ruined for other waitressing jobs forever.

I always have cash on hand. Sometimes its a lot. Sometimes its a little. It's hay money. Its shoe money. Its what my son needs money. It's tuck it away for a road trip money. I look at the tip money that I make as my income. My bimonthly paychecks are the bonus.

Its generally short shifts. My longest shift is 5 hours. And that is rare. I get in a good cardio, get a little money in my pocket and I go home.

Its readily available. For such a lack of jobs in this economy, most restaurants are always hiring. Especially during the summer. And your chances are better if you are over 21 with a liquor license. If you want a job as a server and your not unkind and have something between your ears, its not hard to do.

Now with that in mind, this is not a job for you if you lack compassion for your fellow man as you will be challenged. The rule I stick by is this...treat people as you would want to be treated. Isn't that what we should do anyway? If I have a difficult table (and by difficult I mean non talkative, won't look at your or smile) my job is to win them. And it can be done. Never lose your temper and when things get busy, as Dori would say, just keep swimming.

Some of you may think waitressing is beneath you. I can see where you would get that. In fact, in my search for a photo for this blog, I went to Google and typed in "waitress". Okay. Not what I was looking for. So I typed in "high class waitress". Nope. Not any better. And for a good laugh, go type in "classy waitress". "Server" gets you computer pictures. It's not wonder it has such a stereo type since most of us old enough to remember picture Flo from Alice and her "kiss my grits" when we think of waitresses. Interestingly enough, when you type in "waiter", the results are vastly different.

Once in awhile I have someone ask me why I'm doing it. Assuming it's any of their business in the first place, I smile and say, "where else can you get paid to do your cardio workout?" That gets them on board!

It's just a suggestion. But for 3-4 nights a week, I have grocery money, horse money and just a little pocket change. It feels good. And when I have what the other girls call a grouchy client hug me after her meal and tell me I'm her favorite, well, it's all worth it.

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