Written by Server Not Slave. Read his take on the restaurant industry.
The restaurant industry is a family like no other.
There isn't another kind of industry where people bond the way they do working together in a restaurant. It can be almost instantaneous the way someone is accepted into the "family" we have in a restaurant. Well, as long as that person isn't a fuck-up.
The dynamic that is created by the different "houses" inside our domain is very much like a family. It's common to find that the competent workers to be accepted and included in everyone's life almost instantaneous. In my seven years of experience, I've noticed it's rather interesting to see how quickly waiters, bussers, bartenders, and cooks can bond with each other, and no-one is excluded.
Think about your job and the co-workers you have. Does everyone in your accounting firm hang out together on off days? Can you gather 30 people at the corner bar by telling one guy in sales where you'll be drinking? Could you trust your bank manager to bail you out of jail because you got pulled over for a DUI? Those of us who have been in the industry for a while understand this as the norm and love our family and extended family of "cousins" all around the country. That's why it hurts when you think ill of our brothers and sisters.
There are many misconceptions about who we are and who we are not. It's true that a good percentage of the workforce in a restaurant are college-aged students. But it's not necessarily true that those people are in college. It's true that there is drug abuse going on in the industry, but it's not necessarily true that everyone who works in a restaurant is on some sort of drug. It's true that restaurants employ ex-convicts, addicts, beatniks, low-lifes, and people who are going nowhere in life. But it's also true that the restaurant provides a safe haven; a place where each of these people feel the need to be somewhere, and know that they won't be judged. At least by the people they work with.
You don't really understand what a restaurant is. Sure, the front is a place for you to come and dine as you work your Nine-to-Five job. But, to us the restaurant is a home. Perhaps some sort of sick foster care home, but a home nonetheless. Some may need as a springboard to help get them through college, where others might need it as a fresh start after a hard road. There are even those who just can't imagine leaving the life of the restaurant. But in the end it's there for us as we need it.
You learn a lot about life working in a restaurant. But, if you haven't been "in the weeds" for decades, you're still a family member and we love you.
Thanks Server for taking part of Guest Blogger Month. Please visit Server Not Slave's site and support the people that support this blog.