I bounced at a bar while I was enrolled in university. The hours were awful and the clientele obnoxious, but the scheduling was great: I could go to school, do my apprenticeship and then earn a living -- sleep is overrated anyway. The strange thing was that, despite coming home in the wee hours of the night with homework still waiting to be done, the job was incredibly satisfying.
While waitressing is not the same thing as bouncing, I can appreciate this article by Jackie Kruszewski who, in her article in This Recording, explains feeling "a surge of usefulness that I'd never felt at my day job."
Bartenders, busboys, wait staff, line cooks -- the people you meet in restaurants are far more interesting than most. Many have creative pursuits, ill-advised tattoos, recreational drug habits, sordid tales from their past, and fascinating sex lives. And they'll tell you everything. You'll learn more in 10 minutes than you'll ever know about the colleagues you see five days a week.
Rampant sarcasm, sass, gossip, petty disputes, strong personalities, hook ups -- these are the sine qua non of restaurant culture. Waiting tables exacerbates any judgemental, nasty and racist qualities you already have, but it also makes you better at hiding them strategically. Never doubt for a second that your server hasn't pegged you for a good tipper or a bad tipper right off the bat, or that they don't already know that you're going to complain about your food after you ask for myriad substitutions that she has to plead with the chef for. Now, whether that means she puts in minimal effort and risks the self-fulfilling tip prophesy, or whether she vies desperately for your affection in order to disprove her own snap judgment, that's another question.
|The Longer You Sit, the Earlier You Die|
|The Next Generation of Workers Needs a Minimum of 600 Million New Jobs|
|Risky Business Cards|
|"Omnipotence is the power to create orders, not merely the power to enforce them."|
|Termite-Inspired Autonomous Robotic Construction Crew|
|Unboxing a Factory Sealed IBM Compatible PC from 1988|
|“The release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic.”|
|The Unknown Reader|
|James Charles' Pop Culture Dollars|
|Reviewing Counterfeit Toys Made in China|
|"This very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age."|
|“There was not only automation but where the suggestion that humans had any control [...] was absent too.”|
|"Most of what kids currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40."|
|"Fossil fuel executives want to get a piece of the clean-energy business."|
|Pat the Zombie: A Cruel Adult Spoof of 'Pat the Bunny'|