Although my current job involves many of the same qualities as my previous jobs, in that it involves "putting on a 'service smile'", there are a myriad of subtle yet significant differences, both positive and not that I have embraced, or perhaps, become accustomed to. As a self-identified optimist (and closet realist) I have come to accept, if briefly thrive within the confines of my new captor(s).
Here's the deal: I went from working in a neighborhood grill, which slung burgers to rich. young couples with little kids - the kind that are recently married/parents who have great jobs but maybe still yearn for their early 20's, but will probably move to the 'burbs soon so their kids can get a decent education (I can't blame them) to a very different sort of clientele.
I work at a Four Star Hotel, or rather the Restaurant within it that serves these guests. I used to wear whatever I wanted to work, and now I must wear a suit and tie. 3 months ago I couldn't tie a tie and now I can do it without looking in the mirror. I still wear ratty clothes to work, but in the space of 10 minutes, I seamlessly transform into a person that doesn't have a hair out of place.
Or that's the goal. I'm not bragging that I serve people whose name's I can't name, and the money isn't all that much different from slinging burgers and beers...it's just different, and it can be really fucking annoying for a variety of reasons. But the simple fact is this: whereas before I sweated away in a good, but typical neighborhood bar, one old with age, I now stroll down a street and see a Gleaming $300 million tower...
...and think: That's my OFFICE. 60-some stories tall. Of course I just work in the restaurant, or mostly in the kitchen (expatiating orders - i.e. YELLING AT THE COOKS TO MAKE SHIT) and ever, so, gently delivering food to the very wealthy people who can afford this product. It's a ongoing learning process, and I make mistakes daily, but when I get it right...it feels so GOOD.
-Paid Time Off!
-My uniform is dry-cleaned and pressed!
-I don't have to change/lift kegs!
-The latest I have to work is 11PM (instead of 3AM)!
-At least 75% of my co-workers are "family"!
That all being said, it's not all chocolate covered roses. The cooks can be dicks, and wearing a suit in a hot kitchen is less than comfortable. And I need to watch my fucking mouth. But so far the benefits outweigh the opposite of that. And instead of getting drunk at work after the doors are closed...I just go...home. It's both more complicated but far simpler.
PS - I know this blog has been static for awhile, but won't be going forwards. Please keep in touch/reading!