Lookin' Good at 58

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday's Job History

For the last few months I have been recapping my job history in the hospitality industry from when I started in 1979 to where I left off last week at the year 2000.

This is where it ends. Yes folks the next few years both work wise and financially were not great. A litany of job changes and a bankruptcy in 2003 ensued. Just conjuring up those years would just be painful and I don't want anyone's sympathy. We all go through stuff in our life.

You know coulda , woulda , shoulda. My successful years in this industry took place elsewhere , not here in Canada. Looking back my wife and I woulda worked a couple more contracts on the ship together and saved a whack of money and moved to Iceland where my wife is from and where her family is. I liked Europe a lot. I shoulda learned Icelandic and worked in a restaurant there where if you start a family at least there is some retirement money put aside for you and you get some benefits. Perhaps as well I could have put some knowledge that I had to good use , rather than let it sit dormat.

For instance , last night I needed a dessert and a few cooks had already been let go for the night and here I was at 10:45 punching in a dessert. A real simple one. When I asked the cook if he had got the order he said oh yeah here it is and then proceeded to continue with his cleanup. I said are you going to make it or what?! He says I don't know how and I shook my head in disbelief. No one taught him. Well find the fuck out how to make it!!!!! But instead of asking ,two of us waiters were showing him how to do it.

Here the industry is a joke! Unless the government intervenes and makes employers treat service personnel in their establishment as something more than piecemeal or hired slaves until no longer useful , it is only going to get worse. Pay a less than minimum wage and that is predominantly what you will get most of the time is people passing through.

Some of you who are in the profession who are reading this are having fun in your single years but there is no advantages when you are married with kids. In fact , my next plan is when both my kids are going to school full time is to find a day job where my evenings are free and only work a couple of nights waitering , so I can see my kids instead. It is a 3 day long weekend here and I have 2 kids who want to do something so the only free time we had , my wife and I , is this afternoon and the kids are climbing the wall. We are going out this afternoon to get some air and sunshine.

It sounds like I am painting a bleak picture but really this industry is great either working part time or when you are paying for your school expenses and just having a beer after work before heading home. Nothing more. If you are a supervisor it is like running a freakin' daycare!

Okay that is enough for today. My sons want my attention and tomorrow we are back to the quiz.


SkippyMom said...

I thought you were in Canada? They pay the stupid $2.30 rate there too? [or whatever cut rate minimum wage is] I did not know that.

I worked HS and college in the industry and it was great. I did it for one year when my two oldest were 1 and 2 and it was tough. Nights were okay because they were home with Dad, but lunches stunk b/c I had to put them w/ a babysitter for 5 hours a day. The money was good and we needed it desperately, but I wouldn't do it with young kids again.

Now I simply can't do it - although I could because my kids are older. I miss it. I don't miss the no benefits and the treatment by customers, but I have to say my tips never sucked and management [in all 4 places I worked] never treated me badly.

I hope you find a happy medium. And you are absolutely right. The kids are the most important thing. I hope you enjoy your day - it sounds fabulous. :)

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

SkippyMom...the pay is more an hour here but we are Canadians who do not tip as well as Americans. That makes a huge difference. I will find it that happy medium. This post is more for the people who are working in it now young enough to get out of it. Sure the cash is good but later on other things take significance , like time. We went out for lunch today. It was very nice.