Waitressing Can Run You Ragged & Make You Depressed

waitressImagine a job that is physically demanding, low-wage, usually doesn't offer health insurance or benefits, and more likely to make you depressed than other jobs. If you thought, "Hey, that sounds just like MY job," then there's a good chance you're in the food service industry, according to a round-up by Health.com.

Ah, memories! My first job, while I was still in high school, was at a pizza parlor. Talk about physically taxing, low-earning, and depressing. I have a theory: When people are hungry, they become rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth jackholes. Something about pizza especially makes ... people ... craaaazy.

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Now, don't get me wrong. I do know a woman who was a waitress for over a decade. She liked it. She actually loved her customers. However, even she quit her job eventually (and went into journalism) because she felt that the older she got, the more difficult it would be to be on her feet all day. And need I mention that the health insurance plan was expensive, paltry, and not worth having?

My other service industry job was as a cocktail waitress. If you're going to be a waitress, this is a better way to go. People aren't ravenous. They DO want a drink, but they're willing to wait a few minutes for one. And then, once they get a few drinks in their system, they are as nice as can be. Sometimes a little too nice, granted, but I'll take that over someone screaming at me because they want their pizza RIGHT NOW!!!! Additionally, when people start loading up on booze, they suddenly become very generous tippers. Give me a drunk tipper over a pizza tipper any day.

That reminds me of the time I was a "silver service" food server in the U.K. "Silver service" means you actually pick the food up off the plate (with utensils!) and put it on the plate of your customer. It's got to be one of the hardest jobs I've ever done. However, the British are not big on tipping. It's just not customary there. So, although I was working harder than I'd ever worked in my life, I was getting paid less than I ever got paid. Yeah, no $12,000 tip for me!

As for that particular job, I lasted one night.

Have you ever had a food service job?


Image via Adikos/ Flickr

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