apropos of nothing

Well, not entirely accurate. Not entirely nothing.

There was a conversation recently wherein reference was made to the job of waiting tables as low-end work. The implication filled with judgement and pity for the poor saps who have to shlep bowls of soup for money.

I disagree with the idea that waiting tables is a low end job.

Hard work for low pay, yes, but not low end.

If ensuring the comfort and happiness of someone’s breakfast, lunch or dinner is seen as menial work then we really do have our values twisted.

There are real stars out there, servers who bring a sliver of joy to strangers in a true and authentic way. One of them works at a diner in town, has been there for decades, calls everyone hon, or love, in a way that you don’t mind.  She is one of the reasons the place is full of regulars (when places were full) (also the toast is excellent). And you can tell that she’s not putting it on for tips, that the people are a big reason she loves her job. When you ask for peanut butter she brings it over like it’s the most important thing in the world. She’s constantly moving, talking, being asked, answering, carrying, ordering, changing orders, shlepping.

Is it hard work? Sure looks like it.

Is it rewarding? As with everything, depends how you do it.

There are certain establishments, towns, cities, certainly countries other than ours where waiting tables is held in higher regard, a profession not merely a job that, when done well, is a respectable, and well respected, way to make a living for an entire lifetime.

Along the same lines, someone was saying how food delivery people are also looked down upon, barely spoken to, if at all, especially now that so much take-out is pre-paid. Which reminded me of the pizza guy a couple years ago who came to the door and we casually said how ya doing, and without missing a beat, and with tongue perfectly in his cheek, he said… I’m livin’ the dream.

We cracked up.

He smiled, said have a good one.

That’s star quality.


6 thoughts on “apropos of nothing

  1. I agree, why call these jobs low end? Some people love doing what they do as your examples prove. Customer service is a highly valued skill. Cleaning jobs can be meaningful. What would we do if hospitals, hotels, theatres, offices, etc were not cleaned? All jobs are important. Not everyone can be a doctor or lawyer.

    1. The pizza guy was being cheeky with his “livin’ the dream” line but he, um ‘delivered’ it, with such charm and humour, grace almost, that he was obviously enjoying some aspect of his work, if only the opportunity to make jokes about it.

      I’m always impressed by HOW people do their work, not what they do. There are plenty of ‘high end’ jobs being done horribly by schmucks. Don’t make me name names. (:

  2. I waited tables for several years during my 20s. It WAS hard work, and I loved it, for all the reasons you mentioned, Carin. Farmers also tend to be looked down on, which goes to show how clueless some “high end” people are. :)

  3. I have so much–too much–to say on this subject. I did ‘low-end’ work for most of my wage-earning life. It was work that needed to be done and I did it as well as I could. I worked with some of the best people I’ve ever met. Some lousy ones too. Worse was often how I was seen for doing this work. What others thought of as ‘low-end’ work. Good topic, Matilda.

    1. Hear hear. As a society we have so much upside down and backwards. Who, for instance, kept things going during the lockdown? All those pots banging and clanging and heartfelt thank yous to cashiers and janitors… sure. I wonder how long before we revert to type. Oh wait. I think we may have already…

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