Servers and bartenders get this question all the time. It has always perplexed me. I get it at least once per shift. It is in my top 5 of most annoying questions, EVER!
I am pretty sure this is NOT a question people ask others they encounter on a daily basis. Did you ask the bank teller? Did you ask the gas station attendant that pumped your gas today? How about the lady cashing you out at the grocery store? NO, YOU DID NOT! I would even bet money that no one asks you that at work. Why, then, are you asking the people who wait on you? Is it totally implausible that someone could make a living doing what we do?
I have friends in all corners of the work force. Some are in legal. Some are in health care. One is even a stripper! And guess what?! No one ever asks the stripper what her REAL job is. I guess that is because it is considered a PROFESSION.
Truth be told, I do work with people who have a “real job”. Most of them are teachers who need to supplement their incomes. But believe it or not, some of us actually consider this a “real job” too. Serving others is not a job that we take lightly. Most of you may not realize that the average hourly rate of a server is $2.63 and $5.25 for a bartender. We work hard to make people happy and comfortable. To give you a wonderful experience while you dine means a lot to us. We care deeply if you are not satisfied. We revel in delight when we know we have made your day better than when you walked in.
So please think twice the next time you ask you server or bartender what their “real job” is. And prepare yourselves for the answers you may get in response. Here are just a few of my replies:
“I am doing research for a movie role.”
“With my record, this is the only job I could get.”
and one of my faves… “I don’t even really work here!”