Monday, December 07, 2009

Lamentations of a Part-Time Cocktail Server

From (my other blog) Blog-By-Bike:

"'Joe'? 'Just call me Joe'? As if you were one of those stupid 22-year old girls with no last name? 'Hi, I'm Kimberly!' 'Hi, I'm Janice!' Don't they know you're supposed to have a last name? It's like they're an entire generation of cocktail waitresses."
- Meg Ryan, You've Got Mail

There is no "PC" way to convey my feelings on the subject of this blog post. And the following sentence is not meant to debase any aspect of the food and beverage service industry. But I hate being treated like a career cocktail server. That is not to say that cocktail serving cannot be a compelling and lucrative career, nor is it unwarranted of the dignity and respect commanded by other industries. Furthermore, I'm not exactly saving babies as an executive assistant (a.k.a. glorified secretary) during the workweek.

However, it takes a lot of self-restraint and humility to remain respectfully silent while being reprimanded for making the vice president of the hotel (in which the lounge is located) wait a whole five minutes for a club soda. A club soda, I might add, that I did not realize the vice president's guest had ordered with his Glenfiddich because his guest's accent was so thick.

I am also annoyed by being constantly subjected to the consummate power trip of one of the night managers. His indirect, subtle applications of purposely imposed inconvenience - while not necessarily inappropriate - unfailingly remind us that he is authorized to exercise his authority over us. His condescending replies to staff inquiries, deliberately delayed responses to staff requests, and negligence regarding over-staffed scenarios (e.g. too many servers on the floor during off-peak hours) make me want to say trite and contrived things like, "My salary at my day job [job #1] is probably twice your night manager rate; I just need a weekend job [job #2] because I can't simultaneously afford my ridiculously expensive Midtown Manhattan apartment and my frivolous 8-week, $15,000 vacation."

But you can't say things like that without sounding like a complete tool and getting fired.

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