The Industry that Never Stops
Working long weeks and not having many holidays is something the industry calls for and needs from it’s employees, so reality sets in when the idea and fact that your life and family will have to be scheduled around your workplace really sets in. At my current job I barely have holidays and I am just a server. I can only imagine a higher position. Directly next door to my job is a Hilton Hotel and we all get just a bit closer during the holiday season. The ones stuck with those 12+ hour shifts during the holidays I feel for you and there’s many others who are in our positions. Christmas is currently only a few days away and a month ago I already knew I’d be working before, during and after Christmas no ifs ands or buts about it.
Most of the time, companies and establishment have employees who have been working with them for years and some that have only been there for a short period of time. Being the one there for only a short period of time a lot of times means that you are second priority when it comes to holidays off. Which I guess is okay but also a little unfair most times.
Seniority in an establishment is well respected and aside from new comers 9/10 times the more experienced ones are the ones that are willing to work the most. Either for the love of the job or just out of respect for the job and title that they hold.
I currently work on Times Square in NYC and being such a tourist area, we are very frequently asked to stay open past our hours of operation. I’ve had customers ask me why we don’t stay open 24/7 being that we are in such a great location. And I simply looked and responded, “because as people not just employees, we have homes and beds that we would like to see after 12+ hours of service”. The customer followed by apologizing for not being considerate to others. I felt like patting myself on the back. But in reality, by the time that night shift is clocking out of work, breakfast shifters are either waking up or leaving their homes to come right back to work.
Being a Student Made Me a Critic.
After being in this Hospitality program for a few years now I’ve grown to be very critical of my “hospitality surroundings”. Yes that means just about everywhere I go but who’s really criticizing that much on the regular. I’ve become the person to ask on how to tip the waitress, the person that decides if one restaurant has more credentials than the other. The person to decide which hotel we will all be going to for vacation this year as well as its location.
Calling myself a critic per-say may be much but in terms of how I expect things to be done and my discomfort when I know something is incorrect, lets call me a self proclaimed own-life critic.
Through out my studies I’ve realized that the hotel industry is where I aspire to be. The restaurant industry has been my heart and home for several years now but it is not what I see myself happiest in. The end goal is to be a hotel manager at a hotel that allows pets to travel with their owners. Providing a daycare of some sort, so that the guests can trust and know that their pets are missing them, yes but in good care in the mean time and not alone.
Being a pet owner myself, and a very proud one at that, I can provide a sense of care and understanding that someone who doesn’t have a pet wouldn’t be able to understand to the same level. I’ve been up close and personal to situations in which a pet wasn’t being given the proper care and treatment and when the person was asked, it wasn’t even their pet, they were pet-sitting for a friend.
As a pet owner I am a critic by nature of others’ pet care, but as a Hospitality student I am a critic of everything from how my table is set up before I sit down at a table to how I am greeted at the entrance of a hotel. My education of the industry has made me a much better person, I would say. 🙂
Social Media & the Industry
Being a Hospitality major there are a lot of tricks and fun new advancements that our professors are all just dying to introduce us to. The more time passes the more advanced we are becoming as people. Resumes are still a very important part of any industry but more than that, our daily lives, our social accounts, and our choices in pass times are being view as fit or not for a position at any industry.
Employers can now type a person’s name into a search engine and based off the good/and or bad content that they find can decide if they want said person to be representing their company. Will they say they did a search, most likely not but it is being done.
Social media and the internet as a whole can be use to an advantage though. Using social media such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. can be in a way to network and market yourself. Many highly respected industry people and companies have some type of social media representation and what better way to connect with them than through accounts we are use to using day in and day out.
Great Service for guests and pets
Having a pet to a lot of people is just a pet and not even a family member. To others having a pet is an honor. It’s an honor to be able to say that there is always someone waiting excitedly for you to walk through the doors of your home. A pet is a child, a friend and a life companion. For you your pet is your world but to your pet, being that they have much shorter life spans, we as “owners” are all they’ve ever wanted and more than what they could dream of.
A job is a job, but a career is your life’s passion, the place/thing that provides an income and hopefully one to live comfortably but also the place where you realize that your life’s work is what you love. Why not have your career and your companion come together to have you live comfortably and happy making a good income to the best of your ability.
Hopefully for me this is the journey my life will take. I can only currently dream of the day where I am able to help my customers/guests enjoy their time away from home but still be able to share some of it with their pets. Hotels have a lot of rules an regulations when it comes down to pets and travel. But being able to be one of the hotels in the world n which allows for the best stay of both an adult guest and their pet will be the key to my life’s career goal. . .
Can You Tell if Your Server is having a Bad Day
We all have good days and bad days at our jobs. But for servers it’s a bit different. Kind of like if 10 people didn’t tip you on a slow day, you might not be able to pay your phone bill this week or your rent next week. Having a bad day at some/most other jobs, being that you get paid hourly, it most times means that you gained a few headaches or had a few arguments that day. For the server we have the money loss and your headache to deal with.
From 5 hour shifts to 12 hour shifts, most times customers have no idea how tired their server is or when was the last time they had a snack. We see actors on television and we’re in awe of their work, not realizing that if we go to the nearest fast pace restaurant we can come across a handful of actors and actresses. Being in this industry I’ve seen coworkers deal with family deaths and still come to work and put on a smile. Seen people stressed with classes, finals and papers and still keep their cool when at a table. Some people are naturally social and others have to act at it. As servers we learn to never let the customer be able to differ our real personality to the one we are trained to have on the clock.
Something to keep in mind. . . If you sense your server is having a bad day, a smile or a joke or even just a nice compliment from your end can change the rest of their day. Yes our job is to provide great service but we all have to remember that we are people too. 🙂
Beginning to the Story . .
No one is born knowing what they will be doing for the rest of their life after they’re too old for the help of mom and dad. But we are encouraged and pushed to start making that decision since around the 4th grade.”What do you want to be when you grow up?” I almost never knew the answer, and if I gave an answer it was just the first thing to come to mind. For quite a few years I swore I wanted to be a Veterinarian. Until the first time I saw a puppy need surgery. I wanted to be apart of the help, but did not like the thought of seeing hurting animals day in and day out. And in the occasion of having to put someones pet to sleep would probably bring me to more tears than the actual owners. Veterinarian marked with a huge X for no.
As older age set in and the need for part-time employment set in, I turned to the restaurant business thinking it would just be a past time while I am in school. But I have reason to believe the restaurant industry found me, not I found it. I can not say that I don’t have my handful of bad days here and there, but I can say that with that handful comes 10 times as many good days. Yes the money is great for school bills and expenses but no I do not see myself leaving this industry in the far or near future.
Second job choices always lead me to another restaurant or even the hotel industry. I might not want to be a server for the rest of my life, but that I want to be in a place that I can use my knowledge of once having been a server is a sure fact. The best way to be the best person someone can look up to is to know and understand the struggle and time that it takes to get from a lower position to one of management. If i want to manage a restaurant one day, I can not say. If i want to be a server for the next 10 years, I can not say. but if I want to remain in the Hospitality Industry as a whole, I Can say that I would be willing to stay in it for as long as the industry will be wiling to keep me.