I've Worked In The Toronto Service Industry For 8 Years And This Is What I've Learned
Patience is key.
I've been working in the service industry ever since I was 16 years old. I started off as a hostess, made my way to being a server and eventually became a bartender. There are plenty of pros and cons to working in the hospitality industry and I've defiantly learned a lot during these 8 years.
All throughout high school and university I had a job at either a restaurant, bar or night club. It was the quickest way for me to make money, cash money. With all the loans and expenses that comes with being a student, I needed a job that I could somehow have control of making my own money. By this I mean, if I am to provide good service to a customer and leave them with an unforgettable experience, they will most likely give me a good tip and become a loyal client (which is a really important factor in this industry.)
As much as I love fashion and style, I'd never be able to work in the retail industry. The thought of standing in a store all day, organizing clothes makes my skin shiver; I can barely keep my own closet on point.
Let me get something straight here, I don't plan on being a bartender for life. It's just a good way to make money at a young age and actually have numbers in your savings account. For those of you who haven't experienced working in the hospitality industry and are looking to make quick money and do something while you look for that dream job, I suggest you apply to a restaurant, bar or nightclub to learn some basic life lessons. I'm currently working throughout the week for Narcity, but that hasn't stopped me from bar tending on the weekends, doing something I truly enjoy.
1. I've learned how to deal with unpleasant people.
Not everyone in life will be nice to you. If someone is giving you attitude, learn how to brush it off and don't let them get to you.
2. You can't satisfy everyone.
It's hard to make everyone around you happy. The best you can do is work to your full potential.
3. There's always a solution to every problem.
Nothing is impossible, but it can be difficult.
4. You can expand your social circle and meet new people on a daily basis.
I've made so many friends and connections that I'm very grateful for. It's important to build a loyal clientele because a) you'll make money b) you'll keep your boss happy c) you can make friends that could be part of your life for a really long time.
5. If you don't have thick skin, don't work in the industry.
You will cry, you'll be frustrated and you will have a mental breakdown. But if you can't handle it, the hospitality industry isn't for you.
6. The customer is always right.
This is the golden rule. Even if you fvck up, don't make the guest feel as if they're at fault.
7. There will always be someone at work you won't get along with.
Whether it's a coworker, manager or customer. That's just life and not everyone will like you.
8. I've learned how to handle drunk people.
Because there are certain things you can't do or say to an intoxicated person.
9. Avoid going to work hungover.
The scent of tequila after a night of drinking is the last thing you need to smell when you're hungover, because you'll end up puking in the staff washroom.
10. I've learned to respect people working in hospitality.
I'll never order a steak at a restaurant 30 min before last call.The grills have already been cleaned at this point and the kitchen is about to close. Just don't do it, order a sandwich or something.
11. I'm ok with giving up my weekends.
I don't remember the last time I've had a full weekend off. I've sacrificed my weekends for many years now and to be honest, I'm totally ok with it.
12. I appreciate silence.
I actually don't listen to music on my way to work because I'm exhausted from speakers blasting in my ears all night long.
13. Wearing high heels for hours is not a problem.
I don't feel pain when I wear high heels because they were part of the uniform for most restaurants and bars I've worked at. I'll never be that drunk girl walking bare foot on King Street at 3 am.
14. I've learned how to run off 4 hours of sleep.
My sleeping schedule is all over the place. I'll get home at 5 am and wake up 4 hours later. It's really unfortunate, but sometimes you'll just have to sacrifice a couple hours of sleep.
15. People will yell at you.
Sometimes you may deserve it because you actually fvcked up. Other times you'll get screamed at for absolutely no reason. It happens, just take it in one ear and out the other.
16. Sometimes you won't get tipped.
Honestly, there's nothing you can do. Maybe you did a shitty job and the person thought you don't deserve it. Or maybe that person just simply doesn't know the importance of tipping. It really sucks and only those who have worked in the service industry will understand.
17. People can be very picky about their food.
Be mindful of allergies because you're screwed if you mess that up. But other than that, some people really like their fries well done so make sure to type that MEMO in properly.
18. I've become a great actor.
I have a great poker face. I know how to fake smile and laugh, even when I'm miserable deep down inside. It's important to leave your problems at home and not bring them into the work place. If it's something super serious, then take the night off. You're the face of the establishment, and if you look like you absolutely hate your life, the customer won't be pleased either.
19. I've learned to be patient.
Dealing with people and their wants isn't easy. It can get frustrating at times when someone is bitching at you for something you didn't do. But truth is, that's part of the consequences when working in the service industry. It's important to be patient in other life situations as well, and thanks to the service industry I have definitely learned how to tolerate different problems.
19. Money can't buy happiness.
No matter how much money you're making, it can't buy happiness. Do something you truly enjoy and don't waste your time working in an environment you're not comfortable in.
I make the best Caesars.
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