Please understand that servers aren't in the profession of waiting tables by choice. Whether it be financial or personal difficulties, we all find our way to serving. The reasons for becoming a waiter may vary, but one thing will never change. We don't do this willingly. I have yet to meet a person who 'chooses' to serve people their food in a casual dining cafe. If someone likes helping others, they should join volunteer projects.
As such, waiting tables isn't something one plans on doing for the rest of their lives. For me, I'm one year away from graduating college. In one year, I'll have a Bachelor of Arts in English. Waiting tables is how I pay for my education. My future depends on the amount of tips I receive on a nightly basis. I exist at the bottom of the social ladder, just so I can one day have a better future.
In my time of waiting tables, I've come across people who're quick to pass judgement on my level of education. When this happens, it's demoralizing and embarrassing.
Today, I waited on a group of people I knew from high school. These people were beautiful, smart, and charming, then and still are today. Some of them are now married with children on the way. Some of them now have achieved successful careers. After exchanging pleasantries an awkward hush grew across the table, as they asked me what I'd been up to since high school.
"Me?" I mumbled, "I want to be a writer. I justwork here to help pay for college."
"Oh," my former acquaintance said, "good for you. That's honorable".
[[[Please understand, that when something is deemed as honorable, it's anything but. People are very quick to admire an action, but are unable to join others. It's even evident in literature. The small townsfolk praise the knight about to go slay the dragon, but they stand away from a far distance. Honorable? Bullshit.]]]
They ordered their food, and their meal came out without a problem. They paid their bill, and just as they were leaving we talked one final time. By this point, my self esteem had hit a new low.
"It was good seeing you" I said, attempting to keep a cool composure.
"You too. Congratulations on graduating soon. You're going to be a great writer," she said with a forced smile.
As they were walking away, I heard one of my former acquaintances ask another a question.
"Did you really mean that?"
"No, she'll be waiting tables for the rest of her life." She said, laughing.
This is exchange is one of many I've been a part of. Many are quick to believe that, just because we are 'waiters' that is all we're destined for in life. They don't realize that we're people with hopes, dreams and a future.
Waiting tables isn't glamorous, but I'm so close to my diploma that I'm going to fight. I don't believe in honor. I believe in hope, my dreams and the future, in spite of others and their unknowing assumptions.