35 years old
I'm drinking my tea at my computer with a side of cucumber water -
I remember the good ole years when my Friday nights started at 11pm... I finished work around then and it was time to share war stories with my fellow servers and bartenders.... When I managed in Vancouver, the late night crowd began arriving then and a new night began - a new life of industry folk flowed in, ready to celebrate another bit of cash in their pockets. When I worked in Niagara-On-the-Lake we would hustle out of there at close after polishing silver for hours and get to Port Dalhousie to dance the night away.
Many people can't understand that life but I loved it and have some amazing memories. Some of my greatest friendships were created within the walls of restaurants while we served dinners and wine to crowds of couples and groups. Between laughter and tears we supported one another in a way I haven't experienced again. That industry attracts such unique and powerful personalities that are typically overly-generous with buying rounds of drinks and just love to live life. They are loyal folk you know, those that are running from table to table juggling orders, smiles and food.
I've never understood why there is a stigma about the hospitality industry and those that work in it. Judgement can harshly flow but I know the truth.
So, as I hold my tea up and toast my previous life I'd like to thank all the servers, bartenders, bussers, hosts, chefs, dishwashers, food runners, night cleaners, owners, managers and anyone else I missed. YOU are the hardest working people I have ever known and you deserve more respect than you get. YOU are an asset in society and don't EVER let anyone tell you otherwise.
I may have traded my late-night pints in for tea but my heart is true.
Cheers and goodnight from a former colleague.