“The Waitressing Life: The Honor of a Second-Class Profession”

“The Waitressing Life: The Honor of a Second-Class Profession” by Katie Van Syckle, is an article written by a waitress, discussing some of the things she encounters on a daily basis. These range from: how to talk to a customer, why might a restaurant not be running smooth, to how to wait in a high end restaurant versus a more casual eatery. This article was fairly short, so it only gave a brief look into the restaurant culture, however gave me more ideas as to what I might want a sub-topic to be in my research on restaurant culture.
If I choose this to be what I create a research project on for a class, I think I am settling with the server aspect of the restaurant. Before I was also curious about the back of the house and the customers and their role in the culture of restaurants, but I think I more want to study waitresses and the role they play.
This article made me think about asking the question, can servers live above poverty and comfortably with only this one job? She stated that often she receives this question, “So what do you do, other than, you know, waitressing?” This is a common question asked of servers, many believe that they either have another job, just trying to pay their selves through school, or that this is just a short stop onto bigger and better things. I as a server often hear this as well, luckily I go to school, and use that as a way to make sure the conversation doesn’t turn awkward if I wasn’t doing anything else with my life.
But, is waitressing really all that bad? Why do so many people look down on waitressing? And could someone truly live comfortably off of just working as a waitress their whole life? This is one thing I would like to research, what would be their necessary hours and tips made during a week, and how would it differ from state to state? This research topic would require a lot of background information and I would most likely need government information for each of the state’s laws for waitressing as well as finding out averages of how much a waitress makes versus how much it costs to live in each state.




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