Most of the time people are great. I worked in the service industry for about 4 years. I met my wife working that job, I've made some great friends from that job, and I also learned more about myself and what people are capable of working in the service industry. But reading what one Minnesota business owner wrote about a recent exchange between an employee and a customer seems to have really hurt not only the employee but the business owner as well.
They say, “Sharing is Caring”, and I care too much not to share…
Please tell me…What makes a job honorable? Is it the pay? Is it the education that it took to get that job? Is it the years it took to obtain it? Who decides if it’s honorable? Is it anyone else job to tell you if your job is honorable or not? Who sets the standards? Does society make the rules?
We had a server last night who was challenged by a guest about his choice to be a server. The server and the guest did not know each other. The guest wanted to know why he would choose to be a server if he had a college degree. What were his real goals? He even offered to counsel him. Why would the guest and his group think it ok to ask the server this? As if being a server is not an honorable job. These comments and questions were telling the server that he was not good enough. You could see the servers demeanor change immediately. This was hurtful. When I heard about this, I was heartbroken.
As an employer, you spend a big chunk of your time building people up. You teach them skills, try to build confidence, and make them feel part of a team. You ask for their input and feedback. You make them feel like they have value and worth. You check in on them. You want to make sure they love their job, because happy employees make owners look good. We can’t do this without them. Last night, a 3 minute conversation, took a little of that away from us.
Is serving not an honorable job? Is it the idea of “serving people” not honorable? It is..and it should feel that way! The love for serving~ The love for the guest~ The love for the community that comes with it. That’s honorable!
Our business may be a stepping stone for some and a landing pad for others and we are ok with that! Our 2 locations are full of college and masters degrees. These servers/bartenders pick their hours/days, easily get time off, mostly work part-time and can make 6 figures a year. We also have single moms with no degree, supporting their kids on their own. That’s the definition of honorable, if you ask me.
As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t take this encounter away last night. I couldn’t un-do it or make it go away. It’s shocking to me that we can’t simply value happy people. This guest did not ask if the server was happy. Isn’t that most important? Can a happy person be happy without an expensive and extensive resume? How about this for a resume…Honest, Loyal, Driven, Respectful, Humble, Courageous, Generous, Kind and FULL OF INTEGRITY & CLASS.
Imagine if someone devalued your child. That’s how I felt last night. Natalie and I are so proud of each of our staff. They all bring something different to the table. They bring an undeniable synergy to our business just by walking into work. They make me laugh all day, every day and make coming to work something to look forward to! We all learn from others, and our staff has taught us so much. Is serving honorable? Id love for someone to explain to me how its not!!
Wow, that is a lot to unpack! What is wrong with people in general who feel they need to 'put people in their place'? The owner is right, the real question that should be asked is if that server was 'happy' with their current job.
The owners of The Tap House in Rochester are Natalie Victoria and Christine Stahl. They have put plenty of time and effort into their business located in the Med-City. Both women are great people, so seeing what Christine wrote yesterday gave me a pit in the bottom of my stomach.
Let's do better people.
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