It’s hard out there for a server. According to a story on Bloomberg.com, U.S. Census Bureau figures show the number of servers who have college degrees is up 81% in 2010 from where it was in 2001. That’s not saying that 81% of servers have degrees; it’s saying that today there are a lot more servers who have pointless diplomas in their apron right next to their pad, pen and wine key. The number is at 159, 645 people but it only accounts for servers between the ages of 18 and 30. Since I am slightly over that median, we know the number is at least 159, 646 and probably more if you factor in other mature folks. (Please do not tell me I am the only server over the age of 30 who has a college degree.) What gets me about that figure is that there are some 18 year old servers out there who have college degrees. Did they start college at the age of 14? How in the hell are there people who are only 18 years old and already have college degrees? When I was 18, I was driving through Victoria, Texas in my dad’s Honda while drinking California Coolers and listening to The Cure. I didn’t have time for no stinkin’ college graduation at age 18. The figures also show that there are 20, 475 janitors out there who have college degrees but I bet no one ever tells them to get a “real job.” Or perhaps they have degrees in Custodial Arts, in which case they are actually benefiting from their college education.
The point of this post is to prove once and for all, that servers are not stupid. Okay, certainly there are some servers who don’t know their asshole from a donut, but there are plenty of servers who have a real education underneath all that Ranch dressing and chicken wings. Just because a person is making their living by serving food does not mean they are so stupid that they have no other life choices.
I am so tired of that assumption; that we made shitty decisions and we’re not smart enough to do anything else with our lives. Many servers keep serving because the hours are flexible and the money can be good when you consider the time it takes to make it. How many moms out there wait tablas because they can be done with their shift in time to meet the kids at home after school? Or how many people out there lost their “real job” at some 9:00 to 5:00 cubicle bullshit and had to reach into their drawer and pull out the old apron again? Waiting tables is a real job, people, and it’s time we stand up and announce to the world, “Yes, I wait tables. I am not stupid. This is my job.”
But back to the college degree. The study said nothing about what kind of degrees servers have. My guess is that there are lot of B.A.’s in Theater (guilty), Art History, Psychology and English. But wouldn’t any server holding a degree in one of those fields tend to be an excellent server?
Theater Waiter: Our specials today are enticingly delicious and I will now re-enact the moment of when I first tasted the Broccoli Cheddar soup. I will be using a sense memory from my childhood and utilizing the Stanislavski technique while doing so.
Psychology Waiter: Yes, you say you want a salad, but is that what you really want? What are your instincts telling you to order? Are you sure that the salad is the right choice and if so, how does that make you feel? I will let you process that information and come back and take your order in three minutes.
Art History Waiter: The fried chicken has a golden crust not unlike the colors found in Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic painting Sunflowers, but maybe not the painting you are familiar with. It is more the color of Sunflowers F.459, the second version with the royal-blue background. Tragically, that painting was destroyed in a fire during World War II on August 6, 1945 as it was then part of a personal collection in Japan. But yes, the fried chicken crust is that color.
English Waiter: Your moveable feast of sustenance will be out expeditiously at which time I shall reestablish my presence to authenticate your satisfaction with the choices you made and confirm that everything is to your liking. I will then be able to validate my service to you in exchange for a gratuity of your choosing.
So, yes, lots of servers have college degrees. People can stop assuming that we are all a bunch of stupid idiots who only know how to carry trays. Most of us are pretty smart. And keep in mind you don’t have to have a college degree to be intelligent. I have met plenty of professional folks with high paying jobs and high-falutin’ college degrees who don’t know the difference between their asshole and a donut which is usually not that big of a deal. It can get awkward though when you see one of them at Dunkin Donuts trying to rub a piece of toilet paper across a tray of Bavarian Kremes.
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