Saturday, February 27, 2010

More Lamentations of a Part-Time Cocktail Server

I can't resist the need to blog again about how much I hate being treated like a career cocktail server [at job #2]. And again, I have to preface this post by saying that I, in no way, intend to demean the adult beverage industry. Yet I hate feeling insignificant, as if my existence is substandard. Like tonight when I lightly touched a lounge guest's elbow and asked if I could get her a drink. She turned around and slowly shifted her eyes sideways at where my hand had briefly grazed her arm, pausing ever so slightly before shifting her sideways look up to meet my inquisitive gaze. She made no attempt to hide the air of superiority in her tone, cutting her eyes at me and tossing her words over her shoulder: "Just a second."

Her back let me know that I had been dismissed. And if I'm not treated as if I'm inferior, I'm either invisible or I'm eye candy. I'm not sure which is worse. To spend an entire night unnoticed and disregarded or to constantly feel a stranger's hand on my lower back or lightly gripping my waist while placing a drink order. I'm often tempted to say, "You don't talk through your hands, and I don't hear through my hips."

And it makes me want to scream, "This isn't all that I do!"

But it shouldn't matter if any of the lounge guests ever realize that I have ambitious goals and lofty aspirations. I shouldn't care about their stereotypes of cocktail servers or their perceptions of who I may or may not be - whether their judgments are calculated or unconscious. My part-time job is to serve drinks, not recite my resumé. I have to avoid the narcissistic need to want to prove something to someone who ultimately means nothing to me. It makes me as shallow as the people who purchase overpriced bottles of vodka and champagne to impress people they'll never meet. The only opinions of me that matter are those formed by the people who know me. Who really see me. And who care that they do.

So I'll continue to earn the money I need to cycle across North America this summer. And those who want to share the experience with me will read along for the ride.

3 comments:

Adrienne said...

WOW. I was always taught to treat everyone like an equal. Like you, their are many people part-timing it up in attempt to get where they are going a little faster. All of those people will eat their "uppity" attitude when they read your name across the front page of some magazine or Newspaper for some fabulous achievement! Hustle on my friend!

Katie said...

You know, Adrienne, I used to feel the same way. Wait until I do something amazing; I'll show them! But then I realized, even if I do something great one day, and even if they hear about it, they'll never realize that I was the random person they once snubbed. And then ... does it really even matter?

In these situations, as hard as it may be, we can just strive to do our best from day to day and find confidence and satisfaction in that.

But I love you and appreciate you for your passion and support.

City Wendy said...

I feel your pain. Any time I've worked with the public I've had similar experiences. You just have to remind yourself how small these people are if they have to resort to the kind of behavior they're exhibiting to make themselves feel big. And imagine how lonely these boring, pompous people must feel in the moments they have only themselves as company. That's the real tragedy.