Friday, March 10, 2006


This hostessing job just isn't feeling like the best fit. I've got the basics down, but there are apparently endless levels of expertise I could try to learn that don't really feel worth the $9/hour plus tips I'm earning. It's been a while since I had a job this challenging. It's a multiple-focus dance of ego-massaging, crowd control, spatial strategizing and nursery-room enthusiasm. I can do it, oh sure, I can do it. And I could devote myself to memorizing the names and preferences of our many wealthy patrons, improve my ability to estimate wait times, plus work on balancing customer desires with where I need to seat them in order to be fair to all concerned. Yeah, I could hone all those skills and become the best hostess to ever smile patiently back at some rude client's remark...

...but do I want to? No, not for $9 an hour (and maybe it goes without saying that I really can't live on what I earn at this job). This job should really be re-evaluated. Maybe hostesses in other restaurants are doing a $9-an-hour job, but I'd say being a hostess at a busy, upscale steakhouse/wine bar in the heart of the Chicago business district that is patronized by the wealthy is worth well more than that.

Would I rather wait tables? Would I rather be bringing the salads and Pellegrino to these cleanly dressed people, in the crowded lunch crush, hustling for an hour and a half so I can walk out with maybe $70? I don't know anymore. That was the goal: to hostess until I rejoin the ranks of the servers, but I don't know anymore.

I've lost sight of how I want to fill my time. Nick and Tony's was so great, I just wanted to find another situation just like that one, but I don't know how likely that is. This restaurant is completely different. Or is the whole restaurant experiment over? Should I be turning back to the corporate world for my next job?

How do I want to earn my living? I thought I wanted to be a server at a nice restaurant with thirty-dollar menu items and a big wine list and here I am on the path towards that, but I don't know if it's what I want anymore. So much for goals and vision. My ability to retain vision and achieve goals sucks.

If I could do whatever I wanted to all day long, what would it be? Teamwork, creativity, some feeling of expertise, fun, financial security. I love writing, but writing is such a solitary act. So is music. I need to be around people. People, people, people.

I guess some of us never stop trying to figure out what the next job should be. I just wish I could work at a job that doesn't make me feel like a fish out of water. Again.

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