That would be me, holding a two-pound bag of spinach. Life is good.
Once a month or so, I work for an event hall that does weddings, parties and other occasions as their head waitress. It was my first job ever and I still have it, believe it or not (I started working there when I was 14)!
You might be wondering why a graphic designer like me is working as a waitress on the side. Or you might not, considering all of you know my love of food. It's more then that — trust me!
Since I've been working there for over 10 years, the people there are like family to me. As a matter of fact, I actually used to work there with my mother. She was once the head waitress and she passed the torch down to me. Since then, she has claimed she's "too old for this ____" (fill in the blank) so I happily took her position. Working there also gives me a chance to make a couple extra bucks, while visiting family and friends back in my home town.
Waiting tables is hard work, but I have to say... the end of the night is rewarding. You get your choice of the free food that's left over (like two freaking pounds of spinach). The spinach isn't the only thing I got, though... That night I feasted on a dinner of Chicken Marsala and Filet Mignon and I got to take home a free bottle wine. Talk about perks!
So while it might not be graphic design, it's something else I enjoy a lot. I love interacting with guests while I'm holding a tray of hors d'oeuvres (most of the time, they're really happy to see me). I love gossiping with the rest of the wait staff about the bridesmaid dresses or how cute the couple looks.
Most of all, it's just good old honest work, you know?
So let's go a little off topic.
I was out to eat at Red Robin the other night. Have you been there lately? They have these new things called "Ziosks", table-side computers that guests can use to order food and drinks, play games, listen to music and even pay the bill with. I'm sort of undecided on how I feel about them.
The games and music — as you can guess — are not free. I can just see some 5 year old grabbing this thing and adding an extra $20 to their parents' bill without them even realizing. Surprise!
The device can also be used to flag down your waiter or waitress with a noticeable red, flashing light. Oh, come on. Whatever happened to saying "excuse me" as they walk by? Witnessing this in person, it seemed a little odd to me.
On the other hand, it makes a few things pretty darn convenient. Like, say you're in a rush. Right as you're seated, you can order your drinks. As the waiter/waitress comes to greet you, there they are. You order your food, get it, eat it, and you can pay your bill and go.
Paying the bill on the Ziosk is actually pretty cool, too. I wasn't expecting the thing to print a receipt but it totally does. Instead of having your server give you the bill, walk away, come back to take it, run your card and come back with the receipts, you can do it all within a matter of a minute at the table. That saves a lot of time for the customer and the server!
Also, from a marketing perspective it's been known to increase sales and even tips. Their website touts some impressive numbers.
Last, but not least, these Ziosk things probably gave a few graphic designers a job, so I'm all for that!
What Are Your Experiences With Serving or Dining Out?