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I’ve been on both sides of this debate, so I can say that there are pros and cons and good things and bad things about the service industry versus office work.

But I will say that if you’re going to work in the food industry, whether you’re at a restaurant, a bar, or on a friend truck, you have to be on your toes and you have to be quick and not get overwhelmed easily.

“Nighthawks” ―Edward Hopper, 1942

Some people who have never worked in the service industry think that it’s easy or that these people don’t work hard. If you’ve been there, you know nothing could be further from the truth.

A person who worked in an office during the day and a restaurant at night helped an office co-worker get a job at night in the restaurant and the woman lasted exactly one shift. They shared the story online.

The Tumblr post reads:

“Last year I had an internship at a fancy office during the day, and a food service job at night.

One of the ladies at the office told me she needed a part-time job for some extra cash, and I let her know about an opening in my food service job, described what would be expected, all of that.

The Office

Guys. She quit after one (1) shift, called me the next day, and ranted, “You never told me it was going to be that hard, is that what you do every night?! I’m not 20 anymore, I’m 50, I can’t believe they only pay you $9.50/hr to do all that work!” [For the record, I had coworkers who were 65+]

She was shocked when I explained that yeah, most food service jobs require you to stock heavy boxes, work the register, and learn to cook/prep food, then clean up before you go home. It never occurred to her that people who “just flip burgers” actually have demanding jobs.

Flipping Burgers

“I’m going to have to be extra nice to those people from now on!” Like yeah, no sh^t?”

It seems like this is a common phenomenon…people acting like they know what they’re talking about when it comes to jobs…when they really have no clue.

A woman replied with her experience of going from a retail, service-oriented job to an office gig. She said:

“I’ve told this story before I’m sure, but when I got my first office job and escaped retail hell, I tended to stay at my desk on my breaks. My manager, well-meaning, passed by and reminded me to make sure I took my breaks and got up and got away from my desk regularly.

I kinda laughed and said “Tanya, I worked retail before this. This entire job is a break, to me. I get to sit down all day. Just let me enjoy that.”

internship

And I still think about it sometimes when I’m in the breakroom in the morning. How I have the unspeakable luxury to take my coffee cup, go to the kitchen, wash the cup out, pour myself a new cup of coffee, chat with coworkers if anyone’s in the breakroom while I’m doing that, and then head back to my desk before I really *start* my day.

Without worrying that I’m going to get in trouble or be seen as slacking off. As opposed to the rushed “toss your purse in a locker, clock in, and get out on the floor and start cleaning things/helping customers/fixing signage/etc.” start-of-shift routine from my retail days.”

All jobs are tough in their own way, but working in the service industry can be really tough on the body, the brain, and a person’s emotions.

Pizza restaurant "Vapiano" Darmstadt

Bottom line: if you’ve never worked a certain type of job, you probably shouldn’t comment on it. You never know what it takes to pull off the work someone does each and every day unless you’ve actually done it yourself.

What do you think? Have you worked both service and office jobs? Which do you prefer?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments, please!