For those of you who don't know, blogging is not my full time job. In order to support myself and the passion projects that fuel my heart and my soul I am a server at an Italian restaurant. Although I work with some unbelievable people who often have me looking forward to my shifts (even if it means missing a dinner in the comfort of my home with the person I love) I can't help but beat myself up over the fact that I am still serving. It's hard to resist comparing yourself to old school mates and friends as updates continue to pop up on social media boasting their many career highs. Despite the fact that serving allows me to do what I love right now, and discover where I want to take my career, I often feel like a failure and get down on myself, feeling like I'm not contributing to anything.
It's a rough job not having any security, control, or benefits, having to miss out on many social engagements and holidays (goodbye New Years Eve!), feeling like your schedule is opposite most of your friends and family, having people generally treat you like you're beneath them, not to mention feeling both emotionally and physically exhausted at the end of every shift. On bad days I come home on the verge of tears asking myself "why am I still doing this?"
In the midst of an exhausting and very busy week of serving last Friday I had the pleasure of serving a couple who reminded me exactly why I do what I do. The couple, who are from a small town outside of Toronto, make a point of scheduling all of their appointments in the city on the same day so they can get them all over with and then treat themselves to a special dinner out. They told me that they hadn't yet found an Italian restaurant that they loved and could call their go-to in the city. With their obvious passion for one another and their magnetic positivity, my general manager and I set out to give them a special evening at our restaurant. I felt comfortable engaging with them as though we were old friends. They allowed me to dance around the menu, sharing with them some of my favourite tastes and smells, all the while listening eagerly and giving me their trust to take the reigns and order for them. It elated me to see such joy and enthusiasm from them as their faces lit up at each bite of a new dish or sip of wine. Their love was infectious as they affectionately looked into each others eyes, shared their food with one another, and took adorable selfies (this is coming from a non-selfie taker too!). I recognized the type of night they were having, as I've been lucky enough to have gotten a few of those special nights out at a restaurant with my boyfriend, and it felt pretty damn good to know that I was apart of making that happen.
To this couple I want to say "thank you." Thank you for making my night, and quite frankly my entire week. I haven't been able to get you off my mind. You were so lovely and generous in allowing me to take part in your your special evening. It was such a pleasure to be able to share my passion for food and hospitality with you and have you be so incredibly gracious and thankful in return. Just having the pleasure of serving such truly wonderful people put me in the greatest mood, but then you took things a step further. Your generosity extended beyond words in the form of the gratuity you left me. You could have left me anything and I would have gone home happy knowing that I got to take part in your night, but you took the opportunity to give me more than I have ever received on a bill. I wish I had expressed to you more how much that meant to me. More than just money in my pocket, you made me feel like I was contributing to something. You made me feel like what I do is worthwhile and important, and that is something I could never put a price on. I don't know if this letter will ever get back to you, but I just wanted to put my thanks out there in the world. With you both in mind I choose to continue the pattern of paying-it-forward and hope that I can have the same impact that you two did with me. Wishing you all the very best and hope to have the opportunity of serving you again in the future!