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Top 5 Ways Restaurant Work Taught Me To Hate Myself and Everyone Else Around Me

I don’t know if it’s because I’m constantly saying, “Yes, Chef!” like I’m in a cult, deboning sugar gliders because Sysco had a deal on marsupial, or fake smiling at guests that put ketchup on salad, but I hate this restaurant, myself, and everyone around me. My parents wanted me to stay in med school, but no way I was gonna learn this much about the human condition at NYU.

Here are the top 5 ways that food service has transformed me into an animal that knows only hate:

My favorite meal is a cigarette next to a dumpster

I don’t even like smoking. Or vodka. But here I am taking shots and dragging a cowboy killer because they’re the only escape from the insanity of a restaurant full of people unable to calculate 20% of any given number or coworkers incapable of dating outside this kitchen.

Rolling silverware is my only hobby

Thanks to working in a kitchen, I mistrust free time. While my roomates are in the front of house relaxing, I’m prepping for the next rush. We could get slammed by a six top of friends at any time, and not having enough flatware would be embarrassing. Sidework is not supposed to come home unless it’s blaming mid-shift for fucking up my station.

Cups don’t exist

My body will reject the concept of water before it allows me to drink liquid from anything other than a 32 oz. deli container. Recently, I ended a relationship because a woman had the nerve to ask for a wine glass. There’s no way I’m the only one who knows pinot noir tastes superior out of egg drop soup containers.

Crocs have become acceptable footwear

I used to have style, but I’ve been gobbled up and spit out by service industry non-slip footwear standards. Fuck it. Plus, all my clothes permanently smell like vinaigrette and feet, but I’m too tired to care. I look stupid, and I know it.

I have all these tattoos now

I have not one but nine knife tattoos. I also have one of the primal beef cuts on my neck. As badass as they look, they’re the exact reason I can barely make rent. If I hate restaurant work so much, why am I like this?

Restaurant work is toxic, but I’ve learned so much in the last three weeks as an Applebee’s dishwasher. I won’t be a doctor, but I probably will be the next Anthony Bourdain. Not in terms of the fame or the money, but the mental health problems for sure.