What Inspired You?

I have been doing some reading lately on others who have written bestselling books. Well actually only one so far that I completed yesterday which was the Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain.

What I found most interesting was how he was inspired to become a cook in the first place by trying that Vichyssoise on the cruise ship when he was with his parents. Then afterwards the oysters in France. Food became something more to him that just something you stuff down your throat each day.

As first a bartender then a waiter I cannot remember offhand anything that inspired me to get into the business in the beginning. There was no aha moment. I didn’t drink a beer under a tree when I was 17 and say this is it for me.

I just sort of stumbled into it through a bartending course that I took 30 years ago. I don’t know why I enrolled in the course at that time other than the fact I might have read in the ad that you could go on and get a job bartending. Maybe I just thought it would be a fun thing to do. I wasn’t thinking of traveling or anything like that at that time.

In school when you are asked what you want to be when you grow up no one blurts out I want to be a bartender or waiter. It just sort of happens. No one thinks of it as a career.

The only reason I can think why I have endured in this business all this time is I like the fast paced action of it all. Everyday is different and the money isn’t bad. I always liked change.

My question for anyone out there is what inspired you to be a part of this business and for those of you who do something else what inspired you to do what you do? Or was it just a fluke like it seemed for me way back when I took a course just to see what it would be like?



  1. I was inspired simply by the availability of the job and the lack of the need for a degree to do it.After a couple of years, I became inspired by my love for cuisine, my intrigue about the workings of the human social experience especially in the marketplace, and a desire to to continue to tweak my admittedly imperfect service and to turn myself from a clunkly server to a more polished one (and, believe me, my fellow servers would question how good of a job I've done as I'm one of the clumsiest people you'll ever run into).My 3 1/2 year stint as a manager also was an inspiration as I tried to understand the complex mechanics of providing the best service to the guest.Oh yeah, I'm inspired by a great tip. Obviously.

  2. Dave…I think you just start out to see what it's like without having any idea what you are getting yourself into then after that either you like it and stay or get out pretty quick.Then we just learn as we go.

  3. I love how you said "No one thinks of it as a career."You're absolutely right. (see my previous posts on Ida, the evil Loan Nazi).Nothing ever inspired me to be a waitress. I just needed a flexible job, so that I could attend college. After 4 years of bouncing around and changing majors, I was STILL waiting tables. This was when I decided to figure my self out, finish school, and take off my apron for good.Only 1 1/2 years left Thank GOD!!GH

  4. G.H…Keep up the good work and get through your courses and you will look back as it being a very memorable experience waiting on tables. Good for you!

  5. There was no ah-ha moment for me either. I found something I enjoy and have made it my own. My brother, who is a white collar worker, does not understand it, nor did my dad when he was alive, also white collar. They never thought of it as a profession. They never understood my love for the service industry.I think anything can be a profession if we want it to be. It's all in the attitude, taking ownership of our job and doing our best, every shift, every day.

  6. I also wanted to add, I have worked too many bad jobs not to start working a job I can finally enjoy. Although it might not meet anyone else's expectations of me, it meets my own expectations of myself. I am not a lowly person because I have chosen to serve cocktails and beer. I am a woman who enjoys entertaining and making sure those around me are having a good time. To know I have a small part in that makes me happy to do what I do:)

  7. Chris…great attitude you have and in your comment where you say you enjoy making someone else's day better sums up it best as to why people stick around. Nice one!

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