Monday, September 29, 2014

A 33-year-old formerly white-collar career-gal turned waitress

Print journalism. In 2001, it seemed like a damn good idea. A cool job that meant I wouldn't be stuck behind a desk for eight hours a day. And, you know what? I was absolutely right! For more than a decade I had a job that allowed me to meet new people every single day. I learned about new things every single day. I got to be creative, tell people's stories. I interviewed celebrities, movers and shakers in my community, policy-makers, elected officials. I had benefits and health insurance and paid vacation days.

You know what else I had? A paycheck that meant I couldn't make ends meet. When a girl enters her 30s, it just isn't cute anymore to be poor. I had to reassess. And after applying for job after job in the field of public relations (and not getting a single interview), I decided a bachelor's degree today is the high school diploma of yesterday. It was time to go back to school.

So that brings us here, folks: an almost 34-year-old who is back in school, pursuing a master's. And as if that's not enough of a Ghosts of Christmas Past kind of moment, I also had to find a way to pay the mortgage while I'm doing that. So I'm waiting tables again, folks. WAITING TABLES. When I was 16 and living in Fairmont, a small berg on the Iowa border surrounded by corn, waiting tables at Perkin's Family Restaurant was THE job to have. It meant a lot of cash in your pocket, and it meant you weren't bagging groceries or bean-walking like the other kids.

But waiting tables when you're 34 in a small community? The same small community where you very recently held a high-profile, white-collar career? The same community where you've come to know a great many of the important folks that run said community? The same community where you'll inevitably be serving those important folks burgers and fries? That's another story entirely -- a story I hope you'll find to be quite interesting.

So, folks, welcome to my blog: Blue Collar Confessions. After a 12-year white collar career, I've gained quite an interesting perspective to bring to my waitressing job. In just two months on the job, I've already gathered quite a collection of stories to tell about the people I wait on and the people I work with.

Stay tuned.

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