Some say that I have a very particular line of work. Not exactly something everyone would want to do or could do. At times people compliment me by expressing just how they don’t think they could ever do my job. That they have just seen too many bad experiences to want to take it all on. For most of my life, I felt the same until one random day and a couple of random life decisions later, I jumped ship ONTO the serving scene.
I had no idea the amount my life was about to change or how it would eventually change my entire persona! I am using this example to introduce myself to you all because this is such a big part of who I am. My name is Christy Ann and I am a server and a spiritual lightworker in a small, conservative town in rural Nevada.
I have served for the last four years, and to be honest, I barely remember who I was beforehand. The service industry is likely the last place anyone would imagine a personal awakening to occur, but I would argue that it happens far more often than we would expect! I went from a timid, uncertain, complacent young woman to an outspoken, authentic, and hilarious grown-ass woman. I owe so much of my life now to the fact that I took up serving.
There are so many skills that go into being able to properly run with the wolves in a restaurant. Any restaurant. They are all different and somehow they are all kind of the same. In a lot of ways, this lifestyle can alternate between moments of either feast or famine, but when feast returns, you better be ready to put your game face on and get with it.
Opening the discussion of what “the spirituality of serving tables” truly means.
I mean this in a few ways, but the way I want to discuss today is spiritually. I talk all the time to the people closest to me about what I call “the spirituality of serving tables”. They all laugh a little and then nod and say “yeah, I guess I never thought of it that way”. In a way, I guess that’s what I’m going for overall.
I always thought that to make a difference in the world I would have to be up on stage in front of hundreds of people. Doing my best to inspire and speaking until they burst out in spontaneous revolution. Suffice to say, that has yet to happen, but you know what has happened? Growth.
I have in fact been in front of hundreds of people! I see roughly 1000 people a week. Every week. Some are the same people over and over and boy do they learn my name. They learn my name and they learn my jokes, and the jokes are what I’m there for. I get the chance to make so many people laugh and to me, that’s what life is about. To make someone let go of the weight of their everyday minutia and for a moment you are all just there as people. That is something that can that make a real difference.
“You can always tell when someone has worked in a restaurant. There’s an empathy that can only be cultivated by those who’ve stood between a hungry mouth and a $28 pork chop”Anthony Bourdain
People come to my restaurant and they are hungry. We all know how we can be when we’re hungry. It is often not the best version of ourselves. Myself included. I can get irritable. I can get impatient. I can get a little less polite than I know I should be and that is what I believe separates good people from bad people. How do you act with a stranger when they are the perceived thing that stands between you and your dinner?
Anthony Bourdain has a great quote that says, “You can always tell when someone has worked in a restaurant. There’s an empathy that can only be cultivated by those who’ve stood between a hungry mouth and a $28 pork chop”. That, however, might be a topic for another article in this series. For now, I want to open up a discussion of what I mean by “the spirituality of serving tables”.
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My job blesses me with the chance to observe and interact with every type of person. Through my ability to make people laugh and my ability to read people to a T, I believe that I get to make a difference most days. What does that mean though? What does it mean to “make a difference”? To me that means building a bridge. A bridge between “us” and “them”; between “then and now”; and most importantly, between “no way” and “you know, I guess I never thought of it like that before”.
In normal waking hours, there’s a strong chance that my personality would not normally get to bond with a lot of the people that come in my work. I am sure that can be said about almost any line of work; however, my job feels unique in that I get a short chance to make a connection with all of these people in a way that is often more than just polite small talk. In fact, it’s kind of my job to bond with them and give them the best experience that I can. You wouldn’t believe the stories that complete strangers tell me or the things that some people are going through.
I feel blessed to be a sympathetic ear to the people that just really need one. At first, it felt like every part of the job was incredibly daunting and by the end of the night, I could barely have even one more conversation. However, at this point, I see it as an opportunity to make a few more people smile and leave the world a bit lighter than it would have been otherwise!
Moving forward I will be kind of diving deeper into this mindset so as to give every one of you the chance to find a little more “magick” in what appears to be everyday life!
Have you worked in the serving industry before? Did it change you? Do you understand the spirituality of serving tables?
I would love to hear your stories in the comments below. Leave me a message and lets connect.
Christy Ann is a Spirituality and Personal Development Coach that focuses on helping others transform their self-consciousness into a self-awareness superpower! With a Bachelors in Psychology and 15 years of experience in spiritual development, she has a complex understanding of the human condition and how spirit plays a role in carving our place in the world. Through focused spirituality-personality integration, Christy Ann helps others manifest the version of themselves they dream of being!