Back in the mid-seventies, I decided to take a year off of school and make some money. I was in my early twenties and wanted to move out of the house. I looked around for a while and didn’t find very much. I noticed that there were a lot of restaurant manager jobs in the classified section of the local newspaper. I applied and was hired instantly.
I guess the restrictions on interview questions weren’t that strict back then. One of the questions that the interviewer asked me was if I had a girlfriend or not. I said: “Not at the present time.” He raised his eyebrows and asked me: “But you have had one haven’t you?” I replied yes, but I felt like asking him what that had to do with the job.
Then he answered the question for me: “Sometimes single people are better for the restaurant business than people with families.” He said. “They have more time to devote to the job.” That was my introduction to the restaurant business and it went downhill from there. I know, I ended up spending almost thirty years in it.
Don’t get me wrong. The restaurant business has its share of perks. The pay was OK and it was nice being your own boss most of the time.
Managing a restaurant is a stressful job. You have a lot of responsibility, basically everything in the store. You’re on call 24/7 and you have to deal with the employees, the upper management, and the customers, as well as the vendors and suppliers. A lot of time a manager’s first stop after a long shift is at the bar, in house if they have one or down the street. No wonder restaurant managers have one of the highest rates of alcoholism in the country.
In recent years unemployment has spiked in this country. There is a lot of argument as to why, but one thing’s for certain: It remains a big problem. Being unemployed and searching for a job can be very stressful. Trying to provide for your family on unemployment and spending hours every day filling out applications is not fun. It’s like working full-time but not getting paid.
This scenario makes a lot of people take the first job that they can get, but sometimes getting a bad job is worse than not having one at all.
According to CNN: “A new study suggests that some jobs are so demoralizing they’re actually worse for mental health than not working at all.” The study was published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
People reported that they felt calmer and less stressed if they found a rewarding job, but for those who got poor quality jobs, their level of stress actually went up instead of coming down. Some of the jobs with the highest rates of depression include: nurses, teachers, health care workers, social workers, and of course, restaurant workers. Maybe they should have a section in the jobs classifieds that reads: “Depressing Jobs To Fill.”