I feel like I'm serving a life sentence of working in restaurants. I have of course done other things here and there, but the majority of my "career" has been as a server. Please try to not be too jealous, because it is as glamorous as it sounds, and not to mention all the perks and respect you get. And throughout my glamorous, soul satisfying, well paid, career, I have worked at all kinds of restaurants, from super swanky fine dining, to you're greasiest, biggest hole in the wall dump. And I have had all kinds of bosses, and co-workers, and dealt with tons of different types of customers. I say all of this to say, I've seen a lot of stuff behind the scenes of the restaurant world, and believe it or not, there is grossness all across the board, and sometimes the less fancy restaurants are far cleaner, and serve better quality food. I remember years ago, I worked at a rather nose in the air place, and the "chef" thought very highly of his "artistry" Well. guess what, part of his creative process was serving Stouffers frozen lasagna, with a blob of "fresh" marinara, and a sprinkling of cheese to really make it shine! Anyway, I'm getting far away from my point, which again is I know stuff, and I don't know about anyone else, but where I live it snowed like it was February yesterday, which is beyond depressing, but it made me think about cold and flu season, and all of the sick people who are preparing, and serving your food. Many restaurants are real dicks about employees calling in sick. Some say you have to get your own shift covered, and if you can't, then you need to cover it or you get fired. When you are very ill, and it took all of your strength to even call your boss, it's very daunting to have to call a million co-workers to beg them to cover. Not to mention having to go and stand on your feet, smile and be friendly, and serve food when you have a fever and snot will not stop dripping, all because you can't afford to be fired for getting the flu, or cold. I've worked at restaurants that say if you call in sick, you need to have a doctor's excuse. But what they don't think about is they are paying below minimum wage,(well below) and I personally have never had medical insurance through an employer, so where the hell do you have the money to pay a doctor to tell you that you have the cold/flu, and you should rest and get fluids? I have never been able to afford to pay for someone to tell me what I already know. And often, people who work at restaurants, or I would imagine any minimum wage job, simply can't afford to stay home when sick, and miss a day or two of pay. It has happened to me for sure, there have been a few days where i felt so guilty being at work, and serving people food, but I don't have paid sick days, and especially when you are a server, you need to be serving that food to earn those tips, because 2.83 an hour.
Sorry, I didn't really mean to rant so much, because I really just wanted people to use caution when dining out, and honestly as someone who has worked in so many restaurants, I am VERY leery of restaurants, and in general prefer to make my own food. I can't even trust places like Chipotle, because although they make your goodies in front of you, what goes on behind that wall? Who cooked this rice? What is going on with them, any sniffles, puking I should know about? So, just make sure your super pumping yourself with vitamin c and ginger. It's what I've been doing because I have to work around these sickos, and serve the sickos. It amazes me how many people come out to eat when they are sick. People are very strange, so it's best to have as strong of an immune system as possible. Last winter once or twice a week I had miso soup with a few thinly sliced shitake mushrooms, always followed by lots of vitamin c, and a ginger detox bath, and I feel like I fared pretty well, I only got a slight cold once, and I was able to fight it off pretty quickly. And I have a co-worker who came to work with a pneumonia/bronchitis combo and hacked in my face all night while mixing drinks! If I were at a bar or restaurant, and the bartender is hacking up a lung, I'm outta there! So, if hand sanitizer is your jam, or detox baths, juicing, mass vitamin c, or a combo, just take care of your loyal immune system, and give it lots of love this season, cause humans are funky and it has a lot of fighting to do!! And pay attention to the staff of any restaurant that you are eating at, and watch out for any suspicious sniffling and or hacking going on.