It sucks to work and study at the same time, but you are going to love your hard-earned money after the shift. I have been working as a waitress for 4 years now. Morning buffets in a lavishing 4-star hotel and then switched to lesser lavishing hotel as a restaurant waitress for the evening hours. I also ventured to catering services if more people are needed for the work. It is stressful, but it is worth the work when you pay your studies yourself – well, in the German setting at least.
Shifts from 5 am until 11 am or 5pm until 11 midnight were just some of my regular shifts. When I arrive home, it would be 12 mid night if I get the train on time. To balance my work-student life, I had to bring my books to work. I read whenever I am inside the train and I read inside the restaurant when there is nothing to do. As a working student, you won’t have much time to read stuff compared to your classmates who do not need to work.
Before I set my studies in Germany, I never worked as a waitress, rather, in fields of freelancing journalism, translation work and tutoring. I must admit, I thought, being a waitress is easy. But NO, it can be stressful at times. You meet people from all walks of life who want to be brought food. Most of the time I am happy I got the waitress job, it opened my eyes to people who work for food services. I became humbler when I get to know other waitresses who also have to meet ends like me.
I was at first hesitant to do the job, but when your broke and really want to pursue your studies, you will have this urge to pretend you have the skills in any job. I can’t recall, but I once gave the wrong order of eggs to a person. Some days, people understand, in other days, I didn’t want to leave the kitchen anymore. Nevertheless, I became more outspoken as a waitress. I could literally yell and ask 30 persons what they want to have for dinner. I try to be friendly all the time and remove my shyness from people – I only need to know what they want to eat and drink. I also learned how to joke around Germans. Sometimes, if you get drunk guys at the restaurant, and they ask you for your name, tell them you are “HELGA”. They’ll laugh hard and get the joke.
I am not only grateful for the tip I get, or perks of eating food for free at times, I am grateful that I have a “job”. A job that pays for my needs and necessities for my university studies. I am also happy to have the regular customers who support me with their loving words of encouragement for my studies. I have this one regular who keeps asking if my studies are going well, asking me about my future plans when I graduate. It is nice when people ask, and also when they support your dreams.
My work colleagues became my second family
The longer I have worked for the same restaurant, the longer people know me. I had this feeling of having a loving family every new year for our late Christmas party. We enjoy everyone’s company and have a good time together. It makes me happy to belong to this group because they know my strengths and weaknesses and they try to help me even outside of work-related matters.