What are you studying?

I often get asked this question whilst at work being an Assistant General Manager of a restaurant I love. Maybe this is a rant, maybe this is just something that being a young-ish, baby faced female member of management in an otherwise male dominated management team brings about. My General Manager, a Father of two in his late thirties never gets asked this question, our Assistant Manager, also a father of two, slightly older than middle-aged never gets asked this question. So why is it that I get questioned about my role day in and day out.  

I’ve worked since I was 15 to gain the knowledge, I have of the hospitality industry. What makes me the saddest about the question ‘What are you studying?’ is that people assume my restaurant role is temporary or a ‘make do’ job whilst I work towards achieving something better or more professional and might bring in more money.  

A guest once said to me ‘What’s a pretty girl like you doing clearing people’s plates?’  

What we do is a profession, a profession to be proud of. It’s hard work, but it’s satisfying, and it makes memories for people.  

I always say to these people who ask me the question “What are you studying?”, “I’m not studying, I’m doing what I love.”  

Which yes involves clearing people’s plates.  

I go to work with a great team of people, serve and eat great food, great wine and I make people happy in the process.  Why would I want to be studying in a classroom for a job I’ll probably only do because I studied it.  

Natalia Ribbe