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Is a Degree a Reason Not to Work at a Bar?

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This morning on On-Air with Ryan Seacrest radio show, a woman confronted her ex-boyfriend be saying something along the lines of, “She doesn’t even have a degree! I have two degrees! She’s just a waitress!”

Is that how we size each other up? By how many certificates we possess? And since when was having a job considered something to be frowned upon? It’s not like cocktail waitressing is prostitution, but is that what some women consider it?

I worked at a bar for two and half years. My senior year of college I began working there just to have some extra cash, and when it came time to graduation, I wasn’t ready to give it up for a nine-to-five job. Nonetheless, I did have a prep school and private university education, so no matter how often I tried to ignore it, I had a constant nagging voice in my head telling me waitressing was a waste of time. Old college classmates would come in after work, have some happy hour drinks, and slyly treat me like a second-class citizen. But I had a Bachelors degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California for crying out loud!

Persistently I would say to myself, “It’s the only time you can have a job and party at the same time,” or “I’m not going to be making this kind of money anytime soon anywhere else,” or “I don’t want their job, anyway!” Sure, it was all true, but now, seven months after quitting and still no full-time job, cocktail waitressing doesn’t seem like such a bad thing to be doing.

Is it true though? Is it wrong to be a waitress even if you have degrees and education and experience and a substantial resume? I recently questioned putting my pride aside and going back to the old bar days of fast cash and mindless work. But is that a sell out? Are we really judged based on whether we are serving drinks all night or ordering them after a day at the office? And have the standards at all changed since we entered the recession?

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