Charleston Post and Courier columnist Ken Burger has created a major fire storm by dramatically insulting nearly 1/2 of this town's work force; those in the food and beverage industry.
In his Sunday column titled "Getting Trapped in F&B" the writer points out that "It's a common phenomena in college towns like (Charelston). Students get sucked into the food-and-beverage business to earn spending money, then find themselves trapped."
The overly condescending price chides restaurant employees as lazy drug users who "fall into a cultural spin cycle that's hard to leave".
Some excerpts of Ken's Sunday column:
".... your waiter might already have an undergraduate degree and has talked about going to graduate school. You know, as soon as they get enough money. So they're not exactly graduate students. They're more like gradual students."
Ken's portrayal of the Food and Beverage industry as being one of non stop parties and drug use is also at odds with those who work long hours and spilt shifts.
He explains that some..."then to party together into the wee hours of the morning, spend what money they made that night before the sun comes up, wake up with a hangover, then start all over again."
His understanding of food service:
"Talk to a few waiters and waitresses who've been at it a while and they might tell you the truth. Once the high wears off, it's just a crummy job."
His take on females in the food and beverage industry is equally troubling:
"For young women, especially, sexual harassment is common." As if to say all women work at Hooters.
Then Mr. Burger drifts back to the after hours with, ".... the after-hours party scene is fueled by alcohol and drugs."
Clearly Ken has never worked a block of a dozen tables during a Friday night when he points out that "it's quick money that requires little training."
As the rant progresses he starts in on those over 30:
"Needless to say, it's a young person's game." and....
"In the business, they're known as lifers. They're the waiters and bartenders who keep saying they're going to leave the business but never do. They don't want to leave Charleston. They're like ninth-semester seniors. Just can't find the finish line.
Eventually they tire of dealing with demanding customers who don't tip, overbearing managers with inflated egos, and the constant drama the customers never see behind the scenes in the kitchen.
Some simply age out. They finally get a regular job, work regular hours and make regular money. "
Finally: "you ought to be doing more with your life than asking people if they want more sweet tea."
You can read Ken's entire column here.
Cedar Posts says:
I like Ken Burger's take on life, and his point of view most of the time.
But, after reading this little rant of his, my sincere hope is that someone will let Mr. Burger know how those in the food and beverage business feel about his put down and offer Mr. Burger a chance to apologize, should he not, then maybe a pitcher of "sweet tea" in the lap will wake him up?
Other Cedar Posts on the Food and Beverage Biz:
Waffle House Cedar's spin on a Ken Burger story
Porn Star Baby Names