5 Lessons I Learned From Working In A Fine Dining Restaurant

Get ready for my honesty…

3 min readDec 9, 2023
Photo by Dustin Belt on Unsplash

Disclaimer: Names* changed to hide the identity of my loved ones.

A day came when I had enough of working part time in the restaurant. I had enough of the housekeeping team.

I walked away knowing that I wouldn’t allow anyone to throw their tantrums towards me any longer.

I hugged my teddy Olaf tight when I was home. And randomly, I saw a video Olaf said…

“If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lessons, you will continue to grow,” Teddy Olaf, Frozen

So, here I would share with you biggest lessons I learned from being a housekeeper in a restaurant on the hill for nearly going 2-years.

I’ll be brutally honest.

1 — I learned to stop being a savior for the managers all the time.

I loved to help the managers but this time, I learned. It wouldn’t be wise to save the operations all the time. Once in a while, it would be best to say no, even if that meant money for the day.

2 — I learned that I didn’t lose by leaving, but I gained as witnesses of good testimony.

Choosing to leave didn’t mean I lose out. The laundry deliveryman knew I was at work when he saw the storage was spick and span. The bread deliveryman had always seen me among the earliest to start the house duties. The pest controlmen weren’t strangers to me. They knew the team lost someone who could go extra mile for them.

3 — I learned that I was only a local employed for the 30–44 working hours per week to open the door of opportunity for foreign talents.

And that made me feel used like a commodity. Everyone would be very nice when manpower was down. Jokes and laughter were heard. However, once the manpower availability seemed to stabilize over time, sarcasm would be heard. The relationship with each other grew toxic little by little. I no longer think it was necessary to be the doors opened for “quota” matters.

4 — I learned to stop trusting whoever called forth for honesty as it would be refuted by sarcasm, debate or argument as power.

Trust would be underrated these days. Honesty to speak up? Worst. Nobody liked people who speak up all the time. And I wouldn’t want to be like a 2nd-Karen* who complained every night. Voicing out would be equated as complaints. Leaders loved docile and amiable people who abided orders.

5 — I learned to observe the social dynamics in workplaces because the probability of being bullied depended on it.

Social dynamics wasn’t just about people from a certain racial group as the majority recruited in the restaurant. It also included the age group, country (the foreigners), and skills set. It also involved educational level and gender wise. These affected the environment into either healthy or toxic atmosphere.

For example:

People started speaking in their mother tongue or dialect language. They ignored you intentionally when they didn’t get what they expected. They leveraged to alienate, weaken, or make you small because they formed the majority.

I learned that this type of social dynamic in a workplace would be very toxic.

And I learned to walk away knowing that it would not be long before the managers recruit another Chinese candidate to lessen the load for the quiet quitters.

It was worth to resign from being a part time housekeeper.

As Freda* who was fired said, “Lissa, you know what. I never felt so stress free for a long time. My head is free from the restaurant’s stress.”




Author who wrote about Life in Yemen | Writer on Medium with Random Topics | Catholic by Faith