Over the past four and half years, most of the lunch breaks I’ve taken have either been sitting on the floor in the back hallway, trying to stay out of the way of workers delivering ingredients and equipment or out in the dining room at the communal table where guests often want to ask me when their favorite pastry will be coming back on the menu or get me to spell the wifi password for them. 30 minutes never feels like enough.
If this were an art show in a physical gallery there would be a space for you to take a break. A comfortable chair in a cozy corner, a place to charge your phone, and some reading material. These are a few of the books and publications that I found connection with in making sense of this world of food service work. Some are about food. Some are about work. Some are about both. All helped me think about how we translate our experiences in the world of work and why it is worth thinking about.
Working by Studs Terkel
Relish by Lucy Knisley
Hardened by Retail by Louise Leong
Unf*ck Your Work by Faith G. Harper
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
The Paper Napkin Boston-based publication by and for service workers.