Plenty of professions present a challenge to the work/life balance. But restaurant work, with its demanding hours and ready access to alcohol and drugs can present particular challenges. Some thoughts on the topic from people who answered the mental health survey:
“It destroyed my 17 year marriage after the arrival of our child. We are currently going through a divorce.”
“I was going through some tough relationship stuff and I told my boss about it, and I ended up not leaving my partner, making me feel embarrassed that I was such a mess at work. Now I don’t think they see me as professional as they did before which gives me anxiety.”
“Both my wife and I are chefs—being married to someone in the industry has helped what was mostly a problem with seasonal depression. However, I feel that we also enable each other in some of the less healthy aspects of dealing with stress. We haven’t had issues with drinking, but it increases during the most stressful times of the year.”
“The worst part of the long weeks is the strain on my relationship, but I have to work.”
“Food and beverage is a pressure cooker. I am a wife, mother, and executive chef. At the end of the day, I constantly feel like I can’t do any of them right. I’m a perfectionist.
I always said I would have it all. Now I realize you can, just not all at once.
There is no balance. You have to hope your husband sticks around and supports you and that your kid knows you love her even though you aren’t home to tuck her in or send her off to school. It’s painful when you finally manage to get out of work early and you go to pick up your kid from school and the after-school teacher doesn’t know who you are. It’s like lemon juice in small cuts. While you’re busy working you get keenly aware of where you are lacking as a wife and mother. There have been three moments in 15 years of my career where I felt like I was on top of it. Not even three DAYS, just three moments.
Technically, I am very successful—but it sure as hell doesn’t feel that way.”
“The overall state of the restaurant industry is a disaster. Drugs and alcohol are encouraged. You are considered an outcast if you don’t engage in these things. Drugs and alcohol almost destroyed my life and almost ruined my relationship. And the restaurant industry hugely contributed to this. Servers would literally leave coke in the bathrooms at one of the restaurants I worked at. It’s just insane.”