We’ve all had a job or two that maybe wasn’t exactly our dream job. But looking back, hindsight often suggests that it was (hopefully) a valuable learning experience.
That’s why, whether you’d enjoy working at a restaurant or not, Jon Hamm thinks everyone should work at one at least once in their lives.
“Working in a restaurant is a good life lesson for anybody,” the former Mad Men actor said in an interview recently. “My friend used to say that no one should be able to work in Hollywood if they haven’t worked in a restaurant. The appreciation you have for anyone working in a service capacity goes up radically the longer you work a service job yourself — you quickly learn what a difference a little bit of kindness and common courtesy can make for people.”
We get what Hamm is saying. Obviously we all want to try to treat others with kindness and respect. But sometimes it’s easy to take certain people — like servers — for granted, unless we’ve actually walked in their shoes ourselves. And let’s be honest, we’ve all heard the horror stories when it comes to how some celebs in Hollywood can treat workers they see as “below” them. So it’s extra refreshing when we hear someone like Hamm speak out on the topic of common decency, and explain why he gets it too.
“It’s important to learn how to respond when someone you’re working with is having a bad day. Understanding other people’s problems—that’s the cornerstone of the service industry, and it’s essential as an actor, or whatever field you’re in,” he continued. “That’s especially true when you’re bartending, which is something I also did. People get a little loose and start spilling their guts to you. And you realize this person just needs someone to talk to; they need someone to show them a little bit of kindness and give them a break.”
We’ll even take Hamm’s theory one step further and suggest that this could apply to any kind of customer service job. After all, anyone who is able to talk down a frustrated client has certainly learned a thing or two about dealing with others.
It’s like how people who have worked in retail fold those shirts on the table back up, rather than randomly strewing them around when they’re done browsing, or how servers usually tip other servers 15-20 per cent when they eat out.
It takes one to know one, and we guess now we know why Hamm is still such an overall nice dude, despite skyrocketing to fame.