Extended families matter –
Jan. 1, 2021 – If he hadn’t already started drinking hours before with patrons while on the clock, he’d start soon after finishing work late at night. Pocketing the cash he’d earned in gratuities that evening, Smith would go out to party into the early morning hours with the other servers, cooks and bartenders.
The next day, he’d wake up and do it all again.
“You make 400 bucks on a Tuesday, you go out with 400 bucks in your pocket, and you make it back Wednesday,” Smith said. In an industry where alcohol is readily accessible and revelry is always on the menu, Smith’s lifestyle epitomized the “work hard, play hard” mentality of many who make their living at bars and restaurants. For 20 years, Smith became immersed in a culture where the demands of high-stress jobs fueled the desire for drugs and alcohol.