Above & Below Average

Yesterday I sat myself down to calculate my average weekly/monthly earnings from working in this cafe. I did it to include and exclude my tips. Additionally, I noticed on my payslip that I don’t think I earn enough to be taxed anything…my first indicator that I am below the Irish poverty level. I did some googling about average wages in Ireland, and came across a newspaper article written in February about Irish average earnings and such. It stated:

“At the other end of the scale the CSO figures show that the lowest average weekly earnings were €350.04 in the accommodation and food services sector.” (The Irish Mirror)

So I including tips, I am considered “the lowest average weekly” earner, excluding tips, I’m below even that average. I work about 32 hours a week, which is either barely considered full time, or is considered the upper end of part-time, depending on whatever the hell sets the definition of part-time and full-time. And maybe I’m tooting my own horn here, or I’m thinking the grass is greener on the other side, but quite frankly, I would summarize this vignette as stating that I am an above average person working a below average salary. 

So I start thinking. I have talents and skills and the motivation to do a job very well done, and here I am, spending my days mostly wondering if the tables are cleaned or how someone would like their eggs cooked. There’s no incentive for me to work harder, or to want to be better. I’ve been doing this for a quarter of a year already.

What I like about this realization, is that it reminds me of my self-worth. At least economically, I value what I can produce at a higher price than what someone is currently paying me. Granted, I’m also not being paid to use my full skill set or potential. I feel a bit wasted here, under challenged, unmotivated, and underpaid while simultaneously working shifts as one person that really need two people to handle. It’s a decent job for now. It pays the bills, and I have a work environment I enjoy. But it doesn’t feel meaningful or fulfilling.

And while I know this is my gap year to chill, I think I’m getting done with chilling. Or at least, I’m done being told to put up with rude people, no use of brain cells, and no incentive to feel motivated. I need something more, or at least something that can help set me up for something new.

For a while I felt as though I had lost my motivation to look for a job that was challenging, as I was really happy with what I had. But I don’t think that’s the case. I never lost my drive, nor am I unhappy with my situation right now, my ambition was just satiated for the time being. But now, I’m getting restless. I want more than what I’ve accomplished.

Let’s see which stars I reach for.


  1. Love that you are writing again. I waitressed for two years doing a masters in counseling at UCSB and I learned lots from doing that. You are learning also about what you want and what you are worth. I hope that you can find something on the side of this job that moves you to meaning and purpose because you have so much to give to the world. Love, JoJo


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