waitering and selling fish

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waitering and selling fish

Postby altar » Wed May 26, 2010 1:12 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm looking for a new job and 2 options to look for are 1. waitering and 2. retail.
Would serving drinks along with food in an eating-oriented restaurant (as opposed to a real night-life or bar type place) constitute wrong livelihood? I suppose it's a matter of degree, but I don't think it would be that bad as long as I'm not trying to get people to drink. Then again, I think at some restaurants you can be serving quite a lot of alchohol for some guests.
What about selling fish in retail? This seems more or less like being a food waiter, as long as the fish are already dead. (Lobsters though... I can't sell those b/c their live... I know that, but what about the already killed fish?) Hesitant though I am to do it, I think it's okay.
Thank you,
Zack
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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Ben » Wed May 26, 2010 2:23 pm

Hi Altar

I wouldn't work in a bar or in a job serving alcoholic beverages.
With regard to serving meat-based food: I think you'll get a few different interpretations. If you don't work in an establishment that keeps live stock, such as a chinese restaurant with a tank full of fish and lobsters, then I think that's a little better than working in a restaurant that does.
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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby dragonwarrior » Wed May 26, 2010 3:26 pm

Ben wrote:If you don't work in an establishment that keeps live stock, such as a chinese restaurant with a tank full of fish and lobsters, then I think that's a little better than working in a restaurant that does.

Hello Altar, I agree with Ben for this point.

Ben wrote:I wouldn't work in a bar or in a job serving alcoholic beverages.

Hi Ben, I wonder if serving alcoholics to people considered as breaking the 3rd sila?
I will work in F&B service for my internship, and maybe I have to serve wine/aperitif to the guest.
And what about using wine in cooking?

:anjali:
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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Sobeh » Wed May 26, 2010 5:48 pm

Winny wrote:And what about using wine in cooking?


At least on this I know that the alcohol cooks off and doesn't remain in the dish prepared with it, so this precise point doesn't apply.

Otherwise, I would almost go for being a server - waitering, as you say. This is because you will get paid next to nothing for the work done (taking a purposeful hit in the wallet on account of the meats and liquors, perhaps), and the majority of your money will come from tips, which you might frame as alms for a layperson.
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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Mukunda » Wed May 26, 2010 7:23 pm

The mere fact that you feel the need to question should be your answer. Whether or not the physical actions constitute unwholesome kamma, the mental kamma surrounding the actions seems to be potentially bothersome in your case. I worked as a server for many years, and really enjoyed it. But when I began to feel uncomfortable serving alcohol and meat, (because I could no longer rationalize to myself that I wasn't really promoting them) it was time to move on. As a server, your employer will expect you to promote and sell as much as possible to the customers. Beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages are a huge source profit in restaurants. If your not comfortable selling alcohol or meat, then you can't really do the job the employer expects. Therefore, you will be taking pay (regardless of how little pay it may be) for performing a substandard job, which I equate to breaking the Second Precept of not stealing.
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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Annapurna » Wed May 26, 2010 7:40 pm

Alcohol in cooking:

The boiling point of alcohol is 78,3 C° (water 100 C°), so if boiled, it quickly evaporates.

So I wouldn't worry about alcohol used in cooking....plus, as a waiter you don't cook.
I've never gotten drunk and mindless from a bit of red wine in my cake. It's gone.

I personally also wouldn't worry about serving wine or beer in a food restaurant, because

1. The customer is choosing, not me,
2. the owner is ordering from the retailer, not me. I only serve.

I have little to do with the choices of the 2, I'm not their mother. A customer is already determined to order wine, so all I would do is recommend the best choice for a certain meal, but not urge someone who wants orange juice to drink wine. And in a good restaurant, this is done by a 'sommelier', (wine waiter)anyhow, and not by an average waiter.

I would not work in a bar, unless staying unemployed and burdening the community is the result.

I would never work as a butcher.
I would not work in a kitchen where lobsters and oysters are cooked alive.

And let's not get too holy before next Tuesday, as Genkaku's mom said! :D

2 options to look for are 1. waitering and 2. retail.


How come those are the only options?

If those are the only jobs available to you, do try to become less of a burden for the others, and work, but keep your eyes open for something better!

Metta. :smile:

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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Thu May 27, 2010 5:12 am

I agree with Mukunda.
The fact that you have genuine concern over this issue will undoubtably cause you to suffer mentally.This will make going to work a challenge for you.
I wish you all the best in your job search.
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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Fede » Thu May 27, 2010 6:00 pm

Annapurna wrote:Alcohol in cooking:

The boiling point of alcohol is 78,3 C° (water 100 C°), so if boiled, it quickly evaporates. So I wouldn't worry about alcohol used in cooking....


This, unfortunately, is a very common misconception. see this chart:
http://www.ochef.com/165.htm

I work in an Italian delicatessen, and I sell wine both off the shelf and within our bistro.
I have never had to deal with a situation of somebody potentially drinking ecessively.
We have wine-tasting evenings, and I am Mindful to advise people to please either take public transport to the event, or to walk. Because the accumulation of wine, during tasting can be quite a lot.
But ultimately, just as we are responsible for ourselves, and must remain mindful, so we must trust others to so be, also.
bear in mind that, in the main, most people we encounter are not Buddhist.
we can't oversee or govern them. We can only be Mindful with regard to our thoughts, words & deeds......
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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Mukunda » Thu May 27, 2010 6:29 pm

Fede wrote:But ultimately, just as we are responsible for ourselves, and must remain mindful, so we must trust others to so be, also.
bear in mind that, in the main, most people we encounter are not Buddhist.
we can't oversee or govern them. We can only be Mindful with regard to our thoughts, words & deeds......


I agree most people I encounter aren't Buddhist. That does not mean I have to participate in or contribute to what I perceive as unwholesome activities. Just as I wouldn't deny them the right to indulge, I don't expect to be impelled to join. My concern in serving alcohol has very little to do with the other persons welfare. It has to do MY OWN kamma. I believe alcohol to be harmful and as I interpret "Right Livelihood", I should not provide people with things that are harmful merely to line my own pocket. Their choosing to drink is their kamma. If I choose to profit from their unwholesome kamma, that is MY kamma.
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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Annapurna » Thu May 27, 2010 7:39 pm

Fede wrote:
Annapurna wrote:Alcohol in cooking:

The boiling point of alcohol is 78,3 C° (water 100 C°), so if boiled, it quickly evaporates. So I wouldn't worry about alcohol used in cooking....


This, unfortunately, is a very common misconception. see this chart:
http://www.ochef.com/165.htm

I work in an Italian delicatessen, and I sell wine both off the shelf and within our bistro.
I have never had to deal with a situation of somebody potentially drinking ecessively.
We have wine-tasting evenings, and I am Mindful to advise people to please either take public transport to the event, or to walk. Because the accumulation of wine, during tasting can be quite a lot.
But ultimately, just as we are responsible for ourselves, and must remain mindful, so we must trust others to so be, also.
bear in mind that, in the main, most people we encounter are not Buddhist.
we can't oversee or govern them. We can only be Mindful with regard to our thoughts, words & deeds......


Sure, we need those guys with the gold scales as well, for the alcoholics for instance.

I'm still not overly concerned about my cake. :tongue:

It sits in the oven for 1 hour, so there should be 25 % alcohol left.

A few spoonfuls were added, the liquid containing around 7 % alcohol altogether.

This tiny amount is evenly spread throughout many slices.

You eat 1 or 2.

Not enough to become 'mindless'.

And that's the point in Buddhist practice, isn't it.
bear in mind that, in the main, most people we encounter are not Buddhist.
we can't oversee or govern them.


Who, me?

I already said that.

I have little to do with the choices of the 2, I'm not their mother


What does a mother do? Tells her kids what to do.

We can't tell others what to do.
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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Annapurna » Thu May 27, 2010 8:10 pm

Mukunda wrote:
Fede wrote:But ultimately, just as we are responsible for ourselves, and must remain mindful, so we must trust others to so be, also.
bear in mind that, in the main, most people we encounter are not Buddhist.
we can't oversee or govern them. We can only be Mindful with regard to our thoughts, words & deeds......


I agree most people I encounter aren't Buddhist. That does not mean I have to participate in or contribute to what I perceive as unwholesome activities. Just as I wouldn't deny them the right to indulge, I don't expect to be impelled to join. My concern in serving alcohol has very little to do with the other persons welfare. It has to do MY OWN kamma. I believe alcohol to be harmful and as I interpret "Right Livelihood", I should not provide people with things that are harmful merely to line my own pocket. Their choosing to drink is their kamma. If I choose to profit from their unwholesome kamma, that is MY kamma.


Do you think it is a wholesome action that contributes to your good kamma to stay unemployed and burden the community with an idle lifestyle, when you could work as well?

I also think there is a difference between a wine dealer, who is actively purchasing and advertizing alcohol, the consumers who is actively ordering it, and a waiter who is simply passing on what was ordered.

If I choose to profit from their unwholesome kamma, that is MY kamma.


You don't profit from their unwholesome karma, you profit from your work as a waiter with all that entails, serving food to hungry people, serving juice and soda to thirsty kids, and so forth.

You're not a demonic force urging them to drink, as a waiter.

Just like the Buddha didn't share in the kamma of the butcher who killed the animal, and the people who bought and prepared and donated it.

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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby altar » Thu May 27, 2010 8:35 pm

Without taking further sides, Annapurna your last example is not appropriate. Because it is the killing of the animal that is unwholesome, not the ingestion of the animal. Whereas with alcohol it is not the brewing that is unwholesome, but the ingestion. If someone were to offer alcohol to the Buddha, of course he would not take it, but the person who brought it to him might be likened to the waiter who brings alcohol to the customer. The difference is that a customer would take the alcohol, having ordered it for himself.
I lean towards it mostly not being blameable, however I could be very mistaken.
And my concern was never to do with the food, however I don't think that's much of an issue unless you're cooking with a high proportion of alcohol such as is uncommon.
metta,
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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Ben » Thu May 27, 2010 8:48 pm

Winny wrote:
Ben wrote:If you don't work in an establishment that keeps live stock, such as a chinese restaurant with a tank full of fish and lobsters, then I think that's a little better than working in a restaurant that does.

Hello Altar, I agree with Ben for this point.

Ben wrote:I wouldn't work in a bar or in a job serving alcoholic beverages.

Hi Ben, I wonder if serving alcoholics to people considered as breaking the 3rd sila?
I will work in F&B service for my internship, and maybe I have to serve wine/aperitif to the guest.
And what about using wine in cooking?

:anjali:
Winny


Hi Winny
You can break your sila in three ways:
1. By breaching the sila yourself. Drinking alcohol.
2. Providing the means for others to do so. Serving alcohol.
3. Speaking in praise of breaking the sila/ Enticing/encouraging others to drink alcohol.

Another thing to remember is that serving alcohol is proscribed as 'wrong livelihood'.

The use of alcohol in cooking, such as a wine reduction, is allowable under the Vinaya. The alcohol content does evaporate in the reduction process.
Sorry I don't have a references for you at the moment as it is pre-dawn.
metta

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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Annapurna » Thu May 27, 2010 9:41 pm

altar wrote:Without taking further sides, Annapurna your last example is not appropriate. Because it is the killing of the animal that is unwholesome, not the ingestion of the animal. Whereas with alcohol it is not the brewing that is unwholesome, but the ingestion. If someone were to offer alcohol to the Buddha, of course he would not take it, but the person who brought it to him might be likened to the waiter who brings alcohol to the customer. The difference is that a customer would take the alcohol, having ordered it for himself.
I lean towards it mostly not being blameable, however I could be very mistaken.
And my concern was never to do with the food, however I don't think that's much of an issue unless you're cooking with a high proportion of alcohol such as is uncommon.
metta,
Zack


Annapurna your last example is not appropriate.


I disagree Zack.

Because it is the killing of the animal that is unwholesome, not the ingestion of the animal.


Killing is unwholesome.
Ingestion is unwholesome for a monk (probably also for laypersons)
if there was an order or hint by the monk/ us to kill this animal for the purpose of eating it.

Ordering slaughter, encouraging slaughter, hinting slaughter, and eating such meat knowingly is unwholesome.

Whereas with alcohol it is not the brewing that is unwholesome, but the ingestion.


I don't think that is quite correct.
DEALING in alcohol is wrong livelyhood, unwholesome, and the one who brewed it is selling=dealing.

To brew it is done with the intention of selling it, and selling it constitutes dealing with it.
This is the production and sale of intoxicants. Dealer.

If someone were to offer alcohol to the Buddha, of course he would not take it, but the person who brought it to him might be likened to the waiter who brings alcohol to the customer.


No, sorry, if I disagree again.
Nobody would have offered alcohol to the Buddha anyhow. Meat, yes.

What you didn't reply to yet were my questions:

1. why you only bring up 2 options as your possible livelyhood, I can't believe those are your only options.

2. do you think staying at home unemployed is producing wholesome kamma, if you could work as a waiter and alleviate the burden on the others?


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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Mukunda » Thu May 27, 2010 10:06 pm

Annapurna wrote:Do you think it is a wholesome action that contributes to your good kamma to stay unemployed and burden the community with an idle lifestyle, when you could work as well?

I also think there is a difference between a wine dealer, who is actively purchasing and advertizing alcohol, the consumers who is actively ordering it, and a waiter who is simply passing on what was ordered.

If I choose to profit from their unwholesome kamma, that is MY kamma.


You don't profit from their unwholesome karma, you profit from your work as a waiter with all that entails, serving food to hungry people, serving juice and soda to thirsty kids, and so forth.

You're not a demonic force urging them to drink, as a waiter.

Just like the Buddha didn't share in the kamma of the butcher who killed the animal, and the people who bought and prepared and donated it.


If I am providing a substance that I perceive to be harmful as part of my livelihood, then as far as I am concerned, I am engaged in wrong livelihood and unwholesome kamma. It's not like waiting on tables is the ONLY livelihood available, or even if it was, not ALL establishments serve alcohol.

One's tip is usually based on a percentage of what they sell. So if the server provides alcohol, that tip IS based on the sale of alcohol, therefore profit IS made on the sale of unwholesome items. I have worked in many restaurants, and if alcohol was served, the management expected servers to actively promote it. A good server is not just a "go-fer" but is also a salesman.

Meat is recognized as food, alcohol is not. There is a precept against consuming alcohol. If it is unwholesome to to consume, how can it possibly be wholesome to serve to others? There is no such precept against eating meat. Nowhere did I say anything about sharing anyone else's kamma. If someone chooses to drink, that is their kamma. If I provide it, that is MY kamma. No sharing at all, two separate instances of kamma, pure and simple.
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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Fede » Thu May 27, 2010 10:07 pm

Annapurna wrote:Sure, we need those guys with the gold scales as well, for the alcoholics for instance.

I'm still not overly concerned about my cake. :tongue:


neither was I. I was merely indicating what happens to alcohol in different uses and circumstances. I wasn't even thinking about your cake, to tell you the truth..... :embarassed:


annapurna wrote:
Fede wrote:bear in mind that, in the main, most people we encounter are not Buddhist.
we can't oversee or govern them.


Who, me?


No.....

Annapurna wrote:I already said that.

I wasn't replying to you, I was really addressing the OP.....
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: waitering and selling fish

Postby Annapurna » Fri May 28, 2010 1:28 pm

Ok, Fede, no problem, it just wasn't clear, because you quoted me, and not the OP. :anjali:
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