Can you imagine a seventeen year-old English country labourer in a dress suit acting as a waiter at a big London restaurant?
It is almost inconceivable, yet in all our big restaurants and hotels just now there are country youths from the farms of Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France acting as waiters, and doing their work uncommonly well, too.
An hotel manager told me this yesterday. These "clodhoppers", he says, are natural waiters. After a very few weeks experience they are perfectly capable of acting as assistants to older waiters and even, in a rush, of attending upon casual customers themselves.
Their only fault is they are clumsy. They smash a lot of crockery, but then, as they hardly get any wages, and work for experience and a few tips, the hotel management is prepared to put up with that.
Originally published by The Daily Mirror, May 7th, 1914