I’ve worked some shitty jobs in my life. A good portion of my life was spent as a waitress and I learned to smile through gritted teeth as I was beckoned by snapping fingers, verbally abused and sometimes groped. I made $2.13 an hour before taxes so obviously, I depended on tips to secure myself with a living wage.
Almost every server dreams up a scenario in their head of how their last day of waiting tables would go down. These day dreams usually consist of “flipping the bird” a lot! One urban legend tells the tale of a server who was brought to the brink by a demanding female customer. The story goes something like this: server delivers chicken dish to rude customer. She sends it back with no other feedback than “it’s bad”. The same chicken dish is prepared and delivered but again “it’s bad”. It’s not spoiled just not to the customer’s liking. Third time’s a charm right? After round three of sending out the same chicken dish, the girl replies with the same comment of it “being bad” and sends it back again. The server goes back to the angry line cooks and requests yet another chicken dish. He has been pushed to the limits but waits patiently for the chicken to be cooked. Now the plate is ready and he collects it from the kitchen window. As he carries it to the table, he loosens his apron and tie before plopping the poultry in front of the customer. The plate clanks down loudly on the table as he spanks the chicken with his hands and loudly says “bad chicken, BAD CHICKEN!” He drops his apron on the floor like a hot mic and walks out the door.
I don’t know if this ever actually happened but I like to think it did. Waiting tables is much harder than it looks and the server is blamed for everything, whether it be crashed computer systems, long table waits or overwhelmed bartenders who are making drinks as fast as they can.
Waiting tables is not a dream job but it allowed me to work my way up in to management positions. I was certainly never “over-paid” in these positions I often worked 13-16 hour days to make my “salary count”. The streets weren’t paved with gold but they were often littered with dismay towards the human race at large.
Some people never have to slum it while they are on their journey to bigger and better things but some people have to scrape ABC gum off of the plates of the privileged. Don’t be so quick to judge a waiter as a “loser”. I’ve had the fortune of working with many smart waiters who went on to become Doctors, Lawyers, Chemists and published Authors.
I myself am still a work in progress but I’m pushing forward and am finding success through my various business ventures.
Before you snap your fingers or yell angrily “Hey Waiter!” during your next dining excursion, think about your up-coming prostrate exam or OBGYN visit. Chances are, your “servant” is now your Doctor.
I say this a lot in my posts and maybe it’s my mantra but just “be nice”.