… but someone has to do it.
For those of you who know what I’m talking about, you get it. For those of you who don’t, well you’re about to learn.
Serving is not a glamorous gig. No person in their right mind thinks to themselves growing up “yep I want to wait on other people who are ungrateful and rude.”
Seriously, what I’m trying to understand about the other side of the fence is one simple thing: Why are people so rude to servers?
That is the one thing I’m trying fathom on days when I wait on people while doing what I call ”living the dream.” What is so wrong in your day to day life you feel the need to be rude to the person who is bringing you your food? Is there some special thrill from belittling someone who is doing nothing more than trying to find a way to get by?
I’m a starving artist. I scrape buy with minimum wage to kept myself fed, with the hope of keeping my head above water. Do you know what it feels like to go without eating? To survive a Superbowl Sunday in freezing cold weather without heat? I do. I’m dedicated to my craft, and choose to be a server because it makes the hours perfect to be able to write at times.
With that being said…
Folks, I will take care of you because I am a waiter, and that is my job. I am not a servant. I am not at your beck and call anytime you feel like snapping your fingers. I am a broke college student who is living a dream. I am doing my best to save up for a car – so can you think about that the next time you talk down to me like I’m less than you are?
I bust my butt on double-shifts just so I can try to save to get a ticket to go back home to visit my family. I admire the fact you get to eat out with your friends on a Friday night. Your family gets to go out and spend a small fortune on a meal I get to bring them. I of course have to bring you that 3rd loaf of bread you don’t eat with that extra stick of butter you didn’t need.
No, I don’t mind making a sweet tea for you because it’s only extra time out of my workday that I could use to help the other 5 tables I am currently trying to make sure are taken care of and are satisfied with their meal. I have 6 salads to make, 4 bar drinks to run, and a new table to greet, but SURE I’d love to make that 4th Sweet tea you just had to suck down. I’m not busy or anything.
My favorite part of serving really comes down the tipping. Here in Colorado, the minimum wage is $4.84 or something similar to that. When I lived in Indiana, the wage was $2.13. Do you know how hard it is to pay your bills with that small amount of money you are given for the labor you do hourly? To top that off, my survival depends on tips. Being able to feed myself – and my dog – depends on people being gracious enough to tip me what I deserve for waiting on them.
Maybe you are a cheap skate, which I understand. It’s hard having an extra few bucks to give someone who busted their ass to help you shovel food into your fat mouth. It’s a pretty simple rule folks, if you don’t have enough money to tip, you don’t have enough money to go out to eat.
What people fail to realize when they don’t tip, is the fact that we don’t get all our tips. We have to tip out our hosts, our bussers, and our bartenders for making our drinks. I once had to tip out 20 dollars in one night due to the calculations of my sales. We tip out a percent for each area we are tipping out, and it is what WE as the servers have to share. I have to take my hard earned money, and give it out because the company doesn’t want to pay extra for their employees. Really the ultimate reason I bring that part up, is that if you want to tip $5 on a $70 tab – the way it works out after taxes and tip-out is so expensive that I am ultimately paying out of my own pocket for you to eat.
Really, all in all, just be kind to your servers. We’re people too.
BTW: Did you know there is a place where you can have whatever you want? That it’s a magical place where you can make your food however you want, and it will taste how you like? It’s called YOUR KITCHEN. Try it out.
As a fun little side note, I had to incorprate some thoughts I had while waiting some tables prior this evening…
-“I rang in table 31’s order didn’t I?…No I didn’t…Yes I did.” …Not ringing in table 31’s order when you thought you had.
-Dumping pepper in the salt shakers
-Getting to work and learning that all of the sudden you are closing BOH [Back of House]
-Silverware…rolling 60 of those pieces daily
-Kids eat free nights
-Every single person in a 20-top ordering a salad
-Dropping the bleu cheese ladle in the ranch ladle
-Running out of steaks IN a steak house
There are more, I am sure, but I just escaped from work. I’m going to drink a beer and imagine I am married to a rich doctor. But wait…I am living the dream…