Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Adventures in Waitressing

Right after high school I decided to try being a waitress for a while. I think the correct term is actually “server” but I have always like waitress better. For three years I was the best waitress I could be and at first, I loved my job. I worked with a bunch of great people and we had so much fun. After about a year though, I started to despise it. I got so tired of the rude people and the constant complaining. I was always on my feet either serving my tables or cleaning up around the restaurant. During those three years I gained and lost friends, I dated a few great guys, I met some awful guys, I had some amazing regular customers and some horrible ones. I thought I would share some of those stories with you guys in case any of you ever consider becoming a waitress. I think you should know what is in store for you.

Some people either couldn’t read or couldn’t pronounce their words very well. I had a table order a Filet mignon (they pronounced it Fil-LET) and a Merlot (pronounced Mer-LOT). The T is silent people!

I dropped off a check to a couple that had been very friendly during the meal. They sat for a while and then left. They never tried to wave me over or get my attention. When I went to pick up their payment, they had written a note on the credit card slip that said, “The pen you gave us ran out of ink so you won’t get a tip.” Hmm. They obviously managed to find a pen since they wrote that wonderful note to me. But I obviously gave them a pen that was out of ink on purpose to make them angry. I am so evil sometimes.

A very large man used many swear words while yelling at me because we were out of prime rib.
I learned to take deep breaths and not punch someone when my tables snapped their fingers at me.

I figured out that I could never tell whether my table would give a good tip or not. I had tables that were so nice and made conversation that left me nothing and I had tables that seemed rude give me great tips.

I once had a guy leave me a penny for a tip.

I could always tell when a couple was arguing and it would always make me really uncomfortable.

One night I got sat with a table of 3 older couples. They were so sweet and friendly during the meal. They all ordered Filet mignon which was our best steak available. After they ordered, I went over the order to make sure everything was correct and they said it was. They all ate every bite of their steaks and commented how great everything tasted. When I brought them their check, they seemed confused and they told me they did not order a steak that was so expensive. When I explained to them that Filet mignon cost more they told me they had all ordered sirloins (a much less expensive steak) and not Filet's. I told them that I was sorry for the misunderstanding but since they ate their meals they would need to pay for them. They were very upset but they paid and left. After they left, the family that was sitting behind them called me over. They said that they had overheard the older couples talked after I had left the bill. They heard them say, “Well it was worth a try” and they continued to talk about how it usually works. The sweet couples were trying to scam me!

A nasty man used to come in and flirt with me. He slipped $100 in my pocket once. He creeped me out and I would stay far away from him when he came in to eat. He once stood outside the kitchen to wait for me because I hadn’t come over to see him. He always came in with his wife and kids whom I adored.

One of my regulars was an elderly couple that would only sit in my section. One day, the wife came in and grabbed me, started crying and told me her husband had died. I just held her while she cried.

Drunk guys would grab our butts. The managers would kick them out.

I screwed up a lot, especially in the beginning. I put orders in wrong, forgot stuff and got behind. I eventually became an awesome waitress but it was rough at first. I cried about once a day for the first month or so. I learned to apologize when I screwed up and have carried that lesson with me ever since.

One of my friends dropped an entire tray of food on my table. Another one of my friends spilled a beer on a baby. I got giant blisters on my hand from hot trays and plates. A couple of my friends slipped and fell. It was a hazardous job!

Once, as I was handing out glasses of water to my table, I spilled them all over my customers. I went back to the drink station and poured new glasses of water. As I was walking back to my table I spilled them again. I went back to get more water and as I was pouring it, I spilled it again. My table must have thought I was a moron.

Overall, I learned a ton of valuable lessons in my years as a waitress. It is a job that I will never do again but I do not regret going through it.

**I will start replying to comments in the comment section. I know a lot of people don't come back to read the comments again so I thought I would let you know.


Breathe Gently said...

Waitressing is TOUGH! I give props to people who can stick with it more permanently, because I wasn't great. I have a good memory and I'm good with people, but I trip. And drop. And make an ass of myself, without trying. Combine that with hot food and it didn't work out well.

My brother did some table work at a cafe near our place for ages and loved it.

Your stories are cool, though. Crazy about the old folks trying to con you!!

{andthisiswhatshesaid} said...

I've never done waitressing though, and I am seriously afraid to ever try, haha

Becs said...

Aly - Waitressing is tough! I dropped stuff and tripped all the time too. I did NOT have a great memory though. I always wrote down the orders, even if there was only one person at my table.

Rasha - Don't do it. Just don't. Lol!