15 Things Every Server Has To Deal With

waitress problems

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Working in the restaurant industry is definitely no lavish lifestyle. You may not see or hear much from the dining room, but trust me, it’s complete chaos in the back of the house.
So when I tell you that I work at a sushi restaurant that not only stays open until midnight on weekends, but also happens to be pretty dang close to the University of Arizona, you can only imagine the sh*t my coworkers and I have to deal with. And no, it’s not as bad as it sounds – it’s even worse than that.
In case you don’t work in the restaurant industry, or are completely unaware of the many different varieties of people we come across while working in the industry (customers and coworkers,) here are 15 things every server has to deal with. Sorry not sorry in advance if you’re one of these people.

1. That table that is totally unaware of your existence

“Hi folks, how we doin’?” No reply. “I’ll be taking care of you today.” No reply. “Can I get everyone something to drink?” No reply. Oh, but all of a sudden everyone’s in a hurry to get their food orders in? How convenient.

2. Always having to be polite

Sure, I’ll still be smiling and replying “yes ma’m” after you’ve asked for three different drinks because the iced tea tasted “weird,” dropped your silverware on the ground twice, and sent back your food because it wasn’t cooked right, but you can be mad because I forgot your side of lemons? Sounds reasonable.

3. When the chefs get mad at you for the customer’s complicated order

Do you really think I enjoyed standing at the computer for five whole minutes modifying one order?

4. The table that wants to pay using five different methods

“$25.50 on the VISA, $19.75 on the MasterCard, do you guys accept American Express? $8.25 on the American Express, and the rest out of this 20 dollar bill. Oh, can you also break this $50?”

5. Horrible tips

Pretty sure everyone in the world is aware of this by now, but if you haven’t been living under a rock for the last century, you’d know that servers’ wages depend on tips. So the next time you pay with $50 and tell me to keep the change when your bill was $49.40, I’m going to bring the change right back to you and assume you need those 60 cents more than I do.

6. The tables that stay at the restaurant for hours at a time

Don’t you think you ought to reevaluate your life if you have the time to spend six whole hours at a restaurant?

7. The tables that stay way past closing time

If you see all of the workers standing in a corner staring at you, it’s probably because it’s 45 minutes after close and we want you to get the hell out.

8. Kidney stones Kenny over there who keeps chugging his soda

After bringing him what seems like 100 Cokes, you decide to bring him water in hopes of saving him from long-term diseases, but instead, he just asks for another Coke…then another one after that.

9. People hitting on you

I’m flattered that you left me your number, but seeing that you only left me a two dollars, I’ll be calling to ask where the rest of my tip is. Thanks!

10. That coworker who never has the capability to handle their section

We’ll just leave it at that.

11. When a customer complains about something after eating it all

“My steak was a little dry, but I’m not trying to get a discount or anything.” Sure you’re not, Bob. This isn’t my first rodeo.

12. Customers who wave you down, snap at you, and/or whistles to get your attention

Just don’t do it. I’ll come ask if you need anything when I’m ready to come and ask if you need anything. And especially don’t do any of the above while I’m talking to another table, because if anyone interrupts me (coworkers included,) while I’m talking to my table, I’ll most likely want to punch you in the face.

13. Management always yelling at you to run food

Run food? I have to get four waters for one table, pick up my bar drinks for another table, get three miso soups and grab a side of teriyaki, meanwhile I just got double sat again, and you want me to run food?

14. Last-minute tables

“Oh, you guys close in five minutes? Good thing we left early! There’s only going to be 20 of us.”

15. Dreams of being in the weeds

But then you wake up and are like “that would never happen to me because I could basically handle serving the whole restaurant by myself.” Then you suddenly remember that you never brought table 14 that extra side of spicy mayo and now you’re no longer Super Server.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of positive, fun things about being a server.
I, personally, like to think that I have some of the best coworkers. Because at the end of a super busy night, who else am I going to vent to about Kidney stones Kenny and his ability to rapidly down cokes? Then, of course, we always have our awesome regulars, who never give us a hard time about anything because they’ve seen the restaurant through thick and thin.
So the next time you even think about waving obnoxiously to your server from across the restaurant, wait your turn! The hostesses, the bussers, servers, bartenders, managers, chefs, cooks, dishwashers, etc. They all work hard for their money the same way you do. The least you can do is be a little patient. Believe it or not, it isn’t that hard to not be such an a-hole.

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