To waitress or not to waitress? That is the question.
Most people have seen the movie Waiting… with a young Ryan Reynolds and the hilarious Anna Faris. They play servers at Shenaniganz, and throughout the movie they encounter rude and needy customers, ridiculous co-workers, and hard decisions. And I can tell you, that movie hit the nail on the head when it comes to the service industry.
In my twenty years of living, I have been a waitress for four of them. In the grand scheme of things, that’s a pretty insignificant amount of time. But I can say, without any dramatization, those were the worst years of my life. Here are just a few reasons why waitressing is the worst:
- Everything is your fault
When people ask me what’s so bad about being a waitress, this is my go-to answer: Everything, and I mean everything, is my fault. Their steak is over-cooked? Well, I haven’t been behind the grill today, sir, but thank you for that penny tip. Your tea hasn’t been filled up in 10 minutes? Well, I’m not your waitress, but sure thing, I’ll drop everything I’m doing to get you more tea. You think our long island iced teas are too expensive? Well shit, let me just change the menu immediately.
Over-customized meals, terrible tips, and endless complaints are the norm you have to get used to as a servant in the server industry.
- All your co-workers are on drugs
You cannot throw a rock in a restaurant without hitting a drug dealer. Honestly, there is a 99.99% chance your server is stoned out of their mind as they pour you some more iced tea. And if they’re not, they’re just waiting until their next break to run out to their car and smoke. And I do not blame them in the slightest. Dealing with customers is made beyond simple when you don’t have a care in the world.
- Management doesn’t care about you
It’s true. It is their job to make the customers happy and the restaurant successful. You complained to your manager that you only made four dollars in tips after a morning shift? They’re looking at the profits for today and not listening to a word you say. They might nod and sigh and pat you on the pack, but at the end of the day, they get a set salary, and you take home whatever you can get.
- Creepy people are the worst people
Regardless of your gender, as a server, you will encounter some people with little to no boundaries in a restaurant. It may be something innocent like a couple high school kids leaving their number on a receipt. Or it may get to the point where a busboy has to walk you to your car every night because that creepy guy is in the bar again staring at you again. For the third day this week.
- There’s no room for advancement
In Waiting… the character Dean (played by Justin Long) is offered a position as manager at the restaurant. He spends most of the movie contemplating this decision, unsure of his future. Most, not all, but most people in the restaurant industry are out of school and not sure what to do next. Most of those serve for a year or two and save for school. But there are some people that have been there for 6 plus years and seem content. And to me, those are the real crazy people, not the customers.
To those of you in the service industry, here’s a few words of advice from me to you:
Don’t get complacent.
Get out of there while you can.
It gets better.