9 things the restaurant industry has taught me

9 things the restaurant industry has taught me

the ebb and flow of serving food
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I had a class this semester that required us to write a paper on what culture defined who we are the most? It could have been anything as broad as being an American to something as small as work culture. I thought long and hard about what has influenced me the most and I realized it was certainly work.

The difference between my industry and let’s say another random industry, like insurance, is that only people who want insurance come to you but, everyone needs food. On a daily basis, I have to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly.


What the restaurant industry has taught me:


1. To fake a damn good smile
I list this not because it is the most important was one but because it is the skill that has benefited me the most. Being able to put my feelings and emotions aside to do a job has taught me respect and responsibility. This is the most useful when dealing with rude customers or clueless management and not let it affect my performance.

2. Everything comes out in the wash
Working for a salary that is based on other people's generosity has taught me more than I could have imagined. It has helped me keep my head level when I otherwise shouldn’t. Getting angry over a table that left $5 on a $100 check will do nothing but affect my other tables. What I learned is just because one tabled stiffed me doesn’t mean my night is ruined. Especially knowing that my next table might leave me $20 on an $80 check putting me right back on track. Even if it doesn't all work out that night by the end of the week I am always right where I should be. It’s the yin and yang of serving!

3. Hard work doesn't always pay out
If you ever want to see a great example of inequality in the workplace just look at the different positions in a restaurant. Waiters by far make the most out of any hourly staffed employee and sometimes we do the least amount of work. Not so say this job is easy but it certainly isn’t as hard for what we get paid. There have been multiple times where in two days of work cleared the a full works pay of a back of house cook who worked 40+ that week doing doubles and all I did was ask a family for their order.

4. Talking to strangers isn’t so bad
I distinctly remember the first time I ever spoke to a table as a server. For some reason, I thought it would be this terrifyingly awkward moment where I would not know what to do or say. Every since then I realized how ridiculous that was and that you can meet some pretty awesome people just by talking

5. Some people have no idea what they are doing
I am sure that this can be found in any industry but it amazes how some people can function on a day to day basis. On more than one occasion I had a customer complain to me that they didn’t order the “gratatouille” and I had to explain to them that it says gratuity while another customer asks “y’all serve food?”. This amazement goes way beyond customers. I once had a manager who instead of telling my table that the floor is not a safe place for their child to lay down instead told them that she doesn't know the last time we cleaned our carpets and they should get their child off the floors because it's disgusting...

6. The art of controlling a situation
Learning how to speak to people is hands down the most important skill I learned. Having to deal with rude or obnoxious people on the daily has taught me a lot of things about communication. Most importantly that I must keep my emotions in check at all times and how important wording can be to a guest. People love it when you make them seem like the most important person in the room which has saved me time and time again.

7. Only waiters and drug dealers make cash this quick
There are very few legal jobs where I can walk out the same day with a couple hundred in cash come back the next day and do it again. Being a front of house server can range from making something as low as $20 for the day or my record high of $520 off of a double. What other job ranges this much in hourly wage for little to no labor?

8. Importance of leaving baggage at home

Having worked in several restaurants that range from corporate to fine dining to family-run I can tell you this is a lesson learned time and time again. Not only do some people enjoy telling you about every detail of their life others let it affect how they work. Putting up with rude responses when it comes to picking up tables, anger being taken out on spaghetti squash as it flies across the kitchen hitting a waitress in the face (true story, I swear) to just downright being miserable and taking it out on everything that breathes. I try my best to let my home life stay at home and my last table stay at my last table.


9. It's nearly impossible to leave
This is one of the hardest industries to leave because it is one of the most fulfilling. Of course, every job has its lows. The horrible people, the terrible management and the long hours of being on your feet but at the end of the day some of the good people you meet make it worth it. I have met some of my greatest friends through serving, and plus where else gives me the flexibility hours I want and instant gratification ($$$). This job has helped shape me as a person and I wouldn’t change it if I could (unless I can find a job to put my college degree to good use…..)




Cover Image Credit: Funscrape

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.

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I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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