The first job I ever had was in the restaurant of a golf course in Newnan, GA. I started at the age of 16, the summer before my junior year of high school. Maybe it was my crazy co-workers, or maybe it was that I actually had fun, but there was something about the experience that made me learn quite a few things. I consider the time I've worked in the food service industry to be the basics of who I am today. Whether it was serving tables or cleaning them, I learn a lot of vital life skills that someone outside of this industry might not understand. After four years, there is a lot I've learned and stuff I'm still learning, so here is a list of some of the things I've learned.
1. I learned how to gracefully deal with unpleasant people.
This is true whether it be the customers or even the people you work with. You are going to have to deal with people who can be just plain rude. There have been a couple times where I would just have to stand there and listen to someone complain and scream at me. You have to respond with a smile and think of a solution, even if you don't want to do it.
2. I can officially multitask like a professional.
In any given minute, you could take someone's order, pour more water, roll silverware, direct someone to the bathroom, and talk to the manager about an upset customer. Trying to remember everything that needs to be done can be difficult but you also have to do it with a smile on your face.
3. I learned empathy for other people who work in service industry jobs.
If you are a waitress, you are basically living off tips. You know how important it is to tip when you go out and receive excellent service. You also remember that if it's taking a while for your food to come you, it might just mean that the kitchen isn't caught up on orders or everyone decided to order at once.
4. This job taught me how to be on time: be early.
You understand how stressful it can be when your co-worker is late to their shift and you have to cover for them. And if someone is slacking in their section during a busy shift, you feel it. You learn to work hard and be on time because you don't want others to go through what you do sometimes.
5. I developed thick skin
6. You learn to deal with pressure a lot easier.
With everything that was stated, working in the food service industry has been the best experience for you because you have mastered being a server.