For the past semester, I worked as a server at my favorite sushi restaurant in town. When I first got the job I was super excited to finally be making my own money, pay for my own needs/wants and to get 30% employee discounts on all the food at the restaurant. Nonetheless, when I came in for the first time, I never in my mind thought I would learn so much from the experience. I only came in hoping I would make enough money to save for something big after buying myself a new PlayStation, which I actually ended up doing.
However, after a couple of weeks working at the place, I started to notice how demanding the job could be. We had to constantly take orders, type them in the computer with all the modifications the customers wanted, make soups (yes, in this restaurant the servers are responsible for the soups), drinks and in certain occasions clean our own tables after our customers were gone so we could receive new ones. This may not seem like a lot, but when it is "happy hour" on a Friday night before game day and you have anywhere between 4 and 6 tables at once, oh boy, it can get really hard to do all these things without messing up or losing your mind in the process.
The worst part is when you or someone else gets behind on taking orders because either you or they made a mistake. And then on top of all that, after the restaurant closes we have to take the trash out, fill the soy sauces, clean the bar and the back, sweep, and mop. I didn't mention all these things so you could feel sorry for servers at sushi restaurants, but because doing each and every single one of these tasks taught me a lot of things.
For starters, it taught me how important Teamwork is. When someone gets behind or is not there because of an emergency, you have to do your best to fill up for them and be there to do anything it is needed to ensure the restaurant is running like its supposed to. Otherwise, the customers will not leave the restaurant wanting to come back later, which leads me to the second lesson I learned; Consideration for others.
People who worked with me may laugh at me for talking about consideration because two weeks after I started working I came into the restaurant as a customer with three friends just 10 minutes before it closed. Yeah… I know, that was kind of a dick move, but I swear I did it because at the time I had not realized how annoying that could be for others. Trust me, I know now.
But in all seriousness, being considerate is key especially if you work as part of a team because as a teammate you want the whole team to do well but that can't be accomplished if you do something that may be good only for you, but not for the rest of the team.
The third lesson I learned while working there is that Communication is key. Like in a romantic relationship, being able to communicate with your significant other is very important so you know what's going on with them or if they feel like something is not right or working as it should. Well, these things also apply to servers because letting others know that you'll be late or that something will prevent you from getting to your shift on time, is key so that way your co-workers can adjust to that more effectively and maybe even find a solution to that inconvenience.
Going hand-in-hand with communication, the fourth lesson is Adapting or finding a way to collaborate with people who might be very different from you. At the restaurant, I found people who had very different views, backgrounds and interests from mine, and I had to quickly learn how to adapt to these differences so I could work better with them. In life, college and elsewhere, if you chose to, you can avoid people who differ from you in all these aspects; however, at the job you will have to inevitably interact, work and communicate with co-workers who are different from you. Thus, you will have to find common ground so things run smoothly. So if you want to "get that bread", you'll need to know how to adapt to your co-workers and all kinds of situations.
The final lesson or reminder (I say reminder because if you haven't heard someone talking about this, you most likely live under a rock very deep under the sea) I got from working as a server is that Hard Work Pays Off.
I mean the most cliche' lesson had to come at the end right? Well, as cliche' as it is, the reason why I low key really liked working as a server is that being a server rewards hard work almost immediately and probably more than almost any other job out there. It may not be rewarded highly with crazy riches, but if you provided good service to your tables, made an effort to talk to them, and were aware of their needs, they'll most likely reward you with a good tip and a number or two if you get lucky ;).
Shoutout to my co-workers and I guess I'll add sort of a "P.S." lesson I learned, which is that You Can Eventually Grow Tired of Eating Your Favorite Food if you eat it 3 to 4 times a week like I did while I worked at the restaurant.