Working in the restaurant industry is definitely something that everyone should do once in their life. It teaches you how to be a good customer, how to tip appropriately and most importantly, it helps you gain understanding into what your waiter or waitress goes through. Being a waiter or waitress is hard work and we can usually tell when a table comes in that hasn't worked in the food industry but we also can tell who has, usually because they are so nice and understanding. Here are just some things that anyone who's ever waited tables knows all too well.
1. How you feel when you walk in and it's already slammed
Walking in like what's up, I'm here to save you!! And help you and do whatever I can but also please just kill me now.
2. When a table comes in at peak dinner time and expects a table to be ready immediately
That has about the same amount of chance of happening as me walking out of here with over $200 and no food on me. If your party is over six people, you better be prepared for at least a thirty minute wait.
3. When people seat themselves and then start barking their orders before I can introduce myself
Congratulations, you have not only pissed me off but you also just granted yourself less than my best service. Not only is that extremely rude but now when you need something you're gonna snap or make a hand gesture which is also rude and will piss me off. And to think, all this could have been avoided if you just let me introduce myself.
4. When you don't have the patience to deal with annoying customers
We've all had those days where our patience is thin, like ice thin, and every table that comes in gets on your nerves. I've probably told my boss that I was gonna punch them out about a hundred times on those days.
5. When you finally sit down to eat and a table walks in
It's okay, I wasn't hungry anyway. What's that sound you ask? It's just my stomach rumbling because I'm starving but go ahead take your time picking between spaghetti or penne pasta, it's not like my food is getting cold.
6. When it gets slammed out of nowhere and your short staffed
It was the worst of times. Suddenly you're having flashbacks to the slow days that you took for granted and word to the wise, don't even think about all the silverware you're gonna have to roll later. Your head is already a million places and all your food is about to be up, hold in those tears. You can do it.
7. When you're having a good day but that one table just has to ruin it
Why? I was good to you. I brought you bread even though it doesn't come with your meal. And this is how you repay me? With snide remarks and a crushed spirit. Thanks for sucking the joy out of my day, you life sucker.
8. When your coworker skips out on their side work
Well, well, well. Jokes on them actually because they open tomorrow and I'm totally gonna leave it for them to do in the morning. The best part is when they go to tell our boss, they'll ask who was supposed to do it the night before and when the realization sinks in that they told on themselves, I'll slowly walk away. Petty? You bet!
9. When you finish rolling all the silverware and someone brings out another bucket
Just when you were done with the cramping in your hand from drying and rolling, someone has to rain on your parade. You know it will go by quick but you're already imaging a trip to the doctor to explain that you got carpal tunnel from all the silverware you roll.
10. When parents tell their 3.5 year old child to order and the kid just stares at you
Me: staring pretending to be amused. I retract my statement about your kid being cute. Seriously though, why do parents do this? Can we avoid me standing here for longer than I should just to hear them say chicken fingers. Please save me my time and just order for them, I have other tables I need to take care of too.
11. When parents let their kids run all over
Have you ever seen food fly across a restaurant because the waiter or waitress had to stop for running kids? I have and I've been that waitress. Not only are the waiter's and waitresses annoyed by your running kids but so are other customers. Running, out of control kids belong on a playground not a restaurant.
12. Customers who think they can do whatever because they know the owner
You know the owner?!! What a coincidence!! So do I! And they said to tell you that unless they give you stuff for free, that you have to pay normal price sorry!
13. When people joke about us being slow
You were my first table of the day and I was really excited to see you until you made that joke. I've only been sitting here by myself all day with my thoughts waiting for a table and that was your opening line. Let's hope the rest of your stay is more redeeming.
14. When people walk in right when you're about to close
Ahh it's that awkward moment when you seriously want to sit down and eat even though you literally saw me vacuuming as you were walking in and now I'm nicely trying to get you to leave because it's 9:29 and we close at 9:30. Ignore my boss giving me the thumbs up, we're closed but there's a McDonald's down the road.
15. When you've had a bad day but your favorite regulars come in
It's like before they came in, you were dead. You were just waiting to go home but now, you're alive. It's a great feeling cause you know they're going to make you laugh and they're going to tell you about their grandkids and they totally just turned your day around. (also that gif works so well)
16. When you and a table just click
We have those few tables that you just hit it off with right away. They get your humor and don't mind joking or talking with you. They are fine with some banter and it's almost like you know what they need without even asking. It's amazing.
17. When you recommend your favorite dish and they love it
It's truly a beautiful moment. At first you were nervous about recommending it because what if they don't like it. But then you take out the food and you tell them to enjoy their food. You wait anxiously to check up on them to see how everything is tasting and they love it!! You won, this is what victory feels like. Wallow in it, those small victories are what we hold on to.
18. When people tip you generously
We've all had really bad tips, some alright tips, good tips and some very very great tips. I'm not talking $10 instead of $8. I'm talking tipping 50 percent of their bill. The kind of tips that move you tears and show you that some people are still super generous.
19. When customers are extremely nice and understanding
These customers they get it. It's like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. They've experienced the sometimes hell that is waiting tables and they are more than understanding with you. Some of their catchphrases are: "take your time," "No rush," OR "breathe..you're doing great." They are just awesome people, honestly.
20. When you FINALLY finish closing and get to go home.
That's it, you did it. You survived another shift and you're practically running to your car and to the freedom to listen to your own music instead of the same 10 songs that played on a continuous loop for the past five hours. Congratulations, you're free....well, until tomorrow when you have to do it all again but nonetheless, congrats!