I currently work in a restaurant in Baltimore midtown where we are at our busiest when there are shows nearby, such as shows at the BSO and shows at the Lyric. I'm the host at this particular restaurant, and it's my job to get all of the reservations in order and to provide the best customer service I can as I am the temporary face of the business whilst I'm sitting behind the host stand. People are typically in such a rush when I work that sometimes they treat the staff of the restaurant unkindly or are incredibly demanding, as they are on a tight schedule in order for them to get to their show on time.
Working in a restaurant automatically teaches you about the importance of patience. There are all sorts of people that go out to eat that will all treat you differently. There are some people who are as nice as can be, who are very patient and kind, and then you have those types of people that make you wonder, "If you were going to be that mean to everyone and forcefully have a bad time, why'd you come out to eat?"
As the hostess of the restaurant, I obviously can't let my personal thoughts have any effect on my actions, because then I would not be doing my job to the best of my ability. I simply do everything I can to accommodate them and make their visit with us as good as it possibly can be. What a lot of people don't realize is that having a good meal and experience in a restaurant is two sided. A good part of enjoying your time while people are waiting on you and trying to accommodate you is just that, realizing that there are people trying their absolute best to make your night go well and get you what you want.
I've always said this and other people who work in restaurants have said it with me, at least three months in the service industry would change a lot of people's perspectives about how hard the job is. Waitressing is not easy, hosting is not easy, bartending is not easy, not one job in the service industry is easy. It's advanced customer care and very time and schedule conscious. Imagine taking care of your family dinner, but six or seven times over. And then, each of those dinners are all different, and the people who ordered them all have different personalities and needs. Now imagine a really tight time frame in which all of those people need to get drinks, food, desert, and the bill. It's very high stress and it's not something you can take a break from at all or sit down from when you have tables waiting.
So please, be more patient and try to imagine how demanding our jobs are when you go into a restaurant. As hostess, I truly perform at the best of my ability and try to make sure everyone has what they want or need. As a waitress, I go as fast as I possibly can and make sure that your food comes out to the best of the cook's ability. Bartenders also move as fast as possible and do their absolute best. I sincerely think everyone should work in the service industry, at least to learn what kind of patience it takes to wait on other people and to try to fulfill the needs of many in a short amount of time.