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Things All Restaurant Servers Deal With

If you are in college like me, being able to balance a job and school is a luxury. I know so many people that would love to be able to work, but since their coursework is so demanding, they, unfortunately, don't have the time. In my case, I had some connections and got to work as a server at my godmother's European style restaurant. Now, I know what you're thinking, you must make good money from all the tips. Well, I do, but it does come with a price.

People Can be Rude

Unfortunately, I have some bad days and have to deal with tables that aren't so friendly. Being Hispanic, I am used to people being very friendly and warm, which is how I grew up to be. However, I do come across some cultural differences with tables that won't respond when I welcome them, won't look at me in the eye when they order, or they simply are just insanely picky. For instance, a few months ago, I had a woman ask me for a smoked salmon salad and an asparagus soup. Now with all my tables, I always repeat back the order to make sure their order is correct. So when I came to her table with her food she started to yell at me in front of other tables saying how I was crazy for giving her a smoked salmon salad and that "she doesn't do raw fish." She yelled at me so badly that I felt a lump in my throat and silently went back to the kitchen to change her order. Now, being a college student, I'm already under a lot of stress and that day in particular just pushed me over the edge. It's days like that where I wonder if it's even worth my time and energy over a four dollar tip. Not only that, but I have to bite my tongue from saying something back.

You're Constantly Standing Up

This is something that personally is hard for me especially when I have days where I am working for six hours straight. I feel like during a lunch rush you don't even realize how you're running back and forth from the kitchen, taking orders, cleaning tables, sweeping the floor, and putting clean dishes away that by the time you clock out you've never loved laying in your bed more. I know that once I'm home my knees and my back are pretty sore. 

Sometimes You Don't Get Tipped

Nothing is more heartwrenching than smiling at a table when they walk in, bringing them their drinks, getting their orders out quickly, and even having a little bit of a conversation with them only to have them walk out leaving you not even a dollar in return. This has happened to me a few times at my job and it makes me wonder if it is just their culture or if it was something I said or did. This is especially annoying since most of the money you make as a server is through tip money so when you don't get anything you feel like you have just wasted 40 minutes of your time.

Telling People You Are Out of Stock

If you've worked as a server before, you know how irritating this is. First of all, a lot of times people think that servers are like managers and that we are the ones that run the place. Well, we're pretty much just here to get your order and bring it to you. So, when I have to tell a customer that we don't have something, they get upset and that affects our tip. Again, I'm just the server, If I could make sure we had everything at all times I would!

Having to Throw Out Food

Personally, I cannot stand when people leaving almost all of their food on the plate and I am forced to throw it out. I always think about all the people in the world that couldn't eat that day and it breaks my heart. Sadly, I have to do it because we have to keep the restaurant clean. Since I've started working at a restaurant, I've learned to appreciate people that give me clean plates to take to the dishwasher. It's always an easier job for the dishwasher as well.

All in all, I have learned a lot from working as a server. I think it has definitely helped me become less shy and improve my customer service as well as appreciate the value of money. However, there are just some things that I have had to teach myself to let go or else I'd absolutely despise my job. Also, I realize that some people aren't lucky enough to have a job so I thank my lucky stars for the opportunity to work while I am studying. Hopefully, I'll only move up from here. 

Maria is a sophomore at Florida International University studying Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communications. She loves to travel to Europe and her favorite thing to do is sing and play the guitar. She also loves photography and fashion and enjoys being with her family and her dog. She is originally from College Station, Texas, but her family is Venezuelan and Puerto Rican.
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