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Being A Waitress in Tallahassee as Told by ‘Two Broke Girls’

1. Unsurprisingly, college kids aren’t great tippers.

Listen, I get it because obviously, I’m a college student too. I know you don’t have much to spend and that you waste too much money already, so sometimes you’re a little tight on cash. That being said, your waitresses make less than minimum wage as servers and literally rely on your tips to make their living. If your server has given you a good experience, please don’t stiff them or pay your bill in pennies. A couple of bucks goes a long way!

2. Game days are insane.

As you know, we live in a town that is obsessed with our university football team. There are tons of restaurants filled with plasma screens in the effort of getting as many people as possible to have watch parties. When you work in one of those places, things can get chaotic. People are drinking, they’re getting rowdy and they’re standing in massive groups that are difficult to navigate through with trays full of food and drinks. Just know we’re all extremely stressed and we’re trying to give everyone the best service possible. Please be courteous!

3. You have your favorites at work.

After you get comfortable with all the staff at your workplace, you start to develop your favorites. They just make the time at work go by a lot faster and they help you out if you ever get a little overwhelmed. Teamwork really does make the dream work, and when you have friends that are ready and willing to give you a hand when needed and vice versa, you become very appreciative of their presence!

4. You have to be nice to ALL the customers.

I am being nice because I am a friendly person! (Also, because it’s my job.) I am more than happy to make conversation and to laugh at jokes because I like to talk to people, but some people take it too far. We are extremely friendly to customers, but it is mostly because it is a job requirement and we’re trying to make their experiences as pleasant as possible. Not because we’re flirting! It’s horrible to be put in a position that’s super uncomfortable, or for people to just assume they have the right to touch you. 

5. Fakes are so annoying.

I’m well aware we go to a school that’s considered by many to be a party school. We’ve seen the bad things that have gone down with the sororities and fraternities, and I know that underage drinking has been normalized at this point, but just like…don’t? You may get away with it, but you put your waiters and waitresses in extremely compromising positions. We can get in massive amounts of trouble with our bosses (like totally fired) or even get in trouble with the law.

6. Waitresses do not make your food.

We take your order as you give it, we put it in a machine, and we just wait until it’s ready to get to you. When things get messed up and you yell at us, you’re shooting the messenger. We don’t do anything in the kitchen other than getting your drinks, so when things go wrong it’s not our fault. A lot of people love to blame waitresses and then take it out on them via their tip, but just keep in mind that nine times out of ten, it wasn’t a mess up on our parts.

7. We have to have a smile on our faces no matter what.

We are human. We have bad days just like you, and it may be because of our personal lives or because of what’s going on at work. Things get stressful. Sometimes one person being in a bad mood brings the whole restaurant down and it’s sucky to be around. Or maybe we’ve been there for 11 hours, our bodies hurt and we’re completely exhausted. We do our very best to give you the best service we possibly can despite our circumstances. If you ever see your waitress not beaming with enthusiasm, just know they’re trying!

8. Parents’ weekends are the best weekends.

Ahhh sweet, sweet parents’ weekend, our favorite time of the year! Parents tip so much better than their offspring and it is a true blessing to our pockets. We understand that college students don’t have enough in their bank accounts to leave fat tips, but boy do we love when their parents do!

I hope I gave you a little insight into life as a waitress and it encourages you to just be a little more empathetic to your servers. Hope to see you around Tally, fellow college students!

All GIFs courtesy of Giphy.

Nicole Knight is a Junior at Florida State University. She's majoring in Editing, Writing and Media with a minor in Communications. 
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