Imagine that you’re sitting in a booth at Logan’s Roadhouse waiting for your food to come during the Friday night dinner rush. You were already upset because your server took a few minutes too long to greet your table and now it has been about 20 minutes since you’ve ordered your food. At this point you are getting increasingly hungry and angry as a result of the “ridiculous” amount of time that you’ve had to wait for your table and your food. So you bring this dissatisfaction to the manager’s attention, ignorantly blaming the server for her untimely service. What you don’t realize is that at the same time you sat down, so did 20 other tables. Most likely all of their orders went back at the same time and now the kitchen is extremely backed up. It is not your server’s fault. She is doing everything she can to prevent your dirty looks, but right now she can only rely on the kitchen’s ability to get your food out. I know you can’t believe that you don’t have her undivided attention, but if you didn’t notice there are other people sitting at the tables around you.
Phew. Those were just some of the words that I have longed to express to every ignorant, narrow-minded customer I have ever encountered in my six years in the restaurant business. Due to this frustration, I believe that every person should have to work at a restaurant at one point in their lives. Until a person does, they do not understand the “system” that a restaurant operates with. This lack of understanding results in ignorant, angry customers. Often because the customer does not understand how a restaurant is run, the anger is misdirected towards the server. My insight into the food service industry has prepared me for my own experiences as a customer. Now, when I enter a restaurant I understand that requesting a special table throws off the whole seating rotation, that I owe my server a few minutes to get caught up before approaching my table, and that I can’t always blame my server for the cold steak on my plate.
This experience of “walking in someone else’s shoes” is beneficial in every aspect of life. This act of opening your mind results in a different perspective on everything that you encounter. You are then able to acquire an appreciation for the structures that guide many aspects of life. This type of tolerant attitude will improve your experiences in places such as the grocery store, on the bus, or at the mall. You will also develop compassion for the people who work at these places and for the fellow people who frequent those same establishments. Overall this results in a better peace of mind for everyone that is involved.
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