Did someone say… Customer Service?
I work six days a week as a waitress. I have been doing this for five years, ever since I was sixteen years old. One week after I turned sixteen I started what I thought to be a chance to be independent, and to make some serious cash. Now I look back on these five years, and at some point in time I realized people are cheap! There’s not an exact point in time when I began to believe this, nevertheless expecting to get rich as a waitress quickly changed to, “I hope to make enough tonight for gas” or “ I have to pay my cell phone bill…well there goes two weeks work.” Making ends meet working as Cinderella is harder than it looks.
I believe that being a waitress isn’t all it’s cut out to be, because customers don’t realize we are servers, not servants. There are customers who snap their fingers, roll their eyes, and shake their empty glasses at me, and it kills me not to be able to do anything about their rudeness, because I depend on their money. Customers actually get up from seats, and come into the waitress station to demand more napkins or drinks as if I’m not ever coming back to their table. Drinks are another subject. Where do they put them? Sometimes I wonder if they have holes in their glasses. I mean we serve the drinks with the meal not as the meal! More than three refills is ridiculous! Customers don’t believe in waiting. Everyone knows we Americans live in a country that believes in instant gratification. Customers want what they want, and they want it immediately. I have had customers yell at me to get them something while I was taking an order at a different table. Customers don’t realize they are not the only people in the restaurant, and we are not McDonalds. The customers expect the food to be ready in the blink of an eye, and if it’s not the first thing I am sure to hear is, “well I am not paying for this.” It’s as if some customers just look for a way to get free food.
I believe that being a waitress isn’t all it’s cut out to be, because customers don’t understand the value of a dollar or maybe they do, and are trying to save it at my expense. I work at restaurant where the majority of our cliental range from middle-aged to old and maybe back in their day fifty cents was a good tip. Hello, have they heard of inflation? I have days where I make less money than the amount of hours I work. Two dollars and fifty cents an hour don’t pay the bills. I work hard to make the customer happy, but Lord you couldn’t tell it by the money I make. I rely on my tips. I wonder sometimes if they just don’t know it is proper etiquette to tip the waitress, or if they just don’t care. I had a girl tell me the other day that she didn’t believe in tipping. It’s unbelievable that people like this exist. It’s because of customers like this that half the time I don’t even want to go in to work, because it’s just not worth it. Rude, impatient customers and no money are not very positive incentives.
I believe that being a waitress isn’t all it’s cut out to be, because people forget they are not at home. Customers come into my restaurant and seat themselves, despite the fact that there is a huge sign written in red letters that reads, “Please Wait to Be Seated” then complain when no one sees them waiting to order. I have customers come in, eat, and leave more food on the floor than in their stomachs. The funny thing is they have no shame about leaving a mess. In the five years that I have been a waitress I have seen a customer get down and pick up what falls on the floor maybe twice. If there is anything left, that didn’t make it to the floor or their stomachs, they ask for a to-go box. I swear they will take every last drop as if it was the last meal of their lives. Half a bowl of green beans, now come on! All the messes and the attitudes wouldn’t matter as much if they left me a decent tip. It’s very hard to read a customer. I can wait on the nicest cleanest table, get a horrible tip, and at the same time wait on a very rude messy table and get a great tip. Maybe I just don’t understand people, but I am sure Cinderella never had all the answers either.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.