This I Believe

Jennifer - West Lafayette, Indiana
Entered on January 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe respect for people with unpleasant jobs is important, and if there is only one way to learn that, it would be to experience the hectic job of being a waitress.

I have been a waitress for two years and it is certainly a stressful job, but it has taught me the importance of respect and consideration. Before being a waitress, I didn’t know what servers went through on a daily basis. It’s very hard work dealing with high-maintenance people and getting snapped at, so every time I dine out I always make sure to show my appreciation for their hard work by talking to them like a person, instead of just a waitress. I know how waitresses feel, running around all day, not having a chance to sit down and catch a breath, so I don’t ever intend on being the table that demands all of their time and energy. I like talking with them and asking them questions about their day, because I like when customers do that to me. It makes me feel like a person, not just somebody who runs around with food in one hand and a pitcher of water in the other.

I know how it feels to make less than minimum wage, and it’s not too much fun! I also have experienced receiving $1.50 tips when I know perfectly well that the service was outstanding. Whenever I eat out, regardless of how bad the service was, I always am sure to leave a 20% tip. Even if the waitress was in a bad mood, I know that my tip will cheer her up. I’ve gone to work in a bad mood before, but when somebody has left me a good tip, it makes me feel better and want to strive to be a better server.

Not only does my respect go to waitresses, but other workers with unpleasant jobs as well. I always give a whole-hearted, warm smile to the poor man that touches millions of American’s putrid trash bags. I know the garbage man that works in my neighborhood, and every time we see each other, I always strike up a conversation. I know that by simply talking with him for a bit makes his day brighter and puts him in a cheerful mood.

I wouldn’t give up the job of working as a waitress because it has helped me realize how necessary it is to respect workers and the jobs that they have. I no longer just order my meal without smiling and talking with the waitress. I don’t leave without telling her that I enjoyed her service, and I don’t hesitate to leave her some extra money on the tip for the bills she has to pay. Respecting those with jobs that we wouldn’t want for ourselves is essential since they are the people that glue this busy world together.