When you work as a server you begin to change the way you would act if you were on the other side of the table. Working these jobs will teach you a lot about life, so I decided that after working as a part time waitress for the past six years that I'd put together my list of things that I have learned during this time.
1) The more money people have - the less manners they have
A sad but true fact. I've worked in both small and large restaurants but when I started a job in probably one of the worlds most famous hotels where everyone is pretty much loaded I was unprepared for the lack of manners they seemed to have. After having people roar at me, swear at me and refer to me as 'girl' I decided that smaller local places were a far nicer environment to work.
2) Everyone assumes that they are more intelligent than you
Just because I work a part time job in catering please don't assume that I'm ignorant. A perfect example of this was one shift in a concert venue bar- my colleague and I were working at an André Rieu concert - this guy is a famed violinist and my friend and I, who both study music were discussing what he was playing while we were cleaning up. An old lady overheard our chatter and she said "I don't suppose your generation knows much about classical music" -Actually -said my colleague - "we are both fully trained classical violinists". She had nothing to say after that.
3) People treat you differently when you have to clean up after them
Often the word 'servant' and 'server' get confused in some customers minds...
4) How to tip
After working in the catering industry for a while you quickly learn the importance of leaving a tip. A bad tipper is someone who has the money to tip yet decides that they won't waste their money on it. Often the best tippers are those who have worked similar jobs.
5) Throwing away perfectly good food when you're on minimum wage is soul destroying
Again this is a problem in bigger fancier places who can afford to throw away rather than give it to the people trying to pay for everything from a basic wage.
Getting caught is not an option.
6) I'd rather be tired than broke
At the start of a long shift I always tell myself this.
7) Humour in your daily routine makes everything easier
Having a laugh with your colleagues is the best way to make time go faster and make everything seem better. There is nothing worst than a boring bunch of people.
8) As does music
Nothing is more soul destroying than a loop of basic elevator music- If there's some upbeat music, you're going to work twice as well.
9) That kindness goes along way
Being kind to other staff and customers when you're in a shitty mood is difficult but you never know what kind of time the other person is having too. Just be nice.
10) I've become a master of the fake smile
It's part of this job- the faster you learn how to do it the better you will get on with everyone involved.
11) Confidence is key
Letting the customer see you sweat will automatically make them seize power and control of the situation - If you act confident and use your fake smile you have nothing to worry about. Confidence is key.