Working in the service industry can be difficult at times. The people you wait on, the employees and the long hours can make anyone feel crazy.
As a bartender at a sports bar, I have dealt with a lot of interesting things. Customers will tell you their life story while drinking three beers.
Customers can make your day feel like a dream or a living nightmare. You see people at their worst and their best, but mostly at their worst.
I have had customers snap their fingers at me, whistle at me, grab me, pick me up like I am some type of rag doll, yell at me from across the bar and throw their money or credit card at me.
But on the bright side, I have had customers bring me their favorite home-cooked brownies, tickets to events and New Orleans Saints gear (my favorite NFL team) and give me lots of great advice.
Keeping the customer happy is a common goal in this field. Accidentally giving someone a Coke instead of a Dr Pepper can make a huge impact on the tip they leave you.
Like any job, the industry can have its pros and cons. You never know how much money you will make. The average waiter earns a salary of $2.15 per hour, but after claiming credit card tips, we can end up with a zero-balance paycheck.
We rely on the people we serve to pay our bills. The money you make depends on who gets seated at your table.
Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to tipping. You can give the best service and still end up with a not-so-great tip.
You get the unexpected tips, which make your day and help you pay your rent that is due.
Most servers have their “regulars” who always can help put a smile on their faces.
The service industry employs many types of people. The average restaurant can have typical college students, 16-year-olds just trying to find a job, graduate students who can’t find a job in their field, single mothers or fathers or even people who live to work in that field.
I have made many close friends through waiting tables. You bond with people from all walks of life who you might not have ever thought you would be friends with.
With that being said, you also make some of your biggest enemies through the industry.
There always is that one person you just cannot seem to get along with.
A benefit of working in the service industry is knowing other people who work in it as well. There is not a better feeling than getting a table full of servers who know how it feels to have the same job as you.
Working in this industry can be hard but rewarding. Next time you are out at your favorite bar or restaurant, be generous to your wait staff.
We are people just like you.