Working as a restaurant staff is a humbling experience. All my life, I’ve spent so many time and much money to hangout at restaurants/cafés/bars and being served by the waiters. I have to admit that sometimes I act like an asshole to those food servers: being unfriendly & snobby, cranky when I didn’t get what I wanted, and too cheapskate when it came to tipping. I’ve been working at a Mediterranean restaurant in Northcote, 25 minutes from Melbourne CBD, for over a week now. I work between 3 to 8 hours per shift, and those shifts made me hate myself because I saw the bad side of me in my customers.
And here are six “customer’s sins” I’d like to share with you. I hope I’ll never do this again to my wait staffs.
We’re paid to speak with you, so don’t be rude
Supermarkets sell foods, restaurants sell service. At my restaurant, every waiter has to ask how the customer’s day was, and introduce ourselves to the them while pouring water to their glasses. Last night I did that to a family of four that came for dinner. I asked them, “How are you guys today?” The mother answered with a sour face, “Yeah, so-so.”
I was like, uhm… awkward. “I hope you’ll have a nice evening at our restaurant. My name’s Frankie, let me know if you’re ready to order.”
She replied, “Whatever.” I was all smiles, but my heart screamed go fuck yourself.
What I’m trying to say is… dude, waiters don’t freakin’ care how miserable your sex life is. Yes your boobs look ugly and wrinkly, but you can distract people from seeing them by smiling and being nice. What we want to do is just smile while being at your service, get as much money as possible from your wallet, and kiss you goodbye.
When they finished half of their foods, I came to their table again, “Hi, is everything fine with the foods? Do you like the lamb?”
The father answered, “It’s okay. I just don’t really like the pasta. It’s too thin.”
My heart: “Uhm Sir, that’s pappardelle. It’s supposed to be thin. If you want to eat something thick, go to an udon house.”
My mouth: “Ah I see, I’ll deliver your feedback to the kitchen. Thank you. Just call me if you need something else. Drinks or desserts, maybe.” Gaah.
Waiters hate it when you ask for something that’s NOT in the menu
Still talking about that family, they confused me when making the order. The father said, “Are the oysters fresh?”
“Yes Sir, they’re fresh.”
“Can I have the baked one?”
That’s not in the menu, cocksucker. “I’ll check it to the kitchen first, Sir.”
A few seconds later, “No Sir, we don’t serve baked oysters.”
“You just need to bake the fresh ones.”
“We’re sorry Sir, we can’t do that. But I’ll note this menu suggestion. Maybe in the future we can serve you baked oysters,” I explained. He frowned. I don’t care.
The the mother asked the daughter, “Do you want smoothies?”
I interrupted, “We don’t have smoothies.”
The daughter, “But I want smoothies!” Oh kill me.
Screw you, picky whore!
This is my worse habit. I’m so picky when it comes to foods. I don’t like vegetables or anything green on my plate. I don’t want chunky garlic, and I hate the smell of onions. And when I eat at the restaurants, I always make sure the cooks do not put those shit to my foods.
And I just knew that it’s like a pain in the ass for the waiters. Last weekend I had a customer ordering a pepperoni pizza with gluten-free base. She wanted extra cheese and less tomato sauce. I panicked because I wasn’t fully understand on how to put a very special order like this to the computer. It made me spend years in front of the computer, until one of my workmate offered a help. And after the order had been sent to the kitchen, I prayed to God that the chef wouldn’t make any mistake. Because I didn’t want to serve an “unhealthy gluten-full” pizza without cheese and so many tomato sauce.
If we repeat your order, LISTEN!
Making a wrong order can destroy our career. So that’s why we want to make sure that we really write down your order correctly, by mentioning one more time to you before putting it in the computer. And please, listen. We believe you still have plenty of time to talk about Channing Tatum’s butt, after we walked away.
When we start closing the restaurant, get the fuck out of the door
On my first week at work, we had a couple coming at 9.55 pm (the kitchen’s closed at 10.00 pm). So we took their order and cooked for them. At 10.30 we started closing the restaurant by picking up all cutlery from the table, flipping all chairs, and mopping the floor. This couple didn’t show any sign of leaving. They even ordered a latte and a cappuccino (our bar’s closed when the restaurant’s closed). Grrr, coffee at this hour?
We even started cleaning the area around their seats, and they were still not moving. I was fidgeting, because the tram didn’t operate regularly after 11 pm. These two motherfuckers left at 11.15, and I still had to clean up their dishes and tables and continue mopping the floor. Thank God I still could catch my 11.53 train to be back home.
When I was in customer position, actually I did that several times. I didn’t move when they said they were closing soon. Now I know the pain. Some of them are very tired, some of them need to catch a public transportation because taxi is too expensive. So I hereby apologize to all waiters who suffered because of my action in the past. It won’t happen again, I promise.
We’re not tired. We’re exhausted!
I used to think waiting tables is an easy job. You only need to stand there and wait for people’s order. I was wrong. “Standing there” is a tiring job. My feet hurt so bad on my first and second day at work; I can’t even work normally on the next day. Wearing a not-so-fashionable pair of shoes looks ugly, but that’s what life saver means. Waiters walk more in one shift than most people do in an entire day, trust me. And after you all go home, we have to clean up all parts of the restaurant: wiping the tables, chairs, washing glasses, you name it. We sleep two hours after the restaurant is closed.
But the good thing is, we get staff meals (that’s my most favorite part of my job). I can order anything on the menu (except the super expensive ones), so at least I know how they taste (in case the customers ask for recommendation). And during my two working weeks, below is my most favorite staff meal. It’s a traditional spaghetti bolognaise with lots of meat and parmesan. I’ll have this again sometime this week.
Overall, the job is fun. And intense. And sometimes stressful. What I love the most, I’ve learned a very precious lesson on how to treat food servers. I promise to myself, I’ll be really nice to them for now on. Yes, I think everyone should be a server at least once.