Serving in Hell: Waitressing Is One Of The Hardest Jobs On Earth

After foolishly believing that waiting tables for money would be fun and easy, I quickly learned that being a waitress is one of the hardest jobs on earth. In addition to the total harassment and lack of professionalism coming from my bosses, my co-workers did not care for me.

As you could have gathered by my other posts or photo, I am just over five feet tall, 110 pounds soaking wet. My arms basically look like spaghetti. Add to this the fact that I have barely exercised a day in my life. Therefore, while other servers were piling three, four, and five dishes up both of their arms, there is no way I had the capability of carrying more than one 13-inch heavy plate at a time. So I didn’t.

Adding to my weak attempts to carry multiple dishes at once, the dishes themselves were extremely hot. I received multiple burns to my hands and arms when trying to speedily deliver food.

Usually, when you work at a franchise, if dishes are left under the heaters in the kitchen, other servers are required to take them to the appropriate tables (aka, help). FYI, servers do not like to help other servers. Add on the fact that I could not figure out the stupid “easy” computerized system where I had to punch in all the orders, and they flat out hated me.

“Do you know where I could find the bacon cheeseburger; I’m only seeing regular hamburgers under this tab,” I once said to my co-worker.

“It’s not rocket science, you know,” he said angrily, as he pushed passed me and found it at the speed of light, not showing me where it was.

There was only one person there who was nice to me and actually didn’t mind helping me (or pretended not to mind, anyway). He became my boyfriend and we are currently dating over two and a half years, now. He is the only – only – good thing came out of that experience.

So, what do we have here? Horrible patrons, mean co-workers, painful and strenuous lifting and carrying – how could it get any worse, right? I worked 11-hour days and made no money, that’s how.

Since I worked in a not-so-great area, in a chain restaurant located across the street from a movie theater which was frequented by teenagers, twenty percent tips were like a fantasy I had dreamed up one day when I was flying on my magic carpet next to my pet dragon and Tinkerbell. If someone left me a tip that was double the tax (equal to just over 14%), I’d get tears of joy in my eyes.

I have been left five dollars of a hundred dollar check, fifty cents on a fifty-dollar check, and nothing – twice. And, by the way, for anyone who doesn’t know this (because I didn’t know this) – a server has to do something called “tip out” – which means that, at the end of the workday, 10% (usually) of his/her check totals goes to the bus boys and host/hostess.

One of my nonexistent tips came from a teenage couple that I had made friends with. They were sweet and easy-going. They kept telling me how bad they felt that I was working so hard. Apparently not bad enough, because when I opened up their check holder, they hadn’t left any extra money for my tip. My boss, however, did not care that I was jipped. A rule’s a rule – and so, therefore, after tipping out 10% of their check, I actually paid to serve that couple.

After four months of working there, I finally decided to end my slow and painful torture, and quit. Besides my boyfriend, I didn’t make any friends, money, or good memories there. But it sure as hell makes me sympathize with waiters and waitresses – not to mention correct people who think that is an easy job!

Do you (or should I say “did you”?) think being a waiter or waitress is easy? Have you ever tried it and sang a different tune? Have you ever met your boyfriend/girlfriend at a job you hated?

2 thoughts on “Serving in Hell: Waitressing Is One Of The Hardest Jobs On Earth

  1. I just started reading your post, and after starting at the end, I decided to go back to the beginning instead. I am currently the “only” waitress at a family owned restaurant. Meaning, I’m the only one that works on the days I work.

    We had a party of 20 ppl come in. I was specifically called in to work that big table because the other waiter wasn’t up for it, being that he’s like 15.

    They left me $1, on a check of over $350. Not only that but they acted like they were doing me a favor. “Here this is for you,” they said handing me the $1 bill. I wanted to shove that $1 down their throats. They weren’t even doing it to be rude, they seemed to think that was acceptable.

    Nowhere on our menu does it state that parties over a certain number will have the tip automatically added. Most places have that, ours does not, so I couldn’t even just add it on. I’ve been a waitress, as well as having a seperate second job for the last 5 years. It’s sad that the one job doesn’t support me enough that I don’t need a second job.

  2. Kristen: OMG! I’ve gotten nothing and 50 cents before — but not on a table of 20! Why do people think that is acceptable??? Even before I was a waitress I knew it wasn’t! I’m not sure if it’s your family’s restaurant but even if it isn’t — have them add in a note saying that 8 people or more gets gratuity added in! Hopefully you’ll get a raise at your other job and won’t have to waitress anymore though :/

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