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Server Not Slave


Given, hindsight is 20/20…but working as a waitress in a restaurant that I had never even been to before applying was a mistake. As a waitress you get the worst kind of people: hungry people. A person will be the rudest person you have ever had the pleasure of meeting but after you bring them their dinner, it’s like they took a Valium and it just took effect. However, you’ll deal with that anywhere. I had the grand experience of dealing with numerable other, equally unsatisfactory, factors. This particular restaurant didn’t serve alcohol, and the best seller was a three-course meal for ten bucks. What does that mean in my eyes? Well, that means cheap checks – and even lower tips – for three times the work. Most restaurants have a bus boy, people that will make the salads and deserts for you, and other means of helping the business run smoothly. Not here! That was my job, for a lovely 2 dollars and 13 cents an hour! It would have been worth it if I at least made decent tips, but the combination of having too much work to give good service plus the low priced checks was a double whammy. My time as a server here was characterized by blood, sweat and tears well maybe not the blood part.

The first time I cried at work was when there was a Jehovah’s Witness convention next door at the hotel. I don’t know if there’s something in their particular doctrine to all flee to this restaurant, all at the same time, but I guess the proximity was the determining factor. Regardless, I had only been a waitress for less than a month and I was working a dinner shift with only one other server. While all this business was refreshing and an opportunity to make some good money, in the eyes of a freshly trained server this was hell. Having about 15 tables to take care of, all of which getting that damned three-course dinner, was about as fun as a root canal. This “opportunity” to make decent tips was defecated on by the amount of work I had to do divided by the amount of time allotted to me by customers before they get angry. Remember: they are still in the hunger stage so this time allotment is about 10 minutes. The kitchen is backed up so food’s taking 45 minutes to come out, and I’m having trouble getting everyone refills and bread. The stress was tangible and I think I walked out of there with about 40 dollars and tear stained cheeks.

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