Lessons I Learnt From Waitressing
1. Always respect those serving you
This goes for any sort of customer service job. One of the most annoying things is serving someone who you can tell thinks they’re better than you, despite the fact that the only thing they know about you is that for part of your life you work as a waitress. Obviously, before I was a waitress I was respectful to waitresses and I was always polite. But I didn’t understand what it was actually like being a waitress. As someone who’s awful at multitasking, and someone who daydreams a lot and isn’t always quite with it, I found waitressing really difficult, but I’m glad I’ve done it because now I understand what a difficult and stressful job it is. No one person is more important than another because of what line of work they’re in.
2. Everyone’s human
I feel like this is a bit of an obvious one. Before waitressing though I maybe just assumed that people who worked in customer service were excellent at their jobs and just knew everything. Waitresses have a lot to remember though, and that’s super difficult sometimes. Everyone makes mistakes. I know it can be frustrating when you’re paying money to eat somewhere and someone makes a mistake, but they haven’t done it on purpose. When you’re doing 100 things at once mistakes happen. All people have feelings and if someone makes a mistake they probably feel just as awful about it as you.
3. Have a thick skin
This sort of ties in with my last lesson. Some people who dine out in restaurants and cafes expect there to be absolutely no mistakes in the service you give them, and aren’t too empathetic if mistakes happen. At this point I want to point out that the majority of the time there aren’t any mistakes, and also that if there are lots of mistakes you’re justified to be annoyed and complain. There are however some people who get incredibly angry and vocal about small things that don’t, in the grand scheme of things, matter too much, and at times aren’t even the waitress’s fault. Have a thick skin, and know how to smile through things and remove emotions from certain situations.
4. How to pretend
Talking to customers is arguably one of the best parts of working in customer service. It’s what makes every day different. There are just some times though that you want to stay in the kitchen and not see anyone. It was at these times that I really learnt how to put on a fake smile and pretend that I was really interested in what customers were talking about. Customers don’t want to come in and hear you whinging about every bad part of your life, although that might be all you’re thinking about on a particular day. I really learnt how to just pretend how to be okay, which is a great thing to be able to do for short amounts of time when you need to be professional and focus our attention on someone else.
5. Be kind always
Being kind really does get you far in life. I know before I spoke about people complaining and not being understanding. If you’re kind to people there’s a bigger chance they won’t be too mad if they have to wait a bit longer for food, or if someone’s made a small mistake on their order. As a general rule for life everyone should be nice, just to be a decent human being and because everyone’s life benefits from kindness. Being kind does make people more sympathetic, and means people will be as generous and kind to you as you are to them.
As Plato said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”