A question often asked but rarely answered. Why do we wait tables? Why would we bother with a job with as much security as a padlock, why this profession? Simply because people in this field of work are addicted. Whether that addiction is to drugs, alcohol, sex or whatever the case may be, one thing that all servers have in common is their addiction to money.
Sure, easy enough can people say that they are addicted to money but how many of those would be willing to gamble? Servers live in a world powered by short-term satisfaction, we enjoy the sudden realization that we have what we have and that the next table might be our key to paying our bills. Much like a gambler, a server does not have a clue how his earnings are gonna be, some nights can ruin a server and net him no more than a cab ride home or one drink at the Cheesecake Factory but then there are also nights when a server can work one shift and pay off his entire rent for the month; we are hooked to the idea that it will get better and that the next one is the key, often times we don’t realize this and this rubs off as something normal to us servers.
We don’t do it because we enjoy kissing ass. Anyone who truly enjoys this should not be in the field of fine-dining but instead should be whoring themselves out in an alley. Sure there might be a couple sicko’s who do enjoy sucking up for a quick buck but more so than not your waiter doesn’t wanna see your face anymore than they wanna scrub the floor. Waiters are pessimistic by nature, a defense that protects us from the harsh light of reality, the reality that some people just don’t respect our field of work. So when we get a bad tip we aren’t completely devastated and left in shock, instead we look, curse and move on.
We do what we do because of the thrill it gives, the idea that we can get so much in so little time for the least amount of work. We do it because we need the satisfaction that we could only get from happy glutinous people thanking us for such a great service when we really hated them. We do it because you won’t.
Being a server is a damn near thankless job, we do it because no one else would. We expect to be thanked in monetary gratuity, I mean sure your words can mean a lot but we can’t pay our electricity with thank you’s.
T0day was one of the nights when I had no regulars come in and instead the restaurant came a blaze with the restaurant only having one hostess and four servers. I had plenty of tables, not quality but the way I made money was from the sheer quantity of them, majority of the people who came today tipped an average of 12%, that is horseshit. Chaos erupted and food was not on time, everything went wrong yet I still found it relaxing and even beautiful that we we’re stuck in a position like that, no order and no rules. Something that I’d like to get used to.
I’m writing this because I feel as though people don’t appreciate what we do nor do they know just how difficult it is to serve. This is also why a fellow or past server is the best tipper, they know how it is.
I’m gonna finish this glass of water and sleep, my body aches and I have so much to do tomorrow. I just had to get that off my chest…
Your waiter today.