I think I had been a server for like a week when I first started to hate the human race. I felt like everyone was dumb.
NO, I can’t make your drink stronger without charging you for a double.
NO, I can’t give you a military discount on your alcohol, and
NO I can’t add extra chicken to your nachos for free.
Like, what is wrong with people? Don’t they understand how things work? I really believe that everyone should be a server at some point in their lives. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve called my family and friends out for being “those people” at a restaurant. Like, “No, mom, we can’t sit at a booth, there are eight of us.”
Anyway, that’s not what this is about. It’s about finally transitioning to a day job. No, not a “real job.” Because serving and bar tending are real jobs. They make real money and pay real bills. Just had to throw that in there.
Here are some of the major differences between my day job and serving.
- My bedtime. Right now, on a weekday, I’m in bed before 11pm. If I’m not, I’m gonna be late to work the next day. As a server, I’m just getting off work at 11pm. I’m then gonna follow my coworkers, who also just clocked out, to the nearest bar with Monday-Thursday night specials. I’ll crawl into bed around 2 or 3am and probably sleep until my next shift.
- Paychecks. I have to wait TWO WHOLE WEEKS for my paychecks now. What’s that about? It’s 2015! As a server I’m walking out with cash every night. And if I’m kinda broke because I spent it all at the bar last night, I’ll just pick up an extra shift this week. I can’t pick up shifts at my day job.
- Uniforms. I love wearing heels. Some people don’t. But I get to wear heels and dresses and slacks to work everyday and I love it. It beats ugly nonslip shoes and dirty aprons any day.
- Side work. Boy, do I hate side work. For those of you who aren’t aware, side work consists of a list of daily responsibilities assigned to each server. It’s anything from getting buckets of ice to rolling silverware to sweeping your table section. Usually the manager is gonna throw something really annoying at you, like scrubbing light fixtures. Funny story. My first week at my day job, one of the VP’s came into my department and asked if I would help him tear wallpaper off the bathroom wall. I stood up and started to walk towards the bathroom and he laughed. “She was gonna do it!” It was funny because it wasn’t my job. Of course I was gonna do it. I’ve been doing cleaning projects that weren’t my job since I started serving.
- Coworkers. Now, I’m not saying I prefer either set of my coworkers. They are completely different types of people. Servers and bartenders are cynical and funny. Most cuss and drink a lot, while complaining about the people they had to deal with that day. My daytime coworkers talk about books and their dogs. They get excited about new kitchen appliances. I’m about halfway. I like to talk about books and movies, while cussing and drinking.
Serving sucked. I hate cleaning and smelling like grease. But I met a lot of really great people. People who I’ll probably stay friends with for a very long time. Serving also taught me a lot. I learned to always tip 20% (unless your server hit you, or something) and be polite. I learned not to date coworkers (which is ridiculously common in this industry). And man, did I learn to have some patience. I can smile and have a conversation with someone who I am actually stabbing in my mind, it’s great.