Working in the service industry is not for the fainthearted. If you’re easily tired, easily offended or easily angered, it’s safe to say that it’s probably not the right job for you.
That said, it can be good fun, keeps you fit and you can make some decent tips if you perfect the art of being happy all the fucking time.
If you’ve ever been a waiter/waitress, you’ll agree with these….
1. You can find a job anywhere in the world
Everyone needs to eat. So even if you decide to quit your job and move to the Bahamas, chances are you’ll find gainful employment in a few days.
2. Your social life consists of drinking in the place you work
Restaurants are busiest at weekends. So while all your friends are out, you’re more likely to end up drowning your sorrows in the leftover dregs of a bottle of Merlot before you set up for the following morning.
3. The appearance of a child makes you want to cry
They may be cute but going on the hunt for a high-chair and some crayons while a chef is yelling for service is nobody’s idea of a good time.
4. You become completely immune to rudeness
People are the worst. But you get used to it.
5. People who pay by credit card are a pain
Yes, we know it’s practical but it takes so much longer. And if you split the bill and all pay separately by card? Don’t come back. Ever.
6. The same goes for anyone who gestures for the bill using their hands
Is it so hard to say please and thank you?
7. And people who don’t tip
Yes, we’re getting paid. The princely sum of €4.50 an hour, for rushing around and tending to your every whim. Your cocktail probably cost double that. If we made your experience a bit more special than normal, is it so hard to recognise it?
8. The ‘chefs are scary, angry creatures’ cliché is true
Not quite Gordon Ramsey levels but it’s a high-pressure environment and sometimes, pots can be thrown.
9. You make a real difference to your customer’s day
Being a waiter/waitress is more than just serving food. You are there for some of the most important moments of people’s lives, from aiding and abetting wedding proposals to offering a smile and a coffee to someone who is having a tough week.
10. You’re consumed by absolute fear when you have to open a bottle of wine at a table
It doesn’t matter how many times you do it, it’s still awkward.
11. You somehow manage to go through 100 pens and notebooks in one shift
Where do they go?!
12. Being able to gauge whether a table is finished is a life skill
You go to clear up – someone decides to try another mouthful. Every time.
13. You lie through your teeth when asked for a recommendation
Mostly because you’ve only eaten three things on the menu.
14. You smell like a mixture of grease and fish after every shift
And it takes at least two shampoos to get it out of your hair. The glamour.
15. Christmas party season is the worst
Drunk customers, terrible singing, working Christmas Eve and Stephen’s Day. Need we go on?
16. You have amazing bladder control
Toilet break? Only after those two tables get menus, main courses go to table four and you clean up that spill in the kitchen.
17. Your co-workers are your best friends
Nothing will bond a group quicker than dealing with a busy service. You take out your anger on each other and then go on the beer. You’ve probably slept with one or two of them as well. Oops.
18. Closing the door on a Sunday feels like being let out of prison