Compassion for servers goes a long way

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It’s 5 p.m. on a Friday night and my shift is just getting started. I’m excited because it’s my first day back since Monday, due to the fact I don’t work Tuesday-Thursday.

As the night moves on, I continue to greet each guest with a smile. It’s an opportunity to give them service that goes beyond their expectation since they probably aren’t expecting something good from a corporate franchise.

In my opinion, people need to be understanding when going out to eat and to treat your server like a human rather than a robot who has no feelings.

Despite wanting to give good service, in the back of my mind as a server I not only do it to be good at my job but also because I need the money.

Now, being in the customer service industry since I was 17 and now am 20 has taught me a lot. Especially about other people.

It’s taught me there are some amazing, kind, people but also, that there are some rude, obnoxious, “me me me” type of people out there.

In my opinion, I understand we all have bad days or just aren’t in a good mood and that’s understandable, but, a misunderstanding happens when you come into my restaurant every other day and always treat your servers like s*** or leave because the server who is attending your favorite table is “too fat.”

So, as I was saying: It’s now the middle of my shift and I am getting a party of 10, nothing unusual here. It’s only unusual when I try to get this table’s drink order and am basically talking to myself.

After standing around for about 30 awkward seconds I finally say: “You seem busy, I’ll come back.” That seems to get their attention even though it really doesn’t since they keep talking. This went on throughout their stay.

It’s not that I’m impatient or anything but I have 11 other tables giving me the eye and little Johnny over on table four is throwing up in his mac-n-cheese, while I just stand here listening to a conversation about who did this and who said what.

I don’t think it’s hard to take other people into consideration especially when eating out, I mean come on, you go out to have a good time of course, but rules for eating in a restaurant haven’t changed, like having courtesy or knowing a server will be trying to get your margaritas shaking when you sit down at the table you’ve been waiting 45 minutes for.

After being almost yelled at by table 22 because his salmon isn’t cooked like he would like it to be, it also occurred to me that my title is a server, as the host said when they sat you down: “Your server, Victoria will be right with you.”

I think it is important to understand I wasn’t in the kitchen making your meal while we were talking about how your kids and I know each other or about your special plans for this weekend because I was serving you and trying to make you feel special.

After fixing the problem and seeing the male on table 22 completely finish his plate, he is thanking me and saying it was much better and delicious.

“Okay great they’re happy,” I say to myself.

Only to find myself a minute later looking like a deer in headlights when I see they didn’t leave me a tip.

In my opinion, this is lousy too, because now I just paid for you to eat here.

Yes, it is important to always tip your server. We understand our guests aren’t always in a good mood because we’re all humans but, that’s exactly the point, we’re all humans and I have bad moments too.

When I don’t receive a tip, it can be a bit insulting and here’s why: During my shift, there will be 5 different people helping me, four food runners and a bartender. They take my food and drinks out or at least make my drinks. At the end of the night these five people will be getting one percent each of what my sales are that night.

For example, if I’m serving a table and their bill is $100 and I don’t get tipped the recommended twenty percent or tipped at all, 5 percent of this ($5) will be coming out of my pocket as a thank you for your help to the runners but now I’m losing money.

I only make it because I live off of tips and when people don’t tip it is really impactful, I mean you have money to go out and run me a round like a chicken with its head cut off but with a smile (of course) you can tip because after all I’m human too.