5 reasons why you should hire a waitress ( +5 things you should know before you do)

As I settle into my new job as web editor of a Long Island newspaper, I’ve come to the jarring realization that I’ve retired my famous Friday forwarning, “Listen, I’m not saying I can’t make it, but I just want you to know that if I get called in to work…”

Ah, serving – my former livelihood. It’s been three months since I was a proud member of the service industry. Weekends and holidays were not for trudging around in pajamas, mingling with family and friends, and heading out to brunch. They were for waking up late, tossing on the cleanest uniform in the closet (no server’s uniform is ever truly “clean”) and dashing madly about the space mere civilians go to enjoy their day off.

While the world bellows “TGIF,” the service industry huffs in frustration. If today you notice an odd glimmer in your server’s eye, I’m happy to inform you it’s a knee-jerk reaction to the goo-goo ga-ga act you’re putting on with your significant other, or the piercing laughter of your alcohol-steeped friend group.

It’s not that we hate you. It’s that we resent you.

As a special  “I Love You” to all the brave souls that go out to work in the service industry this Friday, I give you five reasons why their next employers should hire them:

REASON 1: We can do everything… at once.

Servers are self-taught multitaskers. Some call it “waitress brains.” In our mind is a voice announcing each moment’s pressing matters like a broken record. This makes us exceptionally good at high-stress jobs, organization, and adapting to last-minute changes in plans. If you find that we’re aggressive typers, it’s because we’re used to releasing anxiety by releasing stress physically (by running and yelling at people.)

But you should know…

We are prone to melt-downs, which is kind of because we have PTSD from memories of being “in the weeds” in our old environment. In restaurants, we were able to escape to the kitchen to scream and stomp our feet. If you notice us going outside for fresh air a lot, don’t be surprised if you catch us having a full-on panic attack.

Also, we are horrible chain-smokers.

REASON 2: We are excellent communicators.

We’re the employees that woo customers with our personality until they buy our product. We’re also the people you put on the phone with tech support, and the ones you send in to talk to the boss about a new proposal because we have little fear of authority. If you find that we tend to be suck-ups, that’s because we are. Remember, we’re used to groveling for vacation days.

But you should know…

There is no “off limits” in our office talk. So if you’re hearing too much about our sex lives, or our drug-addicted cousin, or our bodily functions, kindly remind us that we’re in a professional environment. Also, we tend to gossip about coworkers.

REASON 3: We love being productive.

This is because in serving, how much money you made was determined by how fast you worked. Try putting us in a position in which money (for us or the company) is directly correlated with how much of something is done. We get really excited when we hear we’re making us – or a company – profit.

    But you should know…

Since we’re used to getting cash at the end of every workday, it’s difficult to transfer to a “payday” model. Give us time to adjust. Expect to hear a lot of whimpering about how we’re “not used to having to wait until FRIDAY to have cash…” Also, we hate using the ATM; we’re much more fond of overflowing wads of singles.

REASON 4: We are the people you want to go out to lunch with.

When it comes to food, we know everything – the best restaurants, the best item on the menu, the best bang-for-your-buck option… and the list goes on. We’ve scoped out every food place in a thirty-mile radius, and we’ve likely worked for (or know someone who works for) at least half of them.

   But you should know…

We are ALWAYS talking about our old serving gigs when we’re out to eat (we tell the server, too.) We will stack plates while reminiscing about “this one time, when I waitressed, this guy asked for FIVE diet cokes…” (think American Pie: “This one time, at band camp…”)

Also, our opinion of someone’s character is directly related to how good of a tipper they are. This will never change.

REASON 5: We are grateful for every day off we get.

Even though servers are traditionally given 3-5 days of work, those days are usually not constant, and even if they are we are used to getting last-minute phone calls from coworkers begging for us to take their shifts. I’ve taken off my party clothes to put on an apron more times than I can remember. For me, having a Monday thru Friday, 9-5 almost feels like not having a job at all. Not getting frantic calls from my coworkers is hard to get used to, too.

But you should know…

We are NOT. MORNING. PEOPLE. 95% of us haven’t watched the sun rise since high school – that is, of course, unless we worked overnight shifts. If we show up late, or even just a little grouchy, please give us time to adjust. Coffee helps.

Oh, and you should really know…

Don’t be surprised if you find out two months into our time at our new jobs that we never left serving at all. Serving is addictive. Serving is life.

 

Do something good for your company. Hire a server.

 

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