Tuesday, January 28, 2014

the waitress, a chameleon

As a waitress there are a lot of things that I just have to turn a blind eye to.  There are things I see that I ignore, things I hear that I pretend not to, and rudeness that just has to be brushed off. 
There is a shell of indifference that must be worn on shift.  Some people like to joke around, others are very serious, and it is important to be able to know the difference.  To some people I am invisible, some view me as existing on a lesser level, and others tend to get too personal.  And it is all in a day's work in the service industry.  At the end of the day it comes down to being able to slough it all off, remember who you are, and walk off the shift with your head held high for a job well done. 
It's not easy, not easy to be a chameleon, judged by your performance or your personality or how often you smile.  But it happens.  Not everyone loves me.  It's just a sad fact.  One I was reminded of today with a stinging review.  I was judged harshly and unfairly.
So in response I say:
I gave you the best possible service I was capable of.  Your drinks were cold, your food was hot.  Your order came to your table quickly and accurate with your requests, even after you took that phone call while I was in the middle of taking your order.  We were busy, in case you hadn't noticed I was serving more than just your table.  Maybe you failed to see that as you were on your phone most of the time.  I checked in with you, refilled drinks, made sure you were doing well.  I did notice that you had a colorful personality, maybe my quieter personality was not enough.  I am a human being just like you.  I work so my growing sons have nutritious food to eat.  I go home at the end of the day with aches and pains from carrying plates of food, your food.  I am dependent on tips to put gas in my vehicle, I couldn't help but notice you didn't think I was deserving of a tip.  I am a quiet person and I do my very best to smile, be friendly, joke around with folks, and generally just be a personable individual.  I'm sorry it was not enough for you today.


"Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work.  The second is only a part of the first."  -Anna Quindlen


  1. My heart wants to rush right there, offer you a cup of tea and a sweet something to go with it.
    I applaud you. I have waitressed. Thank you for sharing your gracious, kind answer to them!

    1. It's a pity that they'll never read it but it sure helps to just get it off my chest. Thank you sweet friend.

  2. This makes me want to go out to eat and notice my waitress. :) Sounds like you make a wonderful one!

  3. As a former waitress I so understand this and always tip well now. It is hard work and long hours. You learn a lot about people in this setting. My best tippers were the regular morning coffee guys who would just drink coffee and leave a dollar. :-) I'm sad to say Sundays were always the worst. Often the rudest people were the Christians fresh from Sunday morning church, not to mention the lousiest tips. I'm glad I had a solid relationship with Jesus already b/c that alone could of turned me away.

  4. So sorry about your experience! You have a beautiful way of writing about it and I took away a lesson from you about the wisdom of putting on an outer shell of indifference in certain situations. It would save me a lot of heart ache!
    I hope that one of these days you get a HUGE tip!