I tend to make at least one friend at just about every eatery we frequent. Not only because I find the people friendly, pleasant and worth getting to know, but because I am in complete and total A*W*E of them!
I am flabbergasted at their ability to smile and be cheerful when you KNOW they’ve probably had a stressful and exhausting day. Were I in THEIR shoes, my tips would be minimal at most; I am too whiny and complain-y and I am NOT an actress. I can’t smile and be cheerful if I am tired, frustrated, insulted or just plain impatient. Maybe in the kitchen these cool, composed servers kick the wall and bitch about the obnoxious old bitty who complained she didn’t get the butter pickles she ordered when she never even MENTIONED butter pickles in her order. Maybe they warn one another about the lecherous perv in the corner booth who gets handsy if they get too close. They probably swap ideas about the best back pain relievers or if gel insoles would really help their aching feet.
So I make an extra effort to smile and be pleasant to THEM, just in case the last table they served was rude and nasty. Several of these servers have remained good friends to me over the years. Many have confided some unsolicited personal details, and I am ready to offer a listening ear and a hug. Oh, and that’s a BIG thing for me–the hugs! Most restaurants we frequent, I get hugs from at least one server!
I don’t have the work ethic, the fortitude or the people skills to deal with such a job. I have known this about myself for years. Clearly these hardworking folks (who, by the way, should be paid WAY better for the effort they put out) deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for what they put up with hour after long hour.
Next time you place an order, I urge you to consider your server, and remember he/she is a sensitive human being doing a thankless job, and your patience and kind words just might be the brightest part of their exhausting day.