5 Skills You Get From Waiting Tables That Will Never Leave You
Whether you waits tables for a solitary summer after high school or make it a lifelong career, there are some skills that are gained while wearing the apron that will last a lifetime. Plenty of people will say that waiting tables isn’t a “real job” (which we will not get into because it IS a real job), but waiting tables will definitely provide you with skills that you will carry with you to your next job or throughout your life.
It’s not an easy thing to acquire, but waiting tables will teach you the importance of it. Taking an order from a shy five-year old who takes four minutes to sputter out the words grilled cheese will force you to have composure. In your mind, you’re thinking about the 523 other things that need to be happening at that very moment, but your face will show the patience of a monk. When your income is based on how much someone leaves as a tip, patience and staying cool under pressure become supremely important. That level of patience and fortitude gets into your veins and will stay with you no matter what job you have.
Waiting tables trains you to do more than one thing at once. Going into the dish room to drop off some dirty plates? Well, on your way out, grab some clean ones and get some spoons while you’re at it. Taking charge of a section with eight tables and a total of 32 customers makes multitasking a necessity. If you don’t do it, you’ll wear out your nonslip shoes in a week. One trip around the dining room will let you fill water, drop off a straw, pick up a credit card, check on a burger temperature, and deliver some extra ketchup. Every job you have after serving will require multitasking and it’s a skill that never goes out of demand.
THE ART OF SMALL TALK
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If you’re a person who finds it uncomfortable to talk to others, waiting tables will solve that issue in about three shifts. Conversation is part of the job because servers are required to talk to complete strangers every single day. They aren’t always meaningful conversations, but “breaking the ice” is what you do the you approach the table. You quickly learn which customers want to talk a lot and which ones don’t want to talk at all. Mastering this is something that just happens and in no time at all, talking to strangers is perfectly normal.
Customers come and go. Some of them leave bad tips and some of them leave great ones. Waiting tables teaches you how to accept things for what they are. No amount of complaining about someone who left five bucks on a $100 bill is going to make that tip any different. You take that five dollars and shake it off so you can focus on the next customer who might make up for it. Coworkers come and go too. Working in a restaurant has the ability to make you extremely close with coworkers in a short amount of time. It’s like being in battle and these people almost feel like they are your family. When one of them quits and is no longer in your life, you accept it. You might be sad and miss them terribly, but tables are turning and there are tips to be made. You move on.
THE ABILITY TO CARRY THINGS
After carrying trays of food and water glasses for a few weeks, you will never carry a pizza box the same way again. You won’t waste two hands on that when you can use just one. You hold that large pepperoni pizza box like a tray! And at your next Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll be able to survey the dining table and know exactly how to get it all to the kitchen in as few trips as possible. Stack those plates, line them up on your arm, grab four wine glasses by the stem and watch how impressed your great Aunt Fanny will be.
*Waiting tables may also give you varicose veins, a habit of eating dinner way too late, and a severe dislike of the general population, but let’s just focus on the positive, shall we?