5 Things No One Tells You About Waiting Tables
Waiting tables, though a noble profession it is, ultimately changes a person once they wrap that apron around their waist and begin their career. Once you’ve served food for a living for more than a few months, your DNA will change and you will realize you aren’t the same person you were before food service. Here are five things that no one tells you about waiting tables that will affect you for the rest of your life:
You will always dream about it
Everyone in the world has stress dreams and they manifest in different ways for different people. For servers it’s always the same: you’re working alone in a restaurant and there are hundreds, if not thousands of customers wanting your attention. The kitchen is miles away from your section, but it doesn’t matter anyway because there’s no one in there preparing the food you’ve ordered. You can hear the whirring of the printer as it spits out more and more food orders that will go ignored. This nightmare will regularly invade your subconscious even after you no longer work in a restaurant.
It will affect your behavior when you dine out
Once you have seen life from the other side of the menu, you will always have empathy for those who are working in the restaurant when you go out to eat. Your eyes will dart around the room seeing if customers need refills. If you hear the sound of a fork dropping to the floor, you will instinctively want to find a replacement for it. When your server is obviously overworked and behind, it will take every fiber of your being to not offer your assistance. You will never again want to ask for separate checks because you know how much you hate it when customers ask you for the very same thing. And whenever you walk into a restaurant, you will wonder how much money the servers make.
You will always have cash
Your wallet will be stuffed with bills giving the impression that you have plenty of money, but the reality of the situation is that they will all be singles. If any of your friends ever need change for a twenty, you’ll have it. If you use a laundromat that requires quarters, you won’t have to dig between the couch cushions to find them because you’ll have a huge jar of change somewhere in your home. Trips to the ATM will be unnecessary because you, my friend, are an ATM.
Your bladder control will grow exponentially
Bathroom breaks, what are those? When your section is full on a Friday night and there’s a 45 minute wait for another table, going to pee drops to the bottom of your priority list. It’s right after picking up the dessert for Table 12 but before getting a hot tea for Table 17. At first, you’ll feel your bladder pressing up against your other organs, but you’ll soon learn to ignore it. They say an empty bladder is the size of a pear, but by the end of a busy night a server’s bladder is probably closer in size to a pineapple or a small watermelon.
You don’t have to take your work home with you
Other than the errant french fry that falls into your apron and the smell of Ranch dressing that will permeate your hair and pores, you don’t really have to think about work once you take the apron off. Sure, you might suddenly remember you never took the bottle of ketchup to Table 7 or you might be jolted awake in the middle of the night by the aforementioned serving nightmare, but other than that, it’s job you can forget about once you punch out.
Waiting tables definitely changes a person. Some might think it changes them for the better while others might see it as changing them for the worse. Either way, once you do it, you are not the same person anymore.