Eat & DrinkWorkers Rights

5 Things That Can Ruin a Server’s Day Before the Restaurant Even Opens

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Far too often, customers are the scapegoat for making the day of a restaurant server a miserable one. But alas, dear customers, for it is not only you who know how to spoil a shift. We servers are quite capable of having a soul-crushing shift and it might have absolutely nothing to do with you.

It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword and that is 100% true when we get to work to discover that our favorite pen has leaked into our apron. Now we get to spend the remainder of our shift, not only missing our favorite writing utensil, but we also have to go rinse out our apron in a futile attempt at removing a 10-hour-old ink stain. And then we get to wear that damp apron all day long. Not your fault, customer.

There’s nothing like getting to work and inhaling the wonderful scent of fresh coffee. Except it’s not fresh coffee, it’s the opposite of that. A coworker last night left two inches of coffee in the pot on the burner and overnight that java congealed into a thick puddling-like mixture and burnt to a crisp in the coffeepot. The odor is rancid and it’s tempting to just throw the pot into the garbage rather than try to scrape it clean. Nobody’s fault except whoever closed the night before.

Sometimes at the end of a shift, mousetraps are placed around the restaurant to ensure a rodent-free eating experience for diners. When those mousetraps are successful, it’s the first thing noticed at work the next day. We get to start our day by disposing of a poor little creature that was just stirring about trying to subsist on crumbs of croutons and leftover french fries. It’s a horrible way to start the day that has nothing to do with customers.

Not that Office Assistants or Teachers don’t deserve a national day of recognition, but those days are hard to get through as a server. The restaurant fills up right at lunchtime with overzealous bosses trying to shower their employees with praise and half-priced appetizers. The check totals are pitiful because there’s never any alcohol allowed and the person who’s paying is trying to save money. Having to prepare for a gaggle of teachers as soon as school lets out can really ruin the day before it even starts.

Okay, there has to be at least one thing that sucks the joy out of a day that can be blamed on customers and this is it. If the restaurant opens at 11:00 and the server sees an eager customer impatiently pacing outside at 10:45, it’s a definite downer. And if they begin knocking on the door or tapping on the glass and pointing to their watch at 10:59, it makes things even worse. At least give the restaurant employees until opening time to slap on their customer service smile. Showing up before the restaurant is open is only going to make you irritated and the server even more irritated. This one’s on you, customers.

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Bitchy Waiter

Bitchy Waiter

Darron Cardosa is a writer, actor, singer, and waiter. He lives and and works in New York City and enjoys "The Brady Bunch," "The Facts of Life" and cocktails almost as much as he hates your baby.