Servers are not invisible. We may seem so to those of you who can’t be bothered to greet us, as we are required to greet you — politely and with as much enthusiasm as we can muster. We are, indeed, living creatures who can be seen by most other humans. Try to be one of those humans.
Servers are not deaf. We hear you, sometimes from clear across the restaurant as you wonder, often loudly and within earshot of our manager, “Where is SHE?”, the “she” in question being the woman you chose to treat as invisible just minutes before; the person you could not take the time to interact with — so engaged were you in making that appointment for tire rotation or next week’s manicure. Try to stay focused on the task at hand. Take care of your personal business at a time when your attention is not required by others.
Servers are not psychic. We don’t know that you don’t like cheese or are allergic to mushrooms (you’re not, but that’s another story). We don’t know that you are gluten-free just by looking at you. You’d think by now we would be able to do so, but we cannot. Perhaps the next generation of servers will bridge that evolutionary gap. For now, you’ll have to actually communicate your needs to us. I know. I know. It’s annoying.
Servers are not responsible for your bad day. We don’t know that it was car trouble that brought you to our doorstep. We assume that you chose our dining establishment because you like the food. If you are nice to us, we might be inclined to recommend a reputable local mechanic. If you’re not, we’ll just direct you to the nearest Corporate Auto Center. Good luck with that.
Servers are not responsible for your horrible life, either. We don’t know that you just came from visiting your son in lock-up or that your no-good, lying ex-husband is late with the child support AGAIN. Don’t take your hard luck, your bad mood, or your poor choices out on us. We did not incarcerate your loved one, max out your credit cards, or force you into a loveless marriage. We’re just trying to eke out a living here.
Servers do not “disappear”. We have a multitude of responsibilities in other parts of the restaurant. While we can anticipate your need for, say, ketchup with your burger or an iced tea refill, we cannot stand on top of you awaiting your need for extra parsley. We have to keep up with ice, glasses, soup, lemons, garbage, coffee, utensils, salad dressings, etc., etc., etc. I could go on, but it exhausts me to think about it.
Servers are not psychiatrists. If you are a crazy person, please get the mental help that is available to you. Until such time, please stay out of public places. Please. This goes double for those of you suffering from OCD. If you want to insure that your silverware is sterile, please bring it from home. If I have to serve one more person a glass of hot water so that they may dip their fork, knife, and spoon into it, I may be forced to introduce Prozac to the soft drinks.
Servers are not babysitters. If you insist on feeding your children in a place other than your own home or your minivan, please corral them. They are your responsibility, not ours. Oh, and, while you’re at it, could you clean up after them, too? That would be swell. And before you ask, the answer is “NO!” We cannot put cartoons on the television so that little Johnny might sit quietly for 37 seconds. This is only one of the many, but possibly most important, reasons why the good people over at Apple invented the iPad. Buy one. Get yourself a cool case. Carry it with you — AT ALL TIMES!
Servers are not a dime a dozen. Good servers — the hard-working, professional ones — are not easy to come by. Not everyone can be a server, let alone a good one. Corporations and individual restaurant owners, these same people who pay us $2.13/hour, may want to bear this one in mind.