Servers Are Not…


abgserversarenotServers 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.

16 thoughts on “Servers Are Not…

  1. Sisters From Another Mister says:

    THIS! This drives me crazy every day … and in Boca, people can be oh so very rude.
    I waitressed throughout college and oh the stories I can tell … like allowing a very hot mushroom steak silde into a guys lap because he had grabbed my *ss – I was 16.
    When we are in a coffee shop/restaiurant/store I tell my girls to look for the persons name, if they are wearing a tag, we should address them by name … cell phones are not allowed when being served and so on … common courtesy!
    My kids know they pick up and clean up wherever we go – even movie theaters …

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    • javaj240 says:

      Most people really are great. Unfortunately, the ones we remember, memorialize, even, are the ass grabbers, the cheapskates, and the high-maintenance folks who make our lives miserable. Working with the public is not for the faint of heart or the overly sensitive, that’s for sure! Thanks for doing your part to make the world a better place for servers and minimum wage workers the world over! We really do appreciate it 🙂

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  2. Whenever I ‘serve’ as a substitute teacher, I always tell the young students after they receive their lunches to say thank you to the cafeteria workers. The respect in customer and ‘server’ relationship must be fostered early on and so often it’s not.
    I worked in a bakery all through high school and many folks were kind, others were not. The ‘nots’ always made me feel small. Looking back, I wish I would have had the confidence to say ‘respectful’ things in turn.
    Today, when my family goes out to eat, my children (and the husband and I) – order politely with please and thank you’s, we ‘clean up’ our area (don’t leave a horrible mess) and we all push in our chairs.
    AnnMarie 🙂

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    • javaj240 says:

      I love that you foster that relationship, both in your personal life and your professional one. The sad reality is that most people are nice, polite, and respectful, but the ones who are not tend to be the ones that make us feel small, degrade what we do, and, are the ones that we tend to remember. I enjoy 95% of my customers. I really do. They’re just not as much fun to write about, LOL!

      Thanks for doing your part, though. this server truly appreciates it 🙂

      Like

      • Many folks are nice and you’re absolutely right – we remember the ones who aren’t – they stick with us like a bad smell. And ‘they’ do make for great story telling 😉
        My 16-year-old daughter is learning much about people now. She began her first ‘real’ job this summer at Kmart. She’s already tired of the folks who leave clothes all over the dressing room floor 🙂
        AnnMarie 🙂
        Enjoy the weekend – hopefully your get to relax 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My son has been working in restaurants for 3 years now, as part of a training programme, and I’ve just sent him this – he agrees wholeheartedly!

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  4. If only! I was a proud, professional server for many years and I get it. People suck to servers. Some don’t, most do. I could tell you some stories. My daughter is one now working through college and the stories she tells me! It sounds like it’s just getting worse.

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    • javaj240 says:

      I’ve been in this business for over 30 years — people are definitely getting worse. What I’ve noticed is that more and more people have such a sense of entitlement. It borders on the ridiculous.i blame their Mommies — and the guy who coined the phrase “The customer is always right.” Yeah, I’d like to strangle that guy.

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  5. nice post! nice blog!

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  6. Karen T says:

    as usual great writing and oh so truthful/ if only those who dine out would read this blog!!!!!

    Like

  7. Michelle says:

    This is awesome. And SO MANY PEOPLE need these reminders.

    Like

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