Emily Aiken ’20, Editor in Chief
I have never been much of a people person. I hate dealing with confrontation, so I never thought waitressing would be a job for me. But after searching for jobs at the beginning of 2018 and finally getting a call back from Senate Coney Island, I knew this had to change. After pulling into the parking lot for training that cold February day, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
For the most part, waitressing seemed easy; take people’s orders and bring their food out. Piece of cake, right? Not quite. I had to learn the menu pretty quickly. After just one day of training, they threw me out on the floor to waitress all by myself. As someone who struggles with anxiety, this was pretty scary.
I probably made a hundred mistakes. I forgot to put chicken on someone’s salad, mixed diet pepsi and regular pepsi, and I even dropped a plate of eggs. I would explain to people that I was new, and for the most part, people were pretty understanding. However, there was this one couple, who probably come into the restaurant at least once a day. They are, to say the least, very picky. You cannot touch their lemon, the smallest amount of dirt on a knife is a no go, and if you pick something up from the floor, you better wash your hands. They came in during my first shift and the pressure I felt skyrocketed even more. They stared me down as I did my job. I dropped a napkin and the women yelled, “Throw it away and wash your hands, young lady!” I went home that night with $100 in my pocket and tears in my eyes.
I continued to work there and kept learning the ins and outs of waitressing. I came to many realizations. One of which is that people are picky about the weirdest things. People have complained to me about the number of noodles in their soup, the way our onions are cut, even regarding the way I wear my hair. And it gets even worse. Some men can be creepy, and they think that because you are serving them, they are entitled to ask for whatever they want. An older man once asked me for my phone number, and I turned him down as politely as I could, but then he didn’t tip me. This man like to hit on all of the waitresses, and after being rejected, he continues to come in all the time.
My experience as a waitress is something that I never thought would happen. It taught me a lot about people, but it is time to move on. I quit the job because of the stress it caused me, and I will probably never go back to waitressing. If you are considering being a waiter, make sure that you are a people person and you can handle pressure
Photo courtesy of Creative Opera