My Worst Experience

Working within the service industry I run into allllllll types of people – with an important emphasis on all. While most of my experiences have been good, I have had my fair share of really horrible ones.

Within my three years of serving, I have cried on the job too many times to count, worked countless doubles because some people feel the need to not show up, been thrown up on, and had multiple food/drinks dropped on me. OH, and let’s not forget about the man (yes a full grown man) who tried to pick a fight with me.

Working in a restaurant/bar can be challenging when individuals have had too much to drink. They’re either having a great time or with the snap of my fingers, are angry about something… sometimes anything. One night I was managing at a restaurant I currently still work at and had sat a table of 12 in the back room. The customers were greeted, drink-orders were taken and then promptly followed by their food. Within the first 6 minutes of this group’s time, I was approached by a man who seemed very on edge. I listened to what he had to say – which was that his drink was taking way to long (apparently he had waited 10 minutes for his drink). As I looked further into the issue I noticed that the chit time for the drink was only at 4 minutes. I then went to talk to him and explain that we are very busy and since it has only been 4 minutes the bartenders would get his drink out to him as fast as they could and that unfortunately, the server can’t do too much about that. I was met with nothing but backlash. He instantly became aggressive, insulting me and began backing me into the corner of our service station. He continued to threaten me and literally said: “let’s take this outside”. All I can say is thank God for security and radios because if they didn’t come to my aide who knows what would’ve happened.

Here other servers discuss their worst experiences, so if you are a server yourself, you are able to relate.

While I would like to think that I’ve seen it all, I know I really haven’t. From all the experiences I’ve had, some of which I thought were the absolute worst,  I feel as though nothing is as bad as when a guest treats you like absolute garbage – that you’re only just a server.

If you have yet to work within the service industry, I strongly suggest you do. I find that most people who have given me a hard time, simply do not understand the industry and everything that comes into play in order to make your time, an enjoyable one.

 

Tune in next week to hear about some of my BEST experiences,

 

N.

 

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Friendships within the workplace

Some of the best ships are friendships (sorry, I had to).

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Paper boats
Miguel A. Padrinin

Getting my first job at the age of 14, I quickly realized that you have your work friends and then you have your “real life” friends. However, if you’re lucky enough to connect with someone in the workplace enough, they can quickly be integrated into both categories.

Throughout my 23 laps around the sun, I have worked alongside many different types of people, being lucky enough to maintain strong work friendships in the majority of my experiences. There are three main reasons why work friends can be better than your “real life” friends.

  1. What happens at work, stays at work. No matter what happens during a shift, your work friends are there to listen to you complain or boast about your customers. They are all ears when it comes to who you may or may not have a crush on and won’t pass judgment no matter who it may be. The best part, you have an understanding between each other that the “outside” world doesn’t need to know.

  2. Your secrets are safe with them. Whether you get into a fight with your significant other, a “real life” friend or a family member, you bet that your work friends will be there to listen and ensure to not repeat it to anyone. This is mainly because your work friends have no idea who you’re talking about, and that keeping things between the two of you is a mutual understanding.

  3. They will be your main supporters. Either a new job, promotion within that job or you were accepted to the school you applied too, work friends will always be there to give you their full support. They themselves, have a life outside work and are most often accomplishing things in this journey we call life. They support you and you support them in return, its a win-win.

With saying all this, as much as work friends are awesome, don’t forget about your “real life” friends. Both prove to be valuable as you make your way through all that life has to offer. Like I said previously, you can be lucky enough to have your work friends become your real friends and in my experience, those have been some of my relationships.

It’s important to appreciate all that the workplace has to offer, especially those you share it with.

 

See you all next week,

 

N. 

To Tip or Not to Tip?

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piggy bank with coins
skitterphoto.com

That is the question…

If you’re asking someone like myself, I will always say to tip regardless of the service. However, to someone outside of the service industry how much they tip is dependant on the level of service received from the waiter/waitress – and that is a pretty standard way to explain the tipping culture here in Canada.

In North America servers are paid significantly less compared to a minimum wage job. In Canada, servers make $12.20/hr whereas in America the government requires restaurants to pay servers $2.13/hr or to increase pay to ensure they are making at least $7.25/hr. Receiving tips is a way to make up for the loss in wages, to tip out to the kitchen and/or support staff, and to ensure the server will walk away with extra cash at the end of each shift.

In different countries, tipping standards vary. For example, in Australia tipping is not required as the average server wage is $28/hr. As well, other countries such as Hong Kong, China, Switzerland, and Belgium do not require individuals to tip either. I have personally experienced tourists from countries such as the ones listed above who don’t tip because it’s just not the norm in their society. As annoying as it is, it’s hard to hold that against them because there’s no malicious intent, they simply do not understand our tipping culture here in Canada.

If you plan to travel sometime soon make sure you are up to date on your tipping etiquette inquiries

Now let’s talk about the people that don’t tip because they were not satisfied with their experience. Those are most often the people that have never worked as a server or in the industry and don’t understand all the factors that weigh into having a good experience while out to eat. As servers a lot is out of our control – i.e., food/drink wait times or if something goes wrong on the kitchen’s end.  We are to do our best to communicate with guests as issues arise yet sometimes you have tables that do not understand and will not tip because of the smallest inconvenience.

… And then there are people that are just cheap.

For opinions other than my own listen to a radio interview between a server and a restaurant veteran/hospitality prof.

This is a topic that I could go on and on about. However, server or not some people may never understand the necessity of tipping or the industry in general. With a topic as controversial as such, it appears to me that this will always be up for debate.

If there’s one piece of advice to take out of this post, it’s to ALWAYS tip your server.

See you next week,

N.

 

Introducing ME

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My personal Instagram – Me

You may be wondering what this blog is going to be about and I’ll get to that. First, let me introduce myself – I’m N. I’m 23 years young and am just trying to get by in this crazy thing we to call Life.

To break it down: I currently live in a city with a population of roughly 388,000 people, the same city I completed my undergrad and am currently completing a post-grad in. Five years ago, I moved from a small town and immediately realized what a big city has to offer in terms of opportunities. I was able to use my new experiences gained through education and social gathering as well as the ups and downs that came along, to grow and become the person I am today. It was through these opportunities that I made friends who would ultimately introduce me into the world of serving.

After a friend suggested that I try it out because the job offered both a social aspect as well as the ability to make good money working minimum hours (which was attractive to a busy, poor student like myself), I became a server, and instantly loved it.

Three years later, I’ve worked at many different restaurants both inside and outside the city I currently live in. I have had the opportunity to become not only a server but also a bartender and a manager. It’s safe to say throughout the years and experience I’ve gained within this role,I have learned a lot about the industry, other people and ultimately myself.

I intend to use this blog to showcase the ups and downs the job holds as well as sharing my input on topics such as “tipping” and the concept of “the customer is always right”. I want to discuss how to maintain work relationships while having friendships intertwined – as it can be challenging to differentiate from the two.  I understand, like many young adults just trying to get through their education, how difficult it is to hold a part-time job on top of everything else life throws at you. Through sharing my stories I aim to relate to those who are in the same position, reminding them that although you may sometimes be treated as “just a server” you are much, much more than that.

 

Until next week,

N.