Wednesday, December 16, 2009

20 Things I Have Learned Waiting Tables

1. Mexicans are the ones cooking all your meals when you're eating out, so be nicer to them, they work harder than you do. And yes they deserve to stay in this country, so just leave them alone already.
2. Some people rely on a bus to get to work, you probably don't. Be thankful.
3. Just because we wait tables does not mean that we are not smart, did not go to college, or are failures in the game of life. Be careful who you stiff, you might end up in our shoes one day.
4. Even though you drive a Mercedes, have a important looking American Express card, and wear a nice suit. Guess what: I did not put my lipstick on this morning praying that you would walk into my restaurant. Get over yourself.
5. It takes a lot of different people, from different classes, races, backgrounds, and educations to make this country work. It takes that much just to make a restaurant work. Everyone is important
6. Our differences are what makes us interesting. And American. I love the fact that I am living in San Antonio and learning what it's like to grow up in Iran.
7. Worrying about getting sick is really stressful. Every time you eat out, the people who are serving you your cokes and breadsticks do not have healthcare and 90% of them cannot afford to go to the doctor if they get sick. They also cannot afford to miss work. They also do not get sick days. Do the math. Get sick = stay home = miss work = get fired
8. If you want something done perfect, be prepared to wait a little bit. The perfect bloody mary takes at least 3-4 minutes to make. Patience is a virtue.
9. I'm sorry, I don't know what you ordered the last time you were in here. I've only been here a week. I have no idea who you are. Use your brain. It's there to help you.
10. No I do not feel belittled that you have a nice job, we are the same age, you work for my boyfriend's firm, and the last time you saw me I had some glamorous job and now I'm waiting tables. I'm over it and am actually amused that you are finding yourself feeling so self-important right now. The joke is on you.
11. It is customary to tip a waiter between 10-15%. Just in case you didn't know, minimum wage for tipped jobs is $2.13 hour. Women are always the worst tippers. Unless they have waited tables before. We can tell.
12. Economics is the most important class you can take in college. Let me say this again, economics is the most important class you can take in college.
13. If you are typically a picky eater, or not the adventurous type, ordering something you can't pronounce has the disadvantage of not always being what you expect. Read the menu.
14. Cream of Broccoli soup is Cream of Broccoli soup. It tastes like pureed broccoli. You should expect this from the name.
15. I firmly believe that everyone should wait tables once in their life. Preferably in high school or college. You will learn way more working at a restaurant that at some fancy internship. Trust me, I've done both.
16. The waitstaff probably IS talking about you behind your back.
17. Intro to Communication is the second most important class you can take in college. I am amazed at how poorly people communicate. Ordering food should be so simple. You communicate to me, I communicate to kitchen, you get what you communicated to me. I do not read minds.
18. Saying 'thank you' is not just a lackadaisical figure of speech. It actually means something. When I tell you thank you, it's because your tip helps me put food on my table and helps pay my bills.
19. We all make mistakes. Relax.
20. The people at the gas station, bringing you water with extra lemons, checking your tickets stub at the movie theater, they are real people. It's ok to interact with them. They are humans just like you.


  1. Great read. I've always had the same view that everyone should have to work as a waiter once in their life. Nothing is more humbling.