I have been a waiter for more than 20 years. Contrary to popular belief, my job is not easy. I wish more customers could take a moment and put themselves in my shoes -- my ugly, slip-resistant pair from Payless that I am required to wear by my employer but for which they will not reimburse me.
Waiting tables is a profession that deserves more respect than it gets. Most of us have degrees. From real colleges. I have worked with people who hold graduate degrees but choose to wait tables because it's more lucrative than that MFA in Shakespearean Acting ever proved to be.
A few things that non-servers should know:
1. Read the menu. Just because we have the ingredients for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich doesn’t mean I will ask the kitchen to make one.
2. If a steak is ordered well done, please don’t ask me if they had to kill the cow first. That joke isn’t funny.
3. Water with lemon is annoying. Ask any server and they will agree with me.
4. If Cheerios are eaten as a snack by a two-year old, please do not leave them all over the floor when you go.
The next time you go out to eat, I ask that you try to imagine life on the other side of the menu. I will appreciate it, and you will probably get better service too.
The Bitchy Waiter has been waiting tables for nearly 20 years and blogs anonymously about his experiences as a server in New York City.