Washing the ranch dressing out of your hair after a long shift is not what most people have to deal with in their profession. While finding ranch and guacamole in the strangest of places, servers in restaurants put up with it with the biggest of smiles. Most of the time those big smiles are fake, but what is real is that they live off of the tips they receive from their tables.
The life of a server is interesting. One minute a server can be having a smooth shift and next they can find themselves on the receiving end of the wrath of an angry mother whose child they forgot to sing happy birthday to.
Forgetting to force a group of your co-workers to sing the birthday song might have been the worst thing that has happened in the world, but now your mind is only on one thing.
The tip percentage on that table just went way down, all because of a forgotten free scoop of ice cream.
What most don’t realize is that servers are only paid in their tips. By the time Uncle Sam comes around to collect all of his taxes, a server’s paycheck is close to nothing.
When local server Amanda Severance was asked if she would work her job if she were not allowed to receive, her response was short and simple.
“No. Never in a lifetime,” Severance said.
While being under tipped is frustrating, Severance describes that being treated poorly by her tables is worse.
“The most difficult part is just taking whatever the customers say to me, even if it’s extremely rude, and acting like it’s okay and not snapping at them,” Severance said.
Another local server, Cassie Oniell agrees that not being treated nicely takes a toll on her while at work.
“The most frustrating part of my job is people who are angry and mean and don’t want to be happy. So no matter how good you are at your job or how much attention you give them they still aren’t pleased or satisfied,” Oniell said.
Looking into the mind of a customer who has had a bad experience, Simi Valley native Camille Mestaz said that, “I’ve had bad server a lot of times. Sometimes I think they just get busy.”
Sometimes obstacles get in the way of a server giving you extraordinary service, but if during the dinner rush your server did not have a nervous break down and you received all of your food in an appropriate time, call it a win and tip the suggested 15 percent.
While your seventh Diet Coke refill may seem very important to you at the time, do not throw a fit when your server is not able to fetch it for you right away. They might have just gotten three new tables, and that kid’s birthday is still being ruined by lack of free ice cream.
So the next time you sit down to figure out the appropriate tip for your server, think about all of the things your server did you make your dining experience special. The people who work in the service industry try very hard to give good customer service and have to make a living off of their tips. Coming home with ranch dressing in your hair and reeking of chicken strips after a shift is just a badge of honor that comes with job.
Published February 4th, 2015