By Mir
June 21, 2011

I’m over at Off Our Chests, today, talking about what I learned from my long-ago stints as a waitress. I’m guessing there are worse jobs to have, but waitressing was definitely the worst job I, personally, have ever had.

Like anything else that doesn’t kill you, though, it probably made me stronger. Or at least cognizant of the fact that sometimes the best choice is to just be nice, no matter what.


  1. Frank

    I am sincerely hoping the Dennys was NOT either Erie Blvd and West Genessee on the west side, or the one on Erie Blvd East near Dewitt. you being a year older than me… and me remembering how my friends and I behaved Senior year and after 1st college year. We were loud and obnoxious… but not spoiled or destructive. And be glad you didnt wait tables at the Ground Round in Fairmount….

    I respect the servers. Acknowledge I am a pain in the ass but hope I never have to do what they do, as you dont give it the just sh*ttiness it deserves. Tips start at 20% for adequate service…. it drops to 15 if it is painfully obvious they dont give a rats ass. Goes up significantly if they do a good job in my opinion.

    That said, i hate eating out with my parents. they are ‘old school’, I guess. 10% if they are lucky.. for great service. No way to get them to think otherwise. They arent being mean or anything… they just think that is the norm.

  2. Tracy B

    To me a tip is earned and should never be expected. My daughter is a manager of a fine Mexican restaurant in a large city and she has explained to me how to make sure you are giving a fair tip (if earned). Doubling the tax amount. Since our tax is almost 9% that would be about 20% and always round up. For me, because I am not a walking calculator has appreciated that little “tip” (no point intended). And now, I’m off to OFF our Chest.

  3. Jessica

    After seeing my older sister go through waitressing, I knew I could never do it without “oops, I didn’t mean to spill that on you (jerk)” incidents. Instead, since I know I can’t do what they do, I try to be an excellent tipper. I absolutely hate giving anything less than 18-20%, but have done so when service was atrocious. It takes a lot to get me to lower my tip (and I only give bad tips for things the server can control, such as taking our order and never returning to our particular table — neither the server nor the person she was training ever came back once), but very little to get me to raise it. We’ve been known to leave $10 for a $25-30 meal when service was wonderful, just to let the server know we appreciated their hospitality. (Hospitality is much, much different than normal service.)

    I work in a state where servers make at least regular state minimum wage, which is currently the same as federal minimum wage. I’ve lived in two other states where the servers made pocket change and counted on tips to make up the difference. In my current state, they make as much as I currently do at my part-time job (I’m back in school for a second degree that I hope will be worth more than my first one, so there aren’t many jobs willing to work around that. Thus, I work on campus. Ugh.)

  4. Daisy

    Waitressing is one job I don’t do well. My hearing impairment is a definite down side. “French dressing? Oh, I thought you said Ranch!” I was a good line cook and buffet cook, though. I still make a dynamite batch of home fried potatoes – actually baked, not fried.

  5. dgm

    I could never be a server; I recognize this about myself. My worse job was in women’s retail clothing. Women would bring clothes into the dressing room by the armfuls, try them all on, and then just leave them all over that small space–inside out, makeup stained, ripped, etc. What a bunch of animals. By contrast, when I worked men’s retail the men would choose a specific thing to buy and only try it on if they had a wife or girlfriend with them. If they didn’t like it, they’d at least bring it back out.

    As a result, whenever I try clothes on at the store I hang up everything I don’t want and either give it to the dressing room attendant (if there is one) or hang it back on the racks they came from.

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