Life as a waiter What does it mean by calling a person a waiter? It’s a name been called for the servant that’s his job made to serve others and take their orders. Life as a waiter has multiple advantages. Not that it is all pleasure and no hard times or bad days. Its greatest advantage is the crowd of people one meets. Waiters can see many people pass them every day in their job life. As a waiter does not meet them at a social level, there is no question of being involved. Nobody seems to mind the waiter.
People sit and talk over cups of coffee and plates of sandwiches, over hamburgers and lunches and dinners and they pay little heed to the shadow figure hovering around their table, catering to their requirements and bringing things to and from. The waiter will do his best to get the maximum tip from the customers. They might like the service or sometimes they might not and leaving the waiter with a small change or sometimes they leave the waiter with nothing. The costumers discuss business deals and family affairs; they discuss problems, delinquent children as well as courtships and marriages.
A waiter can, if he so desires, become a very knowledgeable person simply by listening to these conversations. He also learns about the happenings in town and may become the best informed person regarding the scandals, next perhaps only to the barber. I worked as a waiter last summer. I took this job up as a temporary measure when I had just finished school and was on the lookout for an opening. I worked for four months, everyday, and from 7PM until 3AM in the morning. By the end of my shift I would be dead tired, but that wasn’t a barrier to stop me from having a social life with my friends.
Even though it was so late, but all the waiters will hang out with their friends especially with the other waiters and to get all together. The next day a fresh day and waiters can’t afford to begin their day lazily for it stretches into the night. Yet waiters are seen as being very lazy. They are required to be at the work place early, at least an hour before the opening hour. Usually their shift starts at the evenings. But some waiters work in the morning shift. So by nine the day beings with cleaning and polishing of the tables and the silvers.
Except for one or two stray clients, the real arrival of customers is only at about 11:00 am. For about half-an-hour or a little later students from the university, businessmen, office workers and bank employees turn up. Other periods of peak activity are the lunch time from about 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and then the evenings from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm or so. When I worked as a waiter I didn’t really care very much for the rush hours in terms of work, but it is the best time for tips – all kinds of tips – money and information.
As for work, one is kept on one’s toes, rushing to and from and often there are quarrels and violent disagreements in the kitchen when everyone wants to get his order complied with first, when the cooks are also hot and harassed and the manager is also curt and impatient. What can make it a disaster is messing up with the orders and that happens many times. The manager has to get in the middle and explains to the costumers the reasons for the tardiness on their order.
My job becomes very difficult at such times for inside the kitchen I have to be aggressive or the cooks would not attend to me at all, and outside the kitchen I have to be polite and courteous, the perfect gentlemen-waiter. It’s all about the business and the manager would be watching us all the time to make sure we do our job perfectly. So a complete switch-over of behavior has to take place. But towards that the waiters get to relax during lunch hours, one can relax for by then only the leisurely business crowd is left.
They linger over their meals when they want to strike a deal. It is a tithe that they reveal a great deal about investments. (And one can benefit from eavesdropping. ) Moreover, if the deal is an important one, the host is liberal with tips which it’s a good day for the waiter. At lease that how it was for me when I get such a table. Besides the businessmen, people who tip fairly handsomely are young lovers or a mature couple celebrating an anniversary. Never expect anything from college students. I’m a college student now and I know life is hard at this time.
We “the waiters” used to misjudge the college students but now I get it, there is a saying: you don’t know it till you try it. But those in love “the lovely couples” have eyes for nothing else but each other and in their joy they want to share their happiness. Everyone loves a lover. One time I asked an old waiter that used to work in our cafe for a long time about interesting stories and he said that he had often watched love traveling its normal course through desire, happiness, courting, adoration, worry and uncertainly towards love and maturity and marriage.
They started as a normal couple then they made the cafe their favorite place to meet and their love grow bigger and bigger and their story is having a happy ending. What waiters hate the most is the late hour when the customers do not move, when perhaps only those who have no homes linger in restaurants. The waiters have to find a way to get them to order something or leave. In case they didn’t order anything then they need to leave and stop reserving the table for no reason.
It sounds easy but the waiter needs to be polite and get that person out in a polite way and good manners. Waiters are human beings and needs to get appreciated more by some others. They have a heavy task everyday to please the costumers and in the hunt for their tips. Every day is different and it would be a new experiment. But by the end of the evening, everyone is tired and ready to sleep, ready also never to think of becoming a waiter. Yet the next morning the day begins and one is back at work! This is the law of nature.