Ah yes–the jobs everyone knows, but few can tolerate. Late nights. Annoying people. Lip-reading. The messed-up sleep schedule. Serving and/or bartending are hard work. They come with some sacrifices, but they also come with many perks (who doesn’t like going home with a big wallet at the end of a long day)?
After serving for almost two years and bartending for a few months, I find that most people have a hard time digesting what we do, and what we have to deal with. If you’re reading this far into this, it’s probably because you’re a server or a bartender and you can relate this far–but we’re just getting started.
1. Your sleep schedule is screwed up
The earliest you go to bed is 1 A.M. The earliest you wake up is 11 A.M (if you’re lucky). It’s the norm by now. Rolling out of bed at 2 P.M seems completely normal especially if you’re a bartender–until you realize most of the world has already gotten up, eaten, ran errands, and took a trip to Mars and back.
2. Having a Friday or Saturday night off is just weird–and when you do, you don’t take advantage of it.
Maybe it’s a BFF’s birthday, a family members wedding, or for some unknown reason you weren’t scheduled. Regardless, having a free Friday or Saturday night is almost unheard of. If you are lucky enough to have one off, you just sit around all day and do nothing because you’re so exhausted from the week. Murphy’s law working at it’s finest.
3. You over-tip at restaurants and bars
Yeah a breakup sucks, but have you ever been stiffed or way under-tipped on your shift? Sometimes it’s out of thin air, other times you can even see it coming. You would never do that when you’re out to eat, regardless of how bad your server or bartender was. $100 bill? I’m leaving $30!
4. You silently or verbally critique your server when you’re out to eat with family or friends
They didn’t greet you fast enough? Strike one. They didn’t ask if you needed change and just assumed they could keep it? Strike two. They’re no where to be found almost the whole meal? Absoultely not. No one cares to hear your commentary, but of course you say it anyway.
5. You miss every fun social event that goes on
Drinks after work? Party on Friday or Saturday night? Going out to a new bar? What is that? It definitely sucks, but you’re kind of used to it by now. Even if you’re off early…will you actually meet them out? Questionable.
6. Breaks? What are those?
If you’re not slammed with tables or customers, you’re probably re-stocking your station, or helping some other server or bartender, or closing people out. If you have time after all of that, you’ll go back into the kitchen and take bites of the mess-up food…that everyone else also eats off. A gourmet meal if I ever had one.
7. Annoying people don’t even phase you anymore.
When your friend tells you about a once in a lifetime difficult person they’ve dealt with at work? You deal with them every day, multiple times a day. You don’t bat an eye when someone sends something back, or has 132849 modifications to their order. Whatever–another day another dollar.
8. You’re a master mind and lip-reader
You’re definitely on some Raven Symone stuff when you serve or bartend. You almost always know what people are going to ask, and when they’re going to ask it. If you work at a loud restaurant or are a bartender, all you need to see are their lips moving to make a sale. Bingo!
9. Getting someone to cover your shift is like pulling teeth
If you want to go out and do something fun, trying to get someone to cover for you is near impossible. “Sorry my sister’s boyfriend fish died” seems like a valid excuse.
10. What your friends make in a two-week paycheck you make in 4 days.
One of the few things that makes working in the industry worth it–money. You may have 99 problems, but money just ain’t one.