Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I Waited in College
Over the years working in the service industry, I have come across people who have empathized with my plight of bartending and waiting tables to make ends meet. These people feel the need to want to reach out and tell me how hard it is to do what I do, and that even though they have a "career job" now, they know what it's like to work for tips because they used to wait tables in college.
This has become almost as bad as the customer who tells me at the beginning of the meal that they are "going to take care of me." That never happens. It is the "kiss of death," and the people who waited tables in college, did just that... waited tables in college. There is a huge difference working to make money to use to go out drinking with your college buddies later that night, and waiting tables to make money to put into your bank account so you have enough to write a check to pay your landlord for rent at the beginning of every month.
"Sometimes I would not make any tips. Then I'd have to flirt with the bartender to get my drinks." Said an actual customer in my section one night. "But you gotta do what you gotta do."
I think John Gotti said the same thing before he was ratted out by Sammy Gravano. But probably not the flirting with the bartender part... at least, not until he was in jail. (Allegedly!)
Believe it or not, (college waiters,) there is a huge difference between worrying about being able to have the funds to get wasted and party with the sorority girls, and not being able to keep the power turned on in your studio apartment. Trust me, I understand the frustration of not being able to get hammered because of lack of gratuity, but when it comes down to it, you can usually work something out with your friends or bartender to help you out in that predicament. (Just ask my customer from above.) Whereas, the LADWP, or your landlord will not be as helpful and forgiving for customers not leaving you compensation for good service. They will simply tell you, "No tipps? Not my problem! Lights out!"
Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.
"Bitter. Party of one? Your table is ready."
The Bitter Bistro