I was 18 years old, still in high school, and starting a part time job in a local restaurant & pub. I felt vulnerable and inexperienced, and I ended up with more wine on the table than in the glasses!
Lucky for me I had a very supportive boss and experienced co-workers that helped me through those first couple of days.
With no experience to speak of and clueless to all things “waitressy” those first few days were no picnic. A feller server, who trained me, made sure I wasn’t lost and made me feel secure. I’ve got mad skills when it comes to observing. I’m one hundred percent focused and fast to learn. With his help I was able to learn the menu in two days. It took me a quite a while longer to learn the beer menu! Heck, I still don’t remember half of them. I was quick as a whip and by the third day I was waiting tables like a pro.
The role of a server is not just taking an order and serving the food, it goes beyond that. The ability of multitasking, up-selling items to costumers, answering questions, customers satisfaction, and an endless supply of patience are invovled. This job is not easy, interacting with costumers is not easy, maintaining a fake smile when confronted by the rude and unsavory costumer is not easy.
I’m a very shy and sensitive person and as a waitress you have to be the total opposite. It has helped me grow. It demanded that I be more outgoing, to be less shy, and to toughen up and not take things personally.
It wasn’t always bad, especially during the high season and the restaurant was popping. I met a lot of people from all across the world. I found it so fascinating meeting people from different places, and learning about their preference sometimes about their country. The best part are your regulars. I worked at this restaurant for almost four years, and I had tons of clients. I had clients drive two hours to come eat at the restaurant and come see me, owners of other restaurants, and even clients from South Carolina come to see me. I loved seeing them each time.
I remember my very first table. My fondest memory was meeting and serving my friends from SC that very first time. They were so happy to see we carried Tito’s Vodka. That night I served Tito’s Vodka non stop. They kept coming back after that and I was their server of choice each time. They have now become like family.
I would say that making cocktails without a doubt was my favorite. It’s pretty cool mixing stuff! I can see why so many people become bartenders. The whole allure of mixology, creating a new drink, is fun. I became quite good at it. My favorite drinks to prepare and serve were Moscow Mules, Mojitos, Cosmos, and Draft beers.
I remember a client wanting a drink that no one could get right. He started telling me the first two ingredients and how much of it he wanted. I stopped him as soon as I new what he wanted. He was describing a Long Island Ice Tea. I asked him if that’s what he wanted and sure enough it was. I told him not worry that I could make one. He was very skeptical and unsure. As soon as he took a sip of the drink , he was surprised. He thanked me for making the best Long Island he had on the island.
On the other hand, tips are the best! I made a killing as a waitress. I was always shocked seeing my paycheck every week. I never thought servers made that much. It just made me love going to work more and brush off any bad day I could have.
I recommend being a server to teens who are starting to work for the first time. The money is great and it is the best time to start a savings account, especially for those in college. Thanks to my job I’ve been able to save money, buy a car and pay for college.
Sadly the restaurant closed and I no longer work as a waitress. It has been a crazy ride, but I wouldn’t change a single thing. I’m really thankful for the experience, the people I have met, friendships made and the tips saved.
Can’t wait to see what’s in store for me!
Let me know in the comments below, what was your first job?