Sometimes, being a woman in the Service industry is hard. Sometimes, being an opinionated feminist in the Service industry is even harder. Here are some suggestions when you have a sneaking suspicion your server is the latter:
Thou shall remember my name. I am going to provide you with a service, and it is important to remember what name to shout as you express your “NEED” for a Diet Coke.
Thou shall not call me like a dog, even if you forgot my name. Feel free to use words like “Miss,” “Ma’am,” “Sir” – really, an “Excuse me” would be the best. Once you start snapping your fingers and whistling at me? My tunnel vision focuses on anything except you.
Thou shall be aware of your surroundings. If I am in conversation with other people — you know those folks sitting at tables all around you? — no amount of snapping, staring, or obnoxious “Hey Miss” exclamations are going to cause me to stop the conversation I am participating in order to address your concerns. I will be there in a moment or two. Trust.
Thou shall be patient. The draw of going out to eat is that you do not have to cook nor clean up after your meal. The drawback is that someone does need to do both of those tasks. Tapping the face of your watch will not make your chicken breast grill faster. Tip deduction jokes don’t either.
Thou shall regard me as a human being. I am a person who is just like you, except you are at a restaurant. and I am at my job. Remember when that rude, impatient person spoke down to you at work and it made you feel crappy? Now channel those feelings into some empathy for others.
Thou shall remember your manners. I don’t particularly care that you think you are better than me; you owe me common courtesy. Let it rain “please” and “thank you.” Thank you.
Thou shall keep critiques of my appearance to themselves. You think I need to wear more makeup? Style my hair differently? Lose a few pounds? I also think these things about you, but being at work, I cannot let my mouth diarrhea get the best of me. Could you please return the favor?
Thou shall not give me a pet name. I am not your “honey,” “sweetie,” “baby,” “girlie,” or any other weird name lovers give each other when they are touching private parts. I am your waitress, not your “dollface.”
Thou shall not insinuate that my job is not “real.” A real job is a place that pays you to perform a task. I promise I am paid to be here. You also may think that serving is not a job worthy of your respect, but after the eight hour shift on my feet -I walk about 9 miles per shift- an image of you sitting behind a desk tapping a keyboard in your khakis makes me think that you, in fact, need a real job. It would probably improve your attitude.
Thou shall tip appropriately. “I don’t tip” people need to GTFO. I make five dollars an hour because my work is based off of tips. If you know that you will not be tipping me, you should let me know as soon as you sit down. Oh don’t worry, I’ll serve you still. But that service will take a back seat to folks who understand that I too, have a mortgage and a car payment. Can’t tip 18%-20%? Stay home. We will all be happier for it.