You know You’ve worked in hospitality when…
… Your first instinct at any café is to help clear up tables or at least help organize finished plates. Even if they were not yours.
…You always end up sitting waiting longer than other customers to order because you don’t want to disturb the waiter that’s obviously super busy.
…You wouldn’t dream of complaining unless something was really terrible. You just don’t want to be THAT customer.
…You always remember to compliment the food or the staff for the good parts, because you know how much that means.
Working those shitty low paid jobs in either hospitality or some other under appreciated work industry does give you something. If not a full on schedule with looong hours then at least some perspective on things. It teaches you consideration.
Since I’ve been a part of the ungrateful world of hospitality most of my working years, I’ve dealt with a lot (a LOT) of customers. Every time you have to deal with one of those rude, not understanding people I always immediately know, that they have never had a shit job like this themselves. A shit, underpaid, always (!) understaffed, high pressure job where you get to run hectically around on your feet 8+ hours a day. And where some customers, not many at all, but some – do everything they can to destroy your mood by acting like they are the most important person in that place. Yes, I am talking to you guy-that-can’t-wait-two-more-minutes-to-order-since-I-had-to-walk-5-coffees-first. And you Lady-who-sits-down-at-only-dirty-table-in-entire-cafe-and-immediately-demand-me-to-come-clean-it. Also you Instagram-hipster-freak-that-has-to-complain-at-busiest-hour-that-avocado-is-not-as-beautifully-cut-as-usual. Some people do not think before they demand. They don’t consider how their actions are only making things more complicated for an already high-pressured staff member. Like, does it really matter that much if you have to wait those extra minutes and then instead get a smiling waitress with time to focus on your order? No, right?
The perspective you gain from working a job like that is not to be underestimated. This is a high value qualification I am talking about! Knowing when to be patient. Respecting the people trying to service you. Considering the situation before demanding your “rights” as a customer. That is complete bullshit if you ask me. Just because you are entitled to get service straight away or not wait more than 10 minutes to get your food, does not entitle you to put your manners aside and be a dick about it.
The customer is always right. Yes, yes I get it. But they’re not. Most of the time they are so wrong!
And that is exactly why I absolutely LOVED working at a nightclub a few years back. The customers here are mostly drunken idiots who I was obviously expected to respect – but not take any disrespect from. That means I was allowed to tell any customer to get out of my face if they were annoying – yes, even refuse them service if the bullshit wouldn’t stop. See, this is my kind of hospitality work!
I’ve have still learned my lesson. And gained an important amount of perspective. And I will be forever grateful for that! Now, I only hope that everybody that ever worked a shit job like that at some point in their lives will remember what it was like to be in that position. And see if it changes how you treat people providing you a service.