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N8's Narrative

Page history last edited by zodiacno9@... 11 years, 7 months ago

A Day in the Life of a Server...



"Hey, how are you...." Tea, I'll have a tea and she'll have a Coke. Ok I will be right back with that for you. Now what I wanted to say after I was interupted was I am doing fine thanks for asking, my name is Nate and I'll be talking care of you tonight. For those of you have never worked in a restaurant I dare you to give it a try at some point in your life. Working in a restaurant gives everyone a whole new perspective. Now don't get me wrong there are days that I love my job, but there are always those people no matter what that ruin your day!


As a server I feel like people look at me like their servant sometimes. In a way I kind of am but I would prefer not to be treated like dirt.


The movie Waiting is pulled right out of the industry and I love it. Now this is what my days are usually like, a day in the life of a server.


7:45 I find myself repeatedly hitting the snooze button yet another time before I crawl out of bed.


8:15 I wake up and take the dogs out, make lunch for my wife, make breakfast.


8:30 Eat breakfast.


8:45 I kiss my wife goodbye and tell her to have a good day at work.


9:15 Balance the checkbook and check my email.


9:30 Start homework


11:30 Eat Lunch, and head to work


12:00 Clock in, and get started


12:10 Get my first table here we go: Hey, how are you guys today? My name is Nate, and I will be taking care of you today. Can I start you out with something to drink?

"I will have a water with lemon, and I will have an Iced Tea.

I will be right back with that for you.


12:11 Drop off the drinks, are you guys all set to order or do you need another minute?

We are ready...I will have the JD chicken sandwich with fries. I will have the Pecan Crusted chicken salad.


12:20 Drop of the food, Can I get you guys anything else? No it looks good thank you.


12:35 Can I take these plates out of the way for you guys? 


Can I get you anything else?

No, thank you

Ok, (drop the check), I will leave this here for whenever you guys are ready.


12:37 Take the check, run credit card and return it, Thank you, very much you guys have a great day!


12:40 Clean the table. Close out the check and look at the tip like every server does. The bill was 16 dollars and they left me a 5 dollar tip. A very nice way to start out the day. That was a good table and the day proceeds mostly the same until I get that table.


2:45 That table, here we go:

First, let me describe that table so that you can get a feel of what I am talking about. They walk in and don't even acknowlegde the host/hostess, and seat themselves. The host comes over and gives them menus which they snatch out of their hand and say uh can we get a server over here.

(While all of this is unfolded I am watching what is going on and realize that they are sitting at my table.)

Now I am trained to not judge tables from the moment they walk in, but come on it is really hard not to. I have been doing this for 8 years and I know people.

Ok here were go:(I am telling myself be nice smile) Hi, How... "It's about time, ya I want a water. I want a Coke. I want a sweet tea. 

I am sorry we don't have sweet tea.

You don't have sweet tea what kind of restaurant is this? UGH I'll have a Coke.

(On my way back to the kitchen I am trying not to lose my cool in the dining room) 

What I wanted to say when I was interrupted was oh I am doing great thanks for asking an my name Is Nate and I'll be taking care of you, or, I would have like to walk away mid sentence and came back and said," Can we try this again, How is everyone doing today? My name is Nate and I'll be taking care of you.

I get in the kitchen and I lose it: Are you effing kidding me? Oh I am sorry that I inconvenienced your day. I am the manager here and I am responsible for everything. Yay I love dealing with people.


2:47 Back to the table with the drinks (the whole time telling myself be nice and smile)

(Setting down the drinks) Here you go.

UGH! No Sweet Tea!

Are you all set to order?

No, we need a few minutes, go ahead run along.


2:48 Back into the kitchen: "Oh, you need a few minutes why don't you take ten to look over the menu. Your service just went from excellent to absolute shit!"


3:00 Back to the table: Is everyone ready?

Yes, we are what took you so long?

You said you need some time, I am sorry I took too long for you. What is everyone having?

Give me the Pecan Chicken salad no bleu cheese, dressing on the side, no oranges, no cranberries, and give me grilled chicken instead.

Give me the JD burger extra extra well done and you better make sure its done. (Yes, because I cook your damn food)

I want the JD Chicken make sure the chicken is well done, I don't want veggies give me fries, and no JD Glaze on it either!

(Smile, Nathan, Smile) Ok, I will put that right in for you.


3:04 Put in the order which takes me about 3 minutes because of all the SI's (special instructions).


3:20 Bring out the food: Here we are everyone

My burger isn't done enough.

Ma'am you didn't even cut into it or take a bite

I just know take it back right now and make sure it is done.

Ya my chicken isn't done enough either!!


3:21 Back to the kitchen: Hey guys i need these cook more they say they are not done enough, I know they are extra well, I know, humor me please.


3:27 Back to the table: Can you guys try these to see if they are better.

Ya they will do.


3:28 To the kitchen: (By this time I know my tip is out the window so I don't even care anymore, but I still give them decent service)


3:35 Still doing good over here?

Give us our checks and I wanna see a manager!!

(Yay this oughta be fun!)


3:36 Print out their checks, and grab my manger.


3:37 Listen while they bash me at the table to my manager trying to get free food.


3:45 My manager tells me we are not giving them anything for free that they are rude and inconciderate and hands me the checks to process payment.

(This puts a smile on my face)

I process the payment and bring it back to them: You all have a good day!


3:50 Go back to the table to clean it off which takes me a good 5 minutes because of the mess they made.


3:55 Check the tip: Total bill $32.00 tip $0.


*For those of you who don't know as servers we pay tipshare to our host and bartender, which is 3% of our sales. So 3% of that 32.00 goes to them and I still get nothing. So I just paid to wait on those people, and I only get paid $4 an hour so I didn't make anything! I go through shit like this almost everyday of my life and I am very passionate about it. I love that my job pays my bills but people like that don't deserve to come out to eat!!






N8's Space 


Sue's feedback page 

N8, as I was reading your narrative, I had a good laugh!  Do people actually treat you this way, or was it just a story? I did not realize that being a server was so much work, if it is indeed a true story.  I don’t think I would be happy with the “tipshare”, to me it seems so unfair. Anyway, great story.


Comments (2)

ShareRiff said

at 11:14 pm on Sep 14, 2009

I love the time stamp device--it provides a structure. I can imagine that you will be able to create some intense tempo shifts now that you have created this simple but interesting and unique metric to work with/against.

Christina Hagan said

at 7:39 pm on Sep 15, 2009

I love the service industry questions throughout the paragraph and no the people are always right when they are customers. The interesting thing is I believe customers really don’t know how much the servers go through with everyone like a big circle around a playground. Maybe just mention more about the people and how sometimes they are nice in the beginning and then their attitudes change throughout the night.

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