On Being a (Bad) Waitress

Source: favim.com
Source: favim.com

I’ve recently started working at a small restaurant and have realized that I am a bad waitress. Don’t get me wrong–I do my job well, eagerly do whatever is asked of me, barely screw up orders, and behave in the most polite way possible. Aside from a few minor mixups, I hardly have problems waiting on tables. But I still believe that while I’m adequate, and occasionally maybe even good, I’m definitely not the best fit.

The reasons that I’ve come to this conclusion are as follows:

1. I get very, very nervous

I don’t know what I’m scared of here, but when handling even the remotest of responsibilities, I tend to freak out. Even when I’m not doing much, I get stressed out very rapidly, though I manage to keep a calm exterior (as far as I know). This leads me to point #2…

2. I am a hyper-perfectionist

This is NOT to say that other members of the waitstaff are not dedicated to providing the best service. All I’m trying to say is that even the most minute slip-ups have a huge effect on me. I want everything to go perfectly, even if that’s impossible, and when I feel that I’ve messed up in some–any–way, I get very upset.

3. I am easily overwhelmed

Inevitably, here’s what usually happens to me: two or three tables will walk in at the same time, I’ll freak out, the computer will crash while I’m inputting orders, another table’ll walk in, I’ll fall behind, and then everybody thinks I can’t do it. Admittedly, I’m not the best multi-tasker. I’d rather hone all of my energy on one thing at a time, but obviously I can’t. Point is, it doesn’t take much to overwhelm me, and sometimes (most times) I need help to catch back up.

4. I’m not terribly sociable

I envy the waitresses that can gracefully interact with people. While I am able to be social, I don’t really enjoy it. Sure, a positive experience with a table can make me feel better, but I get kind of nervous every time I have to greet a new table (see item #1). It’s not in my nature to reach out to others, so it doesn’t seem like I’d be the first pick as a self-proclaimed-not-social-introvert.


 

Despite all of my shortcomings, I am so glad that I took this as my first job. Sure, the pay isn’t always fantastic, but I’m already taking so much away. I’m learning how to work as part of a team, how to provide good customer service, how to work efficiently, and how to deal with people. I firmly believe that in a few more months, I’ll be a better worker, a better multi-tasker, and an altogether less socially-anxious person. And, hey, making money doesn’t feel too bad either!

~Natalie

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