Server Problems


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think it should be a national law that every single person should have to work in retail and/or food service at least once. If you haven’t you have no idea how hard those working in those industries have it.  Here’s a few server problems you may or may not be aware of:

Your table asks you to list off all the flavors of muffins. And then asks you to list it again… and again… and again.

You get home and you’re not exactly sure what that sticky stuff on your arm is or how long its been there.

Your table sends you to get more ranch. You bring it and then they want more napkins. You get them and then they want hot sauce. By the time they leave you feel like you’ve run a marathon.

Can’t find the powdered sugar in 30 seconds? You give up and decide their french toast will just have to go without because you are way too busy to continue looking for it.

On a busy Sunday morning you need a setup for one regular coffee, one decaf coffee and three hot teas and you just want to cry because of the amount of precious time that will take.

You take an order at a table, get to the computer to type it in and suddenly can’t read your own handwriting.

That customer snapping his fingers to get your attention? If he keeps that up you’re going to snap his fingers right off (seriously please do not snap at your server, we aren’t puppies)!

Your table claims they’re ready to order but then spends ten minutes discussing what they want to order while you stand and wait.

Despite your aversion to math you can mentally calculate whether or not you received a 20% tip.

A customer takes your pen and you have to resist the urge to run after them and steal it back.

This post is MOSTLY poking fun at being a server. No worries, I’ve ever actually snapped anyone’s fingers off or run after a customer to get my pen back!

P.S. Are you Allie of Allie Explains It All? Then you need to email me because you won the Uncommon Goods Giveaway!


  1. says

    I agree everybody should have to do this. I went from working in the kids dpt of a shoe store (I hate children) to working on a deli slicing meat and cheese for nasty stuck-up people. To this day the smell of ham makes me feel sick! I always make sure I am polite to anyone serving me (esp in the food industry) as it's hard work. I also tip well cos after dealing with peoples slops you need something nice!

  2. says

    I used to waitress all throughout HS and college. I actually really loved it. I sometimes thing that I would like to go back to it. Then I realize I'm not 20 anymore and would probably be exhausted. Back then I was very lucky to work in a small town Italian Restaurant where my customers were sweet. I barely got a table full of jerks. I don't know how you do it.

  3. says

    I can only imagine how frustrating that is. It was really interesting to hear it from your side! I've never worked in foodservice, but I have in retail, so I know a little bit about what that's like :-)

  4. says

    My boyfriend was a server when he was 18, and he always says the same thing! Apparently he thinks I'm a cheap tipper, so he always gets onto me about it. I never did foodservice, but I did work in a retail store in the mall and that was downright miserable sometimes!

  5. says

    I was a server once but never again! Until you've worked as one you really never know how much hard work and effort they put in! Drinks were a nightmare though.

  6. says

    I have worked in the industry, but i have worked in places where i actually made the food from beginning to end doing way more work than servers(no offense) do in prepping everything in a place where people never think to tip. They seem to think everything comes in a package & just gets into the containers. Not the 5 hours i spent before they came in making it up.

    I am probably one of the easiest customers ever. You come bring my drink & take my order, then bring food, then bring bill. Simple, unless the waitress asks if i want another drink we never fuss. I do understand a lot of people are not that way though.

  7. says

    all of my jobs while in high school were in retail and it was so great when customers would get angry over a policy that you had no control over. one time this woman tried to return a magazine a few days after she bought it. there were huge signs plastered everywhere by the magazine stands that refunds were not allowed. she stood there and yelled at me for 5 minutes and i had to stand there and wait until she was done because i wasn't allowed to argue with them.

  8. says

    I loled at the 'can't read your hand writing' because I've had that problem at school with patients. There were quite a few times I could not understand what I wrote. I think I am a pretty good customer. I hate complaining though about food because I feel bad for the waiter. However if the food is hard as rock, cold or under cook and since I'm paying for it I defiantly want it to be decent. I but I really hate to report back to the server as I know it was not his or her fault and they are busy. I really enjoyed my cashier job and the hectic-ness involved.

    I grab your button girly!

  9. says

    lol This is precisely why I ALWAYS leave at least 20%. I am guilty of the "may I have more ranch" and while they are gone I relaize we never got extra napkins so I ask for more of those :(

  10. says

    Aw, you poor thing! I can't believe you put up with this. I would get fired immediately. In fact, I'd bring so much sass to my interview I'd never get hired in the first place.

  11. says

    Oh, dear GAWD! Do people actually snap at you? That is just so damn rude. I would give you complete permission to snap back… or better yet, bite them on the snapping finger. LOL!! I used to work at an Italian restaurant as a hostess (and would occasionally serve, but mostly counters if the waitresses were really busy) and I saw a lot of sh** that went down. But mostly I decided that some customers are just complete d-bags.

    Congrats to Allie on the majorly awesome win!

  12. says

    I would pay no attention to someone who snaps their fingers at me, and then when they ask why you didn't come to their table, comment on how you thought they were calling for a dog.

    When I used to bus tables I would always wonder how long the sweet & sour pork sauce was all over my arms or shirt. 'Tis the life!

  13. says

    I do not miss my days in the restaurant but the servers LOVED it! They have been there forever and make bank. But it was a four star restaurant so maybe that makes a difference? Although, there are always rude people who snap no matter where you go.

  14. says

    i've never workeed at retail unless you count McD's in high school…if my manager asked me to smile one more time…argghhh i wanted to kill him! But yeah i've seen some rude customers…not cool!

  15. says

    Oh goodness! I've never been a waitress but I have worked at a bookstore. I don't think I could ever be a waitress!! the bookstore alone was enough to turn me off retail – Don't yell at me because the newest harry potter book hasn't come out yet…I CAN'T CONTROL THAT.

  16. says

    My pet peeve when I was a waitress were the tables who kept asking for new things every time I brought them something, like you said. HATE HATE HATE! I was lucky I never got snapped at though hahaha

  17. says

    I don't have much retail/waiting experience, but I did work concessions for the Mariner's as a fundraiser when I was playing basketball in community college. We had to card people who looked under 40 and they had to take their IDs out of the wallet. It was such a hassle. And all the men, especially, hated us for it.

  18. says

    I'd like to add: that stench that's a mix of grease (fried, flat top grill, spattered on the walls), bread yeast, and dirty mop water that can never be washed out of your uniform. The worst. "grew up" in the service and retail industries. Even when the service is actually bad I give a 20% tip. I have horror stories from waiting tables. And as a customer you never know what your server is going through and you don't think about how 5 different orders of hot beverages is not an easy task. Also, I'm willing to bet that my 20% tip will be one of a few since so many people flat out refuse (clearly never worked as a waiter) to give that much. Sigh.

  19. says

    I so agree with you! While I've never been a server, I did work in a movie theater once and man, it really gives you an appreciation for the people in the service industry! I find myself so much more patient now.

    I can't wait for the day you can get out of the service indsutry, Krysten! I mean, you always have to work with customers in any job but it's nothing like this!

  20. says

    This is great! I was never a server, but I WAS a hostess and the servers would always come up to me and hang out and talk about this stuff especially their pens and oh boy Sunday mornings were the worst!

  21. says

    i totally agree. everyone should have to work in food service. not only does it make you appreciate the people serving your food, but i think it's very educational! i'm much more patient in my life in general because i worked as a waitress. i am also militant about making sure everyone i'm with leaves a 20% tip–you have to be a real jerk to get any less.

  22. says

    I am aware of all of these things and I try not to do them. Sometimes the server has an awesome pen and I want it so bad but I resist because I know how awesome it is to have a good pen.

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