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What Is A Waitress?

Updated on May 28, 2014

My Experience

Since I've been working as a waitress off and on for more than 10 years now, I thought I'd make a page about it.  I started working as a server because I was in school, and it was much easier to work a server schedule around school, then a retail job.  I'm also somewhat of an introvert, and I thought being a waitress might help me with that.

I've worked in everything from a diner, to a 24-hour pizza joint, to restaurant/bar combinations. Each place has it's own pros and cons, but I'll tell you this, there's more to being a waitress than meets the eye!

Photo copyright Shari O'Leary

Places I've Worked

Here's a list of the different places I've worked as a server in.

1. Flameburger - 24 hour greasy spoon diner

2. J's Pizza - 24 hour pizza restaurant

3. Pizza Factory/Adagio Lounge - Italian Restaurant with a bar attached

4. Welsch's Big Ten Supper Club - Despite the fancy name, this wasn't much more than a working man's bar/restaurant. It was complete with pool tables, video games, and dart boards.

If you want me to pick my favorite place that I've worked, I'd have to say it was the Pizza Factory/Adagio Lounge. Had kind of a "Cheers" type feel to it.

Photo copyright Shari O'Leary

Do I Enjoy This Work?

Do I enjoy working as a waitress? Yes and no. It was a great way to work a job around my schooling. Taking money home every time I worked was great too! If you're actually more introvert than extrovert like me, this is a great way to work on it.

Overall, the hours are terrible, there's no benefits in most places, and it's not an easy way to make a living. Most servers don't ever get raises either.

I guess, like every other job it has it's pros and cons. For the most part I enjoy doing the work, and I will probably continue to do it off and on whenever necessary.

Photo Copyright Shari O'Leary

The Downside

Not so fun things

When you work as a server, you need to get used to hearing the same lines over and over, especially if you work in a bar. Everyone who says a line you've already heard a thousand times, thinks they're saying it for the first time.

A lot of people think that a server is a server because they're too dumb to do anything else. To you, my humble readers, most of us are NOT stupid. We don't appreciate being treated like we are.

You need to be a maid too. Not everyone who takes their children out to eat with them, cleans up after them. Remember, you have to be nice to your customers no matter what mood you're in, your income depends on it.

Photo Copyright 100,000 Clip Art And Web Graphics

The Top 3 Things I Think You Should Know

1. Most of us are NOT stupid, and we don't like being treated like we are. Believe it or not, some people enjoy being servers.

2. Be prepared to hear a lot of the same lines over and over again. Especially if you're working in a bar.

3. Even if you're having the worst day ever, you can't let your customers know that. It affects your tips, and in some cases, you lose your job.

Photo Copyright Shari O'Leary

What Is Your Opinion Of The Humble Server?

Most of us aren't dumb. Some of us actually enjoy working as servers.

Do you think people who work as servers are too dumb to do anything else?

Have You Worked As A Server?

Have you ever worked as a server?

See results

Whether you're a fan of me or not, let me know you were here. I just love when other Squids visit me.

For My Fans

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    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      Excellent lens. You just reminded me my student years in NY. Main problem for me were the bosses rather than the actual work...

    • profile image

      sjdigioia 5 years ago

      Being a waiter/waitress is an honorable job. The problem is that they will always complain that they donât make the kind of tips that they want. But they fail to realize that only by making your guests feel special, feel as if THEIR enjoyment is YOUR primary concern, will you make the big tips. All else is not important.


    • Lithium77 profile image

      Lithium77 5 years ago

      Hats off to you for an excellent lens. I lasted about a year as a waitress, but that was more because of bad bosses than the actual job!

    • profile image

      anismanto 5 years ago

      Unfortunately, there are some "tourists" in Bali who cannot appreciate waitress.

    • sharioleary profile image

      Shari O'Leary 5 years ago from Minnesota

      @tonybonura: I hope you found some other lenses you liked. Every visit is appreciated.

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 5 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      I'm becoming a fan of yours. Told you I'd be back, and here I am

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Every genuine smile I get from a food server throughout a meal is greatly appreciated. I know how hard they have to work, and those smiles mean a lot. I admit, I don't care so much for the surly, inattentive food server who suddenly flashes a brilliant smile as s/he hands me the check, but those are few and far between.

    • arperinos profile image

      arperinos 6 years ago


    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      challenging work.

    • Mistl profile image

      Mistl 6 years ago

      I used to work as a waitress and a bartender. I loved the job as you get to talk to so many different types of people. There are the bad stories of course, but mostly people are super nice and friendly and will give you a smile if you shoot them one. I don't think anyone has ever thought I was stupid and if they did, then they quickly learned that they were wrong. :)

      I think everyone should walk a day in a waitress shoes though, would be a great learning experience for some people.

    • profile image

      Andy-Po 6 years ago

      I hate it when people treat servers badly, but I now have a two-year old child who makes an incredible mess, so I do take your point about the server having to be a maid as well (he's always very nice and friendly, but makes up for that with flying food)

    • Nancy S Oram profile image

      Nancy Oram 6 years ago

      My pet peeve is being with someone who treats a server poorly. I'm mortified and want to crawl out. I've had poor service for one reason or other, but never intentionally. I could never do this job - I'd run home bawling the first day. There should be a national server's day.

    • emmaklarkins profile image

      emmaklarkins 6 years ago

      Very interesting!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I've been a waiter twice in my life and let me tell you, it was hard, challenging work. I admire servers who work hard to give their guests a great dining experience. There is a difference between just delivering a plate of food to a table and creating a remarkable experience for the guest.

    • profile image

      friendshipquotes 6 years ago

      good one. Keep it up!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Greatly appreciate your presentation here! Nicely done. :)

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      I appreciate waiters and waitresses who are polite, clean and do their work well.

      I also tip well.

    • LNAngel profile image

      Lauren 6 years ago from Florida

      Very nice. I've been a waitress before and can't say I'd do it again. People are just downright rude!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I've never been a waitress or bartender, but in no way do I think that doing that kind of job (or any job in particular) is a reflection of someone's intelligence. And I never treat waitstaff like "servers" or "servants." I appreciate the job they do, especially when they do it well and with a smile.

    • profile image

      Runnn 6 years ago

      Interesting lens. Well done..

    • luvmyludwig lm profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 6 years ago

      I'm glad you made this page. Being a server in the past, I appreciate you calling attention to the fact there is more to us than just being a server.

    • Gerald McConway profile image

      Gerald McConway 6 years ago

      This is a great lens and I hope people who take their servers for granted and treat them in a not so nice way take the time to read this, very well done!

    • profile image

      liyucmh8 6 years ago

      well done thanks

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for your knowledge sharing on Squidoo!! Nice Lens !!

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 7 years ago from New York

      Great lens. Check out Loudon Wainwright III's "Tip that Waitress" song. It was the loudest sing-along I've ever heard at a recent concert he played in town at the Center for the Arts here in Homer, NY.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      hi wonderful lens!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 7 years ago

      Very nice Lens - one of my best friends is a server and rarely gets the respect she deserves. More people need to read this Lens, it would seem!

    • sharioleary profile image

      Shari O'Leary 7 years ago from Minnesota

      @blessedmomto7: I agree with you. I've always thought that. It might make people think about how they treat servers.

    • sharioleary profile image

      Shari O'Leary 7 years ago from Minnesota

      @EuroSquid LM: I never actually witnessed this happening myself. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen in other places though. Be nice to your servers. You never know.

    • sharioleary profile image

      Shari O'Leary 7 years ago from Minnesota

      @EuroSquid LM: Thank you for the blessing!

    • EuroSquid LM profile image

      EuroSquid LM 7 years ago

      Still waiting for an answer to my question below...but I came back to give this lens an angels blessing.

    • EuroSquid LM profile image

      EuroSquid LM 7 years ago

      Never been a server. Is there any truth to the rumor that if your server does not like you that they can do disgusting things to your food? Ever see or hear about any of that happening?

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 7 years ago

      I think everyone should be a server at some point in their life. I worked the overnight shift at a diner just off the turnpike one summer.

    • jackieb99 profile image

      jackieb99 7 years ago

      I really can't understand why people are sometimes so rude to servers. It's very uncool!

    • profile image

      TWOnline2 7 years ago

      yep. interesting

    • profile image

      WaitersFromHell 7 years ago

      Excellent info for those that want to become servers, for those that are servers and for those that don't like servers. :)

      Great job!

    • profile image

      projecttemplate 8 years ago

      Good lens. Most important information supplied to the lens. I like to job in hotel management. Your rating 5*****.

      Thanks for sharing a good story.

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 8 years ago

      I take my hat off to all good servers. Never did it, would probably have to hurt someone if I tried it (jk). When I get good service, I am a huge tipper because I can only imagine what it must be like to deal with demanding and rude people all the time. Good tribute to your trade!

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 8 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      We used to have a hotel and restaurant- good waitress/waiters are the treasures that help make the dining experience special.

    • profile image

      JewelRiver 8 years ago

      To be honest I would never work as a server unless it was a last resort but I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way about a lot of other professions what is right for some isn't right for all. I give you credit because a lot of servers take a lot of heat from people who think they are superior and that is ridiculous no one is superior to anyone else

    • BFunivcom profile image

      Allan R. Wallace 8 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      Waitresses fill so many roles, from actors pretending I'm wonderful to realists that carry sharp barbs. I prefer the realists. All of them are people, and vary as people vary; some smart, creative, and authentic -- others not so much. One thing though, they have a larger impact on the enjoyment of a meal than the food.

    • vanidiana24 profile image

      vanidiana24 8 years ago

      Very unique story, thanks for sharing it!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 8 years ago

      I wasn't (a fan) but now I am. Great debate. Blessed by an Angel.

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 8 years ago from Cheshire UK

      Nice lens which gives a really personal insight - well done! Blessed by a SquidAngel

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 8 years ago

      I was a waitress once and wasn't too good at it. lol!!! I tried hard, but it really wasn't the job for me. It did give me an appreciation for wait staff that I may not have had if I hadn't tried it.


    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      I've worked as a nurse and I think there are a lot of similarities between what waiters do and what nurses do. You admit someone to the unit, receive orders on them, carry out the orders, make rounds to check on everybody, and discharge them when they're ready to go. And you're often dealing with people when they're not in their sweetest mood (hungry/sick).

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago

      Nice lens. I have been a waitress at IHOP a pancake house. I've made pizzas also working at a pizza place.

    • schraderj23 profile image

      schraderj23 8 years ago

      waitresses/servers are severly underated! Nice Lens :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I think everyone should be a server at some point. 5 *

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA

      Congratulations new 100 club member!

    • drifter0658 lm profile image

      drifter0658 lm 8 years ago

      I could never be a waitress. Just can't find a uniform where the hemline falls comfortably.

    • AppalachianCoun profile image

      AppalachianCoun 8 years ago

      Wonderful lens. We are very repectful to servers. We don't understand why people are rude to anyone. We think everybody is God's somebody. We have been in the service industry and understand what your saying. Thank-you for speaking out.

    • profile image

      NKenge 8 years ago

      Nice lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • dc64 lm profile image

      dc64 lm 8 years ago

      I'm a waitress now, and I have to start talking myself into going to work about 3 hours before-hand. I absolutely despise it, and I've been doing it for over 5 years. My 'customers', think I love my job. I'm so good at faking it, and that is exhausting. I'm not the social type at all, but I homeschool my Aspergers son. Restaurant work is the only way I can do this because of the flexible schedule. To make matters worse, business is SO bad. Monday, I didn't have a single customer, so it was just a boring waste of time.

      The company I work for is all about the numbers, and will do everything in their power to save a dime at the expense of its employees. It would be nice if they actually cared about their staff. I could rant on and on...but I get upset thinking about it.

    • Suzie-Shine profile image

      Suzie-Shine 8 years ago

      I've only been a waitress once while in Uni. Gosh it was hard work. I have admiration for anyone who does the job.


    • kohuether lm profile image

      kohuether lm 9 years ago

      I waited tables at a banquet hall once but it is a whole different ball game then doing it at a restaurant!

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 9 years ago from Massachusetts

      This is one of the toughest jobs out there for a number of reasons. You always have to have your "game face" on no matter what, the work is never ending, and the people that you work with are often up to no good (so that means more work for you!). Plus, you have the customers treating you like garbage and the bosses trying to make you work every imaginable hour that's available and change your schedule (so that you can have no life..)... can you tell I used to do this for work? It's not for everyone. Excellent lens!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 9 years ago

      When we lived in Tahoe we had two waitresses at two different restaurants that waited on us for 15 years. They knew where we like to sit, what we all ordered, and they watched our kids grow up. Special people!

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 9 years ago from Austin, Texas

      It's a tough job! All the best for your future! :-)

    • profile image

      ThomasC 9 years ago

      My mother was a waitress her whole life! Sometimes working 3 jobs to make enough money to raise my 4 older brothers and myself! She always provided and worked hard though! Great Lens on waitress's! You get an Angel Blessing and 5 stars!


    • x3xsolxdierx3x lm profile image

      x3xsolxdierx3x lm 9 years ago

      Our waiter last night at the Olive Garden wasn't just a good waiter.....he was a good salesman, convinced us to get everything from a more high-end wine to this new delectable chocolate cake at the end of the, intelligent, and convincing guy

    • luvmyludwig lm profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 9 years ago

      Great lens. Congrats on your 50 lenses! Good luck!