Eight Things I’ve Learned at My New Job

I think it was the summer between my junior and senior years of high school, but it might have been as late as during my senior year of high school that my then-best friend had the idea that we should spend the summer before college in Santa Monica, California waiting tables and hanging out on the beach. I thought this was a great idea, and then she told my mom about this idea.

A pile of one dollar bills.

Yes, my mom shot the idea down. No, she didn’t do it the way you think she did. There were no words like “absolutely not!” No, my mother simply laughed.

She might have been crying she laughed so hard.

When she finally caught her breath, my mother (MY OWN MOTHER) told my friend that she thought it sounded fun and was totally sure that my friend could do this thing and do it well. However, she didn’t want my friend depending on me for rent, because I wouldn’t last a week as a waitress before dumping soup on someone’s head when they pissed me off.

Needless to say, I have never lived on the beach in Santa Monica, but neither have I dumped soup on someone’s head.

I have, however, become a server in a small restaurant and taproom near my house. I’m working there a few days a week (I’ve lasted more than one week!), recommending beers and serving them (in breakable glasses!) to a bunch of fun customers. It’s not a beach, but it’s a pretty great gig and I’m enjoying it.

Despite my mother’s uproarious laughter and doubts regarding my temper and impulse control, I seem to be okay at the job1. I mean, except for the salad dressing spill. Let’s be clear, I didn’t INTEND to spill salad dressing on someone. And the customer didn’t even notice! I had to point it out (with apologies of course). And then she was completely cool about it. I am very lucky. < insert very lucky gif here >

All in all, this is a fantastically new experience to me, and I am learning a lot. Since I’ve been at it just a couple of weeks, I thought I’d share with you a few of the things that have stood out to me in this time.

I have learned:

  • Don’t spill salad dressing on people
    • If you do spill salad dressing on someone, hitting their raincoat makes for easiest clean-up
  • Always carry your bottle opener
  • A peanut butter and jam sandwich is easy & delicious, even day after day
    • Use jam your grandmother hand made and sent you to make your co-workers jealous
  • High end, comfy unders are vital to comfort
  • I will crash for 11-12 h one night a week
  • ALWAYS carry a non-work shirt to change into after clocking out

Two rubber duckys on top of each other, one supported by a wallet.

I have remembered:

  • People are usually awesome but occasionally dicks
    • Sure, autocorrect: In Oregon, they are also occasionally ducks
  • Money sure is nice, but ones are a bear to fit in a wallet
    • If you make your own wallet out of duct tape, make it sturdy

A duct tape wallet turned upside down to show where it's splitting at seams.

1 To be fair to my mom, this came up somehow a year or two ago and she did say age has mellowed me some and she no longer expected soup dumpage in the event of my acquiring such a job.

7 thoughts on “Eight Things I’ve Learned at My New Job

  1. A duct tape wallet…that tops any of the multiple uses my husband has found for duct tape over the years. Glad the job is going well!

  2. My dream job is still to be a waitress. I loved being a diner waitress in high school and college and miss it to this day. I was all set to be a waitress for life when I graduated but my dad put his foot down and said that since he paid for college no way was I going to waste all that money and I had to get a real job and so here I am, 20 years later, still wondering if I would have been happier (albeit much poorer) had I gone the other way and waitressed. I’ll never know! Then again, some of the older third shift waitresses that are the age I am now looked *rough* back then….yikes!

    • I had no idea you’d ever waitressed, Q! That’s awesome. So, any tips for a complete newbie? I mean, other than avoiding salad dressing spills. 😉

  3. I am sure you are the best server in existence. Your commitment to delivering the same service you would want is unquestioned!

    • Mom, I love you. But I strongly suspect you might be biased here. I do do my best to give what I would want, but I AM still pretty green. Still, I’m doing ok.

  4. I can SO picture you being good at that job, for the reason your mom said: you genuinely want to anticipate people’s needs and treat them well. And you’re getting experience on the service side of the beer industry!

    Tip: stay out of the server politics, and watch out for getting bitter about customers and co-workers. By the end, this was me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcly-cT8DSc

Comments are closed.