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A server’s struggle, a Friday night disaster
Posted March 16, 2007

Marilee Lorusso
Life Editor

Imagine this: half an hour to hour long waits, large parties, impatient people waiting while others are whizzing by every which way, loud voices, laughter, screaming, crying, and conversations all meshing together to make one extremely loud noise.

You may think that I’m talking about a night at an amusement park, but I’m not. Welcome to my Friday nights as a server.

I have been working in the restaurant business for a little more than two years, and needless to say, it has been quite a life changing experience.

I never thought that I would be able to work at a restaurant due to my lack of patience. Fortunately for me I was taught the tricks of the trade and I learned how to work off of my stress and to multitask.

Now I fit right in as a server.

I took this job on towards the end of my high school career and have continued to work through college. I really have no plans in the near future to give up this job before I graduate for two reasons.

First I consider my co-workers to be a second family because they have seen me at my most confident, at my best and at my worst. They comfort me when I have come in freaking out about having to work while I have a pile of homework waiting for me after my shift. We have been through a lot together and they have all helped me in some way.

Second, it is a job that I have come to depend on. It is fast paced and for the most part I have fun doing it. Plus, it is preparing me for a future because I now know I can deal with anything.

Many of my co-workers are students or substitute teachers by day and servers by night. They have taken on being a server as a second job to make up for the expenses that are not covered by their primary job. The money that is made by some pays for the bills, tuition, books and rent.

We are trained to provide the best service possible and are constantly tested to make sure that we are efficient and meeting the high standards and requirements of the company.

Unfortunately our customers do not always see it that way.

Customers sometimes find it OK to be rude to their server when all we are trying to do is provide a service for them. When did it become ok to boss others around when you talk to them?

If you bothered to ask nicely it would make both of our experiences much more enjoyable.

Or what about our tip, or should I say lack of tip that we are given? This most often occurs when we are doing special promotions like discount coupons.

Servers get paid minimum wage by the company. We all know that minimum wage is no where near enough to live off of, so it must be taken into consideration that many of the people who are serving you are counting on their tips to pay for their living expenses.

Now that I have had the experience of being a server, I have a greater appreciation for those who work in restaurants.

So when my mom or my boyfriend wonders why I leave more than the 15 percent that is expected I just say that I understand their struggle.

The next time you sit down at a restaurant just remember that your server has probably had a hard day and if they happen to forget your ketchup after the first time you asked for it cut them a little slack.

Trust me they are hard working people just like you.

Marilee Lorusso, a junior journalism major, is LV Life editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at .