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Treatment of service workers


Wiler77
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This article could also be posted in Cloak Room for a different conversation, but I decided to post it here.  Just another data point on why I will force all 3 of my sons to hold a job in the service industry.  Learn how to treat people as well as how to react when being mistreated.  Also, good to learn the lesson of "people generally suck" as early in life as possible.

I can think of a few good candidates I've met from my time coaching and volunteering at DSYSA that could be the culprits mentioned in the article.

perspective from Dripping Springs EVO bartender

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I never did have a service job, per se, kind of wish I did.

I did, however, work in a clothing store, mostly as a minion, checking in new items, neatening the store, etc.

But, occasionally, they let me wait on a customer, so I kind of got a feel for it.

I am always pretty nice and patient with waitstaff and tip well unless the service is completely awful, and even then.  Wife has always worked customer facing jobs and is a bit less patient when things go bad.

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That theater is completely empty most of the time, he's only talking about the busy times. There are times where they have 5 people for the whole time they are there. 

He's not wrong though that most people are embarrassing from a behavior standpoint though. They could also choose to stop doing the standard queue and do digital ordering and pick up and it would alleviate a lot of the stupidity they experience when it's busy like on Xmas. Don't let the people interact for their order they can throw a tantrum at their phone instead of a kid. 

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I completely agree service workers deal with hell and I try to be generous with tips and gracious when there are issues.

 

However, that article is about 90% political tripe and confusingly written.  
 

Or the person who pooped in a theater on December 28th, making one of the workers clean it up that night... 

he had a harrowing run as New Mexico’s Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.


This thread will probably not end well.  

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I always tip well... but I'm also fucking tired of it. It has spread to everywhere. 

The fact that the minimum wage isn't raised is unbelievable. Not to get political, but seems like a very easy and very visible win for a certain political party. Should have been done on day 1.

Everything about service jobs seems like it sucks. Personally never worked one. But I've met enough people before that I can tell having to interact with them on a daily basis would suck.

Glad that there is pushback from workers. I would hope the public would grow more appreciation for these workers, as would management.

Edited by FirstTimeCaller
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49 minutes ago, South Austin said:

Proud Burger King alumnus.

I judge a date by how well she treats the wait staff. And her blowjob skills, of course.

So if she gives great blow jobs to the wait staff, you're all in?

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1 hour ago, immamac said:

hey could also choose to stop doing the standard queue and do digital ordering and pick up and it would alleviate a lot of the stupidity they experience when it's busy like on Xmas. Don't let the people interact for their order they can throw a tantrum at their phone instead of a kid. 

I've thought that many times.  They just introduce a chokepoint by making people order at the counter.  There has to be a reason they did it that way, though.  Maybe it's another level of complexity or cost to have the Alamo model?  Or worried they wouldn't have the waitstaff to handle ordering, running food, closing tabs, etc.

My wife has met several people that were managers at various restaurants in the Dripping area, and they said it's REALLY hard to get good cooks to want to work out in Drip, because they want to live in Austin.  The commute is too big of a hassle.  The consistency of food in the area suffers because of it.

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This thread is great. To summarize: “I’m too Surly 1% to have ever worked a lowly food service job, but I do sympathize with them and tip well.”

Let the food industry industry veterans speak. I couldn’t escape the food industry until I was a junior in college. 
 

- Bust boy at Willie’s Icehouse (remains the worst job ever)

- Sandwich Artist at Subway (second best job I’ve ever had) 

- To-Go Waiter at Pappasito’s (their menu exam is pretty tough. My dumb ass brother couldn’t pass it) 

- Waiter at a small Italian Restaurant across the street from Cy Creek

- Jack of all trades at the UT Golf Club before they built the clubhouse. I usually got stuck grilling burgers. 


Long story short, it sucked. But it was nice have a little change in my pocket. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. There are easier ways to make a living. 

Edited by billfromlaketravis
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42 minutes ago, Wiler77 said:

I've thought that many times.  They just introduce a chokepoint by making people order at the counter.  There has to be a reason they did it that way, though.  Maybe it's another level of complexity or cost to have the Alamo model?  Or worried they wouldn't have the waitstaff to handle ordering, running food, closing tabs, etc.

My wife has met several people that were managers at various restaurants in the Dripping area, and they said it's REALLY hard to get good cooks to want to work out in Drip, because they want to live in Austin.  The commute is too big of a hassle.  The consistency of food in the area suffers because of it.

The hours are stupid they try to get these people to work, they need to transition away from "normal" schedules for the people who prefer to commute. The reason they didn't introduce mobile ordering is just stupidity, there is actually no good reason at all to order from the bar, after I experienced it (weird at first) at the Toomey ice house or whatever kerbey lanes new thing on Lamar is I was sold. It's so much fucking better of an experience for everyone, bartenders get to bartend and don't have to close tabs or manage complex orders, just bartend and then they shoot the shit if they have downtime. Same with servers, they just refill ninja unless they are running food and it makes everything more pleasant for everyone. 

39 minutes ago, billfromlaketravis said:

This thread is great. To summarize: “I’m too Surly 1% to have ever worked a lowly food service job, but I do sympathize with them and tip well.”

Let the food industry industry veterans speak. I couldn’t escape the food industry until I was a junior in college. 
 

- Bust boy at Willie’s Icehouse (remains the worst job ever)

- Sandwich Artist at Subway (second best job I’ve ever had) 

- To-Go Waiter at Pappasito’s (their menu exam is pretty tough. My dumb ass brother couldn’t pass it) 

- Waiter at a small Italian Restaurant across the street from Cy Creek

- Jack of all trades at the UT Golf Club before they built the clubhouse. I usually got stuck grilling burgers. 


Long story short, it sucked. But it was nice have a little change in my pocket. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. There are easier ways to make a living. 

I've had service industry jobs I was a bus boy and I worked retail (Geek Squad) - never waited tables formally, but my wife did for a long while. People are just shitheads and you have to not care - I tip because if I don't then next time that person may not be there which would be even shittier of an experience than it already is. 

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7 minutes ago, SydneyCarton said:

I Always tip between 20-25%. They basically have to insult my wife or get caught spitting in my food to get less. You say please for everything, and you thank them for everything from refilling your beverage to bringing you your order. 
 

I’ve had waiters spill drinks in me, or smack me on the head with a tray as they tried to maneuver in close quarters. No one is trying to fuck up your order, or make a mistake, or ruin your evening. Mistakes happen. Just be gracious and treat everyone with respect, which is a worldview that should be prevalent outside of restaurants as well but alas, people suck. 

Pappasito’s was pretty good about comping meals and paying for dry cleaning if they messed something up or split something on patrons. 
 

Commander’s Palace has the best service of any restaurant I’ve been to. Watching their waiters work is a master class in service. I let them know it was my wife’s birthday and they decorated our table with balloons, flowers, and a banner. It was impressive. 

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1 minute ago, SydneyCarton said:

I Always tip between 20-25%. They basically have to insult my wife or get caught spitting in my food to get less. You say please for everything, and you thank them for everything from refilling your beverage to bringing you your order. 
 

I’ve had waiters spill drinks in me, or smack me on the head with a tray as they tried to maneuver in close quarters. No one is trying to fuck up your order, or make a mistake, or ruin your evening. Mistakes happen. Just be gracious and treat everyone with respect, which is a worldview that should be prevalent outside of restaurants as well but alas, people suck. 

Well said.  

I could write a book on this topic.  I began working at a Mexican restaurant to supplement my income as an analyst when I first moved to Knoxville.  (I was going through a custody battle.)  I ended up working there for about 8 years, then Macaroni Grille for 2.  We put my wife through college, her Masters, then I returned and got my teaching degree. 

Within my small sample size, about half the staff were younger, career waiters that made just enough to subsist each week.  This generally included spending hundreds on bars and weed.  I never got into that lifestyle, so it was odd to me that these folks would make, say, $100 on a shift, then spend $100 at a bar post-shift.  Some were your college/high school kids working a shift or two a week for spending money.  Others were your career waiters/waitresses that didn't want to work other jobs or had spouses/girlfriends/boyfriends that made decent money.

Like @SydneyCarton said, it would take quite a bit for me to not leave 30%.  I do so because I now live a comfortable life and appreciate being the one eating out - as opposed to the one serving. I'm especially thankful during holidays.  I recall being so jealous seeing families getting together and having a great time, while I worked extra shifts because we were shorthanded during these times of the year.

 

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7 minutes ago, Knoxtnhorn said:

Well said.  

I could write a book on this topic.  I began working at a Mexican restaurant to supplement my income as an analyst when I first moved to Knoxville.  (I was going through a custody battle.)  I ended up working there for about 8 years, then Macaroni Grille for 2.  We put my wife through college, her Masters, then I returned and got my teaching degree. 

Within my small sample size, about half the staff were younger, career waiters that made just enough to subsist each week.  This generally included spending hundreds on bars and weed.  I never got into that lifestyle, so it was odd to me that these folks would make, say, $100 on a shift, then spend $100 at a bar post-shift.  Some were your college/high school kids working a shift or two a week for spending money.  Others were your career waiters/waitresses that didn't want to work other jobs or had spouses/girlfriends/boyfriends that made decent money.

Like @SydneyCarton said, it would take quite a bit for me to not leave 30%.  I do so because I now live a comfortable life and appreciate being the one eating out - as opposed to the one serving. I'm especially thankful during holidays.  I recall being so jealous seeing families getting together and having a great time, while I worked extra shifts because we were shorthanded during these times of the year.

 

Career waiters have some demons. The best waiter I worked with at Pappasito’s was ADDICTED to strippers. He’d blow whatever he made after work almost every night. 
 

Going out after work with a group of waiters is good times .

Edited by billfromlaketravis
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14 minutes ago, SydneyCarton said:

I Always tip between 20-25%. They basically have to insult my wife or get caught spitting in my food to get less. You say please for everything, and you thank them for everything from refilling your beverage to bringing you your order. 
 

I’ve had waiters spill drinks on me, or smack me on the head with a tray as they tried to maneuver in close quarters. No one is trying to fuck up your order, or make a mistake, or ruin your evening. Mistakes happen. Just be gracious and treat everyone with respect, which is a worldview that should be prevalent outside of restaurants as well but alas, people suck. 

Outstanding post, wife gets on me for over tipping and  I’m guilty of it especially in these times.  She never thought of tipping the girls on skates at Sonic or the plumber that comes out to the house until she met me.  A local place near us has a sign on their door about being short staffed and to be kind to those that do show up, shame it has to come to that.  

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I worked one summer as a 7-11 clerk, another sacking groceries at a military commissary. 
Mrs. Brat worked one summer waiting tables at a dude ranch restaurant (was a cancan dancer in the saloon). 
My late daughterinlaw waited tables, bartended, and managed at Chuy's & Shady Grove on Barton Springs Road for 15 years. 
My granddaughter waited tables, bartended, and managed at a sportsbar/restaurant in Lubbock for 8 years.

I used to tip 20%, but in the pandemic upped that to 30-40%, even for curbside service. 
I tip housecall service people $20 (most attempt to turn it down, but I tell them it is to buy lunch). 
I tip the trash collectors & mail carriers $20 for Christmas. 
The wife tips the 4 maids in the cleaning crew $50 each for Christmas.

Edited by Armybrat
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Commander's Palace brunch is mandatory every time we're in NOLA.  it's outstanding. plus, $.25 martinis! 🍸

agree that the article has some bad writing...but the content isn't political and is quite valid.

i have little experience in the field - i delivered pizzas from the Pizza Hut at Guadalupe and MLK my freshman year, but luckily started with the state that first summer and never had to go back.

43 minutes ago, billfromlaketravis said:

Career waiters have some demons. The best waiter I worked with at Pappasito’s was ADDICTED to strippers. He’d blow whatever he made after work almost every night. 

there is definitely a seedy/dark side...my sister spent 10+ years in the industry, and my niece has worked restaurants since she was 15 (just turned 20), they do tell some jaw-dropping stories. you don't want to know what the folks at Thundercloud and Conan's do in the back when it's not busy, i certainly didn't 😐

i believe FLSA requires a 30 min 'lunch' break if a shift is 6+ hours, seems lots and lots of places violate that regularly. not that anybody is going to do anything about it obviously.

i am also a chronic over-tipper, i def feel the need to compensate for the shitty wages and working conditions, and i'm sure there's some guilt there on my part.

my niece is currently working at a 'highway' type restaurant in Denton. over the holidays they had a giant party of almost 60, basically took over the majority of the restaurant for several hours. there were 6 servers working the party. the final bill was over $1500. this particular restaurant does NOT automatically add tip for large parties...the total tip? $60, split b/t 6 people who also had to 'tip out' the busboys.

i mean what the actual fuck?? all i could think was if i was the manager i would HAVE to say something! my niece called literally in tears when she got off, i felt so bad for her, and their manager was just like 'oh well, shit happens'.

anyways... don't think i didn't take the opportunity to point out "...and that is why you are in college, so you don't have to work shitty jobs like this your whole life!" 🤨

our 'minimum wage' particularly for service workers is a joke. 

on a macro-level, i think covid has fundamentally shifted our economy. we were so service-based, but b/t losing so many workers who are clearly never coming back, the shift to the demand-side of things, plus the massive move to self-service type operations to limit personal contact, our whole model has probably permanently changed. 

Edited by mchookem
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17 minutes ago, Armybrat said:

I worked one summer as a 7-11 clerk, another sacking groceries at a military commissary. 
Mrs. Brat worked one summer waiting tables at a dude ranch restaurant (was a cancan dancer in the saloon). 
My late daughterinlaw waited tables, bartended, and managed at Chuy's & Shady Grove on Barton Springs Road for 15 years. 
My granddaughter waited tables, bartended, and managed at a sportsbar/restaurant in Lubbock for 8 years.

I used to tip 20%, but in the pandemic upped that to 30-40%, even for curbside service. 
I tip housecall service people $20 (most attempt to turn it down, but I tell them it is to buy lunch). 
I tip the trash collectors & mail carriers $20 for Christmas. 
The wife tips the 4 maids in the cleaning crew $50 each for Christmas.

We give our mail carrier a $25 Dunkin gift card for Christmas, even got a TY card in return, folks used to leave out a case of beer for trash/ recycle workers.  
 

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I worked at a Blockbuster in Lufkin, Texas in my early high school days in the mid-90’s when the South Park, jerry springer too hot for tv, and masta p productions videos were all coming out. 

you people know absolutely nothing of the plight of customer facing horseshit until you’ve endured that for a while. I was threatened with assault on a daily basis because either a) “no sir, you never did return that Jerry Springer video and I can not do anything about the fact that your account was charged $20 to replace it” or b) “no sir, all 200 copies of the new masta p are, in fact, rented out or were never returned.” 

And yes, I’m always over the top friendly, patient, and generous with anyone who has to deal with the population as part of a job. 

Edited by sidis
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2 hours ago, billfromlaketravis said:

This thread is great. To summarize: “I’m too Surly 1% to have ever worked a lowly food service job, but I do sympathize with them and tip well.”

Let the food industry industry veterans speak. I couldn’t escape the food industry until I was a junior in college. 
 

- Bust boy at Willie’s Icehouse (remains the worst job ever)

- Sandwich Artist at Subway (second best job I’ve ever had) 

- To-Go Waiter at Pappasito’s (their menu exam is pretty tough. My dumb ass brother couldn’t pass it) 

- Waiter at a small Italian Restaurant across the street from Cy Creek

- Jack of all trades at the UT Golf Club before they built the clubhouse. I usually got stuck grilling burgers. 


Long story short, it sucked. But it was nice have a little change in my pocket. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. There are easier ways to make a living. 

I also waited tables at The Oasis one summer. I'm not sure how I forgot about that one. 

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23 minutes ago, Underdog said:

We give our mail carrier a $25 Dunkin gift card for Christmas, even got a TY card in return, folks used to leave out a case of beer for trash/ recycle workers.  
 

Same.  I caught the trash truck mid-pickup, but had to jump on my bike and chase the recycle truck.  Poor girl (on the back) looked terrified as I chased them down.

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25 minutes ago, sidis said:

I worked at a Blockbuster in Lufkin, Texas in my early high school days in the mid-90’s when the South Park, jerry springer too hot for tv, and masta p productions videos were all coming out. 

you people know absolutely nothing of the plight of customer facing horseshit until you’ve endured that for a while. I was threatened with assault on a daily basis because either a) “no sir, you never did return that Jerry Springer video and I can not do anything about the fact that your account was charged $20 to replace it” or b) “no sir, all 200 copies of the new masta p are, in fact, rented out or were never returned.” 

And yes, I’m always over the top friendly, patient, and generous with anyone who has to deal with the population as part of a job. 

Blockbuster on Riverside for 2 years here.

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My favorite job was a service job. I sold beer at the woodlands pavilion and the Houston Rodeo for six years between high school and college. It paid for all my drinking money and then some. All cash. It became less lucrative once credit cards were required. And by that I mean frequency of transactions was a lot longer with credit cards. 

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There are plenty of assholes out there

The vast majority of people are not assholes

The vast majority of service worker interactions are inconsequential, unmemorable or nothing but pleasant

Negativity bias very much plays a factor

The main problem is shitty commutes, not enough pay, bad bosses etc etc which only serves to reinforce the negative memory of that one shitty customer you dealt with out of the 50 you interacted with.  

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5 minutes ago, Surly Bevo said:

There are plenty of assholes out there

The vast majority of people are not assholes

The vast majority of service worker interactions are inconsequential, unmemorable or nothing but pleasant

Negativity bias very much plays a factor

The main problem is shitty commutes, not enough pay, bad bosses etc etc which only serves to reinforce the negative memory of that one shitty customer you dealt with out of the 50 you interacted with.  

you are completely wrong. This is like saying "most people aren't stupid" - most people are in fact assholes, poor, and stupid. 

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6 minutes ago, immamac said:

you are completely wrong. This is like saying "most people aren't stupid" - most people are in fact assholes, poor, and stupid. 

I know you went to aggy and that shaped your world view....you don't have to remind us.

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I think that EVERYONE should spend at least some time in the service industry.  Sort of like I think everybody should go to some college.  Imply as the more exposure you have to your fellow man whose circumstances may be different than your own makes you a more well rounded and usually more compassionate person.

It always pisses me off when folks are just screwing over the waiter, waitress or bartender.  It's things you  likely would never notice if you had not been in the service industry.  Basically the problem I think with the service industry is that there is a certain segment of our society that simply wants to fuck people over.  And to me that's not only sad for the person receiving the abuse, but for the person dishing it out.  As their life must honestly suck.  As how hard is it to be nice.

I will also say that if you are nice to people, take time to learn their names if you go some place regularly, you will nearly always come out far, far ahead than any bitchiness might get you.  Plus how much more enjoyable is your dining experience when you are nice to people?  Now if you can't give me decent service, and can't to keep talking to the other employee while my water glass remains empty for half the meal, I might short your tip.  Servers like this usually do not survive long, thankfully.

Just be nice and I think your service is nearly always better.  And if you have been in the service industry you tend to be nicer and tip better, is my life's experience.

I think the service industry is evolving and things like health care and vacation are eventually going to be more the norm than the exception. Simply as successful owners will want to retain rather than retrain quality employees.  

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1 hour ago, Surly Bevo said:

There are plenty of assholes out there

The vast majority of people are not assholes

The vast majority of service worker interactions are inconsequential, unmemorable or nothing but pleasant

Negativity bias very much plays a factor

The main problem is shitty commutes, not enough pay, bad bosses etc etc which only serves to reinforce the negative memory of that one shitty customer you dealt with out of the 50 you interacted with.  

This is correct. And it’s the same for waiters as it is for customers. It’s pretty much society in general. It’s a bell curve.

For every handful of asshole customers, there is an equal handful of amazing ones, but most are just neutral. Not dicks, not overly nice, just there.

And it’s the same way with waiters. Most are generally pretty good. Outliers are outstanding and opposite outliers are completely incompetent.

Flat circle and shit.

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6 hours ago, RPM said:

Just watch Waiting. It's a pretty accurate depiction.

I re-watched this the other day and yep, it's basically a documentary.  Aside from the dick showing game.

 

ETA: Outback busboy when I was 16.  First job.  I was the stoner busboys from Waiting, but I was into metal, not rap.

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