Waitress Nightmares

No, not the ones that provoke raw emotion while you’re trying to do your job in the real world, the nightmares that come to you while slumbering. I want to know why, as a waitress, I can never just have waitress dreamsthe kind that make me feel good. Never once have I woken up, rested, excited to tell someone about waiting on Miley Cyrus and her leaving me a $500 tip. No. They are always nightmares, reoccurring ones at that.

The I Got Lost Nightmare

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How I feel during this one…

Sometimes it’s the actual place I work but more often, I have never seen the building in my life. Either way, they always consist of me running around frantically trying to figure out where the hell I’m supposed to deliver the damn cheese curds.

These people are hungry, clearly that’s why they ordered an appetizer – WHERE THE $%#@ ARE THEY?!

Most of my current co-workers were in the most recent lost nightmare but we were working in some sort of multi-level adult arcade, and we traded in our black button-ups and neck ties for more risque attire. It had potential to be an actual dream, and not awful until I was running up and down stairs trying to find my section in 6-inch heels.

The I Can’t Remember Shit Nightmare


You take an order, you write it down, and when you walk over to the system to send it off to the kitchen, your page is blank. Nothing. Wrack your brain and try to remember what they ordered, fail miserably, go back to the table, take the order again…aaand repeat. 

It never stops, until you wake up. I have had this dream on a continuous cycle for what seemed like my entire slumber, multiple times and it’s terrible.

The Only Thing I Can Serve You Is Chicken Strips Nightmare


I’m not sure if other servers have this particular nightmare, but this one is almost comical. If there is ever an instance where I can squeak some rational into my sleeping brain it’s with this one.

I am in the kitchen traying up my table’s meal. After triple checking to make sure everything is there, I lift it up onto my shoulder and carry it out to the dining room, but once I’m there and set it down – it’s nothing but chicken strip baskets. My place of employment doesn’t even serve chicken strip baskets! These people are expecting steak, seafood, and other deliciousness and all I have to offer them is a checkered lined, red chicken strip basket.

I take it back to the kitchen, ditch the chicken, retray up the right food, bring it out, and BAM! Chicken strip baskets again. FML.

The Overwhelming They-Won’t-Stop-Coming Nightmare

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My nightmare, watching me drown…

This is the dream that inspired this post – had it just last night. I had a party of 14, a party of 10, and a party of 20. Everyone wants their beverage, the second party is annoyed because they ordered theirs before the ones receiving theirs and I just can’t keep up. The running to-do list in my brain is growing to the point of craziness and all night, I basically feel like I’m losing my mind.

I have to imagine most people fall into their work lives while they sleep, servers are not alone, but at the rate these things come at me… I think I need a vacation.

Tipping Your Server

You don’t have to.  If you received ridiculously poor service, while you watch your server yuck it up with co-workers, sure, make a statement. I’m not here as a career waitress to tell you what we’re entitled to, however, there are a few simple guidelines that might clear a few things up.

I get paid $2.33/hour – to which I never see because of those things called taxes. Minimum wage rules don’t apply to us because… we receive tips. If you scoot back up to the first part when I said, you don’t have to? You’re just an asshole if you don’t.


Serving is not an easy job. Imagine a constantly growing to-do list in your head while customers are asking you if you have <insert special from two years ago> still and balancing seven entrees over your head. We do not get breaks, we hold our pee so that your food doesn’t get cold in the window and then enjoy our dinner at 11:00pm.

We work hard, and if you’re lucky enough to have a server with their shit together – compensate them.

Compliments do not count as tips. Say it with me: a compliment does not count as a tip. We get legit nervous when a table starts dishing out nice words about the service we’ve provided them.

Nice words are always pleasant but I cannot pay my bills with your kindness. If you feel your service was good enough to verbally talk about it, with us, tip accordingly. *Cough*20%*Cough*

Fifteen percent is fine. It’s okay.

It’s like when you have your review with an office job, expecting them to applaud your valiant effort and tell you how magnificent you are, and instead they tell you that you’re average, you are mediocre.


That’s what fifteen percent feels like to a server.


If what you ordered does not taste the way you wanted it to, that is not your servers fault. We ran out of mashed potatoes, or the kitchen is a little backed up and your grub takes a little longer than usual, that is not your servers fault. If you ordered a steak medium, and it comes out medium – but in your opinion it’s too rare – that’s also not your servers fault.

When you arrive to the restaurant at 4:00pm and sit there until close drinking water, tip accordingly. What does that mean? We counted on flipping that table more than once, as many times as we can actually. Sure, you’re welcome to stay as long as you’d like, that’s what we’ll tell you,  but common courtesy would suggest you pay us not only for the competent service, but for how long I have to provide it to you. This is especially true if you are the only reason we are still in the building.

If you’ve never worked in food service maybe you’re unaware that most servers share their tips with other restaurant staff, which I personally do not bitch about, they provide a service to me. Whether it’s the bartenders making adult beverages for my table, or the busser cleaning up a mess I just made over by table A2 – they earn their tips. The difference is we pay them a set percentage, regardless of what we get paid by our diners. If we get stiffed, we’re still paying our co-workers.

A few more things, and then I’ll wrap this up…

If you are with a large group of people, want your checks separated and combined with individuals that are not sitting anywhere near you – please understand there is 5,346,294x more work involved.

Telling me I’m pretty, or how much Jesus loves me also does not help with my day-to-day expenses. This is my career, I do not show up to a restaurant five days a week for the company and conversation. Sure, it’s a perk but, get real, pay us… or stay in for the night.

Oh, and one more thing, when we ask you if we can bring you anything else – please stop responding with: Winning Lottery Numbers. I’m out of courtesy laughs for that one.