A server by any other name

I serve. In my everyday life, as well as in my profession. Tonight, for the first time in 4 1/2 years of experience, I finally discovered my true definition of service. I don’t believe in “tips.” Its not advice that is being given or an insider thought. It is an act of being thankful that for a period of time, there was a need for nothing.
In my philosophy of work, I work as hard for the team as I do for my tables. There is never an empty glass or dirty plate left unattended to. There is no question left unanswered or box left blank. I serve to connect, to inspire, to smile, and be a part of other people’s joyous experiences.
In my mind, to serve for money will never lead to a gratuitous table. It creates a sense of underlying tension, of the need to be paid for every interaction. I really do love boxing food for my tables, drawing them pictures, getting beer samples, or even giving directions to the liquor store. I love being a bright spot in any day.
So tonight to walk out of there with 11% of my sales, truly felt like a slap in the face. I know my ability as a server, and the age old testament of not taking it personally, but tonight I struggle. How did no one see the goodness? Why didn’t they feel the warmth? What experience did I not create?
While I know I can’t necessarily hold myself completely responsible for the actions of others, as someone who literally serves the public, I find myself questioning….why was I not worth more than $4 on a $51 dollar check?
I know not everyone has waited tables or understands the love that can come from behind it, but truly I love what I do. So I ask tonight, what do you find yourself thinking before you decide on a “tip?” I left work with a smile, dancing to cheesy bar rap.
I know positivity will remain the clear victor of my day. I just realize, I truly want to understand the divide. Thanks for listening, safe journeys, and thank you for sharing.

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