The Secret Life of the Restaurant Server: Orange Juice and Running Shoes

I have been working in a restaurant since last June, but only recently have I worked front-of-house. I am training to be a server. Right now I am just a busser and a hostess. I never thought a job could be humbling, but this one is. Every day I work there is always some mistake made or something I did not even do. Between seating, cleaning, bringing bread, and clearing tables, filling drinks, and fulfilling the whims of ever server there one can loose their mind.

I sympathise with you, Sally, I really do.

The thing about being a busser is you have three or four different people telling you what to do and thirty plus customers needing assistance. One server will tell you to go do something while you are trying to do your own job. Then while you are trying to do that task, another server asks you to do something else more urgent. When you go to do that, the first server asks you if you did the first task. You say it will be just a second, right then a group of ten comes in that needs to be seated and given bread and chimichurri. As you scurry to prebuss three or four tables and refill drinks, the third server comes and asks you to make a salad or get a soup. This is the point where you remember you haven’t finished the first two server’s tasks and start running back and forth to finish the three jobs before the servers realize you are behind. I love it, but I never thought I would need good quality running shoes for a restaurant job.

The one thing I did learn last week? Orange juice isn’t necessarily  a juice made from oranges, but any liquid of that color. This is also slang for beer. Not knowing this when someone offered “orange juice” to us, I, being an innocent who knows basically nothing about the world, said I would love some. At which point my boss, Y, started laughing at my naivete and explained what they meant. Was I embarassed? Nah, my face naturally turns red when I am being an idiot.

– W


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