When you've worked as a waitress, you completely understand all the stresses and pains waitresses have to go through on a daily basis. When you're on basic pay, dependent on tips and expected to work long hours, it's understandable there are many things that just drive you crazy!
Waitress problems never stop. You might have noticed #WaitressProblems is a popular hashtag for waitresses all around the world. You might work in completely different restaurants but your problems are very similar. At Shoes For Crews (Europe) Ltd, we feel your pain!
Here are the twenty most common problems waitresses have to face:
1) Running children
It's understandable parents like to get their young ones out of the house but if they can't control them, don't bring them to a restaurant. When you're trying to carry three plates and have kids running around the tables, it's not easy to dodge.
2) Parents who just don't care
As an additional point to the problem above, it's stressful when parents just don't care. As you're trying to serve half a dozen tables, you don't want to be minding a child: "I'm a waitress, not a babysitter!"
On busy shifts, there is the higher likelihood of the 'staring customers'. It's hard to concentrate when you know customers are staring because they're waiting for their food to come out. Staring at a kettle doesn't make it boil any quicker, and staring at me doesn't make your food cook any faster either.
4) 'Funny' Customers
This doesn't happen often but when it does, it's just frustrating. When customers who've had too much to drink like to share their funny jokes and stories. Although you want to laugh along, you don't want to encourage them either. After a late shift, you just want to say: 'I'm sorry sir, but you're just not very funny' - however for the sake of the tips, silence is golden.
5) Sore feet
You would think as a waitress, the biggest pains you have to face is your arms (when you're carrying plates) or your voice (for talking to customers). But in fact, it's always the feet. Being on your feet for about 40 hours a week can put alot of pressure on your body and put you at risk of future and long term health problems.
6) Having a bad back, forever
Seriously, being in your twenties and being unable to reach down to pick up a fallen fork without hearing your back or any of your bones crack isn't cool.
7) Customers who want to share their personal lives
Whilst having a nice conversation with customers is often a perk of the job, waitresses aren't counsellors or therapists. Honestly, after hearing so many customers share their problems, it's likely most waitresses have enough experience to become therapists! "But please, just keep your thoughts and feelings for your counsellors, I've got my own troubles."
8) Working late, starting early
When your boss decides to put you last in on the work rota and first in the next day: "Clearly they don't want us to have a life."
9) When the menus change
Learning a menu is not a major problem, usually after a few shifts, you can remember the dishes with your eyes closed. It's the customers who can be the issue. There are always some customers who hate change and will likely take it out on the waitress: "Like we said before, we serve, we're not in charge of the food. If you have a problem with the salt and pepper, please direct your annoyance at me otherwise let me fetch the right person."
10) Hands smelling of condiments
One of the daily waitress problems you have to face is food smells. Some smells just stick to you, even after your shift is long over and you've treated yourself to a fragranced bath bomb. Having your hands stink of ketchup is not a good thing, but I suppose it's better than mustard...
11) Customers who are having a bad day
Usually you can tell when you've got a 'trouble' customer. They've walked in and from one look, you know they're already in a bad mood. Rather than keeping their bad day to themselves, they like to share their anger with you. If you can keep your cool and not let yourself get upset it's fine but either way, customers should be keeping their bad mood to themselves.
12) The bathroom is the only place to escape
Not many restaurants have a place for staff to take a break. So the only place is the toilets. When you realise the only place you can have a quiet breakdown is the restaurant loos, it can make you feel like you're at the end of your tether.
13) Losing your voice
Being unable to talk after a busy shift is always a pain you don't want to suffer. Croaking like a frog for the rest of the day is a sound most people want to avoid.
14) Customers who don't speak up
I know we can't blame customers who don't speak up but it's frustrating when you ask them to speak up but they just repeat their order without increasing the volume, so you have to bend your head down to listen. Please just speak up!
15) Customers who speak like you're an idiot
"Yes, mam, I know what you're saying, you don't have to repeat it. You can trust me to get the order right."
16) Splitting the bill
Nowadays more customers want to split the bill. "If you want to split the bill between a group of 4 or 5 people that's fine, I can do that. But if there's a party of 20 people, that's just cruel."
17) Customers who make a point of getting your attention
When I say this, I mean customers who make a scene to get your attention. Instead of simply trying to catch your eye or just making the 'can I have the bill' gesture, they wave their hands or talk very loudly. Or they even try to flash a light from their phone. "I'm not a fly who is attracted to bright lights, I'm a human being, please treat me like one."
18) When customers aren't leaving
As some restaurants don't close until all customers have left, we are usually left to hang around until all the diners have gone. This can be frustrating when they're showing no signs of leaving.
"Here, have your tip back, please just let me go home!"
19) When customers test your patience
"Can I please order the chicken and avocado salad, but without the chicken and the avocado?" Instead of saying 'Of course', you just want to say 'Are you kidding me?'
20) Really sore feet
I know I already covered this one but when your feet still hurt even after you've gone home and snuggled in your fluffy blanket, it feels like you're still at work. Aching feet just reminds you of work and makes it difficult to get up and do anything just because you want your feet to recover.
In the end, waitress problems make us stronger
Although you may feel like losing the will to live, remember these experiences are making you into stronger human beings. All of these situations, help to craft us into strong and independent individuals.
Want to get rid of that foot pain today?
Foot pain often comes from wearing the wrong shoes to work. It's important to wear shoes that have arch support so your feet are supported all day. Shoes For Crews' slip-resistant footwear are designed for waiters and waitresses in mind. Wearing the right work shoes can protect the health of your feet and reduces the chance of slipping or falling.
Download our free guide to help you pick the perfect pair of shoes to fit your needs: