Getting Yelped

During my early twenties, I held one of those rites of passage, character-building jobs known as being a waitress.  Or for you fancy restaurant industry types: a server.  Yes, I was a server for a couple of years and in general I think I was pretty good at my job. Which, by the way, is actually not a super easy job.  I know it looks like it would be really easy, but the truth is that being a server is only easy when everything goes smoothly and all of your customers are nice.  This never happens.  Instead, you inevitably get some really difficult tables, the kitchen gets backed up, people keep changing their order after you’ve already put it in the computer and you inexplicably get caught trying to take the order of a party of 10 for over 20 minutes.



            Most of the time I was pretty good at keeping my cool.  Well, not actually, just in appearance with my tables.  Trust me, all servers are bitching up a storm about how crazed they are to one another in the back.  But every now and again, my horror would show up on my face.  I honestly don’t think it’s my fault; my face is overly expressive.  Can’t be helped.  Still, one day, when I was not stoked to be at work, I served a lady who apparently liked to write reviews on Yelp. 

Remember Naomi from the movie  Waiting.   Every waitress can relate to her.

Remember Naomi from the movie Waiting.  Every waitress can relate to her.

            Okay, so I really would like to talk some trash here because I personally think that it is incredibly shitty to call out a broke waitress by name in an online review unless this person was a straight up jerk.  In all honesty, the write up wasn’t that bad and did not get me fired or anything.  It did get me called out by my manager in a shift meeting, though.  But here’s the thing: I wasn’t great that day.  It started off just fine, but I was feeling grumpy and when she started complaining that the food came out in the wrong order when I didn’t realize that she wanted the food in a particular order my patience was thin.  Normally, I would have put on my standard overly apologetic server speak and been uber nice to make up for it, but that day I wasn’t having it.  It just seemed absolutely ridiculous to me that she required the food in a certain order when this was an average Chinese food restaurant where it’s all pretty interchangeable and most of our clientele doesn’t care.  Or if they do, they specify.  Then when I thought she was completely stiffing me on a tip I made a point not to say my usual “Thank you so much” spiel when she left.  It turned out that she did leave me an okay tip... and a blast on yelp.  Ouch.  Lesson learned. 

            So back to my original point, I still think it’s shitty of her to use someone’s name when it’s not like I called her names or something.  In general, I’m a fan of supporting what you like and not bashing what you don’t.  I think the internet has made it far too easy for people to insult others.  I have never in my life done that and I would never complain about food order or just about anything that seems kind of beside the point.  I’m a super chill customer so it always blows my mind when other people are not.  And yet, I would have been far better off sucking it up and being a gracious server in spite of it.  So here’s the lesson twenty somethings: sometimes you are going to be moody and not like your current “not your dream job” job.  Do a good job anyway.  I mean, don’t kill yourself trying to make the world’s greatest latte or something, but put it this way: you’re never going to regret doing any job well.  You may regret screwing up a job, even one that you didn’t think you cared about.  Being professional does not come back to bite you in the ass.  Being unprofessional might.  Why risk it?


Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.