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Why Ex-Waiters Make the Best Employees

Why Ex-Waiters Make the Best Employees

Every company can use people who work well under pressure, have people skills, and are great at multi-tasking.  Who can do all this?  Ex-waiters.  Because of their skills in the workplace, ex-waiters can make some of the best employees.  I worked as a waiter during college, and I still use the skills I learned today.  Here are seven reasons ex-waiters make the best employees.

1. We can work under pressure.

Ever had five tables demanding different things at once?  Waiters have.  The ability to stay calm under pressure gives these employees the ability to stay calm in a crisis.

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2. We have people skills.

Learning how to interact with a wide range of people is crucial to a waiter; his or her tip depends on it.  If your business has lots of different personalities, finding an ex-waiter will help you make sure everyone has a positive experience when they walk through your doors.

3. We are great at multi-tasking.

One of the first pieces of advice someone gave me as a waiter was, “keep a running list of everything  you need to do in your mind.”  The list looked like this: Table 20 needs refills, Table 21 needs to order, Table 26 needs their check, and so on.  I still use a running list at work today.  The items on my list are different, but the list is the same.  My list helps me stay organized on what is coming up and when it is due.  I am able to stay on top of my projects because I’m always reminding myself of where I’m at and what I need to do next.

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4. We care about performance.

Because tips are based on your individual performance, ex-waiters make sure they are doing a good job.  Since doing a better job means getting more money, waiters are invested in their work and are constantly trying to improve on their skills.  Making small changes on how they take orders or how they respond to difficult situations can mean the difference between getting zilch or getting 20+%.  Getting paid for performance is so ingrained into an ex-waiter, that they will care about the work they are doing for you, too.

5. We are flexible.

Any waiter who has been through a lunch or dinner rush knows how to be flexible.  You start out going to get refills for one table, but suddenly you have to figure out how to take orders for three other tables who just sat down—at the same time.  The ability to be flexible and get work done in a timely manner makes ex-waiters some of the most productive employees.

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6. We know how to work as a team.

Sometimes even good waiters get “in the weeds.”  This means he or she has so much to do—and they keep getting so much more to do—that they fall behind.  Sometimes the waiter will feel like they are drowning in work.  When this happens a waiter has two choices: ask for help or make everyone they are serving mad.  A good waiter knows how to ask for help.  Also, that waiter knows how to step up and help one of his or her fellow members who is falling behind.  This team mentality is invaluable in any workplace.

7. We aren’t scared of hard work.

Ever met a lazy waiter?  They probably didn’t last very long.  Trying to make it through a shift can turn any slow paced person into a high performing machine.  Employers can use this amazing skill to their benefit because good waiters are really hardworking people, so hiring one will make a big difference in how much work gets done at your workplace.

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Featured photo credit: Tired of Waiting/Tom Wachtel via flickr.com

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Kelsie Fannon

Kelsie is a journalist and writer who shares about productivity and money tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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