Worst job: My heart goes out to the bar waitress

Some randy men by virtue of their tips, think they are entitled to sexually harass the wait staff, by spanking or pinching a waitress' behind, with no decorum.

One of the worst job on Earth is waiting at bars. Whether it's in a cheesy or classy bar, the job is not for the faint-hearted.

The hours are long, the patrons often stupid, the manager is often a sadist and the pay is laughable.

And if you are a woman, the job can suck your soul out. How bar waitresses don’t crack skulls of patrons open remains a mystery. Ever met a short, arrogant dude who earns more than his brain can handle insulting everyone in a bar and people have to tolerate his nonsense because he is paying?

In my drinking years, I have seen how we treat waitresses and I am always appalled. Some randy men by virtue of their tips, think they are entitled to sexually harass the wait staff, by spanking or pinching a waitress' ass, with no decorum. Some use dirty language. You can't help but sympathise with the waitress, because part of her job description is to tolerate such imbeciles.

You'll see men contesting their bills and giving waitresses a hell of time, double-checking the amount. Nine out of 10 times, the bills end up correct to the chagrin of the doubting fools.

Even when the men find discrepancies in the bill, it is often some small and negligible amount. In case it's a big discrepancy, it can be explained as an innocent mistake. Or maybe the waitress actually want to steal from the patron, but that is often the exception, not the norm. 

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We punish waitresses by being indecisive and making ridiculous demands, because we think they are supposed to be low-grade servants at our beck and call. She arrives at your table and you study the drinks menu as if you are about to buy the finest Scotch, only for you to order some cheap beer. Women are even worse.

They will ignore the waitress for 10 minutes as they go through their phones, and as soon as the poor waitress makes to leave, they demand that she takes their orders. That's another 20 minutes of studying the menu before asking for 'second-generation' wine that tastes like donkey piss. Woe unto the poor woman if she confuses the orders, a very human mistake.

Listen up guys. Nobody chooses to be a barmaid when growing up. It is one of those jobs you take up out of absolute necessity. Most girls in bars come from very poor backgrounds.

Almost all of them became mothers by the time they were 20, and the man who planted the seed took off into thin air. Taking care of a baby as a single mother requires sacrifices.  Sometimes that means electing to do a low-paying job. Some of these girls have to augment their meagre pay by sleeping with patrons. 

The least you can do when you go to a bar is to be kind and professional to them. It is a tough job when a bunch of young men with no responsibility sit and order two bottles of whiskey worth a waitress' three-month salary. It kills them, because while everyone is having fun, they are

working for peanuts.

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You can tell sometimes that they also want to join in the fun, dance a little. Some would even ask for a shot of whisky from customers, while others have been known to aggressively demand for tips. Such is the unforgiving world of their existence.

Forgive them when they err, or at least be professional in your admonition. Men, cut the sexism. If you are sexually attracted to one, just court her in a respectful way. Don’t lord it over her because of your money.

Next time, look deep into the waitress' eyes. You will see the hurt, the rejection, the pain and suffering they go through. Imagine standing a whole night during that time of the month to feed your kids. If that does not move you, then nothing will.


The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Sde.co.ke