I am currently at the point in my life, where I am looking for a career. I am writing resumes, cover letters, and trying to “make things personal”. Companies have seen resumes from every type of person, so it’s important to make yourself stand out.
As a waitress, I have to make myself stand out for a living. For example, the smallest thing like presenting your name in a way people will remember it. To my tables, I introduce myself as Paisley. Now…with a name like that, 99% of tables react to it. Although many people remember this name without any assistance, I always want to be positive. So I may add a comment like, “My mom was a hippy” (sorry mom, you have a lot of tie-dye) or “Paisley, like the pattern”. Although these comments may seem silly, and it is not necessary for someone to remember your name, it is always nice to make things more personal. Every company is looking for their employees to have a more personal relationship to the brand, or their customers, and waitressing has given me many test-runs on the best ways to accomplish this.
Secondly, we are really good at accomplishing a lot of work in short periods of time. For example, 3 hours. Most dinner rushes range between 2-3 hours. In that time, your mind, body and soul are torn apart, stressed, and wondering if there is hope. You are running around, trying to please as many people as possible while making more money. That’s exactly what any company wants. More money and happy customers.
I am also really good at making people feel any emotion they want. For example, if someone thinks they are funny, I have perfected my fake laugh. I have also come up with with a variety of pre-rehearsed jokes to say back to my customers. If someone is happy, or celebrating an event, I am very good at singing celebration songs on the spot. When my customers are angry or upset, I can sense it, and try to cheer them up. Now, although I would love to put “ability to sing happy birthday in a room full of strangers” on my resume, that is not my point. Waitressing has given me the ability to feel out the situation, and respond accordingly, which can be helpful in many work environments.
This is only a short list of how waitressing has taught me many skills. My problem is, I have all these skills, but people just see the word waitress. But when I finally get my “big girl job” I will impress my co-workers. I have the job of impressing people for a living, and I am very good at it.