*Originally written by Hailey Roe
Okay, fair warning here guys, this gets slightly mushy. Yuck, I know. Bear with me! As I was searching the web, researching for this blog, all I could find were lists of how annoying this kind of customer was and the shitty things that happen when we’re on shift and I didn’t want to write about that. I think there’s enough negativity out there right now, and I wanted to bring something positive to the scene. So, with a little help from my friends, I came up with six things only IHB servers will understand.
- Smelling like beer. This phenomenon still surprises me. As many times as we wash our hands during a shift, or as many laundry loads with heavily scented detergent we do, I think we can all say that our IHB gear never stops smelling like beer. Sure, it may be an endearing quality when you’re in [ the pub ] (it does help you fit in with your surroundings), you definitely won’t catch us going out after a shift without running home to find something not soaked in eau de beer.
- Speaking of smelling like beer, you can’t avoid the moments that cause those hoppy aromas to cling to you. These can range from expected splashes of beer from the taps, or the explosive consequences of a keg blowing, and to the soul crushing moments when you’re holding a tray that suddenly unbalances at your four top table and, of course, showers you entirely in beer. The ensuing attempts at cleanup are no match for our delicious, but inherently sticky, sudsy ales. While I personally have not done this at IHB (yet, knock on wood) I have in the past spilled a tray of three glasses of soda and two beers on myself. It’s not as fun as it may sound.
- The previous experience brings to mind the times when we’re in [ the pub ], all charged up and running around serving our tables. Collisions are inevitable, as we all can say we have learned. My most memorable, and first IHB experience of this, was over the summer. Shortly after I started at [ the pub ], when I was still getting used to the pace, I had just poured a pint and was turning to serve a customer at the bar. This was one of those never-knew-what-hit-you kind of moments. I felt something collide with my arm and before I could even register what had occurred, I had beer splashed in my face and dripping down the front of my shirt. It was as if I had been on the receiving end of one of those movie moments when the girl throws her drink in the jerk’s face. All I could do for about 30 seconds was blink, wide eyed and stunned. That is one of my favorite memories of bonding with another server. After getting cleaned up and re-assuring her I was fine, we could hardly contain our laughter. Which leads me to the next thing all servers appreciate.
- Your fellow servers become your best friends. Seriously, I don’t know where I would be half the time without these amazing ladies. We laugh, we cry (usually from laughing so hard), and we generally kick ass together. There’s no way to explain how the bond forms between servers, I guess you could say we’re all in the same boat and we all understand those stressful moments that come with being in the service industry. #restaurantbfflsforlyfe
- Yet, even while forming lifelong friends, we still have those moments that make us question it all. Enter kitchen crew. They somehow always manage to interrupt those dire moments with something that makes you cry-laugh all your mascara off. For example; surprising you with a dick shaped pretzel dogma followed up with someone photographing said dogma and emailing it to everyone…In the entire company. And then all you can do is cry-laugh it all off, and maybe have a pint or two trying to forget the image. Also, you can never really look at pretzel dogmas the same way. Point being, the relationship created with the kitchen crew is always one filled with laughter. Plus, you know you can always count on them to have your back, whether it be stepping in when you are crazy busy up front and three kegs just blew and they swoop in with the assist, or helping when you have the rare unruly customer that you need a little back up in persuading to exit [ the pub ]. Many kudos to them.
- And last, but certainly not least, our regular customers are one of the things we appreciate most. Our day is brightened when the door chimes and we see one of you walking in, because conversing with our regulars can be like therapy. We love hearing about your lives and getting to know you and your families. We greatly appreciate the company on days when it’s slow and we get hours to talk. I am always pleasantly surprised that you want to listen to us too, and that you’re even interested in hearing about our lives. I’ve had a few jobs in the restaurant industry, and never have I had a group of regulars that have a genuine interest in knowing about the goings on in my life. It’s a pretty rare thing, and I can honestly say, regulars make the job.
Sure, you go home smelling like beer all the time (at least at IHB we do) and you can never keep a pair of shoes/or an outfit free of beer, but the bonds formed with regular customers and our co-workers make it all worth it. Now enough sentimentality, back to the grind.