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Nine Types of Restaurant Servers That Other Servers Hate Working With

I have been a server for over two decades, during which time I've worked at many, many restaurants.

A server balancing two plates of food in a restaurant.

A server balancing two plates of food in a restaurant.

A Restaurant Server Dishes Some Truths From Their Insider’s Point of View

As a server for many decades, I have worked with servers from all over the world and of various ages, genders, ethnicities, and cultures. Serving is a wonderful job in which you're surrounded by different types of people. It can be educational, interesting, and enlightening.

On the flip side, since servers often work with people from all over, it's not unlikely to find some bad apples in the bunch. These people can take a serious toll on their co-workers. It's not just customers and management, though, who have issues with lousy servers. Servers themselves do, too!

9 Types of Servers That Other Servers Hate Working With

1. The Lazy Ones

I put this at the top of the list because this group is one of the worst! The lazy servers make it so their co-workers have to pick up their slack, in addition to the duties they already have assigned to them. The lazy ones let everyone else do the work but then, somehow, always manage to be around to take the credit.

2. The Ones Who Always Call in Sick

Some servers call in sick so often that it's a wonder they're still alive. You know the ones—they call in on the regular with some illness (mostly food poisoning), making the other servers have to cover for them by coming in on days off, working a double, or working an open-to-close shift.

3. The Ones Who Think the Rules Don't Apply to Them

This is a head-scratcher because unless the server is actually an owner or related to one, it's puzzling that servers can simply think the rules don't apply to them. It's not that they're protesting any rules. Oh no, it's that they think others should follow them but they don't have to because they're too special. As I said, it's a head-scratcher, but this type exists far too much!

4. The Ones Who Are Constantly Negative

We get it. The job can be brutal—have you ever been bossed around by a five-year-old in your place of employment?—but it's the job we signed up for, so own it. No one wants to hear how bad things are constantly. Not to mention there are good aspects to the job, as well. But if you really can't find anything positive about it, perhaps it's time to move on to something else.

5. The Ones Who Ask for Shift Coverage But Never Cover for Others

We all know the type. The ones who constantly need their shifts covered for life-or-death situations. This type will send multiple texts and can call you to the point of almost blocking them. But let's say you do give in and cover for the one who always needs it; they never return the favor when you are in need!

6. The Ones Who Kiss Ass

Yes, there are many. These are the types of servers who have two personalities: one when management is not around and another when they are around. They try to impress those in power by being the yes-person, showing how well they follow the rules. They also think telling management about other servers' bad behavior is the way to gain favor. This is the least popular type on the list.

7. The Drama Queens

You've certainly met people for whom everything is a big deal. The serving profession seems to draw this type of person to it, especially since many are aspiring actors and performers. The prima donnas fall into this category, too. Haven't you known a server who has stories to tell everyone each shift and is typically in a state of crisis?

8. The Angry Ones

This is different from the negative ones in the sense that this type of server is angry and hostile while the negative ones are pessimistic. The angry server is one of the worst to be around because they are mad at everyone and everything. They hate the job, and it shows. They feed off others' fear of them and send out vibes that everyone should leave them alone. Karma will likely take care of this group, but their behavior can be like cancer spreading its way through a healthy system. If management is wise, they will not keep this type of server on staff.

9. The Ones Who Don't Stop Talking

The job that we servers do is one of constant multi-tasking, and our focus is pulled in many directions whenever we're on the floor. We're always on the go, and the ones who don't know when to stop talking can make the job more difficult than it needs to be. We sometimes have to stop mid-sentence only to pick up much later during sidework. Sometimes we start and stop a story eight times a night.

Other times, a server may look like they're doing nothing when standing in a corner, but they're organizing their tables in their mind—ketchup for table 8, a beer and vodka martini up with two olives for table 5, and need to pull a bottle of wine and get proper glasses for table 7, who also happen to be the owner's nephew... When a server tries to talk to you during the process, let's just say it's easy to snap.

Food for Thought

At the end of the day, the serving position is not for everyone. It can work great for some, and for others, it can be worse than death. But if you do decide to do it, why not do it with positivity and grace? Wouldn't it make the job not only more enjoyable but also bring you some more tips? Food for thought.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Christina Parisi