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Bars and Their Staff Deserve Your Respect

Julie Marion -- Those who have waited on tables in college know students provide great business. However, students can also be irresponsible and offensive, unaware that they are doing things that put a damper on the night for those that provide service.

University is a time for partying, hanging out with friends and having fun while, at the same time, doing endless amounts of schoolwork. Working hard to make the grade is what students do and a good night out with friends is well-deserved for the most part.

However, this well-deserved night of fun usually ends up chaotic, messy, and even unremembered because of the copious quantities of booze most students consume.

Most nights of the week, there’s a place that hosts loads of students, like The Spur on “Spursday.” These evenings are amusing for those heading out, but those few hours of craziness are sometimes dreaded by the establishment.

Having waitressed for my entire university career, I’m acutely aware that students provide great business for the bars in Waterloo during the school year, but they can also be irresponsible and offensive to their nightly hosts. Students may be unaware that they are doing things that always put a damper on the night for those that provide service to them or just make them laugh and shake their heads.

First of all, some (often younger) students just do not know how to handle themselves while drinking. They get sloppy and ridiculous, often due to the fact that some are not even of age when they enter their first year and the whole bar scene is still new.

After this, there is the matter of respect towards those working. In this university town, most servers and bartenders are university students themselves. While everyone is out drinking, servers are making sure you are getting those desperately needed drinks.

It’s always interesting to stand back and watch the crowd around the bar and observe the variety of tactics used to catch the bartender’s attention. Whistling, crazy arm gestures, a little head nod, leaning right over just to make sure that you’re seen. Trust me, they see you.

They serve in a manner that is fair to everyone and being obnoxious is going to get you nowhere. If you’re at a bar that allows you to grab a table for the night, you will most likely have a waitress or waiter look after you. They will run around for you most of the night and keep a tab for your table.

When the cheque comes, you may be surprised by the amount of liquor ingested and some tabs may be higher than you thought. Being a student myself, I understand that money is tight at times, but if you can spend $100 or more on drinking with your friends, you have the money to tip. At the bar, tipping is required as well. Ever heard that weird cowbell at Phil’s? Yeah -– that’s to make sure that everyone knows that someone didn’t tip.

If you had a tab, it means that there was someone running around and serving you all night. There should be at least a 10 percent tip, if not a 15 percent tip, which you calculate from your total bill.

Most of your servers are students. We don’t get paid the servers’ minimum wage -– which is below the usual minimum wage -– to run around for you if you’re not going to tip.

Another thing that students tend to do while out partying is vandalize. Breaking glass and stealing things from the place you are drinking at is never appreciated, nor is it as funny or awesome as you think it is.

As a student myself, a night out is something I like to partake in, just like anyone else. I may get hectic, but I try to make sure that I am not being an idiot so I can make it easier on those working. The same is not true of all students.

While it is often hard to understand your behavior and its impact without working in the industry, you should at least remember that when you’re sitting in class hung-over after a night of irritating me, I’ll be beside you, tired from running around for you all night.

Original article used with permission.

© 2009 The Cord Weekly

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