what busing tables for a few weeks has taught me about life

7:05 AM


Hola readers!

I recently took a job at Panera Bread because I needed the money and because...well...I needed the money. I bought a car with my sister a few months ago and suddenly there's even more of a reason to get a job (that and being twenty and not wanting to live at home forever). I applied first to Panera because I liked that you get a discount on meals and they seemed fairly flexible. Plus my sister loved working there and busing tables seemed fairly easy to do.
Working there has its ups and downs and I really do love it like I thought I would. But as always, I tend to make myself learn something. Maybe it's the old homeschooler in me, the girl who wants to get something out of everything.

I learned....

I don't want to do this forever. Who does? Busing tables isn't exactly a booming job, but I actually love it. But as I was stressing the other day about being stuck inside for eight hours at a time and the piles of dirty dishes ans tables I just felt God telling me, "don't worry. This isn't what I called you to for forever."
I'm a writer at heart. To my very core I long to pen stories for a living. While that hasn't happened now, I still haven't let go of that dream. But writing is in my blood, that will never change.
Busing tables is a job God has given me in the here and now...not forever. I need to treat the job as a time to worship my Father, to take care of others, as an art. God has given me something to be faithful in. Dirty dishes and tables and refilling coffee pots isn't always a pleasure, but every moment in life from God is a gift.
I want to treat this job as such, even on the days I'm in tears or confused or yelled at.

Busing tables gives me a chance to love others. And there's been lots of opportunity. From helping people with their dishes, staying overtime for the bosses when they need me to (for free!), telling little kids their cute, listening to the elderly tell stories, complimenting people, holding the door for people, saying, "good morning." I've had a chance and it's been a test of my patience...

Loving means loving the unloved. This has been the hard part for me. There has been some customers I want to strangle, and yet I'm still called to love. Most days I don't want that. My nature goes against that. Loving the unlovable when they're plain jerks, is one of the hardest things I've every had to do there.

Elderly people want someone to chat with. Old ladies knit together by the fire, old men look for chances to pull me aside and tell me stories, bridge games in the conference room...some are lonely, some don't have anyone...busing tables has given me a small chance to do something for them.

It's okay to admit you need help. I was thrown into busing tables so fast I didn't have time to get much training, but I HATE going up to my boss in the middle of rush hour and pound her with questions. But I've learned it's better to ask and get it right than don't and get it wrong. Busing tables blindly can have consequences....

Don't be afraid to stalk the door leading to the men's bathroom in order to question a poor dude coming out and ask him if any more men are in their because you need to check the toilet paper level. You will get questioning looks. You will look weird. Just ignore.

Be yourself. It's exhausting trying to please everyone. There's hundreds of people on this job you will want to please and not everyone will be pleased. Your boss, coworkers and customers will not ALL be happy no matter how hard you try. I'm a people pleaser by nature, but I'm learning VERY quickly you got to let go of this in this job or you'll become exhausted emotionally.

When it's my turn to be the customer....

  • clean up your trash around your table
  • say hello to the person busing tables if she happens to be working near you (don't take them for granted -- they're keeping the place clean 
  • Leave a tip. It will literally make their day. 
  • If you're asked if you need help carrying your trays to the rack by the trash cans, don't be offended. They're trying to be nice -- not see you an incapable. DO NOT laugh at them like they're crazy. 
  • Don't yell for the manager if the girl at the register heard your order wrong. She might be new and have no clue what she's doing and it's no fun being on the receiving line. 
How's life been for you, readers? I would love to hear any experiences you may have had working at restaurants in the past (or now)!


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15 of your thoughts

  1. Yay, I'm happy you got a pretty good job! I think I would love Panera Bread. I love how your posts see always so interesting. Hope it goes super good <333

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    1. Thank you so much Paige. <3 <3 <3 I highly recommend working at Panera if you ever get the chance. If you have a good boss and coworkers like I do, the hard work and long drive is so worth it (I have the long drive haha). *Hugs*

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  2. In the summer of 2016 , I worked at a fine dining restaurant, ( sadly, I have not had work since then.) Got laid off after a few months due to renovations but I had a blast! My favorite thing was the kind of competition of who could clean the most tables the most fast and thoroughly. I loved prepping the tables and polishing the silverware, dishes, and barware. I was one of the most loved employees because of my work ethic. My favorite experience was there was this couple's wedding Anniversary. I asked them their names and how long they had been married beforehand, and then when I brought them their water I said HAPPY ( I can't remember how long they had been married as of now.) ANEVERSURY!! They liked it. I remember crying the day they told me they had to lay me off. But yea, I was a busser, was loved by everyone, and even got personal tips from people who loved how well I treated them. I always made sure everyone is happy. My way of thinking is do my best to make sure everyone was well served and happy, because you never know what someone may be going through, just the smallest bit of happiness can make someones day possibly. I wish you well Kara!

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  3. And even as of today, the staff know exactly what I like to order when I come there : a Chocolate Torte and ether coffee or expresso to go with it. And where I like to sit, Table 1 Section A. It is my go to when I want a fancy late night treat .

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    1. Thanks Evan!!!! Yes, you never know what someone's going through and expressing them love in even the simplest ways can be a true blessing.

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  4. I confess I don't know whether to laugh or shake my head in disgust. Do you honestly think that the beliefs you express here are reflected in your behavior?

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    1. Yes sir, I do. My beliefs motivate what I do and I think that's true of everyone. What you believe affects what you do whether you want it to or not.

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    2. After deleting comment after comment I've made, very polite and supportive ones at that, you FINALLY print this one?! (Gee, isn't Ray mean? What a cruel monster!) I've tried to be kind and it seems friendly encouragement isn't appreciated.

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    3. Actually to be honest I haven't got a comment from you in months.

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  5. I enjoyed reading this! There's always lessons to learn, and I like how you make the most of a temporary job to learn and love as much as you can. I hope it continues to go well! xx

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    1. Aw thank you Jess -- miss you and our chats!!!! XOXO

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  6. Congrats on the job! It's amazing how much one can observe from the sidelines.

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    1. Thanks girl!!!!! There is much to observe from doing simple jobs. I've seen a lot from busing tables -- both good and bad. <3

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  7. That sounds really interesting!! I don't have a job currently cause I'm literally not allowed to but I'll probably end up working some kind of retail/food retraunty waiter job so I'll keep these in mind. :)

    Nabila | Hot Town Cool Girl

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