What I Learned From Working at the Dairy Joy

ninaImage source HiddenBoston.com

Any m. blog readers from the suburbs? If you’re from any town near Weston you’ve probably heard of Dairy Joy on Route 117. Overpriced menu items, lines 50 people long, melting soft serve and delicious fried clams is what you’re familiar with if you’ve ever visited the infamous roadside clam shack. What you might not be familiar with is the fact that I was a longtime employee of the establishment, six years to be exact. At the age of 22, I think it’s pretty impressive to have committed to anything for six years, let alone a summer job sans air conditioning while all your friends are at the beach.

Most summer jobs for 16 year-olds don’t have takeaways, but I must admit I learned a whole lot about the nature of hungry humans (wealthy ones in particular), customer service and general attitude during my time spent at the good ole DJ. I’d like to share what I learned with you because I think everyone should have a little insight into the world of food service. That said, here are some friendly reminders about ordering etiquette to keep in mind while in line for ice cream this summer…

1.       It’s not your server’s fault, so don’t yell at them.

Countless times I was blamed for the increased prices of fried clams (or any menu item). Does it look like I went out and caught these clams for you, sir? What about my khaki shorts and Dairy Joy pique-stretch polo uniform leads you to believe that I work for Ipswich Shellfish? Nothing, nothing at all.

2.       Always say “please” and “thank you,” and “have a good day” won’t hurt, too.

The first rule of manners is to say “please” and “thank you.” I was always royally pissed off when I explained to you all the menu items without so much as a “thank you.” So after ordering, say “thank you,” and maybe even smile.

3.       Tip.

Those tip jars with “COLLEGE FUND” graffittied all over them mean what they say. Help a girl out, my hourly salary was barely worth the 11 hour shifts without a break. Also, your server will be a whole lot nicer to you if you just drop your extra 25 cents in that tip jar – it’s the thought that counts. I might even hug you if you put a $5 in there.

4.       There is a right and wrong way to order from a menu.

Anyone who has worked in a restaurant can agree with me on this. Some people do not know how to order food. I now pride myself on being an expert food order-er. If you want more than one of something, ask for it at the same time. Don’t make me go back and forth to the chocolate ice cream machine five times before telling me you wanted five small chocolate cones, which by the way, I could have made and carried all at once. Don’t decide you want French fries not onion rings 20 minutes after you place your order, the onion rings are probably already done, and I will probably end up just giving them to you for free out of frustration. Or I might just make your order easier for me (thanks for the idea Bon Qui Qui).

So there you have it, some advice to those who have not devoted six summers to food service. Try to keep my advice in mind and just remember: if you’re frustrated with a server this summer, would you want your child/friend/spouse to be rudely badgered by a condescending customer? Didn’t think so. Don’t interrupt either. Rude.

Posted by Nina

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