I received 3 emails regarding wait staff at restaurants from former waiters and waitresses. One was from my own sister.
So I must clarify what I mean so my food isn't spit in before it's delivered to my table.
First you must understand that the restaurants I normally patronize are greasy spoons. They pay their wait staff very little probably because I pay very little and expect even less for the service and food I receive. I'm not picky and typically will eat anything.
Let's just say you're a competent wait person. You enjoy working in a restaurant as it fits the value of your time and satisfies all of the gratification you want from a profession. Hooray for you, you can wait my table anytime and you should expect an enormous tip. I do tip well.
So when the economy is bad, you find that as turnover in your position continues the vacated jobs are being filled with people who are competent and on the ball. You enjoy working with these people and they enjoy you.
Then the economy picks up and more and more jobs are available all over. Lots of people will shift around in vocations looking for what satisfies them and then service level jobs are left looking for jobs to fill. You find that you (remember, you're a competent person) is now working with people who call in sick a lot, don't do the sidework or ask you to do their section for you, don't get things right and make customers complain. You also see your own tips suffer because you work with...oh no...here it goes....complete idiots.
When I explained this to my sister (who has 10 years plus as a waitress and enjoyed it) she completely agreed. She just wanted to make sure that I wasn't calling all wait staff idiots.
My answer to her was this: No not all wait staff my dear sister, just you.