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Service Industry

Service Industry

Date: Sep 26 2008

Themes: Food, Work


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

In countries that tip, waiters and waitresses truly do depend on the kindness of strangers. A big part of their income comes from tips.

But people in the service industry also depend on their customers to get them through the day. It’s hard to be on your feet serving people all day and if those people are mean to you, it can be horrible. But if your customers understand your job is hard, it can make it a lot easier.

Listen to Beren and Devan talk about being waitresses.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Devan:  So, Beren, we’re both in the service industry. We both wait tables for a living. Do you ever feel like customer service people don’t get the appreciation they deserve?

Beren:  Totally. I’ve also noticed that people who have never worked customer service jobs don’t tip. And they seem to underappreciate more than anybody else.

Devan:  It’s true. That’s why I think that everybody’s first job should be a customer service job so that way they understand. When I go to restaurants, I’m a lot more patient and I tip better because I know how hard it is and I know what they have to deal with and it seems like you can always tell when you wait on someone and they get real impatient with you and they leave you a really bad tip, you just know that they’ve worked in the industry before in their lives.

Beren:  Exactly, I’ve noticed too that it tends to be like, at least where I work, the older people tend to tip less than all the young people. And they also tend to be more friendly or understanding if something takes a while and you’re like, “Sorry, your plate’s going to be five minutes later,” you know? They seem to be more understanding.

Devan:  The older thing is also a bit of a generational difference, too. Like my grandma, if she tips ten percent, she thinks that’s a really good tip because, you know, when she was younger that would be considered a really great tip. So she doesn’t know. She’ll be like, “Oh, you were so nice, I’m going to leave you a big, $3 tip.”

Beren:  Yeah, I had to talk to my mom about her tipping strategy because she was definitely a 6-10%-er on really great service. Like, “Uh, mom, no. That was like $60, really, really great server. Multiple water refills without asking and she went above and beyond and she overtipped. She probably tipped like 25% but it was pretty cute because she’s never worked a service job in her life either.

Devan:  Yeah. So when I go out with my grandparents now, I always bring a little extra cash on hand so when they walk out I can slip a few more bucks on the table.

Beren:  Well, back in their day, hamburgers only cost 10 cents!

Devan:  It’s true.



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Devan and Beren agree that people who have worked in the service industry are better customers. Devan even thinks that everyone should work in the service industry at some point just so they’ll understand what it’s like.

In addition to people who have never worked in a restaurant or bar, Beren says that older people tend to tip poorly. The customs are different now. Beren had to explain to her mother that she wasn’t tipping enough for great service at a restaurant and Devan adds a little bit to the tips her grandmother leaves when they go out.

Have you ever worked in the service industry? Did you like it?



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david yun

South Korea

well, I have but in my country, we don’t have the culture of giving tips. but I can feel how the servers feel at work. I have worked at an icecream shop in summer. It was so busy and the customers kept going in and out. So crowded! It was really hard to smile to the people all the time even in busy time. And some customers were rude and they said harshly so that I felt terrible.

02:19 AM Mar 21 2016 |



i agree, jobs in service industry are certainly hard, hectic and underpaid. i can imagine, although i’ve never worked in that industry so far, it is pretty demanding and consuming to deal with difficult, unfriendly and impatient customers. but there is also another side of the coin. many poeple who work i the service industry are definitely in the wrong economic sector. i mean, some are great, friendly, professional and they know how to deal with people so that customershave a great time and can enjoy themselves. i always give tips for a good service. but on the other hand there are a lot of pricks, unfriendly, unprofessional, rude, lazy and they don’t give a shit about their own behaviour, a good service and about the costumers. sometimes i could freak out. and when a waiter like that really expects a tip after a bad service… the only answer can be… “dream on” :-)

12:02 PM Mar 04 2012 |

1 person likes this



I C, for now ,service industry it’s definitely popular in my country,i think,not only my country ,should be famous of the world,because everyone who living in the world need to get service with other person,also you have to serve for others to make money,such a circle,ya ,so what is my point ,we are all working in service industry,i think ,whatever your job noble or not,let’s image,if have service industry in the world,maybe so boring for living in the world,even though you have much money,but you can not buy anything what you want to buy,also you have to cook by youself and you can not eating in the resturant,because no one here cooking for u,also you can not get the vegetable and meat ,actuall all of the foods we eatting general from the market ,becase no one sells anything here,oh,let’s stop here, really horrible we living without service industry.

10:36 AM Nov 24 2011 |




hi my friends ….I like to send you my opinion…..... I was a wiater a while ago and I really got bad times and good too, but in general I spend a great time working in a restaurant that come all kinds of people….... I learned a lot…...........


05:26 AM Nov 24 2011 |

mazin moon


hi sara, you are welcome

08:44 PM Mar 17 2009 |

mazin moon


thank you,, service industry is a respect industry

07:06 PM Mar 16 2009 |

lisa lv

lisa lv



    Thank  you.Because in the college,my major is

english,and i have past CET6,an english test.So it's

not difficult for me to write this.And my work is always

send email with foreigner,negotiating the business.

     My name is lisa,nice to know you!

11:50 AM Sep 30 2008 |



i am going to do the survice job in the future.thanks a lot for giving me the experience.

03:21 AM Sep 30 2008 |




haha,,,,,,,,,so reallife is it!!

03:00 AM Sep 30 2008 |




11:46 AM Sep 29 2008 |



i have never worked as a server before and there is not customary to give tips in China…however i think if i had chance to get a part-time job in Canada during my grad-period,maybe,infomally,i would consider to attend the service industry and get the experiences which the talkers mentioned above… 

11:19 AM Sep 29 2008 |




oh ,damn it ,no such good thing in china

05:04 PM Sep 28 2008 |



I like these kind of English lessons.

04:18 PM Sep 28 2008 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of


02:04 PM Sep 28 2008 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

my mail is

02:03 PM Sep 28 2008 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of


i want some one to help me in speaking



02:02 PM Sep 28 2008 |



hay all
iam sarah iam join to chat to learn english you can help me learn

01:49 PM Sep 28 2008 |




In Taiwan, we often pay extra 10% for the service at a restaurant. The number 10% is fixed, not depending on how great the service is. If you really like someone's service, admiring him directly is a good way.

01:18 PM Sep 28 2008 |




In Taiwan, we often pay extra 10% for the service at a restaurant. The number 10% is fixed, not depending on how great the service is. If you really like someone's service, admiring him directly is a good way.

01:18 PM Sep 28 2008 |




09:02 AM Sep 28 2008 |

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