Carrying On And On About The Tray

, , , , , | Working | December 9, 2018

(I am 19 and starting a new serving job at a casual restaurant in my small town. The woman training me micromanages how I do every single task, which is usually good for how I learn, but then we talk about carrying a tray.)

Trainer: *showing me how to carry a large tray* “Keep your palm flat, carry it in the center, and make sure you load it evenly — heavy stuff in the middle. We’ll talk more about loading it in a bit. Go ahead and grab an empty tray and try it out.”

(I grab a tray and balance it with my right hand while walking, without issues.)

Trainer: “Okay, good. Wait. Are you right-handed or left-handed?”

Me: “I’m right-handed.”

Trainer: “You should be carrying with your left, then, so you can use your right, the dominant hand, to open up the folding stand or unload your tray.”

Me: “Really? Huh. Well, it feels better using my right. Shouldn’t I use my strongest arm?”

Trainer: “Yes, but that should be— Wait, now I’m not sure. Hold on.”

(She holds the tray, first using her right hand, then her left.)

Trainer: “No, you really should keep your dominant hand free. See? Watch me.”

(She demonstrates again, and then another coworker walks out of the kitchen with a tray of food.)

Trainer: “See? [Coworker #1] is using her left hand to carry a tray. Oh! And here comes [Coworker #2]. Hey! Show [My Name] how to carry a tray.”

Coworker #2: “Uh, okay?” *picks up tray and balances with left hand*

Trainer: “SEE! She carries with her left hand!”

Coworker #2: *to me* “Are you left-handed?”

Me: “Nope.”

(It’s a slow mid-afternoon, so now the other server has come back and they’re telling me how I should be balancing a tray with my left hand and unloading with my right because they all do it like that. [Coworker #1] finally tells me to try with both and see what feels best. Unsurprisingly, my left hand is shaky when I carry the empty tray.)

Trainer: “Oh. Definitely don’t use your left hand.”

Me: “Yeah, no kidding!”

(As I met the rest of my coworkers the rest of the week, they all apparently thought it was crazy that I used my right arm to carry, and I had to repeat that scene several times. I’ve since looked up what’s normal and watched different people, but I still don’t think it was that weird! I thought it was weird they were so adamant that I was wrong about what felt best for ME.)

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