I've been working as a server since I was 16, and have been at my current job for 4 years.
It's a sweet little family-owned diner on the East Coast, and I do mean diner.
Handwritten checks, massive servings of food for low prices, and less than 15 servers, about half of which only work one to three days a week.
Some pros and cons to this: No corporate bullshit like 'the customer is always right' and 'turn and burn.' Sure, we are there to make the customers happy, but I feel it's not as unfair as some of the horror stories I've heard from chain restaurants.
However, we seem to breed spoiled regulars because some of our waitresses have unique (read: they don't give a fuck or they kiss ass so much you'd think L'Oreal came out with a chocolate lipstick) service. Customers who need specific coffee cups, certain things on certain plates, this split that way and that split this way, expect a free dessert because someone forgot to charge and no one corrected it for three years, etc.
Now, I'm all for giving great service and giving my customers all I can, but all our "regulars" are demanding, self-important, and shitty tippers. Why do we have to kiss their ass because they are "regulars?" They often don't request me because when I hear "Oh, so-and-so does it this way for us." I tell them, "Whoops, I guess I'll have to remember for next time!" and walk away. There is rarely a next time.