Friday, December 7, 2007

"Captain" Chaos

Butters-inspired and feeling silly, sometimes I enjoy playing little pranks during my shift..."accidentally" dropping menus as I return them to the bin next to the host stand, stealthily stealing pens from co-workers as we pass in the hall, removing straws from drinks as they are being made...all in good fun, of course. I know when to say when...usually. That's how today was.
Lunch was great! Lucrative and overall pretty pleasant (there are ALWAYS exceptions though). Busy. Busy. Although, I didn't think it would end up that way...this story is rated E for Everyone...

Before shift meeting ended I had been double sat (the guests took a special liking to the tables in my section). I wasn't upset about being double sat, but when I walked in the dining room, I saw that my six-top was sat, there were three women at my window-seat (a four-top), and one, single man sitting at my other four-top, but I could tell he was with the three women.

I was confused and hoped this wasn't going to be one of those tables. I did NOT want to start the day off like this. Whatever. I went over to greet the six (I told them I'd be right with them), and immediately went over to the three women and the man to get the scoop on their territorial table-stealing.

The women informed me they were expecting more people. I asked them if they wanted a larger table, and they said they were fine where they were. Annoying. I had one more empty table left in my section, and I had to claim it, "If the rest of your party doesn't show, I will not be able to hold that table for you." (It's Friday lunch for Jiminy's sake! You cannot have all my tables!)
They were kind of snooty and seemingly annoyed with my interrupting their gossip gabble, and I know there were a couple times in the very beginning when they could sense my annoyance. Like when I dropped off two iced teas, and before the cups even left my hand, the woman was asking for the sweetener before I had the opportunity to pull it from my pocket (this being the same woman who asked for Lemonade, Sweet Tea, Mountain Dew, Cappuccino, and every other beverage we don't have because of the overwhelming illiteracy rate that infects the general public when they go out to eat). So, I pull the sugar caddy from my pocket and dangle it to the side, teasingly. Of course I was "all smiles," and she managed to give me something of a smile in return before she was sucked back into the vortex of chatter and squawking from the other women at the table.

In addition, they went through a record-breaking amount of chips! I thought they were going to start spewing chip corners across the restaurant, and I seriously considered asking them if they wanted a straw for their salsa--yuck!

So fine, four more people joined them soon after and filled up three out of the four tables just as we were beginning to get busy.

Getting triple-sat is not always a bad thing. Even though my restaurant is fast-paced, I still set the pace for my tables--it's the only way to stay sane sometimes. People don't always have to have instant service. Most are patient if you are honest and keep them "in the know." The three tables ordered, I put it in quickly, but kind of staggered them so I wouldn't get slammed delivering three tables' food (unfortunately, I still cannot seem to wrap my head around pivot point...ugh...I want to be there to deliver my food).

So, as I'm waiting for their food, I bring extra plates, napkins, and a few refills I deem necessary. Every time I brought something to the table without being asked, this one lady would make a comment, "Wow! Did you read her mind??" At first, I thought she was being condescending, but then I decided to relax.

She kept commenting, and I would say things like, "Well, I've been doing this a long time..." "Oh, you can tell!" she says. "Well, thank you!" I smile. At one point she said to me, "Can we just take you home, so you can..." and I finished her comment for her, " anticipate your every need?" She smiled and agreed, because that's really what I do. Anticipate that you are going to be a slob and need extra napkins, anticipate that the dish will be spicy as hell, and you will need a refill, anticipate that you are ready to leave--the check is in my pocket...
When they were finishing up, she said, "We come here all the time, and you are the best waitress we've ever had!" "Well thank you!" I don't really take compliments well, but it feels sooooo great when you finally get some! (Even though I feel like this lady laid it on pretty thick.) It's especially nice to hear it from a table that was once so annoying. But I did work hard for them. All three tables left me over 20%! It was a great way to start the day! It's amazing how quickly things can turn around.

Cuts weren't made until about 2:30, but that didn't hurt the day...for me. That makes me think of one other rant I wanted to rave about...
Like I have said in other posts, we are fully staffed...people are fighting for shifts! It's really insane! Everyone wants to work la, la, la. So yesterday, I, and several other servers were doubles, and there were seven singles on. Toward the end of the dinner shift, the MOD is going around asking people to close--I'm NOT closing...I opened. Besides, there were plenty of people working a single shift that should have stepped up and taken one for the team. It's kinda fucked up. I mean, with all the fighting for shifts, you'd think that ONE person would be willing to stay. I've done it. We all have to do it at one point or another, but geeze! Eventually, they were forced to draw straws because no one would volunteer. At one point, my manager even said that he was considering having all the singles close just to prove a point, but the straw thing went over soooo much better. I just think it's amazing that all seven people declined to help the other two closers and make a couple extra bucks in the process...I don't know. I guess if I'm talking all this smack, I should have closed! Blah!

Double Tomorrow!

P.S. Butters is Professor Chaos, and I am his evil apprentice, learning all of the Professor's deceitful ways...


Ex-Restaurant Manager said...

It used to never fail. If I offered an extra shift or a close to a server who was bitching about not enough hours, they would always turn it down. At which point I would say, "Then stop complaining!".

BigNick said...

I could have sworn that Professor Chaos's sidekick was General Disarray??? Does that make you a small red headed boy nammed Dougie?

Bitchy Waitress said...

You are definitely correct about Dougie...however, I am Professor Chaos's apprentice, and he is the sidekick...MY sidekick soon!! MMMMWWWWWAAAAAHHHHH

Erin is Fabulous said...

you are lucky you didn't get the "verbal tip" from that table! i always get nervous when people compliment me too much...they think compliments pay the bills.