Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Lesson in De-Greenifying

I don't know about all of you, but I am a HUGE fan of befriending the rookies and making sure they are properly taken care of. I know some of the jokes--emptying all the water from the coffee maker (it's hooked directly to the water lines, so it will not empty); putting ice cubes or crushed chips on their clean tables; sending them to find something that we no longer have, etc., all of these little jokes are harmless (and a little fun), but on a whole rookies need to be taught the RIGHT way. I'm not talking new people that have come from another restaurant here; I'm talking rookies to the restaurant biz on a whole. New people that come from other restaurants already know the rules--they know what they are getting themselves into.
Rookies are walking in completely blind.
Now, I have a full understanding that the word "hostess" tends to attract those in the "I'm a fucking moron" class of teenagers; but there are ALWAYS exceptions.
You know who they are (I'm talking about hosts, servers, bussers, etc. now)--enthusiastic, aced their tests (menu, floor chart, drinks, etc.), half-hour early for shifts...you see where I'm going with this. These individuals are still green to the restaurant industry, and may not even know how to brew a cup of coffee or carry a tray--things that we can do in our sleep. They definitely don't know the politics and the sometimes dirty stuff that goes on behind the scenes (if your restaurant doesn't have any, then you've either found the exception or you're the green one).

This rant stems from my lunch shift yesterday (Monday). It was SLOW...slower than usual, slow. We had 12 servers on (ridiculous, I know, but for some reason the pars are really high for Mondays in December, which is also why they put a busser on), ugh. Well, a server was getting all fired up because he had only had three tables, la la la, and he thinks the hostess is an idiot, when he doesn't realize that when guests see a nearly empty restaurant, they will generally choose the table they want, "Oh, can we have that table by the window??" or "Can we stay near the front of the restaurant please?" or my fav, "I'll take THAT one." Guests always find something to make a special request for. But, I digress.

The server was kind of screaming at the hostess! I immediately went over to him because I saw he had upset her, "Hey, man, don't make her cry. She's a good one..." The server I'm talking to has worked in the biz for quite some time (although he is young...I think he's 24), but he's lazy, and thinks he has the power to get away with shit. And, he's trying to act like he has some kind of power to be sat incessantly during a slow shift. He says to me, and I quote, " 'Nice' doesn't pay the bills." Well, not only did I laugh at him a little bit, but I just said, "Alright, dude, but karma's the bitch." and walked away.
I'm not saying I DON'T flip out on hosts, because there are definitely situations when I want to beat the shit of them all, but you've got to look at the whole picture first. We were dead! There were no tables to be sat! I think I had six by the time cuts went up. I never asked him how many he had. I wanted to ask him why he didn't want to close lunch, but I decided that would just add fuel, and I didn't really feel like talking to him.

Bottom Line: Teach the rooks the RIGHT way. Be honest. Don't yell. Remember how you felt your very first day (or month) waiting tables. It's nerve-racking for some and easy-as-pie-for others. Help the new guy at the computer. Show him the shortcuts. You can teach them the right way (your way), and before you know it, you've built yourself a little army....(teehee).

Lunch tomorrow.


Upset Waitress said...

haha well you are nicer than me! I push them out of my way. I have no tolerence for green horns. I think they sense it too. :)

Bitchy Waitress said...

Don't get me wrong, there are "those" rooks that don't take direction and act like idiots, and, yes, I shove them out of my way. But those newbies who are REALLY making an effort, I can't help but want to show them the right way, ya know??

Ex-Restaurant Manager said...

Sounds like your "experienced waiter" need a stint or two at the podium. As far as stress-per-dollar-earned, the host people get the short end of the stick (second only to dish-washers). Where are your managers at? That should not be tolerated.

NewbieHostess said...

OMG..you just about described my first day on the job perfectly. I have never worked in restraunt before. I started a week ago Thursday (hostess first, then later train to be server). My first day a waitress trained me..i was to greet/seat customers, get their drinks, answer phones, do takeout orders, bus tables and reset. Fine..first day was slow, then came Saturday.. I'm about in tears trying to keep up with it all, then a weekend waitress comes in and says WHOA! You don't have to do all that, your job is to great/seat, phones and takeout orders..So as the day progressed and servers were yelling at me..DID YOU GET THEIR DRINKS YET..I was way less stressed and said 'no'. Of course I don't mind doing extra at all, I'm big on team work, but that was over the top. I did make 2.00 in tips from one take out order tho. LOL Oh, and I got hollered at for seating too many people in a certain server's area..uh, every table in the place was full at one time or another..there were no choices. Sheesh. Anyway, thank you and Thanks to Mimi the server who gave me the heads up my 3rd day on the job.