Monday, April 28, 2008

Table 43

While I was taking the order for the 10-top of vegetarians who decided to make their own menu, I was sat with 2 adults and 3 small children at one of my other tables. This family frequents our establishment at least once a week. I actually waited on them last week, and they ran the shit out of me while I was running 7 other tables during mid-shift. So, after I finally got things squared away with the Veggies, I went over to greet the table. My attitude definitely changed upon seeing them. I knew they were going to ask for a million salsas (both with their chips and with their meals), and their children make a horrendous mess! Messier than normal children, that's for sure. It seems to me that these children have a personal vendetta against all waitstaff and have vowed to throw every piece of food, drink, or crayon onto the floor. I was polite--I always am--but I was not overjoyed to be serving them. Tonight was weird because, even though they run the shit out of me, I usually get 20% out of these people. Last week, they left me $6 on $29. This week was different. First, I knew they were going to run me, so I grabbed 3 salsas off the bat. Then, I knew he was going to down his soda, so I brought refills way ahead of time. I also brought their extra salsas for their entrees out before their food arrived--I consider this efficiency. (I was taking care of a 10-top of high-maintenance vegetarians too, don't forget.) They got the same thing they ordered last week, so their bill was exactly the same, and they left me $3 tonight. It did occur to me that I had my manager drop off their 3rd basket of chips, and I asked a co-worker to grab the kiddies their 3rd round of chocolate milks (before dinner). Maybe that's why they didn't tip me though. Who knows? All I know is that I hope there is never a "next time."

In other news: I started my new job today! Again, it's only part-time, so I'll still be trudging away at the restaurant to make ends meet, but I'm happy that I'm moving on. One foot out of the restaurant and in somewhere else! I think this is going to work out nicely. :)

I also want to apologize for the lack of posting lately. Things have been crazy-busy in Bitchy World! ;)

Off tomorrow...Closing Wednesday.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The People

Humans are interesting creatures, especially when they're hungry. I'm convinced that hunger brings on bouts of delusion, severe mood swings, and temporary insanity. Over the weekend, I had a number of memorable guests.

1. Saturday night: I was working the patio :) and, of course, people were trying to sit at available tables while they were waiting for a table inside. Ugh. I can't really do anything about it, but I do go up, tell them that it's full service outside, yadda, yadda, and when they turn me down, I politely tell them that I will have to ask them to move if someone does want the table. Anyway, at one point, I see two young guys sitting at the round 5-top on the corner of the patio. I go up, give them my schpeal, then return inside. A couple minutes later, I see that a couple more people joined them, a dad and a grandmother. Then, I see this woman coming from the bar with 4 beers in her hands, and she heads to the round table. It hits me that she has put the beers in front of the young boys, who are no more than 19...the one looked 16, honestly. I immediately tell the bartender, who has much more experience handling these situations, and he did...beautifully.
Bartender: Hey guys, I'm gonna need to see your ids.
Dad: They don't have them with them.
Mom: They're 21.
Bartender: Sorry guys, without an id, it puts our liquor license in jeopardy, I'm going to have to take these.
They didn't protest, because they were obviously caught, but what nerve! Who has the audacity to buy drinks for their minor children?? If you want to be the "cool parent" and let your kids drink under age, that's your choice--Do it under your own roof, on your own property, not someone else's, especially a well-known restaurant. How stupid can you be?

2. Sunday morning, I picked up a shift. People were idiotic, but I'm glad I picked up, it was worth it monetarily. I wasn't really feeling that great when I woke up on Sunday, but no biggie, I needed the money. Because I picked up a shift, I was put in the last section, but because it was Sunday, I didn't have to go in until noon, so I was sat immediately. 3-top, followed a couple minutes later by a 7-top, and another 3-top directly behind. Yuck. I see this happen while I'm getting the drink order for the 7. The 3 has a small child in a high-chair, so they are taking some time getting settled. Cool with me, I don't need to be rushed. So, I walk passed the 3, and tell them that I will be right with them. They are all standing around the table--they haven't even sat down, and the woman says, "I can order." I'm sure I gave her a dumbfounded look, but I told her politely that I would be right over for her. This woman proceeded to run me for the duration of their stay. I think her hunger brought on all three of the side effects I mentioned above. Finally, toward the end of their meal, I asked them if I could wrap anything for them. She tells me to bring her a box. Fine. So, I try to clear some of the plates, and when I start to take hers that has a pile of onions on it, she tells me she wants a box for that too. A box for your fucking onions? That's gross. Even her hubby was like, "You wanna take those?" Weird.

3. Today: A young couple, probably 18 or 19, nice, friendly, whatever. When I go to run the kid's credit card, it declines for me, so I asked my manager to ring it in manually, just in case his strip isn't working, whatever. It was a busy mid-shift, so I let him handle it. The kid's card was declined--my manager got another--declined--and another--declined. I hope he had been with his girlfriend long, otherwise that may have been the end...Anyway, my manager agrees to take the kid's id while he went to get cash to pay the bill. The bill was $29.10. The kid comes back an hour later with $30. Great. I guess in the frenzy of realizing he maxed out all of his credit cards, he forgot to tip his waitress. I did walk out on the patio as he was getting in his car, but I didn't say anything--it's really not worth it.

Well, there's the top 3 for the weekend.

Off tomorrow!! Dinner Wednesday...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Cycle

Vomitus server (suspected food poisoning), calls establishment two-or-so-hours before her shift to make management aware that she is ill and pukey. The manager she speaks with tells her that if she plans to call out, she should know that they will require a Dr's note. Of course, she, like 85% of the staff, does not have health insurance; therefore, it's extremely expensive to run to the doc's every time you catch a bug (or food poisoning, in her case, which just needs to run its course).
Regardless, she shows up for her shift, pale, disgusting, projectile (not really, but close), yuck. Nary a manager spoke to her, asked her of her state, her feelings. Nothing. She was in a "front" section, which stays busiest, but she was willing to tough it out. Luckily, the night started out slow. She only had one table when her sickness caught her again, and she was off and running. She felt ashamed to go to the managers and tell them she was sick. This is the type of environment we're working with. All of us tip-toe on eggshells, and we don't feel like we can tell our superiors that we're feeling ill. I felt so bad for her...she was emotional, ill, and afraid that she was going to have to suffer all night, when all she wanted was bed.
Finally, I went to the MOD, who didn't really shrug at it, which annoyed me. Why aren't they sending her home?! I then said something to the other manager, who had a more urgent reaction. Finally something is going to be done about this. Even if they don't care about her, having a vomitus server is no good for the restaurant, either. Let her go home! Then, it comes out, the first manager I spoke with tells me that Pukey is supposed to close, so they would be short, and they "didn't feel like scrambling around to find another closer." Are you kidding me!? This is ridiculous. So, of course I say "I'll close." So what, I opened today, I can close, and open tomorrow--no big wup. Really, the only reason I told them I would close was because they wouldn't let her go home otherwise. After Sicky went home, I went around to the "singles" and asked if they could close for her. Two "rookies" stepped up and said they would close for the cause. Taking one for the team, right? It happens. I was so happy that they were so ready to help. It makes me feel good about the newer staff. :)

I brought my feelings up to the managers, like I always do, and they told me that it was stupid to talk about it considering everything was fixed. They're right, they do have a point; however, I'm talking about common courtesy. If someone is visibly ill, shouldn't the proof be in the...well, you know...?? Unbelievable.

Everything worked out fine, and it was relatively slow...It was so gorgeous outside today, I wouldn't want to sit in a restaurant either.

Open tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Check It Out

Check out this week's Round Table at Well Done Fillet! Thanks Manuel!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The House of "No"

I feel like I should get a good vent out before going in to close...

Last night sucked on many levels. The first being that NO ONE showed up for their 4:00 shift, so me and one other server were on and taking tables. We each had 5 tables, and slowly other servers started showing up for their shifts. That just got the night off to a rocky start. And Regional GM and Corporate Server Lady (the one that I love) were in the building, just adding to the stress of the shift. At one point, I was double-sat, and the hostesses were freaking out about where to put people, so I told them to seat me again...big mistake! I gave that table pretty bad service, and I'm sorry, but unfortunately, it does happen.
So, during this clusterfuck of weeds, I dropped off a beer to a table, but I was also dropping things off for other tables, so when I set it down, I just turned to hand something to the other table. I don't know, really. All I do know is that the RGM pulled me to the host stand three or so minutes later to tell me that I dropped the beer on this table, and he alluded to the fact that the table was pissed. I went over, apologized, and told them...Evidently, I set the beer on something so it wasn't happens. I tell them that I had no idea it fell over, or I would have helped them, yadda, yadda. Meanwhile, RGM takes off both their appetizers and the beers. I couldn't believe they were so angry. In addition, I just assumed that my RGM had brought the man another beer, so I stopped at the table to ask if they were okay. He seemed to be finished his meal, so I offered to take his plate. The man just looks at the frothy beer sitting on his table and said, "Uh, yeah, can I get a beer." "OMG, I'm so sorry, I thought he was bringing one for you!" At this point, I'm pissed, I think my table is pissed, and my RGM is definitely pissed. So, I go to take the man's plate, and he tells me that he's not finished. I was so confused and still in the weeds, I put the plate down and immediately brought him his beer. After a couple minutes, he pulled me to the side and told me that he wasn't angry, he just needed napkins and a beer. I felt like such an asshole! And I was really pissed at my RGM for making me feel like the table was utterly irate. It just changes everything. I probably could have been able to relax more if I knew they were okay...Operation Communication. Ugh.

The title of this post stems from the list of "No's" that I'm constructing. Hopefully, in the next few weeks this will change. I think the two big-wigs are trying to implement some morale boosting techniques, which makes me a happy girl.

Anyway, welcome to the House of No:
  1. No free food.
  2. No extra tables (unless in a closing situation)
  3. No breaks on Sat/Sun
  4. No drinks to-go
  5. No to-go (unless you pay full price and are not working)
  6. No smoking
  7. No parking near any entrances
  8. No coming in the back door
  9. No boys can wear earrings
  10. No colored hair-bands
  11. No eating on the fly
  12. No "money shifts" only (even if you're a 'senior server')

The list will continue, for sure. I'm gonna stop venting so I'm actually in a good mood for my shift tonight!


Thursday, April 10, 2008


I mentioned in an earlier post about having an interview...well, I got the position! It's a part-time position, so I will still have to work a few shifts at the restaurant--I just won't have to depend on tips as my primary source of income. It feels good.
Because of my mood, tonight was a breeze...not to mention, it really wasn't that busy. I still made out pretty well after tip-out (and I had $200 in liquor sales, so I tipped the bar $10...everyone was drinkin' tonight).
The bittersweet part about not waiting so much, is that I won't have much blog material...Who am I kidding??? I will always find material!
I'm considering just working Thurs., Fri., and Sat., nights, but those are "money-making shifts," and now, all of a sudden, my manager is worried about "being fair." Please. Haven't I earned some money-making shifts??

Here we go again. :)

Dinner tomorrow.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Round Table XVII

Round Table
Service Industry
Blog Carnival

Welcome back! I'm happy to host this week's edition of the Round Table! Get comfy!

It's been a long week for everyone, it seems. But, we all made it out alive...barely.

Ribeye dealt with stupidity on a new and exciting level. It's stressful enough being a server, but it's even harder when your guests are idiots. Even though Ribeye had more than his fair share of shitty tables, he did prove, once again, that there are always exceptions!

Manuel, over at Well Done Fillet had a run-in with the chef and warns the non-serving public of the barrage of bull-shit we waiters have to put up with from the kitchen staff. Sorry you had to go through all that, but thanks for spreading the word. :)

On the flip-side, Waiter experiences an act of kindness from the chef that is rare and beautiful. Chefs who aren't wrapped in their egos tighter than their lettuce wraps are one of a kind...and a change of pace (in fact, where I'm from, I haven't met one chef who was nice to the serving staff). Also, don't forget to check out The Waiter's book cover! Congratulations!

Ali touches on many server pet peeves. From guests who think they are the only patron in the establishment, to ignorant couples who whistle when they need something. Ali handled it with much more patience than I could have. I also thoroughly enjoyed the story at the end of the post about the manipulative bar guest. Kudos to your regular for telling her to get lost.

Upset Waitress offers up some TMI and laughs in her busy post. We all know that when it comes down to it, we can all trust that UW will tell it how it is. :)

Tony describes certain co-workers to a fact, I would nominate myself as belonging to Group 2 (everyone else I work with would too). Thanks for opening my eyes as to how my fellow co-workers might view me. It makes me want to be a less-bitchy waitress...for now...

Shrimp Queen's eclectic blend of co-workers makes for an interesting post. It has my mind boggled, that's for sure. I particularly love Queenie's vision of resolving the issue--perfect Bitchy Form! ;)

Bitter Waitress has a lovely review for anyone hankering Mexican! Check out Taco Boy!

Restaurant Gal had a lucky night of food and fun! Congrats on your winning evening! You can really pick 'em! :)

In Ryan's follow-up from a previous post, he touches on a sensitive, yet relevant, subject. His story is inspiring, and his viewpoint is strong and clear. I love the image of "basing your faith in actions." Thank you, Ryan.

All servers are tough critics when they go out for a recreational meal. Lobster Boy proves that it's nearly impossible to turn off the server when trying to have a relaxing night off. The frustrations of waiting tables will follow us for eternity! :P

Thanks to all for tuning in to the Blog Carnival this week. Once again, it has been my pleasure to serve you!


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pre-Shift, Post-Vent

Last night was a clusterfuck of ridiculousness (in my opinion). At one point, the KM mentioned how the restaurant was, once again, flat sat. When I go to my manager to talk to him about this, he looks at me, wide-eyed, then he tells me that I'm complaining as much as the kitchen staff, and he wonders if I have any suggestions. When I told him about "pacing the wait," he didn't quite understand. He told me that I should teach him how to pace the wait because he doesn't know how. At this point, I'm getting annoyed because he's a smart guy, so I didn't think pacing the wait was that difficult...evidently, it is. He thinks that pacing the wait would take us from a 40 min wait to an hour wait. Honestly, I don't think it will add 20 minutes onto the wait time, but it will extend it a little. Is that such a price to pay for food that actually comes out well-made and on time?? With the flat-seating comes mistakes, weeds, and angry customers. He says that once I've figured it out, to let him know. Well, patronizing me is also not going to make me happy.

I was in a great section last night, until, you guessed it, they pushed my motherfucking tables together again. I was in my fav section last night, too, they really know how to ruin everything. Then after that first big-top left, they left it together because my GM told me it was for a 10-top...I was great with that until they sat a 7-top there! I confronted him, and of course he tells me that the 7-top was first, but I think he's full of shit.

The other thing that's really been bothering me, is that we're making all these changes...promoting servers to assistant managers, facilitators, bartenders, etc. Now, I know (and so do you) that I'm a complete bitch, but I know the menu, and I know the restaurant very well. I just bitch so much, that I guess they just want me to leave at this point. My point is, that no one even came to me and said, you know, if you weren't such a bitch, we'd ask if you want to be a bartender, or even a trainer for that matter. Nope, nothing. I know that I'm a decent server...except last night, I felt like a rookie because I got in the weeds pretty good (but that's a direct result of flat-seating the restaurant). I probably wouldn't take bartender if were offered to me because I don't want to be there, but just to know that they would like to promote me would make me feel like they respected me an ounce. Right now, I don't feel like they respect anyone.

I have an interview on Wednesday for a Part-time position. So, I won't be able to leave the wonderful establishment entirely, but at least it won't be my primary source of income. I should go...

Close tonight.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Don't forget to check out this week's Round Table over at Bitter Waitress!

Next week, I'll be your happy hostess!

Double Tomorrow.