Saturday, June 21, 2008

What's Seniority?

Lately, it has become apparent that my establishment disregards seniority altogether. We have a very new staff (summer always brings 'em around), and although I think we've finally found some good eggs, I think management is swelling their pretty green heads. There are a handful of rooks who are pretty smart and picked things up rather quickly (imagine that), and management has already started scheduling these people in sections that were once considered senior sections. Now, they're for rooks apparently. They've even been scheduling new people on the patio, which was definitely a senior section when I first started. It's frustrating.
Thursday night was my first patio shift all season. I was excited, and it was worth it. It was a gorgeous day, and patio people are generally pretty happy.
Although, as I always say, there are exceptions. I did have this one family--an 8-top, who were miserable from the start. I could barely hear any of them, they were talking down at the table, rather than up, looking at their server. It was weird. They didn't really have facial expressions. The mother ended up sending her entree back, claiming it was undercooked. I couldn't tell if they were pissed or just miserable people. They ended up leaving 18%.
Hopefully there are more patio shifts in my future...

Off this weekend--no restaurant until Wednesday! Wow.

Monday, June 16, 2008

What a Monday!

I went into work hoping to make money, but confident that Monday wouldn't bring out too many patrons. To my surprise, it was relatively busy. I just got stuck with every high-maintenance table possible. It started off with the most high-maintenance family on Earth!
Of course, they are ready to order the moment I greet them (which isn't always bad, but in this instance, I could've shot someone). The parents may have been ready to order, but the process of asking their children what they wanted was done in my presence, tapping my foot, scratching my head with my pen, and finally stepping away long enough to ask a fellow-server to run refills. Finally they order, but it's highly modified. No this, no that, only this, don't bring this. All four modified their order. Unbelievable. Then, as I'm standing at the computer, the mother comes up to me and asks for barbecue sauce for her daughter to dip her chips in...ew. At this point, I'm in the weeds, and NO ONE was doing any sidework. We have a very green team right now, and they are lazy, lazy, lazy. I could've fought someone. I was tempted to hit someone with the ice bucket, but I didn't want to create a scene.
The daughter must've drank the bbq sauce, because she stood up in the isle next to her table to ask me for another side. Ew again. Meanwhile, dad has sucked down his iced tea, and junior has sucked down his soda. When the food finally comes out, there was some garnish on the plate, and the mother says to me urgently, "Take that off the plate! They won't eat it." I look at her blankly, and hand it to the passing manager.
MOD (manager on duty) fixes the kids' meals when I meet her in the kitchen. I get them out lickity-split, and the mother hands me a pile of fries and says, "Can we have hot fries?" Sure. This is all putting me farther and farther in the weeds. I didn't do too bad, but I definitely neglected a couple of my low-maintenance tables. That makes me feel bad.
My second HM table was a middle-aged couple who knew the menu better than I did (or they acted as if they did). They asked for obscure things that just were a pain in the ass. Like dressing and sauces to dip their chips in...weird. They went through more chips than I thought were possible for two people to consume. Yuck.
Then, after the HM family left, the hostess told me that my family was waiting. I was happy they decided to come in and see me, but I wasn't quite out of the weeds, so at first, I was a little annoyed. My mom was acting silly, and I love that side of her, but she got under my skin a little bit. Like, when she was trying to order a drink, like she never had one before, "What's that drink I like with the salt around the rim?"
"Uh, a margarita, mom, you know, like the drinks we had last night?" And, because they're my family, they are very time-consuming. They want to chat, and ask questions about the menu, and I don't mind that, but at the time, I was a little annoyed. It was really a culmination of running for every other table, then have to run harder for my family. Mom kept saying she was in no rush, but I also didn't want them to feel like I wouldn't work for them...if that makes sense. Well, I fucked it up anyway because I forgot mom's beer (she switched after that funny salt drink).
An exhausting evening, to say the least.

Dinner Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cute Little Something

This is a cute little something from the other night:

I go over to greet the 2-top that has just been sat in my section, "Hello, how are you?" The two teen-aged misfits (obviously on some kind of awkward first date) just stared at me big-eyed, as if they didn't know why I was at their table. So, I ask them if they'd like something to drink. The boy chimes up quickly: "Do you have virgin Pina coladas?" he asks in a high-pitched, Steve-Erkel (sp)-gone-bad kind of way. "Yes we do." I nod to him, then turn to the girl, "and for you?" She looks at me blankly and says, "Do you have virgin martinis?" I barely held down a snort, trying not to laugh, "I've got Daiquiris, how's that?" She smiled, that's exactly what she wanted, she just didn't know--and, I didn't have the heart to tell her.

It would have been hysterical if I brought her olives...

La-ti-da, no work till Thursday!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Heart to Heart

The continuing saga...
Where was I?? Oh, yeah, sobbing in the parking lot after being sent home by a manager who left me. Weird. Frustrated just wasn't the word. I just had to suck it up and get over it. That's just what I did.
First thing Monday morning, I went in early for my 5:00 shift to speak to GM. We sat down, and I told him that I didn't feel I was given a fair trial. I explained what I heard, and he apologized for the miscommunication. His reason for being so furious was somewhat valid. Over the course of the last six months, all I seem to do is complain. He felt like some of my complaints were valid, but wondered why I would stay in a place I so badly wanted to change. I expressed to him what I explained previously, that something is keeping me there. I don't know what it is...perhaps it's because this is the first place where I am proud of the food I serve. It's not too pretentious, the atmosphere is great, and people generally don't have any complaints. I like the people I work with--I have made some wonderful friends over the last 1 1/2 I've been with the restaurant. And, at times, it can be fun. There are just some underlying issues that I see, that I can't help but express.
I understand his point of view. I'm annoying. I don't mean to be annoying, really I don't, but I know that I am and sometimes my personality is difficult to work with. A few months ago, one of the other managers sat down with me to discuss my attitude and why I'm so negative about the restaurant (this, by the way, is why I'm not a trainer, and I understand that also). Since then, I have been making a strong effort to be more pleasant to work with--constructive rather than complaining.
Bottom line, the conversation was positive. We're beginning on a clean slate, and that means, I'm beginning with a better attitude. It's much easier now that I'm not working so much.

I actually haven't checked my schedule, so I'm not sure when I work this week...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Are you Kidding??

Saturday night started off fine. I was in a great mood. Everyone was in a good mood...or so I thought. When shit hit the fan, I didn't even have time to duck for cover. I really don't know what happened, but the ridiculous meter is off the fucking charts!
I was scheduled to close, and I was actually looking forward to it because rent was due the next day.
One of the first things I did upon entering work was find my General Manager and thank him for allowing me the opportunity to train a couple evenings before. I thanked him. Does that sound right? I didn't think so. I thanked him. Although, in my heart of hearts, I knew that I should have been thanked--just as I should have been offered a training position 6 months prior. But whatever. I thanked him and that was that.
So, the night was going just fine. It was around 9:00-ish. I had a six-top whose food I just delivered. Before leaving the table, one man told me that his steak was cold. I immediately took it to the kitchen. The kitchen manager promptly told his staff to put the steak in the microwave! In the fucking microwave! I don't even know why we have one of those! We don't microwave! Upon hearing this information, I ran and tattled! I'll be damned if I serve a microwaved steak! My GM assured me that the KM would not microwave the entree. Well, dontchaknow, when I got that plate from the kitchen it was scalding hot! That means, it was microwaved. I was pissed. I begrudgingly delivered the steak, and when I went back to check on him, he looked at me, then at his wife, and replied, "It's all right." I felt awful, especially because I knew why it was just "all right."
I was pissed, fuming around the restaurant, when my GM approached me. I told him that the guest was not happy with his meal, but he didn't send it back again, so I wasn't sure if GM was even going to take it off the bill (stingy isn't the word). I was standing about 20 feet away from my GM when he said to me, (or so I thought), "Are you going to comp the check??" "No," I said as I scrunched up my face. With that, my GM's eyes bulged out of their sockets, the vein in his forehead poked the guests behind me, he pointed at me, and told me I was going home! What?! I was so confused. I didn't understand what just took place.
I followed GM into the kitchen, whereupon I asked him why I was going home. He said, "I asked if you were going to calm down, and you said 'No'--you're going home." I smacked myself in the forehead and tried to explain what I heard, but it was too late. He didn't want my explanations. He didn't want my excuses. He just wanted me to go home. I asked if we could discuss the situation. Apparently, if we were to discuss it, my GM would say something he would regret. Fine, "Am I fired?" No, I wasn't fired, I was just sent home. What bull shit!
So, I was being sent home because I did not hear my GM. I felt betrayed in a way, the man with the steak. I finished up my tables in a ball of tears, upset and worried that I wouldn't be able to pay rent. I was distraught for the team that I was leaving, considering I wouldn't be there to help close. I just felt bad. When my tables finally finished up, I went back to turn in my "cash out" and the other manager was in the office. "Where's GM?" I asked, sniffling, but hoping to discuss this situation further (I like to fix things). "His shift was over. He's gone," I'm informed.
Are you fucking kidding?
"You're telling me that this man gave me a punishment, then didn't stick around long enough to make sure that it was followed through with?"
The other manager just shrugged his shoulders. I felt abandoned. I felt like my superior unjustly sent me home, then took the coward's road straight home. Fuck that.
I finished "cashing out," grabbed my things and ran out of there, still crying for the fact that I was short for rent. Once I returned home, I realized that I was only $20 short, so all was fine, but I still felt really hurt and upset by the entire situation.

I will post the continuing saga after tonight's shift. Sorry for the lack of posts--busy just isn't the word to describe what's been going on in my life. :) Happy Reading!

Dinner tonight.