Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Entitled: Appalled

This semester the students have been crazy. This is actually an understatement. I've never before experienced people who are so utterly incompetent, and it scares me for the future and well-being of our nation.
On a daily basis, and especially during registration, students have appointments to meet with their academic advisors. In my office, there are two different departments, and, therefore, nearly 13 instructors (a.k.a. academic advisors). Multiple times daily I have conversations that sound like the following:

Miss: Hello.
Student: I have an appointment with my advisor? (Yup, they ask it like a question.)
Miss: O.K. Who is your appointment with?
Student: Ummm....[looks at the displayed business cards]...I can't remember his name...
Miss: [annoyed, but trying to stay patient] O.K. What's your major?
Student: Ummm...I'm not sure.
Miss: Well, do you want to do This or That?
Student: That.
Miss: What's your last name?
Student: Doe.
Miss: So your appointment must be with Mrs. B. I'll let her know your here.

Are you fucking kidding me? Sometimes they know their major, but not their concentration, which makes a difference in my world. Regardless, they generally walk in with the idea that they are the only student, seeing the only instructor. Personally, I love when they show up a half hour or an hour late for an appointment, then just ask for another advisor. We divide the students by last name and distribute a certain portion of the alphabet to each instructor. Although we are sometimes forced to redistribute the alphabet, we like students to see the same advisor. Students who have been around for the shuffle don't see any point in the organization and want to be seen by whomever. In the front office, we try to hold the line, and unless a student is exceptionally unruly, they generally reschedule, begrudgingly.

There are a few students who are exceptionally entitled, and they are nearing a secretarial confrontation. The new Department Chair (the Flatulent Fearless Leader) was once a full-time instructor, so there are students who are nearing completion of the program who have seen his promotion. There are two in particular who walk in the office, point to FFL's office door, then proceed to walk right in. The problem with this is they have no boundaries, and if there are other students in the office, it sets a poor example. The even bigger problem with this is that FFL allows the behavior to continue. If they were held to the same boundary across the board, they would eventually learn that people don't just stop for them.

I was convinced that this had something to do with generation, but I've seen this behavior in grown adults. I'm not sure what it is. Society. Societal norms. Overall need for instant gratification. Something like that.

Tomorrow: NO SCHOOL! / Server p.m.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


This weekend was uneventful, because I only worked one shift. Friday night. It was busy, but not crazy-busy. My night was pleasant, but mostly because of servers on shift. It's so nice to work with people who are pleasant and helpful! :)
The night was relatively busy, but died hard and fast. At one point my big-top hadn't been sat for about 20 minutes when finally the hostesses sat an incomplete party of five. When I walked over it was two teenage girls, who immediately asked me what Virgin drinks we offered. Immediately after they ordered their choice of virgin beverage, a third member arrived. She was sitting at the head of the table and will now be referred to as Head Teenager. Head Teenager also orders a Virgin beverage. Before I bring hers, the final to members of the party have arrived, and they are Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber (a teenage couple: male/female). The Male (Tweedle Dumber) immediately inhales the two baskets of chips that were on the table. He orders another virgin drink and his girlfriend orders a sprite. They order, and things are seemingly fine, but I've hated them since the beginning. They were loud, messy, and all around disrespectful. When the time came for me to drop the food, the couple was paying absolutely no attention to me or to what I was doing. I was standing behind them with a hot fajita skillet, trying to announce my presence, to no avail. Even Head Teenager didn't help a sister out. Whatever. So, I just put the skillet between the two of them, and continue dropping the food. The girlfriend was startled by my presence, "Damn!" She says, as if I'm going to slap her in the face with the skillet...as much as I would've liked, I am not that kind of server (or person, for that matter). I dropped the remaining food, and as I was walking away, Head Teenager asked me for another Virgin beverage. I complied, but had to return the empty tray to the kitchen. On my return from the kitchen, Head Teenager screams across two rows of tables, "I CHANGE MY MIND! I'LL JUST HAVE A SPRITE!" Are you serious? Well, me being the passive aggressive little bitch I am, walked over to the table and said sweetly, "I'm sorry, Miss, I didn't hear you. What did you need?" She didn't like that very much. I was efficient, I brought them everything they needed, but this bitch was looking for any excuse to stiff me. When I finally dropped the check, I heard Head Teenager say, "AN' YOU AIN'T GETTIN' NO TIP!" I promptly turned to her, smiled and said, "Oh, that's okay, I didn't expect one." It didn't really matter, in the grand scheme of things, but it was a $70 check. Ugh.

Monday: Secretary A.M. / Off P.M.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Update and Delay

This week has been crazy, even though I haven't worked at the restaurant much. Tonight was horrible! But tomorrow will hopefully be better! I'm making a list and hoping to post this weekend!
~Sorry for the delay!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rough Friday: Part II / Weekend Follow-Up

This weekend was busy and profitable, so I really can't complain; however, I wouldn't be a Bitchy Waitress if I didn't. I made sure to keep some notes, so I wouldn't forget some of the more outrageous incidents.
Friday, I was scheduled in at 5:30, but I knew we'd start getting busy beforehand, so I came on closer to 5:00. My section was four tables, at the very back of the restaurant: fondly referred to as the Dungeon. I had three small-tops (4 person max) and a big-top (8/9 max). The dining room begins to fill up more steadily....here we go.
Table 11 (4-top): Young mother and toddling son, sit down and it's clear she's waiting for two other people. I approach without realizing she was on the phone. She acknowledged me, but I refuse to talk to people with a cell phone on their ear: it's not only annoying for me, but also for the person on the other end. I wave and tell her I'll check back. When I do, she's still on the phone--I could've sworn she hung up, but whatever. She told whomever to "hold on" and ordered a water and an apple juice for the boy. Eventually, another girl showed up. She ordered a margarita. When I returned with her drink, I noticed she was blotting the toddler with a linen. I then noticed that Young Mother was fiddling with the kid's cup, which appeared to be empty. That child spilled his juice. Neither woman said anything to me. They were still waiting for one more, but decided to order the child's meal. Finally, a guy showed up. Now that everyone had arrived, they were completely engrossed in conversation. I somehow managed to take the Guy's drink order, and they finally ordered dinner. Young Mother tried to be funny when I asked if they were ready by replying that she hadn't had a chance to look. I wasn't sure if she was kidding because she had either been on the phone or engrossed in conversation with Other Girl, so I started to tell them I'd come back. She giggled and said she was joking, which annoyed me for some reason. Oh, I know why, because you've been at my table for an hour and a half, and you're just now ordering! The circumstance of their ordering was a bit precarious, and the inconsiderate table did not make it any easier. At the time they were ready to order, I had been double-sat, so I came out with drink orders for my other two tables, and took a margarita to table 11 last, so I could take their order. Of course, Other Girl gives me her empty margarita glass, so now I have to balance the margarita glass on the tray, with my book, so I can write down the order. (I write down EVERY order.) I have the tray balancing in my left hand, so I can take the order and write with my right hand, balancing empty margarita glass all the way. I have a necklace around my neck with a blinking beer bottle. Guy loves this, and asks me where he can get him one of them. I tell him I'm not sure, my manager just gave everyone one. I tell him he can have mine. I'm thinking he's going to order first, then play with the necklace. Nope. He holds his hand out awaiting his new toy. I don't have anywhere to put this tray, so I continue to balance and remove the necklace. Guy's intent is to give it to the toddler. As soon as Guy gets it, he tosses it near Toddler Boy, who immediately begins whining like a little sissy lala. Guy looks back at me sheepishly and says, "Well, I guess he doesn't like it." Still balancing, I take the necklace back and shove it in my pocket. The order is finally given. Thank the Lord. Anyway, their food comes out, they take a ridiculously long time eating. Finally, I decide to try to take something off the table, when I see Young Mother covering something up with her hand. She's reaching in front of toddler-boy, trying to hide something from me. I offer to clear some dishes, and she gives me her plates with one hand, attempting to slyly cover up the heinous mess her son had made! There was rice EVERYWHERE. Toddler-boy didn't even have rice! They gave him rice! Oh, you people! I tried to laugh it off with them, but I'm sure it came out snotty. Eventually, after a really long time, they leave. The busser approaches the table, turns to me, and says, "They left an awful mess!" I go over to find that that child had spilled the ENTIRE cup of juice and nearly ALL the rice, his kids' menu, garbage, candy, cheerios, you NAME it! All over the floor. The parents didn't even attempt to clean it up, yet Young Mother was embarrassed about the rice on the table! Get real people! $8 on $47. Thanks.
Table 12 (3-top):
After seating an incomplete party at my table, the Host Monkey comes up to me to tell me the woman's order. She wanted 3 Virgin Pina Coladas, Guacamole, Sour Cream, etc., and so on. I approach the table and say, "Hello, how are you? My name is Darby, and I'll be your server this evening. I hear you've given the host your order? I'll have it right out for you." I didn't really give her the chance to respond because I found her so idiotic. Then I felt really bad because it turns out, she was a foreigner. My bad. I made it up to them though, with good, pleasant, efficient service, and they left me $5 on $37. Whatev...
Table 21 (7-top):
Weird family sits down: Grandmother, Grandfather, Father, Mother, and three small children. Their weird because they don't really seem to have much couth, and their just awkward with socializing with me. I don't know. When I approached the table and starting taking drink orders, the Father was desperately searching through the menu. Eventually he looked up, after having exasperated himself by trying to read, and saw that the wait station was within sight. There were several servers and one manager standing at the wait station, so Father couldn't quite see all we had to offer. He was craning his neck, so I started to rattle off the soft drinks. This didn't do either, so he stood up. I'm still listing the options, finally he sees his choosing and announces it. Only now he hears me say gingerale (because I'm trying to do my job), and he says, "I didn't want a gingerale, I said Sprite." "Pardon me, sir," I reply, "I was just listing the options for you." He didn't really get it. I ordered their meal, which consisted of eight items total. In our restaurant we are not allowed to have more than five items on a check; therefore, we have a Multi-ticket system in which we order the first five items, hit "multi-ticket" and send it through to the kitchen. At the start of the second half of the order, we begin with hitting "multi-ticket," then continuing the order. In addition, when we are delivering food, we are not allowed to "auction off" the food. For example, picking up a plate, screaming "Tacos?" while waiting for the patrons to figure out whose tacos were whose. We have a pivot system where servers order the table according to the seat of the guest. This is done so servers know which seat gets which entree. All servers know pivot for each table. Sometimes....well, a lot of the time, the kitchen will send out the multi-tickets out of order. It may take a minute to get your bearings if you are not the server of the table; however, it is something that can be figured out. In this instance, the second half of the check came out before the first. I was getting drinks from the bar when the tray was dropped, so another server was delivering the food. I was walking back and saw that she was not making eye contact with the table, she was flailing the plates in front of them with no explanation, not really making a good impression at all. I was appalled. This server is also a trainer. I said something to her. I'm a little bit proud of myself for doing so, too. :) Even though we don't auction off food, I think it's important to introduce the dish. People who have never been to our restaurant may have a different idea of what the entree may look like, so when it's presented, it's nice to have reassurance. In addition, I feel strongly that saying "hello," and making the guests aware that although you are not their server, you will be serving them their meals, is appropriate. Not making eye contact and not ensuring that you (or the server) didn't misread the pivot is disrespectful to the guest. Once I finished giving my complaint, the server apologized, she didn't realize it was the second portion of the check or whatever, but she was a bit defensive.
Saturday night I was forced to pick up, and it was a three-table station. I wasn't too upset because it's a nice time to have 3 smalls. It's relaxing and easy, breezy. I didn't make a TON of money, but I made enough to be ahead of the game, for once. :)
I had off today, which has been really nice. I've done all my chores, now I've blogged, so I'll be enjoying some solitude for the rest of the evening. I am not scheduled at the restaurant until Thursday, so this week should be relatively painless....
Except for the fact that Early Registration begins at the college tomorrow. It shouldn't be too bad, but it's always pretty hectic.
Monday: Secretary

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rough Friday: Part I

I really should be going to bed, but there are a few things I'd like to get off my chest. I plan to vent this out into two sessions, but it could end up being more...who knows.

Preface: The beginning of the story begins on Thursday (yesterday) in the office where I work as a secretary. I work side-by-side with another girl, who is just a few years older than I (we'll call her Office Mate. She has her issues; she has her drama, but I have a soft spot for her. Someone once described her as a lost soul, and that is still how I see her today. She is 35, and she has two kids. Her baby-daddy was abusive, and he still continues to harass her on a weekly basis (they are currently not together). Her experiences have made her extremely anxious and almost awkward. Sometimes, her social anxieties show when she is dealing with students in the office. For example, when the office door opens, I immediately look up to greet the person walking through the door. I think my serving experience ingrained a certain etiquette into my head. Sometimes Office Mate doesn't even look at them. From time to time, I have found that I have a tendency to talk over her, or cut her off. I don't do this intentionally; it's part of who I am to share knowledge and ideas. If I know something, I want to tell you. It's not that she doesn't have the correct information, it's just that sometimes she takes really long pauses, as if she's thinking about the answer, so I chime in. I really do have to learn to back off. If she's ever going to get any better with her anxieties, then I have to let her gain some more confidence. I think subconsciously, I think I'm helping her, but I think yesterday, I got on her last nerve. It was exactly what I described above; I talked over her when she was trying to deal with a student. I was just trying to help. When the student left the office, I knew what I had done, and I saw it written all over her face I immediately apologized, and she said everything was fine. I don't know my Office Mate extremely well, but I have worked with her for the last three years, so I have a pretty good idea on how to read her. She's also an emotional wreck, so she's fragile and delicate. She looks like she could crumble at any second nearly every day of the week. Well after yesterday's debacle I knew she was peeved. I knew she was peeved and chose to not tell me why. I had a premonition in my head that because of this incident, she wouldn't come to work today (Friday). Boy, was I spot on! Rather than deal with me face-to-face, she chose to hide a home. Around NOON, I got an email from her, explaining how she feels when I talk over her. I was happy she wrote me, but I was (and still am) appalled that she took a personal day because she couldn't turn to me and tell me to back off!

I'm totally falling asleep, I'll finish the rest of my epic post tomorrow or Sunday :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Salutations Ring New Pet Peeve

So, something has begun to annoy me, and it needs to be voiced! During the course of my day, whether in the office or at the restaurant, I extend salutations, such as "Have a nice day," or "Have a good night!" Interestingly, when I say these things, if the person to whom I've directed said salutaion is not leaving at that time, they feel the need to tell me, "Oh, I'm not leaving yet," or "I'm coming back!" Well, here's my thing: Accept my salutation! Regardless if you are coming, going, staying, or leaving, I will send a salutation your way. I don't need to know your whereabouts, the status of your meal, or the fact that you are just leaving the office to make a phone call; just take the salutation! Accept it, without the nonsense!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Out of Retirement

I've recently been feeling pangs of guilt towards my lack of blogging. I'm still waiting tables, after all that talk, and I'm still experiencing stupidity on a daily basis. I'm also a part-time secretary at a local college, which, after a moment's thought, absolutely falls under the title and meaning behind this blog.
Today I secretary-ed during the day, and it was the most unproductive day of my life. Aside from a few dramatic phone calls, I accomplished very little. This annoys me because I'm a part-timer in a full-time position. Anyway...one of my dramatic phone calls consisted of a woman calling to inquire about programs. When I answered the phone, she immediately began telling me about the operator and how she apparently does not like her job. I apologized to the woman, and she proceeded to lecture me on how I should never apologize for anyone else, etc., and so forth. Wow, lady.
The other call was from a dramatic mother who was calling to place a concern regarding her daughter's math class. "Would you like the number for the Math department?" I ask sweetly. "Well, which department did I call??" Are you telling me that you are calling me with a concern about your daughter, and you don't even know who you're calling?? Some people are stupidly amazing.
Luckily, I did not have to work at the restaurant tonight. My usual shifts are Wednesday through Saturday. Nowadays we are so overstaffed that I'm lucky if I get all four of those shifts. For the last two weeks I haven't been scheduled on Saturday, which is beginning to prove problematic. I'm also having difficulty, as of late, getting along with some of my co-workers. I don't really care if people like me, but I sure do hope that in a work environment, personal feelings can be put aside in an effort to achieve the same goal. Not where I work. For me, I am surrounded by people who thrive on making other people miserable. This particular group of people has disdain for the likes of me: Miss Haters. I don't really care for them much either, but in the restaurant, I treat them fairly, help them when needed, etc. With them, they make my life harder deliberately, just to get a rise out of me and an inevitable confrontation.
For example, we close the restaurant with four servers; three of which are responsible for "checking out" the other servers, and once their sidework, section, and silverware is completed, the appropriate closer will sign off on that server. On occasion when one of these Miss Haters is closing (usually there is more than one), they are ridiculous when "checking me out." If there is one chair pulled out in my section, they will not sign me. If there is one half sleeve of cup lids, they will not sign me. They will deliberately nitpick my section because they think that's what gives them power. They are wrong.
Friday night, I was scheduled to close, a Miss Hater approached me as soon as I walked in the door, and asked me for my close. I told her I had intended on keeping it, but I'd let her know. She then admitted that she was asking for another Miss Hater. I shrugged my shoulders because I had yet to commit anyway. Within minutes the latter-mentioned Miss Hater asked me for my close. I gave him the same response. Finally, this young girl, Dee asked me for my close. I gave her the same response, but was still thinking about keeping it. This crazy chick who loves me came over just after the shift began and informed me that the Miss Haters were conspiring to get me off the close because one of them was closing and didn't want to close with me. This pissed me off, but honestly, it hurt my feelings a little bit. Like I said, you don't have to like me, but when it comes to the fact that you don't want to work me, I wouldn't be human if it didn't sting a little. Well, knowing that even one of the Miss Haters was closing totally turned me off to the entire idea. I couldn't give it to the other Miss Hater though. If I did, he would probably be an ass when he checked me out. Why should I give it to him? Crazy Chick told me I should keep the close them burn him when I checked him out, but that's not the game I play. I really try to be fair, and ordinarily, giving my close to the first person who asked is how I would play. Given the fact that they were playing their own game gave me justification to play my own. I decided to secretly give my close to Dee. She's sweet and nice and everybody loves her. I secretly asked a manager's approval, then I went about my night. At one point in the night, I was at a server station with a guy named Matty (the fourth and impartial closer), and the Miss Hater who was also scheduled to close. Matty was talking about how it was the three of us closing. I was putting in an order, so I did not respond. Then Matty saw the manager: A. Man, and asked if he was closing as well. When A. Man responded that, indeed, he was, Matty clapped his hands and said something like, "Great! The four of us, and Crazy Chick." With that, A. Man says, "Miss isn't closing, Dee's closing." Miss Hater shot me a look and said, "What?" I replied slyly, "Oh, Dee said something about wanting the close." With that, Miss Hater stormed off in a huff. Crazy Chick approached me a few minutes later to tell me that Miss Hater was pissed. Great. Why should I do anything to help you, when all you do is make everyone around you miserable. I'm tired of people walking on me. I'm tired of people disrespecting me. Although I am non-confrontational, I will tell you how it is, if you really want to know.
It feels good to be back. I hope I still have some readers out there!!!
Tuesday: Secretary A.M. / Off P.M. :)