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 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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

my husband went to a small diner near our house and the people at the next table (mother, father, 3 children) were getting up to leave. Actually the father was watching the football game on the TV, the mother was trying to get the toddler to stand in one spot, and the oldest child (maybe 7) was running around the next table, where they had set their coats. He was getting them one by one and it took about 10 minutes. When someone came to clear the table, she picked up the styrofoam cups the crayons in and the little darlings had taken the bottom off of it. She then started picking up the crayons that were all over the table and on the floor and it turns out they had all been dipped in the food. She looked up disgusted and my husband kind of shrugged his shoulders like "what can you do?" I looked and there were crayons as far away as the wall, about 10 feet away. As there were not any other children in the place, I'm guess the tv watching father and clueless mother were not watching the little darlings the entire time they were there.