Saturday, December 4, 2010

Salutations, Schedule Conflicts, and Squatters

I hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday! Christmas is right around the corner, and I'm trying to deny it...
The last two weeks have been a bit busy, although my shifts at the restaurant have become fewer and farther between. Ugh. Currently, I am available to work Wednesday through Saturday nights, but we're overstaffed, so I've been getting two or three shifts a week for the last month or so. It's beginning to fuck with my money. For the first time in three years, I actually paid my rent two days late. I know it's not that big of a deal, but I like to keep things consistent. This week, I was only scheduled Wednesday and Friday. Big Deal. Great. Last night, when I arrived at work, I saw that next week, I'm only scheduled two days! I was furious. I've been thinking about my schedule, and the fact that I even talked to the Manager in charge of writing the schedule. I thought I made it clear that I rely on these shifts for my livelihood. Regardless, the shifts that I'm available are probably the same shifts that everybody is available, which makes it a difficult task when it comes to evenly distributing the "money" shifts. So, I took it upon myself to change my availability. I didn't intend to show the Manager in charge of the schedule at first, but he saw me filling out a new availability sheet, so he inquired. We went into the office, and I told him my ish. I then told him that I was opening up my availability (to 7 avail shifts, as opposed to only four) in the hopes of obtaining at least four shifts a week. He said he could work with that. I opened up Tuesday night, Saturday lunch, and Sunday lunch. I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be scheduled for these shifts on a consistent basis from now on, which will fuck me up too. I'm trying here, but somehow shit always ends up biting me in the ass at this place. I've thought about leaving so many times, but I just can't risk it. I have to make this work until I've found something to replace the industry entirely.
Moving on...
Wednesday night, my family came into the restaurant for dinner. It was a great surprise! My niece was there without her sister, which is a rarity. I was able to spoil her, as she was the center of my attention for the two hours they were in my section. When nieces arrive, the bitchiness promptly dissipates.
Last night, I was scheduled to close, and I was in a decent section, so I was excited at the possibility of money in my pocket. I started off great! Tables were flipping quickly, people were only mildly stupid, and my tip percentage was looking good. Around 6:00, two women were sat, with drinks from the bar and a basket of chips, at a 4-top in my section. They were clearly waiting for two other people. I brought a fresh basket of chips, and they informed me that the rest of their party was in the parking lot. By 6:30, I had delivered the two women another round of Sangria, and the rest of their party still had not arrived...from the parking lot. Finally, around 6:45, two more women show up. The order drinks, they're pleasant, whatever. Around 7:30, they finished their meal, I delivered the check ($69.00), and they paid. They, then proceeded to sit until approximately 9:00. Are you kidding me?? Granted, they left me 20%, with the time it took for their party to be complete, and the time they sat after their meal, I could have had up to three more tables there. I just think it's ignorant of people to not think that they are taking away a person's income because they need to catch up on the family gossip. Don't get me wrong, I can definitely sit places, but I'm either going to continue ordering things, or I'm going to compensate my server for the time I've sat at his/her table without ordering. I also know that I'm only conscious of this fact because I'm in the industry. I'm trying to spread the word.
I have some interesting secretary stories that I really should share, but I'm running out of time today. If I'll remember, I'll post later or possibly tomorrow.


Kelly V said...

Hopefully they will give you a few more shifts now. I think most people (myself included) don't realize that they are taking up valuable real estate in a servers section when they squat there. And this is coming from someone who spent many years as a server. It's easy to forget (or not even realize) that a server is only given so many tables and that if you are still sitting at one, they won't have new paying customers filling those spots. Especially if a restaurant isn't all that full - you tend to think, oh, there are lots of other tables available, I'm not inconveniencing anyone. So, I guess this is a confession of a squatter. From now on, I'm going to either order more, or tip accordingly. Spread the word sista!

Darby said...

LOL! We can ALL be squatters!!! It's the nature of the beast sometimes. You meet up with friends, you want to catch up, you WANT to squat! I get it!
On a Friday night, however, it's hard to NOT notice that your table is wanted by the hungry patrons waiting at the bar. Especially in my restaurant, where the bar area becomes the waiting area, which overlooks the entire restaurant. If the restaurant is NOT full, and I have three open tables, it's really not be that big of a deal. It matters more so during the busy times. Spreading Awareness is all we can do. :)
Miss you! Happy Holidays!!! :)