Monday, February 28, 2011

Naughty Server

Monday: Secretary *played hooky* / *off*

I haven't posted because life has taken some interesting and time-consuming turns. This month has been a roller coaster of sorts: one that has brought some things to light, and one that has presented me with certain aspects of myself and my personality that I think I'd like to change. I have become a bitter person. I believe I've become jaded. Not just through the service industry. This attitude expands into my personal relationships; consequently, I've been single for four years. I'm trying to make some changes, and make some moves to find happiness in companionship, rather than solitary autonomy. I definitely don't want to give up the independence that I have. I like that I don't have to answer to anybody. But I'm just beginning to admit that I would benefit from having a companion...someone to share experiences with. I don't know. Things happened this month that will never cease to amaze me, and will stay in my memory forever. Details are unimportant, but let's just say that this weekend has left me smiling ear to ear. It's about damn time.
Regardless, my bitterness is not something that is redeemable or endearing. It can be the source of great comedic material, but on a whole, I'm sure it gets old for the people I work with. I am very outspoken, although I do know how to be professional. Sometimes my emotions take over for my professional side and get me into some trouble. I know I've posted about this problem before.
I actually played hooky today, so I have no specific gripes. This weekend is a blur, so I have no server gripes either. Perhaps my smile will last throughout the week...

Tomorrow: Secretary / Server

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mini Reprieve

Today: Secretary / Server

I didn't blog for a couple days because I just haven't had the time. I should really be getting to bed, so may be quick. My biggest *peeve* about the office (well, there are two), the first is a pretty big peeve. I'm sick and tired of instructors thinking that their only activity should be instructing and grading papers--maybe going to a conference or a meeting here or there. Otherwise all they do is complain. Correction: some of them complain. 85% of the people in our departments understand the "big picture," and know that there is more involved in working for higher education that just teaching. There is a huge burn-out rate in any teaching profession, I don't understand how some would think that higher ed would different. Regardless, there is a kind of resistance to anything clerical or administrative. I almost feel like a parent, disciplining small children. I'm the secretary, for crying out loud, and I have to follow-up with you for paperwork you've had for two months? As instructors, they get pissed when students don't follow directions or get things in by the deadline, but as instructors, they somehow think it doesn't apply to them. I wrote an email to an instructor at the beginning of last week, asking if I could be of any assistance processing the necessary paperwork that she's had in her possession since January 12th. She didn't even respond to my email. She said nothing to me regarding any of it. Yesterday morning they were on my desk. It's fucked up, really.
The other little *peeve* is listening to other people's stories. A lot of people who walk in the office seem to think that the secretaries need and want to hear their entire life story. Because we're just secretaries? I don't know. Sometimes we need specific information to better serve the student, but general information is usually sufficient. For example, I had a student come in yesterday:
Miss: Hello. May I help you?
Student: I have to turn in this paper to Mrs. K.
Miss: [standing, and reaching for a notebook] I'm going to have you sign it in. (We have students sign-in when they drop off paperwork to document the receipt of said document. We ran into an issue last semester when a student kept saying that she "gave her work to the secretaries" but it never reached the instructor.)
Student: [filling out the sign-in sheet] Yeah, I was sick and she said that I could email it to her.
Miss: [confused, silent]
Student: [still filling out the sign-in sheet] I couldn't even get out of bed. She said I could email it, but when I tried, I kept getting an error message. I don't know if she got it, but I thought I would just drop it off. I'm behind on other assignments now.
Miss: [taking the notebook, replacing on the shelf] I'll be sure she gets it. Feel better. [heads into the Copy Room to escape gabbing germy.]
She wasn't even as bad as some people I've experienced. I just have to say this: I generally don't care. When I was teaching, I also did not care about your story. We all have a fucking story. (I made myself think of George Carlin just then. I've been watching a lot of him lately, and I've decided that he and my mom had a love affair in the late 70s, and I am really George Carlin's love child.) We all have a fucking story. The fact that she told me her story did not make my job or the way in which I performed my job go any differently. I did not change a thing, knowing that she had been sick and was supposed to email it...or whatever. I still put the time/date stamp on the girl's assignment and put it in the appropriate instructor's mailbox. If she had simply told me she wanted to drop something off and sign the book, I still would have put the time and date stamp, etc., etc.
When I was teaching I had strict policies on deadlines, etc. I don't care if your dog ate it on the way to school while you were changing a flat tire. Telling me that did not help the assignment appear. Telling me that just made me annoyed that you spent the time thinking of that excuse because you just don't have your work. Here's how it will go:
Miss: Henry, do you have your assignment?
Student: No, Miss, I do not.
Miss: Turn it in tomorrow by noon for a 20% reduction.
Is that so hard?
Miss: Can I help you?
Student: I'd like to drop off this assignment for Mrs. K.
Miss: Sign it in please.
Student: [obliges]
I just think people think that everyone cares about them. I do not. I do not care why you can't get your shit together and remember your appointment. I do not care that that instructor won't let you add his/her class. I don't care that your dad is the security guard and you think you're hot shit. I just don't care. I have work to do! My job does revolve around the opening and closing of the door, but unfortunately, it is much more than that. When you go into the doctor's office for a check-up, and you're waiting in the reception area, do you strike up a conversation with the girl behind the counter? No! That's why some waiting areas have those little windows. They have work to do, and sitting around talking to people all day will NOT make the "To Do" list shorter. State your business, and take care of it--and only tell me the pertinent information.
Thank you.

Tomorrow: Secretary / Server

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Good Intentions

Today: *Off* / Server (closing!)

I had every intention of blogging about the office today, but I'm scheduled at the restaurant soon. So, I've decided that I'll post about the office tomorrow sometime, to avoid getting "all fired up" before work tonight. For the next few hours, I'm going to relax and enjoy myself.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Thursday: Secretary / Server

Friday (today): Secretary / *Off*

So, funny thing...I worked last night, but decided not to blog because it was pretty late by the time it was all said and done. I figured I'd have time this afternoon, since I wasn't scheduled and didn't really feel like picking up a shift--so sue me (I can't pay you anyway.) Back to the "funny thing." I should have blogged. I totally should have blogged. Focusing on this task has shown me its importance.

Thursday Night: Server
The night started out just fine. I was in a great mood, and my section buddy was Daisy, my BFF! Great way to start the night. We weren't scheduled on until 5:30, but the restaurant had started to fill, so we told Big D (the MOD) that we were ready. They immediately came back and pretty much flat-sat our sections. No problem. Apparently it had been dead during lunch, so I welcomed the business. My section was two "small tops" (max 4 people) and two big-tops (max 6 people). Great. Except for the fact that we didn't have any "small tops" on the wait. I asked if I could split up one of my big tops (to make 2 smalls...), which I was permitted and, therefore, had a 5-table section. Even better. Now, I had 4 small-tops and one big. My first big-top was sat with a family of four, but I was okay with that (at least I had a table!). They were a family: father, mother, older brother, younger sister, and it appeared that the father spoke very little English, and the mother did not speak English at all. When I was taking their drink order, the father was verifying English terms with his son. The father was interested in ordering a margarita. He asked "flavor?" So, I sold him on a strawberry margarita "on ice." The older brother ordered food for the table, and the younger sister ordered her own dish. I delivered their food and made sure they were okay. I went into the kitchen for some sour cream (for another table), and when I returned, it had appeared that something what happening. Tables in my section and tables in sections around me were focusing on the father from my table who appeared to be stumbling a bit as he got up from his table. He was walking down an isle of tables, toward the server station, which was where I was standing, having just come from the kitchen. He was headed in my direction with his son following closely behind. I was observing the fact that all eyes were on him, but I had no idea, really, about what was going on. In that split second, I turned back to look at the father--he was looking right at me, and at that moment, started to collapse. His son was not very fast-acting, and the father was headed for a smack on the hard-wood floor, so I stepped forward to stop/slow his fall--completely forgetting about the sour cream in my hands: it went down with him. As he fell, his eyes rolled back in his head, but by the time he was on the floor, he was trying to talk, so he did not lose consciousness. A woman from one of my tables was a nurse, and she immediately stepped in. Others were stepping in too. All five of my tables were involved, and one table from another section. The old man from my small-top was elevating the man's feet, there was the nurse, of course; another table of women had to stand because of all the bodies surrounding their table, and the family of four (mom, dad, older sister, little brother) helped by calling 9-1-1 and little brother timed the ambulance on his dad's phone. What a good Samaritan. I was totally freaked out, and totally overwhelmed. There were people asking for all kinds of things. Meanwhile, the father was trying to get up, the son was acting weirdly aloof, and the sister and mother were still sitting at the table. When the sister and mother finally got up to see what the fuck was going on, the sister was actually laughing. I had to walk away. I could not be around there. There was nothing I could do--I already softened the guy's fall. Quickly, the ambulance arrived and took the man out on a stretcher. I don't know if he was having a heart attack, that's what some were saying, but based on the behavior of the family, I'm wondering if he was shitfaced. It's just a thought. My other thought is that maybe he's on some kind of medicine that doesn't like being mixed with tequila. Maybe he's one of those people who think that the warning labels don't apply to them. Who knows? All I know is that he only had less than half a margarita on my watch. Unfortunately, I couldn't tell if he was slurring when he arrived because of his accent. He hardly spoke English enough to order a drink! I'm not worried about being liable, but with those ABC classes, you have to think about that kind of stuff! Totally freaky! The rest of the night is kinda blurry because of that whole thing. They hadn't taken one bite of their food. Of course we comped it, but still. Totally weird.

That was my much-needed post from last night, and I have a much-needed post from today at the office, but that will have to wait until after my dinner date (so, possibly tomorrow sometime).