Archive for March, 2008

Why do certain managers always go out of their way to steal 30-45 min of your life away per shift?

March 31, 2008

yeah you know the douche bag type I referring to  here. Its the subcategory of the manager species who once you have done all you need to go home then forces  you to wait 30-45 minutes on average sometime they get a real bug up their ass and delay you for 1 hr -1 hr and a half BEFORE they get around to paying you out or collecting your excess cash. Trust me if I go home with their cash in my pocket they will call you every 5 min til you arrive or return their call. One of these days I will do it just to give em a taste of their medicine.

It  seems to always take longer on the fri and sat night shifts to leave too.  WTF is the problem? I get my tables out before or at close. I make sure the busser busses and wipes down the table. I straighten the flower vase, table ten, and salt/pepper shakers. I get the table set in the proper alignment since folks listening to the band always seem to move the table to suit them thus depriving the server of way to get through the dining floor. Chairs get push up to table after I sweep under the table.

Since our tables tend to eat and drink themselves to  fullness by the time 1-2hrs before close hits they go into a lull where they need little, infrequent attention, I usually roll silverware in groups of 5,10, or 15 at a time depending on my sections needs for my attention. This means I roll most of the restaurants end of shift silverware except when the bussers have been too busy during shift to keep up with it or we are so busy the dishwasher gets behind on silverware. Mainly fri and sat nights. Those nights I have to wait for this weird game to play out where the servers avoid starting to roll until others are rolling which adds 30 min more til we can go home. After I have rolled about 150 silver they can get off their lazy butts and roll some themselves.

Thus I do not have to do any side work-as restaurants go we have probably the lightest sidework on the planet.

Then the 2.13 per hour  compensated THEFT of my life begins…and time  SLOWS to the pace of a refrigerated reptile. AND basically the manager goes and hangs out with lingering tables (WTF do that they just stay longer forcing their poor server to delay cleaning their section!!) or hanging out with the band. And just forget about a checkout being done before the band gets paid. AND they always need the cash broken down in a manner different than that provided.

This weekend we get kept til 130 when we have a freaking 3 pm meeting and naturally I open so I get to go work right after it .  Meeting night I get off about the same time then I mentally a zombie for my sunday nite shift.

I fully understand your stuff needs to be checked out but my manager takes this bullshit to a new level of idiotcy!!

Few thoughts on last night

March 29, 2008

I had a long night last night got out at 130AM as I had a 13 top sat at 15 mins til we closed mind you the restaurant closing not the kitchen. Thanks to my owners wife for seating that 2 top and delaying the 13 top from being seated. SO all in all the table isnt bad they order fast and eat quickly UNTIL I bring out their FREAKING store bought cake which they  do NOT bother to offer me a slice of.  This policy of my employer drives me nuts since I lost out on potentially 13 dessert sales at a 20% grat and I am still having to find them 13 clean plates  and the silverware  to eat their cake. Getting bulk amounts of plates during rush periods is a bitch as our dish washer for some reason cant  clean that specific size plate well at all. Why only that plate size I have NO CLUE. Then the table proceeds to idle over their cake for a good 45 minutes. And thats the OTHER reason I hate people who bring in their own cakes.

OK overall the night was good as I made 18% paid 3% tip share thus netted 15% with decent sales which meant since 33% of my sales were at a 20% grat.

The two  as “Bill and Ted” would call them BOGUS tippers I can remember are–>

Party of 3 split checks one lady marked her credit card slip $5.10 on $38.90 for a measly 13% and she should be thankful I am an honest server since she TOTALED her receipt for a $25.10 tip  and I only submitted it for the$5.10 intended tip. ($38.90 + 5.10 = NOT $64.00)

Next loser was a mixed race couple, the lady had me charge her computer/phone she uses Sprint so that tells me what kind moron she is to put up with Sprint’s extremely crappy service. Sprint was the local phone comany in college. Do NOT get me started.  I once spent 8 hours on hold tho part of it was napping watching the history channel.  They arrive around 7 pm and leave at 10 minutes to 11. They run up a measly $80 tab since the woman only has a salad and can nurse a $6 glass of red like a camel nurses its water in the Sahara. The couple gives enthusiastic verbal tippage to  any and all staff they encounter on the way out the door with the man giving handshakes to all. Tight wad loser couple occupies 25% of my available  tables ALL night for a WHOPPING $10 on $80 tab. Table never gets resat.

Oh and almost forgot the white trash that was transfered into my section from another section so a 10 top could be seated. They ran up the initial transfered amount of $70 into a $130 tab  with dessert and  drinks. They left happy and made me unhappy with a $17 tip.

And to break the recent run on other blogs on black folks dont tip. My  compliments to Mr. Hill who paided for his 4 tops $100 tab and he was kind enough to leave me a $20. Whoot!

Sadly now its time to get ready for work as we have the 3 pm meeting followed by my 4 PM open and if im lucky I will be home by 2 AM. Later people…

ALert humor post -funny vid for you to see

March 25, 2008

here it is the absolutely funniest thing on being a server I have found on the net. for those who this is a repeat go ahead you know your gonna laugh your ass off. for the virgins out there, please finish chewing your food, and swallow any food or liquids in your mouth BEFORE hitting play or you will be sorry.

I.F.H. MONDAY’S on FunnyOrDie.com

The Most messy Child I have waited Upon and mind you I have worked in restaurants since 1985…

March 20, 2008

I was relatively new to the waiting game just a 6 month old rookie to the dining room battleground in a Mexican restaurant in a small Texas town back in 1990. Naturally I found myself in the worse table section in the place right by the ladies restroom which tended to have plumbing/sewage smell problems. My next table lend me to discover why those problems only happened to the ladies bathroom as the mens room were located in a another part of the restaurant which obviously has undergone a minimum of 2 expansions as we had 2 different levels to the place.

My table consisted of a hellion in a high chair too young to speak, mom, and grandmom. My section is fairly small space-wise so when the hellion in his highchair is placed on the end of the table there is only 2 foot between his chair back and the table on the other side of the aisle. They order rice and beans for the little Damien. He immediately is putting handfuls of rice and beans EVERYWHERE withing his flinging range. OK once there was a 2 foot wide rectangle of space behind his high chair until the next table. Now there is a semicircle of rice, refried beans, and mixed up rice and beans behind the highchair leaving a 6 inch strip of clear carpet I have to negotiate just to refill grandma’s drink. I look for the 666 birthmark on his skull but it must have been covered by the rice and beans.

It doesnt END there people! There are rice and beans all over the chair and mind you its an old school high chair that is of metal that folds up and has a metal eating tray with ground in paste of rice and beans. The clean up factor compared to a modern wood chair is exponential. His clothes are full of the same rubbed in paste. His head is covered in the shit to the point he has it crammed into his ears and smeared all over his face. I would surmise from the total volume of debris in sight maybe 3 bites of rice and 3 bites of beans actually got down his pie hole. The one postitive I remember is the monster was quiet. I also vividly imagining what mom’s kitchen looked like since neither adult present seemed fazed by the brats behavior.

Mind you this was 1990 back when society allowed for parents to parent in public and they did for the most part-they still had the ability to recognize that horrendous noise was coming from their brat and they took steps to shut them up.

So they go into bathroom and spend a FULL 10 minutes bathing the boy in our ladies bathroom sink. They even brought a change of clothes and brought a big Ziploc tm baggie for the soiled outfit. I still had not gotten their table, floor, and high chair fully de-rice and beaned in that amount of time. Looking back I wish we had taken pics of the mess. I made a smartass remark about how they must not take the Hellion out too often since he took so long to clean up. They happily imformed me he had been GOOD on this outing as he normally took a 15 minute effort to clean up.

It also dawned on me why out womens bathrooms had reoccurring plumbing problems of  backed up sinks – it was  semirotten food debris in the lines. Having grown up in a hardware store I got the manager to put a box of Rid X down the lines once a week. The stuff is designed to eat away trees roots in a septic system so it worked fine on food debris down in the sink lines from washing off messy kids.

One of those weird moments from my 1st job upon the battleground of the dining room

March 19, 2008

Ok picture this. Im a college kid working the highly dreaded Sunday morning shift requiring my well deserved hung over ass to arrive at 10 freaking AM. I have it from several sources my appearance looked like warmed over death, reeking of the stench of booze and beer sweat, all while suffering a never ending thirst and a massive sinus headache. Thank God we served Mexican food as the salsa was a life saver from a sinus pain reliving standpoint plus think of all the lycopene fighting the good fight vs the alcohol generated free radicals ravaging my system.

The college burg I live in a consists mere 17,000 souls but it serves as a central hub of shopping and dining for a cluster of 6 or more counties. People are one and two generations of the farm with the college being the major employer plus some light manufacturing. I am happy with a mere $1 tip per head. Hey it was the early 90s times were cheap and I had just gotten that wage raise from $2.08 to $2.13 per hour. WHOO HOO!
We had one regular table on the Sunday AM shift which NO ONE wanted to wait on because NO ONE could please them but Rick the uber server. We all got NOTHING ever from this family while Rick would get a fiver. To this day I suspect Rick could out earn me on the exact same tables no matter his sobriety level nor the amount of sleep deficit he had.

It was a family of five so they tied up 2 of your tables. They all ordered off the menu on a day when 99.9% went to the freaking buffet. The local  church goers were doing their impression of a human locust swarm. It was a major aggravation for two reasons. One you got behind on your drink refills as people gobbing up the buffet also swilled ice tea by the gallon. Second the focus of the kitchen was on getting more buffet pans filled not cooking menu items. So screwed up orders especially those with special instructions were common.

The youngest daughter always ordered a plate that came with a salad but would change the dressing every time you came to the table. I quickly adopted the tactic of pouring the initially requested dressing on the salad and telling her it was on her salad already. Did I mention I never poured the dressing on until just before running it?

But the WEIRDNESS happened one fine, sunny Sunday morn when as I was placing the salsa bowl over the mother’s shoulder and her husband decided to move his chair and he bumped me in the process. Naturally this caused the bowl to canter over slightly, spilling a good 3 ounces of freshly made salsa all down her hair.

Normally this would have been a customer service faux pas of epic proportions as these guys had NO PROBLEMO making complaints about any little thing. They were no tipping nazi’s remember! I just held my breath and went about putting the rest of their tables chips and salsa bowls on the table. maybe because I was new to the business but I pulled a Sgt. Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes. “I see NOTHING! I know NOTHING!”

But the lady stood a mere 5’4″ or so with hair that was frizzily permed and hung down past her trim ass. So the offending salsa went down into the tangle of hair and never did a drop of it drip onto the floor to my shock, surprise, and oh yes my horror. I dreaded thoroughout the meal the incident would be found out.

They never said anything at anytime about it which really did surprise me as that had to have been a pain in the ass to untangle the next time she brushed out her lengthy locks.

Score one for the forces of the nontipped servers everywhere I say!!!

A clear sign I might need to find a different place of employment with way less drama

March 19, 2008

The following incident happened just last week in its entirety but I change the names to protect the guilty parties:

A server had a party big enough to occupy 2 4 top tables fully so the party was 8-14 people. They stayed a few hours at this table in the bar area and ran up a 200 dollar tab. Why the server did NOT grat the party I do NOT know since our policy is parties of 6 or more are 1 check with auto 20% grat and no more than 2 credit cards can be given, ie NO SPLIT CHECKS.

The server shows our GM, Chas, the credit receipt for 200+ bucks with a whopping 6 buck tip. Chas approaches the table and inquires on their experience secretly trapping the table by their own admission that the food, drink, and yes, service were all fine or better. Then Chas questions their 6 dollar tip and explains the server makes a mere $2.13 per hour. In this case they pay no additional money for a tip. I have been in this game TOO long and never have I had a manager go to bat  for their staff at the table. Many if they were aware of no problems would comp off items to create you a tip but none ever would confront the cheap asses’ on their cheapness. Props go to Chas!

Now my personal observations begins…

The party has broken up and most of them are outside but Im walking behind my owner’s wife who works our hostess stands on busier nights. A 5’10’ in heels,  200 pound women is in front of the boss lady making the following commentary to her friend, “Theys all white and gonna stick together anyhow.” Now mind you I know nothing posted above except the server had a large party of blacks in the bar area but no details at this time.

The boss lady reiterates to the Irate Lady she needs to head to the front door. She turns on the boss lady and states she doesnt have to leave if she dont want to. And proceeds to do that dominance establishing gesture common to black ladies where they twirl in a very exaggerated manner their wrist where her long fingernails move in a circular pattern.

This is where the incident goes horribly wrong. Yeah you guessed it boss lady and Irate Lady get their hand and fingers intertwined which leads rapidly to a scream fest full of expletives and physical scuffling. Mind you I about 6 feet away on a POS system trying to ring in a drink order with my eyes glued to the escalating situation. I have several people between me and the violence and I dont get paid enough to get involved until I think someone is in danger of actual injury. Its starting to look like the battling ladies may end up in the floor.

Out of the corner of my eye back in the bar area is a blue blur which impacts into the Irate Lady like a football tackle. She goes down and narrowly avoid a head trauma from a 2 top table which is covered in 3/4 ” marble. I guess to my GM’s viewpoint the situation was little more out of control.

The Irate Lady gets picked up and pushed to the front door while her friend expounds upon how “mens donts hit womans folk”. This almost made me completely bust out in laughter since he hadnt hit her friend in the conventional sense.

Once outside more heated dialogue ensues and the people start to disperse in their cars when they realize plate numbers are being written down or photo’ed by cell phones and that police have been called.

A cop arrives and takes a report.

But wait the drama is NOT over.

I have a table of 7 blacks who have a accent that I cant place. OK on reflection I carded one of the younger guys who had a New Orleans address on his license. The adult men try to get out of paying their $144 table with a $22.60 grat because as they said, ” they wuz tramatized by the violence.” The grandma they came in to celebrate her birthday advised them if they didnt like how the woman was treated was to pay the bill and NOT to come back.

Needless to say they paid the full tab. And hopefully neither group will come back.

But I have to say the flying tackle by my boss went a little too far. Boss lady is a trained psychologist raised in what I am told were not the best of neighborhoods of Chicago and she tends to get into more nasty altercations than the rest of our staff. Me I walk away from them once I get mad enough the actual thought of violence becomes appealing. But had the tackle happened slightly different the Irate Lady would have ended up in the hospital with a head trama. One server in town already died from a parking lot fall onto those parking concrete bumber stops. Outside bar violence in that case.

Hello world!

March 19, 2008

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