Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ghost Town

Today was VERY slow.  Had a tiny rush, but not much.  Everyone was phased pretty early.  One of my first table was there for 2 hours.  Took them FOREVER to order-they were showing off pictures and "visiting".  Tips were also very "Meh" again today.  Not extremely bad, but not good either.  My last table left me $5 on $43.  When I asked her if she wanted a refill on iced tea, she said, "No, I have a disability and it is hard for me to lift the glass."  Huh?  For one, you don't have to lift the glass to drink out of it and two, I don't really need an explanation of why you don't want any, "no" is fine.

Jasmina asked if I could stay in her section when I get phased, I told her I was still on the floor and see how I feel when I do.  I decided that I would stay, since I didn't make Jack today.  When I asked her if she still wanted me to stay, she said no. Then after I had all my sidework done and had already cashed out, she said "Oh, I didn't realize what time it was, could you please stay for me?"  What?  I'm all done with everything.  I can't stay now.

On the way home, I was going around the curve on the on-ramp to the connector and my car started sliding.  There is a drop-off on each side.  WTF?  I didn't think it was cold enough for there to be ice on the road.  Hope it is not my tires.

Would You like a Side of Germs With That?

I really hate having to work when I feel like butthole.  Released my shift and even texted everyone that wasn't already scheduled.  We have 55 servers that work at our restaurant and I couldn't get a one to cover for me.  The GM tried to call one of the stand-by people and couldn't get ahold of them, so I had to work anyway.  I know I wouldn't like someone serving and boxing up my food that was sick.  It started out with about 1 1/2 weeks of a funky stomach and headache and now is in my chest, sinus, sore, dry throat and coughing.  I didn't get ANY sleep last night due to the funky stomach and coughing.  I had to drink an energy drink just to get through my shift.  Then one of the male servers says to me-Ya, know-you shouldn't drink those when you are sick, they ruin your immune system.  I don't think it could be any fucked-up than it already was and I needed the extra energy or I wouldn't have made it.

Most of the tips today were just kinda "Meh".  Had maybe one good one.  Luckily only one table really irritated me.  The lady supposedly has a shattered knee and broken bones in her foot held together with all kinds of pins and screws, but wasn't wearing her "boot."  Generally when you leg is that fucked up, they don't just give you a walking boot.  When I broke my big toe so bad that I had to have surgery, a pin and a screw put it, it took me a l-o-n-g time to get into a boot and off crutches.  It actually felt better with the pressure of the boot on it than without. My foot is still screwed up, but that is another story.  Anyway, she first asks for a booster seat to rest her foot on (she did have a roll-about walker she propped it up on).  Then she wanted "shaved" parmesan cheese with her wine so I had to take a knife and cut some off the block we keep on the POS counter.  Then she wanted her bread NOW and make sure I have some balsamic vinegar.  Can I try the soup, "cause if I like the soup, I want that with my pizza, if I don't like it, then I want the salad with blue cheese on the side.  I want you to leave the prosciutto off and I want lite cheese."  Her daughter says, "Mom, stop it, it's embarrassing!"  She says, "Oh, that's okay, THEY don't mind."  As if we are some subspecies and how do you know WE don't mind.  Ah, yeah, we kinda do.  Then when the food comes out, she wants mustard and ketchup.  What?  For pizza and salad?  Bleh!  Wants another basket of bread. Her daughter ordered taquitos and it is served with a Mexican flag (guac, sour cream and salsa).  Then she decides that she needs some for her salad.  Typically, I should have charged her, the cook almost didn't give it to me, but I was trying to be nice.  Then I had to box up all the food she hardly touched.  I believe I still got 15%, was expecting less, needy people are usually the worst tippers.  But, I think if you are an EXTREMELY needy person, you should compensate your server for all the extra running around.  So, glad I only had one other table at the time, or she would have gotten me behind. I have one regular, either he comes in with his wife and sometimes with all 4 of their kids.  He is very needy, but tips me well for it.

I could have given away my last 3 tables when my relief came on, but decided to keep them even though I felt like butt, so I could have enough to pay my water bill, so it didn't get shut off.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Camping section again?

The day started out with me jamming a Q-tip into my ear canal after my shower.  I wasn't even aiming for the INSIDE of my ear, but somehow it ended up there.

Well, today was a repeat of yesterday-only worse.  All my tables today with the exception of about 2 started off waiting for others to join and sat and pitched a tent looonnnggg after they were done.  My first table of the day was there for over two and a half hours! They were sitting for about 45 minutes before the rest of their party showed up and made me feel a little off.  The woman kept staring at me like she needed something and I kept walking slowly past their table in case they did, the couple didn't seem to be talking to each other much-just staring at me and making me uncomfortable, boy was I glad when the rest of their party got there. 

Because I had 6 top booths, I only had 3 tables and was bored out of fuckin' skull.  Kat got slammed, so I helped her pre-bus and took one of her deuces. She had 5 tables. Also, ran a LOT of food. I probably could have made double what I made today if it wasn't for all the tents. DAMN IT! (Shakes fist).  Couple of the tips bit too.  The worst one was a fifty some odd check with a $6 tip.  It was a woman that took her 2 young daughters out and made me stand there while she argued with the girls about whether they were going to get a shake or smoothie or have a piece of cheesecake later.  Ya, know, I do have other tables I could be attending to. 

Then there are the requests for waters with lemon, Diet with lemon, water with lime, Diet with lime.  Which means I have to go to the bar to get drinks (we only keep lemons on the line).  We don't automatically serve iced tea or water with lemon, it is by request, but I always seem to get the customers that ask for them.  We also don't automatically serve water with a straw, but it seems like I can always tell which tables are going to ask for a straw and it is always after I have already gotten their water with lemon/lime.  It is usually the middle-aged white woman that doesn't tip for shit.  And because our lemonade is about $4.95 a glass (but it is refillable and like diabetes in a glass) we always get can I have a big glass of water, a dish of lemons and a sugar caddy (cheap bastards).

Then there is one of the dishwashers that slammed into me with a bus cart.  Um, sorry, excuse me, didn't see you there, something would be appropriate to say in this instance.  Not just to be completely ignored and silence.  This is the same dishwasher that has no personality, doesn't smile and smells like BO.  Not sure if he speaks English, but you can smile, bathe, and be considerate, even if you don't speak the language.

I guess the money wasn't too bad considering how much effort I put into it, but makes me irritated knowing that I probably could have doubled the amount if I could have turned my tables around quicker. suck!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Might as Well Pitch a Tent

Well, the day started off with my first two tables waiting for other people.  While they are waiting-I am losing money.  I think that if you are waiting for others, you should wait in the lobby until your party arrives, so that I can continue to make money on people that are ready. 

Then my party of three (who was holding up the table waiting for said third person) turned into a party of two.  All of a sudden they are now in a hurry and have to order RIGHT NOW!   So one of my other tables had to wait.  Then this table proceeds to stay another 45 minutes after they finish their meal-in a hurry my ass-don't lie to me, I hate that!

My four top also decides to camp and then another one of my tables informs me that they have nothing better to do today, so they are going to stay and visit (waaaayyyy after they are done eating)-"Oh, let us know if you need this table."  Yeah!  I do!  That is how I make a fucking living! If you are going to stay in my section and hold up my tables the very least you can do is increase the amount of your tip. Think of it as a state park that charges for pitching your tent.

Then I had the nicest table, they each had a Bloody Mary and a glass of wine and several appetizers.  They told me how great everything was blah, blah, blah.  So, I was really expecting a great tip.  Not $8 on a frickin' $70 check.  Thank you Mr. Schmidt, you royally suck!

Then of course there are always the parents that can't keep an eye on their children. Either they, or the servers, are going to get hurt.  On a busy day we usually have 17 servers, two food runners, one or two bartenders, three bakers, three or four front desk staff and two managers. Our restaurant is huge and people are constantly running in and out of the kitchen, with full hands of food and trays full of drinks, if your little one is toddling around the restaurant someone is bound to get hurt.  What gets me is the parents that let their children cruise around a busy restaurant on heely skates-DUMB!  Those things are dangerous! I remember one server getting the evil from a mom whose kid came barreling down the hall from the bathroom, slammed right into a server's legs and hit the floor. Parents-we are not your babysitters, please curb your children.

About Me

I have been a server for quite a number of years. I have worked in family diner-style restaurants, truck stops and finer dining establishments. I have worked in small family businesses and corporations, but no matter where I have worked, it never ceases to amaze me how stupid and how horrible some people can be. I started this blog so that I have somewhere I can bitch about all these "amazing" people. This blog is not intended for people that are not in the service industry, because I am sorry, but you people just don't understand what it is like unless you have walked in our shoes. If you are not, you are most welcome to read and maybe you will become "enlightened". But if you are here to tell me to find another job or that I must be dumb or stupid because I am a server and a toddler can do my job (yeah, right-I'd like you to try my job for a few days and see how long you last) or that, because I am a server I am beneath you, you are frankly mistaken. I don't want to hear your stupid, shallow comments and you can GET BENT. I have 6 kids, work about 20-30 hours per week and go to school (and I am on the Dean's list-with honors)-definitely not stupid.

I currently work for a huge corporate restaurant. Unfortunately, my restaurant is at the mall and we get a lot of blue hairs, teens and the dreaded stroller brigade. I like kids, but it is the parents of "said children" that make me cringe every time I see a high chair. I live in Idaho and servers here make $3.35 an hour plus tips. People in Idaho generally seem to think that 10% or less is standard instead of the usual 15-20%. Most servers don't make a paycheck, since that is usually taken out in taxes and some servers actually owe money at the end of the year. Every shift I work I have to tip out three people out of what I make based on a percentage of my sales, whether they did any thing for me or not. I have to tip out my food runner, bartender and busser (they only make $3.35 and hour at our restaurant, as well).

I can honestly say that there are only rare occasions not to leave a tip. If the restaurant is busy and the server is running her/his ever living ass off-have some patience. She/He will get to you in a minute. If you are in a hurry, don't come into a busy restaurant, go somewhere else. If there is something wrong with the food, don't blame the server-they didn't cook it. If your server forgets something, have compassion, they have more than one table and are multi-tasking as is. They have a million and one things they are trying to remember. I can't tell you how many times I wake up in the middle of the night panicked because I forgot someone's straw or lemon, etc. Maybe your server is having an off day (didn't get enough sleep, money trouble, home trouble, doesn't feel well)-a server is a human being just like everyone else-just trying to be superman or woman to serve your every need. And above all, don't be a condescending dick! I am doing my job just like everyone else and deserve respect, not your shit!

The only time I have ever not tipped, is one year on my anniversary. My hubby and I went to what was the nicest restaurant in another Idaho town. After our order was taken, we never saw our waitress again. She was MIA. Someone else ran our food to our table, my water was empty, hubby's beer was empty, I wanted some lemon for my fish and couldn't get her attention. We were going to have dessert, but decided to go somewhere else instead, we had to have the hostess bring us our bill and the server still never came back to our table. We watched her flirting with people in the bar and schmoozing her big top on the other side of the restaurant-probably expecting that they were going to give her a big tip-little did she know that we probably would have given her more than the other table-for good service. In this instance, I can see not leaving a tip, but if your server is honestly trying to give you a good experience, treat them well. Servers are trying to make a living just like everyone else, but we put up with a lot of BS doing it. I think that all teens should be taught how to tip in high school economics classes-unless your mom or dad is a server, no one is going to teach you. I also think that everyone should be required to wait on tables, just so they know what it is like and maybe treat one another a little better.