Friday, January 29, 2010

100 in 7 hours? Not bad.

I pick up last night on a whim. I already worked that morning, but my E-Trainer does not want to work her night. Okay. I told her I'd pick it up. She's got things to do and I've got money to make.

My first table of the table of the day tells me that I was the best server they've EVER had, tipped me 10 on 34 and sought my manager out to tell him that I was the best and that they'd come back, just to see me!

Rest of the tables were pretty uneventful, but I don't think I got less than 18% on any table.

Then a party of seven rolls in. 5 kids. 2 adults. Right off the bat, I prejudged them. The woman looked just worn from all the kids, the husband too, but they were helpful! She ordered all the food and all the drinks. They ordered a few appetizers, which they didn't eat and I boxed up. 3 kids meals and 2 adult meals and two desserts afterwards. The bill was about 75 dollars.

Now I know what you're thinking, right? I should expect 5 dollars and be happy with that. I was nervous too. Really nervous actually. I pick up the bill holder after they leave and look inside. A perfect 20%- 15 dollars and a little change. THANK YOU! This never happens to me. I'll get 50 bad tables and just when I'm going to throw in the towel, a little ray of sunshine presents itself.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Can I just go to the bathroom PLEASE?!

I had one of my worst days yesterday. I know it probably won't sound too bad to some of you, but just the fact that everything compounded and I felt bitchy was enough to send me over the edge and take today off.

The day started out bad because I couldn't find my waitressing bank. I use my own wallet and without it, I'm already down the 20 dollars in change we servers are expected to have. So, I'm running 5 minutes behind. I make up for it by driving 80 on the freeway. And as a side note, nope, I've NEVER been pulled over by a cop (knock on wood).

Anyway, so I get there and I have a follow. I don't like having a follow. While I appreciate the fact that my manager consider my work superior to the others, it messes me up. I'm thinking about what I'm supposed to be telling her, instead of concentrating fully on my tables.

My first table complains about the bathrooms.
Couple: "You two were excellent, but the bathrooms were unacceptable."
Me: "What was wrong with them?"
Couple: "The stalls were all out!"
Me: "Let me get my manager. He has more control over that."

So I go get my manager and tell him that the guest is upset. He checks the bathroom and yes, one stall was out, but the other two were fine- not even a scrap of TP on the ground! So he goes out and talks to the couple. Their problem? One stall was out of order, one had toilet paper in the toilet (I didn't see it), and the other was occupied. WTF? Then wait! God damn it people, it doesn't HAVE to be so difficult.

I got 4 on 25, 5 on 33, 3 on 30 and my all-time favorite- 9 on 87.

After all my fucktard tables are cashed out, I ask to be first cut. Since I ask only once a month, still I close lunch all the time, the managers don't mind. I'm cut.

I take off my apron and decide to go to the bathroom before I get something to eat. I get in there and there's three women in there, one hovering in the stall. I wait behind them.

Woman #1: "Miss? We can't get the toilet to flush."
Woman #2: "Aren't they automatic?"
Me: *turn and walk out of the bathroom*

All I wanted to do was take a piss. PUSH THE GOD DAMN FLUSH BUTTON, THAT'S HOW YOU MAKE IT FLUSH! How did these people not get hit by cars more? I know old people are technology intolerant, but fuck me! Just push the button!!! JUST PUSH THE FUCKING BUTTON!!!!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Other Servers

It seems that waiting on servers can swing both ways. I've read horror stories about a server getting stiffed by another, or treated rudely...

I have had a few bad experiences. I had a table of four. One girl was being really demanding and needy. She needed this, a side of that, on side this, can you...that. The mom actually said, "Kathleen! You're a server, you should know better". Yeah, bitch, you should.

I also know that another girl that comes in, Ashley (go figure), works at Bob Evans. She's a cunt. I hate using that word, I prefer something less severe, but that is the PERFECT name for her. I think she's even the bitch that threw away my application when I applied there (I was 16). I don't know what her problem is, but she doesn't like me. She left me 6 on an 80 dollar check. See? Cunt. So far, I've restrained myself from finding her and beating her black and blue. She always has, like, 5 kids with her and she can't be much older than 24. So, she'd probably be pregnant when I decided to beat her up, although I think it might be more beneficial to the unborn than me.

However, back on track, I have had AWESOME servers. I had a four top, 3 servers and a kid, come in and sit in my section. When they told me they were servers, I couldn't roll my eyes hard enough. But they were cool chicks! We talked for a while (they were my last table of the day) and they were really nice. They paid seperately and each left me 10. I made 30 on a 60. Wow. I thanked them over and over again.

I try not to make any judgments on people. I can normally tell which servers are cool and which ones are bitchy. Overall, most will tip you good and will be the least pain in the ass. Here's to you, girls!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

In Tune with the Universe

I like going out to eat. I wait on people and I like to have the favor returned. So, I'll be sitting there, in the restaurant, my waitress radar still on, and I'll see a table and a divine feeling comes over me. Sometimes it doesn't happen at once, but over the course of the meal, I'll get the feeling. It's sort of odd to feel it. I want to help the person, to make them happy, to show them that someone is looking out for them. I'm not too fond of the idea of God, but if there is one, this is when I feel him. It's a pure feeling, unbiased, and completely self-less. It's a sense of needing to do something for someone else, to make their day, or bless them.

I will ask the waitress for their bill and pay for it. I don't know why I do it. Even when I was 16, I would get feelings from tables I've waited on, good and bad. I've paid for people's bills when I was SERVING them, just because I felt like I needed to do it.

I see it as a way of saying 'there is someone here who wants to reward you'. I don't know this person, but when I get the feeling, it's beautiful. It's like I can tell s/he is a GOOD person. And it doesn't happen all the time either. It's been 6+ months since I've gotten the feeling.

It'll happen when I see a father and his children playing outside in the snow. It'll happen when I see two sisters sitting together on a park bench, sharing ice-cream. It's the little acts of love- the ones that are usually kept to ourselves. I'll see an old man mowing his lawn and want to help him- though, in this time, you can't trust anyone, so I doubt he would let me help in fear that I would rob him.

And now my fiance is starting to pick up on those vibrations too. He doesn't get them nearly as often, but he told me a year ago (we've been together since we were 16) there was this old man heading towards the grocery store. He was probably still a good 30 minutes (walking distance) from the store. My fiance pulled over and offered the man a ride. He accepted and my fiance dropped him off at the store. There was nothing to it, just an act of kindness, and both went on their way.

That's it. Nothing to it. We'll never see those people again and that's okay, as long as we leave our little imprints in their memory, and their hearts.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Before and After

Today, I'm off of work. Thankfully, I didn't get called in to work because I need a day off.

During the day is when they have the worst commericals. They are played for stay-at-home moms, the unemployed, and people who disabilities. That's why you see so many lawyer, cleaning, and college commercials at that time. And you thought it was a coincidence...

Anyway, I'm sure you've seen the Nutrisystem commericals, or something close to it. The spokesperson is a perfect weight, most likely blonde, with big boobs and artifically tan. A picture of perfection? Hardly! Gross.

First of all, it's anti-feminist. Do they think we all want to look like superficial idiots? I know I don't. They pick women who are blonde, skinny, and have big boobs because that's supposed to be the ideal picture for women everywhere. It's what men want, right? And women buy into that? Men want what they can't have. Why can't they have it? Because that "perfect woman" doesn't actually exist. I guarantee you, the women on TV look like Godzilla rolling out of bed, with an attitude to boot.

The sad thing is, I think the BEFORE picture is beautiful. Some horrid, skanky, ugly beast crawled out of that beautiful, lively woman! So what if she was a little overweight? What's with women wanting to sell their souls to be skinny?! Are you really going to eat nutrition bars for the REST of your LIFE?

Just another JennyCraig commerical. A brown haired scientist woman talks about losing weight, then rips off her coat and she's sexy. Ooo la la. Sign me up today!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Table for seven?

I'm usually not one to complain about my bad customers. I know that I depend on their repeat visits to keep the business steady and my pockets full, but let's not forget, nearly everybody dines out, even if it's once in a while.

Before I start out this story, I want to make it clear that trash comes in all colors. This isn't just to prove I'm unbiased, but there's white trash, black trash, asian trash, etc. Just as some over-eccentric Christians make Christianty horrid, trash makes the whole race look horrid.

That being said, I got a table of black trash. Funny how 90% of the black race is trash. Even our black servers comment on it. J is quoted saying, "Man, I hate waitin' on black tables!"

So I get a party of 5 elderly ladies, very nice, but are waiting on two more joiners. I get them their drinks and the dining room is empty. The place picks up in a second. I get seated the table of seven (black trash) and of course, Murphy's law of waitressing, the joiners show up as soon as you're bordering the weeds. The joiners kick my ass into full weeds.

I get the seven their drinks- all waters, 1 coke (score!) and then rush over to the five and get their drinks. Everything is still okay, I'm just rushing. I think it's only mental by this time. I still have a couple other tables, but their food is out and they are fine, thank God.

The table of seven orders 2 kids meals for 4 kids to split and then get 2 raspberry lemonades to go along with the kids meals (since they are free). The salad is to be made with extra Italian, ranch on the side, and extra olives. I bring out the kids drinks, then make the salads. When I drop them off, one of the women comments that the plate is cold and she has sensative teeth. The other woman chips in- she has sensative teeth too, she just forgot. The little girl, maybe 5 years old, next to her, says that she wants a different one too. Thing is, she doesn't have a chilled salad plate, she has a bread plate.

I say, "You don't have a cold plate."
The mom tells me, "Just ignore her."

So I go into the back and get the new salad bowls. Well, now they need more ranch. I get them extra Italian, extra ranch and olives just so I don't have to bother with them again. I think, great!, I'll have time to get salads and soup for my 5 top. NOPE! No sooner do I drop off the extras, the kid spills the drink. I drink they are splitting between the 4 kids. They need napkins, STAT! So I run and get some napkins. Thank God, again, the hostess helped them clean it up, because my other tables need to cash out and my 5 is still waiting.

I get the salad and soup to the 5 out. They're nice, didn't even notice I was gone that long. I thanked them for their patience. They smiled back.

I then cashed out the other tables and saw my table of seven's food coming out. I snuck away. I knew they'd ask for a million and one things if I was there. I go back and ask if they need anything. Two spoons. For chicken fingers...

I get them spoons and now they want more salad (don't forget the ranch! oh, and extra ranch!) Is there an echo in the building? Is there an echo in the building?

I bring it out and dash away. Let them eat. The 5 are nice, don't need much and are polite. I get 20% off my other table. Both remaining tables eat fast and I get the checks out. Table of seven pays with a hundred dollar bill. I check it for authenticity. Table of 5 leaves me 10 on 40. Table of seven? 6 on 60.

Some groups live up to their stereotypes and that's sad.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Helping Out a Friend

I wasn't scheduled to work today so I decided that I was going to spend the day cleaning the house. Around 9:30, I get a call from one of my managers asking me to work. I hemmed and hawwed it over for a couple seconds and then decided 'why not, I could use the cash'. My manager asks my what time I'd like to go in, so I say the standard 11:30.

Lunch pretty much sucked. The tips were okay, but it was so SLOOOOWW...

Then, my co-worker, E-Trainer (as I so dubbed her), comes around the corner in tears. She's shaking.

"Can you work for me, tonight?" she asks. "My fiance's grandfather just had a heart attack."

I'm moved by her tears. "Yeah," I say, not really wanting to. I agree to pick it up because I'm sympathetic. I would want someone to come to my rescue for a loved one had an emergency.

This is not my first time that I helped her, or other co-workers, out. She had horrid stomach pain once right before her double shift. I happened to be there for lunch and agreed to take her dinner. Turns out I wasn't on the 'who's who' and told the manager on duty that I'd take Erin's shift so she could go to the ER, making me a double. Turns out she had an ovarian cyst burst.

Another time, a co-worker felt sick and ran into the bathroom to throw up. I followed and held her while she cried. I told her that I'd watch over her tables while she cleaned herself up. She said she was a double so I offered to take her shift. She agreed and went home.

Anyway, today ended up fairly well. I made $115 after tip-out for a six hour shift. I'd say that's pretty damn good.

I do want to thank the four ladies who left me 20.20 on 80.00 and the table who left me 15 on 60. I appreciate it!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'm sorry- for everything.

Waitresses are always apologizing. They say 'I'm sorry' when they are in a co-worker's way, a guest's way, or trying to pacify an angry customer, even if it's not their fault. See, waitresses get the blame for everything- if the wait time is too long, if the food is prepared incorrectly, or if the bussers didn't wipe the table good enough. Therefore, we have adopted this personality outside of the workplace too.

I wish I could let my happiness facade fall as soon as I step out the workplace doors, but really I can't. I've found that not many people hold the door open for me when I'm leaving. What's that about? Still in uniform- I'm not a human? I don't deserve the same level of respect? Well, at least I know you're ten percenters. You'll tip just enough so that YOU don't feel bad. After all, you're more important than anyone else, right?

When I walk to my car, I'm still in work attire and I view that as still representing my restaurant, so, I'm just as polite as I would be inside- letting other cars go before me, not talking on my phone until I'm in my car, smiling at people...

Even when I'm not in uniform, I find myself stopping to let other people go before me. For instance, in the grocery store, if I'm moving down an aisle and there is someone trying to go too, I'll let them go. What really gets me is that I'm a naturally aggressive person, so I'll sulk in the fact that I should just go ahead and be the bitch. Another example is traffic. I'll let someone pull out in front of me and then get pissed off when they move so SLOW! It's like, 'I let you go, have some common curtesy and go fast enough so we both can make the light!' but they don't, and I'm stuck there for another turn of the light. A punishment for my good nature.

However, in the midst of all this conceited, self-righteous inconsideration that I'm surrounded by, I occasionally get thrown a scrap or two. I'll get the guest who insists that I go first since I'm carrying trays (they'll leave 20-25%), or people who say 'no rush, take your time, I know you're busy' (15-30%), or when someone leaves me a big tip and I go back to thank them, they say 'your service was worth it' or even better 'you were worth it'. Those little rays of sunlight will glow even more brightly in contast to this dark serving world and I'll swallow my anger for one more day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

CURSE you!

A few weeks ago, a co-worker walked onto the line, holding a credit card slip. He looked at bit dazed. I figured it was either an incredible tip, or he got stiffed. A couple servers followed him into the kitchen, looking over his shoulder.

So, I walk over and ask him, "What's up?"

He looks up at me and then turns the paper around so I can see it. I'm not sure what the tip was, I'd say something around 17%, but what was weird was the signature. It was signed: CURSE.

Now, none of us knew what to say. We looked at each other and then I started laughing. The laughter caught on. Soon, we were all laughing and making jokes. I knew he felt a little weird about it, and I tried to lighten the mood. I told him there were a LOT of weirdos out there, especially in a restaurant. It meant nothing. I'm not superstitious; I don't believe in curses. He doesn't either.

But still. Really people?! What is that supposed to mean? You're a freak! I hope your house burns down because you didn't stuff out your black candles.

Instead of writing 'thank you!!' on the check, with a smiley face, I wish we could erase the thank you and write 'fuck off'. Keep the smiley face on there though.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Did I Ask that Question?

"Hi, you two!" I say, placing down two coasters.

"Good. How are you?" Is the response.

Did I ask that question? No, but that's the automated response that I get from half my tables. HALF of my tables. 50%! That's a HUGE amount!

I've concluded that most servers greet their tables saying "Hi, how are you?". I don't. I say hi. I say something stupid about the weather. I say something about the DVD I see laying on your table, shopping bags, holidays, but I've found that 'how are you' implies so much.

1. Frankly, I don't care how you are. Call it selfish, call it unkind, but do they want to know how I am? Not really. It's a pleasantry that is said mindlessly so we can feel good about ourselves. I'm not mindless and I don't have to ask that question to feel good about myself.

2. I've had tables that go into a lot of detail about how they really are. I don't want to know your wife is cheating on you. I don't care that your dog died, that's life, but God forbid that I tell you how I am- that I'm pulling a double, or I feel like my feet are bleeding, and-

3. I'm not changing my greeting so you don't feel like a fuckwad. Open your ears, listen, be self-aware, not robotic.

When a guest answers me with "good, how are you", or even less considerate "good" (then silence), then I know you're not a good tipper. Period. You're a moron. Go get sterilized and then go home.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

10% Day

I wake up at 9:30. I'm thankful that I don't have to wake up to my screeching alarm clock- not so thankful for the two inches of snow on the roads. Though I've always liked playing in the snow, as I've gotten older, I've found that I'm not too fond of driving in it. So, I have to leave early. Already, I'm late.

I stumble into the bathroom and knock my hair clip into the toilet. I roll my eyes and grab it out, avoiding a shit-stain on the porcelain. I make a mental note to clean the whole bathroom later. I hurry to dry my hair and I actually leave at the time I needed to.

When I get into the building, I know it's going to be bad, because they are cutting the floor already. All the openers are leaving. After a half-hour, I get a table. A couple- a app, and two entrees. They were pretty cool and left me 10 on a 35. If you're out there, THANKS!

After that, it was all downhill. Lunching ladies with coffees. Couple with babies. Then everyone is cut down- two servers left on- me and a co-worker who I call Playa.

Question of the day at work: would you rather have a drop-dead gorgeous/handsome partner, who is mediocre at best in bed, or a kinky, fun-loving gal, who can rock your world in bed, who is only mediocre looking?

Answers: All said the fun-loving gal.