Friday, November 12, 2010

say whaaat?

note: i mainly work with a bunch of college kids, many of whom have never worked in a restaurant before. Most of them are also utterly devoid of common sense. Case in point--we keep cocktail sauce, sour cream, and tartar sauce by the window where we pick up our orders. They are kept in a container of ice to keep them cold. At the end of the night they're changed into clean pans, the melted ice is dumped, and they're put in the refrigerator. Or that's how it's supposed to be done--99.9% of the kids re-ice the sauces and THEN put them in the refrigerator the first time(and sometimes the 2nd and 3rd time) they have it as side work. When i point out that you don't have to ice something that's going into a cold refrigerator they look at me like i'm retarded every. single. time.

the other night one of server A's tables decided that they wanted to pay for one of my tables. My table was a young couple and a baby throwing alphabits everywhere, and their tab was about $30.00. A came over to me while i was ringing their food up to tell me that her table wanted mine's ticket. Okay, no problem...yeah right. Like most restaurants we do server banking, no cash register, and A couldn't figure out how we'd accomplish this feat. Then again, A also can't figure out how much change to give a customer back without using a calculator. I've actually seen her enter $30.00 minus $25.75 into the big adding machine sitting by the credit card machine. Yeah.

i told A that i've had other tables pick up other servers' tickets in the past, and it's no big deal. I just do the following: if they're using a credit card i tell them since there are 2 separate tickets with 2 separate servers i'll have to run their card twice. That way everyone's finances and tips stay separate and it avoids confusion (and if you don't trust your co-worker it keeps them from having the opportunity of claiming to be short changed). I've never had any problems with it and i've never had anyone not get tipped. A: blank look, followed by "if they're using a card can't i just add up the 2 tickets, charge them the total amount, and give you cash?" Me: "I suppose you could, but why go to all that trouble? This way our tips stay separate too." A: blank look.

as it turns out there were 3 people at A's table, one of them paid for their tab and another paid for my table. Even easier, right? Hell no--A came over to me with the 2 credit cards, totally lost. I handheld her through running the card for her ticket, then i ran the other card for my table's ticket. You'd think this would be the end of it--and you would be wrong. A never brought me back my ticket or credit slip and i had to go into her section to find it laying on her table. The person had tipped me 20%, and i told my table that they were good to go, another table had paid for them and tipped me, everything was taken care of. My table got all weirded out and acted like a stalker might be waiting for them out in the parking lot. They collected their alphabits spewing baby and made a run for it.

later A came up to me and told me that since i hadn't given her the tip i should at least sweep under one of her tables to make it up to her. Uh...what? Trying to figure out what she was talking about i said "oh, did they not tip you on your ticket?" "Yeah, they tipped me." Me: long pause. "And why would i give you the tip they left ME on MY ticket?" "Because it was my table, you didn't wait on them." "Yeahhh...but they tipped you for your service on your tab, and then paid for my table and tipped me for that. Why would you get my tip on top of what your table chose to leave for you?" "You should of at least given me half."

at which point my head exploded. (actually the above conversation went around in circles for a good 10 plus minutes. If i typed all that out your head would explode too).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

sorry i'm walking funny, but...

...apparently i have my head stuck up my ass.

i made the mistake of showing up early one sunny Sunday in August, and of course i was thrown several tables as soon as i walked in the door. One of the tables was out on the far reaches of the patio and the manager assured me that they had only just been sat. Now our patio runs the full length of the restaurant and has 7 tables, and there's only 1 door to access them, so to get to that 7th table you have to walk alllll the way down there, past all 6 of the other tables. Really, i want to emphasize what a looong walk this is. So i go out the door and start my hike to the last table and the people at it sit and stare at me all crazy the entire time i'm heading their way. It's a young-ish couple and a fat kid. I get there and do a short intro they have no interest in, and the man at the table tells me he wants the steak and eggs. The menu states that it comes with "up to 5 eggs". After saying "i want the steak and eggs" he sat there in dead silence so i had to prompt him with "how would you like your steak cooked?" and "do you want all 5 eggs with that?" "I only want 2 eggs, it'll be cheaper that way, right?" "No, i'm sorry, it's the same price whether you get all 5 eggs or not." "Well that's insane! 5 eggs is stupid! Who the hell can eat 5 eggs? It outta be cheaper!"

(ever get that sinking feeling?)

i pried the order out of the female half and Fat Kid, and went back inside to put the order in. Guy had wanted tabasco with his meal (it's not on the table) so i grabbed that along with anything else i could imagine them wanting and i treked back out with it. Again they STARED at me the entire time i walked to their table, even stopping talking to just stare, and i had to try to find things to look at on my way over so i wouldn't be staring back at them. RFA (really fucking awkward).

it was really busy inside the restaurant but i could keep an eye on my distant patio table through the windows. I watched Fat Kid hoover down his drink from afar so i trucked out with a refill. Yes, they STARED at me the entire time i walked over. Eventually i saw another server run their food out so i was obligated to go check on them. As soon as i walked out that door they stopped eating--and STARED. At this point i was running out of things to pretend to look at as i walked over, i had no other tables to interact with on the patio, just them. Me: "Everybody doin' all right here?" Guy: grunt. Me: "Okay" (in my fake cheery voice). Once i got back in i was heading for my normal tables when i happened to glance out the window, i saw Guy chug down his full glass of ice tea, get up, walk all the way over to the patio cart (that was by the door) and fill his glass from one of the covered pitchers sitting there. Whatever dude.

at this point the hostess showed up and i asked her to check on them for me since i was busy. She did, and reported back with "They're weird--i don't wat to go back." Great.

watching through the window i waited until it looked like the meal was winding down. Sighing to myself i headed out the patio door. Again they all stopped what they were doing to stare at me THE ENTIRE WAY. I arrived at the table, bussed some plates, and offered dessert. "We're thinking about it" Guy responded. "Okay, well i'll give you a moment to think it over, the pie list is right here on the table, i'll be right back!" Sadly i headed back in without dropping off the ticket because they were considering dessert.

next thing i knew the manager was by my side, telling me that my patio table had come inside and wanted to pay--NOW. This was barely a minute or two after i left them, allegedly thinking about dessert. I found Guy huffily standing by the door and he wordlessly thrust his credit card at me. I ran it and brought it back to him and he said, and i quote: "I know it's busy in here and all, but everytime we sit on the patio we NEVER get the attention we deserve. It's just not right." To which i replied "And i'm sorry you feel that way", which is my polite version of "what the fuck ever". Later that night the manager told me that when he came inside wanting to pay he told her what a horrible server i am and that i had my head stuck up my ass. I have yet to figure out what i did wrong (other than come to work early), and the kicker is that he still tipped 15%. Da fuck??

in more positive news: last night we were insanely busy, and as i walked past the cookline i heard one cook yell to another "I need 4 metric buttloads of..." I didn't hear what this was in reference to but i know gold when i hear it, and i scribbled it down on the notecard i keep in my server book with off menu prices on it. I will henceforth be using this term regularly, as in "Jesus Christ! That bitch at table 32 is using 4 metric buttloads of ranch on her salad!"