Friday, April 15, 2011

You don't know it all

Again with the opinions. It's like the Grinch, hating all the noise, noise, noise. I hate the opinions of people who stick their nose where it doesn't belong. Gahhhsssshhh (That'd be an exasperated gosh).

I've never wanted a customer to leave so bad. From the beginning this old man had something to say. I feel I'm biased against the elderly. I'm really not. There are so many people that come in who are elderly that I love and look forward to seeing. I also love my grandmas, let it be known. I've never seen this guy before and I care never to see him again.

First he was trying everything we had to offer on god's? (God's?) eh, unimportant....great earth. He ordered the fish fry...but broiled. This comes with french fries and cole slaw. People who come in love our cole slaw and many people opt out on the fries to get something a bit less dense. So no fries. "What can I get instead?" Always the next question. Potato salad or macaroni salad, or for a bit extra some homemade mac and cheese. Potato salad. Ok great. On to the slaw. He wants to try it. I oblige. Tells JC, worst cole slaw he's ever had, insists something in his fridge called German cole slaw is the truth. I don't know what that is. Also tries to lend his vast knowledge of cole slaw, if the cook ever wants to know, he says. So no slaw. That leaves about nothing to substitute. He wants to try the mac and cheese. Once again, I oblige him. Says he doesn't like it but eats the whole solo cup anyway. End result, broiled fish with potato salad. Whilst waiting for his food JC is taking Tylenol for the headache she feels creeping up. "You should take Advil, Tylenol's no good for you." Wow. I wanted to just snap an evil woman look at him right there and ask him what business of his it really was. For all he knew she could have some crazy allergy to Advil discovered by a near death experience. Then what? He probably wouldn't have cared.  Next he asks JC what she is drinking. Gatorade. Once again he insists that is bad for you. What??? Since when? JC proceeded by sharing her triumph of killing the Coca-Cola monster. That crazy caffeine and sugar mix really does create an addiction. And she had one, but she decided to stop and has been doing well, even though there is a cooler full of it right in front of her face. Somehow this man thinks that Sprite is a better alternative because it is caffeine free. Still soda sir. Still bad for you. Not to mention the citric acid wears the enamel on your teeth down like a mother. For someone who seems so well versed in things that are bad for you, I say he really made an oopsie with that one. Oh and he didn't even like the potato salad made another suggestion then proceeded to make it a point to say he was a finicky eater. Why even go out to eat?

So that guy....he made my blood simmer. Pretension is an attribute I have little patience or time for.

Coming this bizarre food/eating habits/anxiety/micromanagement and why it's quite amusing that I waitress.

One more thing....with the old people. Our car was hit today by one. A foreign one that tried to leave and told my boyfriend she wasn't supposed to have the car. No way? You mean you're not supposed to be driving. I would never have guessed that by the way you took a right through an intersection onto a two lane opening and then hit the bumper of the car all the way in the left hand turning lane in the opposite direction of traffic. Unfreakingreal.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pop a wheelie

And she did. You'll understand. Weekend of work wasn't very exciting. Today the same old ladies battled their bill. They still tipped, so that was nice.

Here's a story from long ago!

At my first waitressing job, BBB, the alcohol flows quite generously to the patrons. BBB is a busy bar and eatery....I hesitate to call it a restaurant because I believe it is far from. Anywho, there is a karaoke night there. One particular evening a group of women came in, one of which was in a wheelchair. They sat for a while ate and drank and what not. I'd say a solid hour in, basically as soon as karaoke began, it was clear there was going to be some issues. The woman in the wheelchair downed about 3 tall Jack and Cokes beforehand. She was the first to sing. From there, a tirade of sorts. Wheeling about the bar she became increasingly belligerent. At first it wasn't so bad, she did pop a wheelie, but almost fell backwards in the chair. I was a confused mix of amused and concerned. After being denied the request for another drink, she came up to the bar and slammed her hands on it so hard that the whole thing shook. From there she went to the elevator, where the bar back was unloading some things. She called him a motherfucking faggot. He did nothing to her to warrant that of course, but it is a prime example of how uncontrollably drunk she was. The worst part was her friends didn't seem to care. No concern of any sort. We even asked them to keep her under control because it was getting to the point where she was harassing other customers. They didn't. It was sad to be honest.

We didn't see her again until months and months later. She did not get shit faced. I was glad. Perhaps she learned her lesson that it's not cool to be a sloppy mess, although we've all been there. Maybe she just wasn't in the mood. I'll never know. What I do know is that I'll never forget the show that woman put on and how casually her friends ignored it.

Moral of the story is, whiskey makes you do crazy stuff.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Oh what a night

And not in a happy way. Ugh. Too much to really explain, and not much to do with the customers. Overwhelming to say the least. Glad it's over, not glad it starts again at 7 a.m. Good news really is next two weekends off! Bully for me.

Not much to report in the way of crazy customers. I did overhear my last customer of the evening say the service wasn't that good. I don't know what was so bad about it. Attentive as usual, overly even. Maybe because the soup and salad was ordered after the entree order had already been put in so they came out too dangerously close together for these folks maybe. Sent them back to sit under the heat lamp. Never got that. Eat in tandem. Enjoy all the tastes of life at once! Why not....better than getting food that has been under the heat lamp I always say. Not really, but I will now because it applies. That's actually never happened before. Maybe it's an old person thing again, I dunno.

I feel the need to touch upon my previous post, calling waitressing a craft. Probably because of my night.  It is a job that requires a lot of focus and personality. Good personality. I am one of three at my job. That means I have to be reliable ALL of the time. No personal drama allowed as interference. Peoples poor choices and crazy lives always interfere. I get punished because I'm reliable and know how to avoid these things pretty well with a firm grasp on reality. I'm depended on by my employer and the customer, and relatively convinced I could wait tables anywhere. I wouldn't necessarily want to, but I could. What I'm getting at is that too many people don't realize what really goes into it, and most aren't selfless enough to be successful or even mediocre at it. Most people just take it for granted. ::le sigh::

That's about all I have the energy for. I've been sparse this week out of circumstance, which is blatant lack of motivation and current material. Life, mainly puppy life, has me exhausted. I forgot how hard it is. I love and enjoy it, but sometimes it is too much puppiness. Serious lack of personal time.

Guessing this weekend of work won't leave me high and dry.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm so lucky

I guess I missed all the nightmare customers today. I was however very busy. Not like make a bunch of money busy, more like kept busy. I had better portion of JC's family, who were easy, but of course I feel obligated to give them good service, which is difficult to do while juggling plenty of other people along with general front of the house maintenance. I try hard, but I am still trying to get the hang of a flow while it's busy, and without JC there, it just was a bit more challenging.

So really not a lot to report. I suppose this weekend I'll pepper the blog with a few anecdotes from my earlier times waitressing. Things are much more interesting when there is alcohol involved. I started my career serving at a bar. The bastard offspring of a popular place with staying power in the capital city nearby. Completely brand new. I think that's why I have gotten so good at what I do. I jumped right in to the craziest environment possible. I even worked the test run, or "soft open" if you prefer. The one great thing to come out of that place besides all the expansive experiences and good money in the beginning is my boyfriend. That's where we met. Working together, classic waitress kitchen worker blossoming love.  He is not only a great thing for me to have gotten from there, he is also the most important one. Speaking of, my back really itches, too bad he's not home. Alas, I will be relieved of them soon enough. It's a little off topic but if it weren't for deciding to waitress there instead of working in daycare, I wouldn't have him. For that I will be eternally grateful.

I also made a lot of friends there. I still have some friends from there. Once again, alcohol was involved and made things much  more interesting. All of us have always joked that a movie should be made about all of us. I'd say the first 8 months would be best. After that it just gets less notable. All the great characters were there in the first 8 months. Some still are. I was there myself for about 16 months. My boyfriend is still there.

One day we will work together again when we start our own food adventure. Grilled cheese. Gourmet. That's all I'm saying. I can't wait for that day. I know that we will make it great together. Another growth for the relationship that has already grown so quickly and beautifully. Our newest addition was our puppy. Here he is.

Handsome, no? We love him and where I feel something like this would drive a young, busy couple apart, it has truly brought us closer together. Greatly improved our teamwork skills. One day we'll be able to apply that to our business, our dog, and maybe even our kids if we decide to take that road eventually.

Anyways, most of that didn't really have to do with serving but I can't always take work home with me. And sometimes it just doesn't give me good material anyway.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sometimes it is better to keep your opinions

Often times I must shut my mouth. Most of those times I would prefer not to. I guess maybe that is how the customers that just vomit words without thinking of the consequence feel too. They would rather say what they have to say and think that somehow saying it out loud merits the opinion as important. Self-control people. It IS important.

Remember when I said I would prefer not to shut my mouth, you know like just a second ago. That is the truth. I do believe some people deserve to get talked down to so that maybe they'll realize just how inappropriate they are being. But in my profession, I can't do that. I simply have to shake my head and make non-descript, agreeable conversation back. No matter what. Frankly, it's awful. Especially in such a small place, with lots of regular customers, most of which are older or off kilter in one way or another. I don't agree with a lot of things these people say or believe. Anywho...back to the small work environment disadvantage. I like the regulars, don't get me wrong. Ok, I don't like all of them, but then again I don't eat every grape in the bag either. You could say I possess discerning tastes. And I don't like the wrinkly ones. I find that customers treat us as a sort of confidant, to which they can spill all of their thoughts no matter how distasteful or disagreeable. Someone did that today, and they weren't a regular, which to me, made it even worse.

And so it begins...

Last customer in house. Single, at the counter, German food, and a self-proclaimed slow eater. Lucky us. Seeing that the only people were JC, the man, and myself, my guess is that he felt more comfortable saying what he said without the general public listening in. Out of dead silence, "You guys once charged me $6.25 for a breakfast of eggs, toast, and home fries($4.50) and a coffee($1.50)." The total with tax for that is actually $6.48, and we told him so. "Well the sign out front says it's $2.99 for all of that." That is the early bird special, which qualifies for 7:30 a.m or before only. Big surprise, he was not in before 7:30. From there he felt the need to inform us that all of the other places with breakfast have it cheaper. Neat. Just neat sir. What I wanted to tell him was that no one was holding a gun to his head to patronize our establishment, and if a cheaper breakfast with worse quality product was what his gut desired, then by golly he was more than entitled to such. Of course, being in my position, I have no right. However, he also had no right. What did either party have to gain from such an observation and blatant criticism?None of our regulars complain. In fact they love the fact that they know they are getting good food, a lot of it,  and friendly faces to make their experience enjoyable(all of which they are happy to pay for).  The most common word I hear out of peoples mouths coming in there is cozy. I don't think they're just trying to be nice. It is a cozy place, and I could see how people feel comfortable there and value that. I know that the service that JC and I provide is damn near flawless, and without communication we work seamlessly together. People like that. Eh, I digress. I guess the whole thing I'm getting at here is simply, why bother? Really, why? I'd love to know. If I can recognize, at 23, how to control what I say and why I should be doing so, a grown adult at least twice my age should be able to do the same. Tell me I'm wrong.

So that's that. Really the only notable thing. I will take this opportunity to eat my own words and give an opinion somewhat based on the above rant. Old people. I like them, they're nice and well versed and all that stuff. I don't like them when they feel entitled to things. Like senior discounts. Complain because you don't get a discount, righhht. Give me a discount. I'm a poor kid who hasn't had the chance for life savings and virtually no outside help. If anyone deserves a break, it's probably me, and people like me trying to make an honest living as kids. Maybe no one gets a discount. Honestly, I'd be alright with that too. Make it an equal playing field for all. And most old people are cheap as it is, with the discount it's not like they would drop more on the service or anything with that extra 10%. You'd think it would be the opposite and they wouldn't be because they should admire young people working hard to make a living just as they once did. I know if I were in their place I would certainly be inclined to reward those coming up after me, just trying to get by, like I have(or rather had if I wanted to stick to the proper tense here). Common sense in my head. I don't know. Perhaps I'm too critical...or cynical. Whichever. Either way, I don't feel the urge to apologize. I am just speaking my truth, which like at the man at the counter, I have the ability and right to do. Difference is, I know the proper place and time.

Fish and Italian tomorrow. That should be a good time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

People are strange....

I should have started this blog sometime ago. Probably when I started my waitressing career over two years ago now. Now that I'm officially on to my third restaurant, I suppose better late than never. I'll start with a brief background of what this is about. My mother was a waitress/in the biz for nearly thirty years, and a damn fancy one at that. She has always had high standards, and meals out growing up always came with a fat side of opinion on the service. From the very beginning I was doomed to be critical. Not in a mean way, I just came to expect things of service, perhaps more so than the average person. My mom eventually stopped, becoming tired of the constant ass-kissing and yes siring that comes with the job. Not to mention, physically it is an exhausting job, throw in the emotional and mental energy that it takes to be a successful server and you've got a recipe for full on wiped out. I recall her telling me never to get into the restaurant business if I could help it. I probably could've helped it, but naturally I became curious and wanted to see if I could do it as well as she and I had both come to expect of others. The money never sounded bad either, and turns out it wasn't. When I realized how much could be made off of getting people good and stuffed and drunk, I recognized why my mom took so long to leave. Great money, low expectations beyond getting the job done correctly and efficiently. No degree? No problem. Do drugs? So does everyone else. Alcoholic? Ready to become one. Steal cash? Prepare to lose a hand. Ok, so there are a few expectations, but I don't really consider being an honest person an expectation, I consider it a responsibility of any respectable person.

Not having a good server is frustrating. Not everyone can hone the craft(and yes I would call it a craft, as it is not nearly as easy as it looks). I got lucky and learned to be a great server. Toot my own horn? Don't mind if I do. Being a server, it is frustrating to have bad customers. That is probably the general direction this blog will go. Some people are clueless about proper etiquette when eating out. Even Oprah. For a multi-billionare, I find it pretty unfair that she found it necessary to broadcast that it's acceptable to leave a 12% tip. It's not. Doubling the tax isn't either. So that is where I suppose I will begin...with this past Sunday.

Sunday morning breakfast is usually a decent crowd. Around the middle of my 6 hour shift, I had a table of 4 and a table of 2 that happened to know one another. Towards the end of the 4 tops meal, one of the ladies asked that I include the other tables bill on hers. Of course I did. When the 2 top was ready to pay, I informed them that it was taken care of and directed their heads to the other table which so graciously paid for their 30 dollar bill. They left, and not so graciously did not leave a tip. Here is the thing, although the other table paid and left me a tip, I consider that tip as such for my service to them. For the 2 top to blatantly disregard my equal and gratuitous service to them was insulting. Not to mention, they had to pay nothing for their meal, so a little appreciation thrown my way, even a few dollars would have been the right thing to do. Some people just don't know how to do the right thing.

On to today. My co-worker/owner of the place I currently work at, lets call her JC, really got a bum deal today. Perhaps this lady was out to get anybody she could, but as far as I am concerned what she did was out of line. At the end of this single diners meal, JC took her empty plate off of the table. When she returned from the bathroom, she questioned why the plate had been taken and insisted there was a piece of bread left from her breakfast sandwich. Some nice old ladies watching nearby, confirmed that in fact, there was nothing left on the plate. So now, this woman is irate about a non-existent scrap of bread and proceeds to scream obscenities at JC, in front of surrounding customers. I don't care who you are, you can not act like a raging brat in public. It doesn't look good for anyone. I would have told her to grow up, but JC having her businesses reputation to uphold did her best to resolve the situation, even though she was nowhere close to being in the wrong. Simple server ethics, if a plate has something on it, it will not be taken until cleared with the customer. An empty plate is free game and will be taken. Point being, if the plate was in fact not empty, it would have still been there.

Tomorrow is another day, and as always in this business it will have its highs and lows, just like it does everyday. Maybe I'll have some highs to report, anything is possible.