Monday, October 1, 2012

A Tale of Woe... of sorrow and sadness. Without further ado...

It all started last Thursday when I was at work setting up and delivering a donation--it's great, I work maybe 2.5 hours and get to go home--once I was done I went home and grabbing my mail started walking to my door. Upon my porch I smell the tangent scent of dog shit. I shrug to myself and proceed into my apartment but I only get as far as the door before I turn around to deliver some mail to a neighbor. Once I get back to my porch I say "Self, just for kicks and shits check your shoes." I do. And lo and behold there on the toe of my safety treaded shoes is dog shit. Yes, my friends, all up in that tread was a healthy dog's waste product.

Now you might be asking if I cleaned it out. No, no I did not. I left my shoes on my tile foyer and waited until my shift Saturday to clean it. Did I spray it out using the hose at work? Nah, I just walked through enough puddles in the kitchen that by the time I went home there was no more shit in my shoe.

Your welcome, my dear co-workers for being able to share in the taking home some shit.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's official

I can no longer deny that my managers are bad managers. As people I think they're great, I would even hang out with a couple of them, that's why even though they do all sorts of stupid "bad manager" shit I would always try to defend them...even against my own doubts. What has prompted my change of heart? *sigh* Last week we had a to-go person meeting. At this meeting they said we needed to work on communication (yes I do and yes so do the others), we needed to have more energy when speaking on with our guests (ok, sometimes I forget that office professional voice does not need to go over into restaurant worker land), instead of asking how we can help our guest we need to start asking "how may I provide you with excellent service today?" (it might just be me but...this question makes me feel like I am working an escort service), and we needed to work on wowing the guest to get them to come back (sure) after talking to us about our guest count they inform us that we have one week to improve it or they will start replacing to go people--this is the first I have heard mention of guest count, so to threaten my job over guest count has just made me loose a great deal of professional respect for all of my managers. I'm trying really hard to see where they are coming from...and I unfortunately can't.
Here is where I completely see their point of view:
  1. Communication--between each other, us and the managers, us and the kitchen staff
    • I completely agree, we have been told about this before and we shouldn't be having the same mistakes over and over (sadly, I must confess I have been guilty of this)
    • Solution: fix it or be termed
  2. Energy--be more outgoing with guest, more perky
    • I will for a short time be talking like a valley girl--hopefully by faking it to this extent a more natural energy will eventually be triggered
    • Solution: fix it, doesn't work? sit down with management, try fixing it again, if that doesn't work then face possible termination
  3. Phrasing--"how may I provide you with excellent service today?"
    • It makes me feel dirty (which is odd considering all the vulgarity my coworkers and I take part in) I'm still trying to convince myself that with the company paying me then I can follow whatever script they set...that being said the first time the saying turns into vulgarity with a guest I will let stop the phone call and a manager can take that particular order and at that point I can stop saying the phrase.
    • Solution:???fuck...have a sit down with the managers let them know how awkward I feel saying it and what will happen when the crude guest calls.
  4. "Wow" the guest--get the guest count higher
    • Pretty much I won't be following any of the managements instructions on waste and portioning. a guest wants 20 some odd things of extra dressing, sauce, cheese, bread, etc for free? Sure thing. Use the guests name? Our phones or lines suck ass and you can't hear anything at all since I doubt they will ever fix every guest will be asked to spell their name (oh your name is Bob? can you spell that for me? Thanks.)
    • Solution: fix it, doesn't work? sit down with management, try fixing it again, if that doesn't work then face possible termination
Now in all these scenerios the only one that should be at the auto term is the communication. We have all been told to do better in that area.

During this meeting there was also about a minute (maybe 2 felt like forever) where I got singled out. The weekend night girl said that she needs help on Fri. and Sat during volume (she does) and one of the managers asked if I wanted to do it since I did it last year during the holidays. I declined because working those extra 4-6 hours wasn't worth the $20 extra dollars a paycheck (too much work and I just got too tired from the 12-15 hour days with another 8 hour day after that (in other words I was a raging bitch))...Well by me declining because it made me too tired I guess it made the GM feel like for the next minute or so she could then talk about how if I was too tired on the weekends then I should just quit the Italian Place and work strictly at the hospital (everything that italicized, repeat four different ways)....don't know if I'm being paranoid or what but I feel like there might be an 'X' on my back...

Not saying that I shouldn't go ahead and think about quitting becase they did ask a really good question of us and I don't have an answer...they asked us what we like best about our pays my car payment...that is the only redeeming thing I can think of...what I actually answered was about how I like my regulars...I gave a BS answer because I think I should like my job for more than just the fact that it pays my car payment...

Friday, September 7, 2012


It's good to see that in this day and age we can talk about different political ideas without degenerating into name calling. Agree or not the basis of exchanging ideas is what makes our society as a whole great.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

S@#% Managers Say...Part 2

Closing time with Manager and Training Manager:
*Manager drawing a "map"
Manager: "and this is Texas"
Me: " 4 Oklahoma's can fit in Texas?"
Manager (refining his map): "This is really Texas, that's Mexico." adding some details "that's Cancun, and there's Cozumel..."---note that Cancun and Cozumel are now on opposite sides of Mexico, with Cozumel being an island
Me: "Your Cancun looks like a penis. Is Cancun Mexico's penis?"
Manager: "...Yes, yes it is"

Another time with the same two managers:
Manager 1: "...and chingaleras means things..."
Manager 2: *nods "Ooohh" *chuckles
*note: manager 2 is hispanic and fluent in spanish
*note: for those who do not speak spanish please do not repeat that to your spanish speaking does not mean things

A conversation between me and the GM:
*note: I have recently dyed my hair to all one color (raspberry truffle to those who are curious) and it is a shade darker than my natural color with a little more red to it.
GM: "did you dye your hair?"
Me: "Yep, last Sunday."
GM: "it makes you look old..."
Me: *eyebrow raised waiting for her to continue
GM: " I looks good...real good, it just makes you look older..."
Me: "Thanks..." *changed the topic

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dickhead...I mean...My manager is so awsome!

Imagine, if you will, a regular restaurant walk-in freezer. Not a new one mind you but one that is about 30 years old (they were smaller back then). Now imagine going to that freezer to get some items, when you open the door you see that there is no "walking into the freezer" but immediately you will get to start climbing a mountain of boxes (all of your stuff is in the very back). Now, raise your hand if you would climb the boxes stacked haphazardly and they will collapse (because duh, they are in the freezer where they get a ton of moisture) while you attempt your climb. If you raised your hand, congratulations you are braver than I...If, on the other hand, you would refuse on the grounds of 1) it's not safe--were you to fall, how ever you land on the tile floor will hurt (at best just jarring you, at worst death from hitting your head or landing on your back in just the perfect way) and 2) maybe your just not the shape to be able to get in.--a little petite person of 100-150 pounds may be able to climb that shit without it shifting too badly, my 216 pounds will not.

The first manager I approach about this dilemma (because I can not do the prep part of my job) tells me to ask a kitchen member to help me. I go through what all I may need for not only today but also tomorrow cause I sure as shit don't want to deal with the dam freezer or be a bother to the guy who also had his own job to do. I also go to the bartender and get a list of items he will need (again so we don't have to take up too much of the kitchen guys time). I take our list to the kitchen guy and ask him if at some point during the day he could do me and the bartender a huge favor and grab the items on the list. To which he replies, "nope I'm busy." I ask if he will be busy the whole day or if there will be any time in which he gets in the freezer again and he tells me he will be busy and no longer needs in the freezer. I ask if I need to give this list to the manager who sent me to him or who else should i give it to and he says to give it to one of our front line people.  So I go and explain everything to the person he told me to give the list to and she takes the list and agrees to help. Then I go and explain everything to the manager and tell her that the prep I need to do probably won't get done until we run out of these items.

Fast forward to the end of my shift when the Kitchen manager is there (note that he has already been a jerk to my relief person because she asked him what she needed to do with all the stuff that we prepped because there was no room anywhere for it). I'm chit-chatting and proceed to tell him about what happened that morning:
Kitchen Manager: Well why didn't you get into the freezer.
Me: Because I refuse to climb boxes to get to product, it's not safe
KM: So you expect some one else to do it
Me: No, I expect to be able to safely walk into the freezer and get to what I need to in order to do my job
KM: Well when ever you want to take the truck order over let me know
Me: *rolling my eyes* Sure thing boss, good chat
KM: OK then

This particular dick manager always has to have the last word and is always sarcastic. Half the time I can't talk to him because I get pissed off half way through our interactions. Plus, I'm also sarcastic and fight that tendency to always have the last word, so really, we are just too much alike at times for us to get along...the big difference is though I would never ask someone to do something I myself am not willing to do (except in this case when I knew the kitchen guy would probably climb the boxes as opposed to taking them out) but I also would (I hope) never put any employees in this sort of position.

*Unfortunately I wasn't able to snap a picture but hopefully I can tomorrow to show you what a joke my restaurant seems to be.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ode to the Car Salesman...

...who was such a bitch joy on the phone...

It must be great to sell cars all day
Never to apologize for small, simple mistakes.
But instead get to smile,
and all the while
Enjoying the coolness of a working air conditioner.

It must be great to sell cars all day
While scolding restaurant personel.
As you're dreaming of the lake
While I, get to bake
In the bowels of the kitchen, to fix the mistake.

It must be great to sell cars all day
To sit on the phone
A smug emperor on his throne.
Yes, it must be great to sell cars all day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Little Things and Little People

Here lately I have been picking up a serving shift here and there because I'm about to switch my hours and am trying to stockpile some money--working two jobs, with no day off, to try to make ends meet sucks ass but at my year mark at the Psych Hospital I will be able to enjoy one day off a week (YAY!!). But until August I will have to suck it up and work my hind end off . Plus I have also decided that to preserve my sanity I should request one weekend off a month--and so far it has worked. However, back to the topis of the post.

I'm serving today and it's a typical Tuesday shift, you know, while taking care of tables and making sure that they don't walk out without paying the servers are also supposed to make all endless salads that are ordered, get the bread, the soup, the ice, the glasses....well to stop there about the only thing we don't have to do is wash dishes, cook entrees, and seat guests. I will also cop to not being on my A-game today...not that I was horrible, I wasn't but I was definitely struggling when I don't feel I should have been.

So, like I said, I was serving today and just kept getting the triple know, you get one table go get their drinks and as you come out you have another table, so you go get those drinks and maybe this time make it aaaaallllll the way to the kitchen (if your lucky) to get salads/soup/bread/or some combination there of, and when you get back there is another table for you to greet. And of course with this being skeleton crew day you don't ring any of the food or drinks you just got in before you get them to the you do this after because your the one having to make the shit you need to get the tables started.  In this whole fuck-me-why-did-I-forget-this-about-Tuesday-morning-shifts day I get a 5 top. I go up to greet them and go through the spiel. Anyways long story short, everything about this table seemed to take way longer than it would any other day of the week...getting the glasses together for their drinks, getting their orders (because "yes we're ready...oh I'll um, can you tell me about this, um...etc) so when I go to the kitchen we're out of 3 of our 4 soups and of course the soup I need is the one that takes the longest of those 3. I called for soup and made the salads I needed for that table and a different table (aren't I efficient, taking care of multiple tables...jeez, it's almost like I've done this a million times or something) and getting the bread (that I get to refill because by golly we're out) so that process has taken me maybe 3-5 minutes and the soups still haven't made an appearance. I go to the back of the kitchen and none of them are made...I interrupt the kitchen guys from their horseplay and tell them that I would help them out but I can't tell which of the bags in the boiling water are the soups I need....they proceed to ignore me and I go bitch to the morning to-go person who goes to the back to get the soups (she's so awesome...she didn't even trash me and tell them I was bitching, because she totally could have and I wouldn't have even known) I, in the meantime, take out my two trays of other food and stop by the 5 top to let the one guy who got soup instead of salad that we didn't have that particular one and ask if he wanted to switch. He declined, said he would wait, and I told the rest of the table that the kitchen would definitely have some when his entree was ready. I check my other tables and rush to the back to see that the cook is finally bringing up the soup I need. I get the guy his soup and all is well.

After two trips around my section the 5 flag me down:
Lady in seat 2: "Um, are we going to get our soups??"
Me: "Well, since this gentleman ordered an entree I must have mistakenly assumed that you would all like to eat together....would you like me to go ahead and bring out soups?"
Guy in seat 1: "Yes, if you don't mind that would be great, thanks"
Me: "Sir, would you like another soup as you wait on your entree?"
Guy in seat 4: "Yes that would be great"
and the whole time I'm at the table the lady is just letting out sighs like I'm putting her out by not jumping to her whiny command (bitch, I'm a server not a servant and also already told you that your soup would be ready by the time his entree was done)...really had it not been for her the whole table would have been fantastic...or at least a normal table, but every time I stopped by I had to interrupt her if I had questions for anyone (she was also the one who was "ready" to order). Fast forward to one of the trips to the kitchen where I'm getting refill salads for the 5 and waiting on my manager to get some non-burnt bread for us, and while I'm getting my bread refills the manager has gone out to the floor and made her way to the 5 who is evidently complaining that I'm taking too long and that they need refill of (everything I guess). So I'm at the table passing out their bread and salad when manager comes back by with soups and a second salad. I tell her (the manager) thanks for the soups and that this was the table she was helping me about 20 seconds ago with in the kitchen. I proceed to drop everything off and prebus what I can--before I walk back to the kitchen again I specifically stop at this table and make sure they are ok.

However, what do they tell the manager? That service is taking too long and that they aren't happy...Wait, what? Evidently, in the 5 seconds between me leaving my section and the manager coming through they have chugged all their soups (again) and one lady somehow hadn't gotten a refill on the one she wanted. Um, first when I left everyone still had full bowls of soup. And the one lady who hadn't gotten a refill hadn't gotten one because, yes you guessed it she still had a full bowl....I go out there and everybody is completely hunky-dorie and not a word (or gesture) to signify that they are unhappy in any way.

In the end they are offered desserts (which 3 accept), still tip me 20%, and the manager decides that I had been doing everything right and that I could with what was going on.

And now....How The Little Things Make A Difference:

Having eye contact made when you are speaking with your server
This way we know you can see that we are humans, and have some sort of value in this slice of your life-time

Saying please and thank you
Really, this just proves that you have manners and that again you value us as people

Using our name
No, don't use it as the period of your sentences...that shit is annoying, but I won't object if you use it a couple of at the end of the meal when I'm thanking you for coming and you say "thanks for lunch it was really good, A" or some such sentiment. It gives me this warm feeling inside that I think most people call "humanity" ...or something.

Teaching your offspring manners
It makes me truly want to interact with your kiddos and grandkiddos when they are polite and well behaved...and is a lesson that all too many parents don't want to teach their crotchspring

Combine all of these and I will not only go above and beyond to ensure your meal exceeds you expectations but I will also be sincere when I interact with you at any time this visit but especially when I say "Please, come back and see me any time, it will be a pleasure" (or some such farewell)....also I will go to every server in the area and let them know that when they see you to give you fan-fucking-tastic service and not just robot-ninja-service (not that I have to, because if you were to sit in their section next time the fact of how nice and sincere and how you treat us like people who bleed red will snap them out of robot-ninja-server mode)

And when one table does all of the above and tips 20%?...Well, I don't know which god I gave a quickie but thank you. Please let more tables like this come in and sit in my section.

And lastly, table who did these things for me....I just want to thank you the way I should have when you waved at me in the parking lot (in recognition even) when I was leaving today. If I had feelings they would have been warm and mushy from being treated like a person.