Sunday, December 18, 2005

Someone finall told off NA!

One of our servers finally had enough of NA's antics! They came in one night in their typical style: loud and in a large group. They always come in late, usually when there's only one server on the restuarant side and one on the bar side. So by the time they came in, their server already had 8 other tables. For some reason, it couldn't have been that she had soooo many tables, she wasn't paying as much attention to them as they would have liked. They started snapping their fingers at her and coming over to her and trying to tell her something while she was taking another table's order! Thankfully, her tables could all see what complete a-holes these people were being and were totally cool with it and nice to the server.

I don't know what the final straw was that set her off, but it couldn't have been pretty. But she let them have it. I doubt she was dropping the f-bomb or anything like that, but I'm so glad that somebody finally had the guts to tell them off! They have abused the fact that we have to be nice to the customers no matter what for far too long. They think that the more often they come in, and the more money they spend, the more right they have to treat the employees however they want.

They won't be served by male servers. They don't like booths, because if more people show up, they can't steal tables to add on to what they've already got. They can't count. They never have the number that they tell us. If they call ahead, they think it means that something will be waiting for them when they walk in the freakin' door. If they don't call ahead, it's always when they have a large number that we can't always accomodate right away. They're all perverts and have no problem smack-talking you behind your back. They think they're the only customers in the restaurant and everyone should drop what they're doing to help them. They'll steal dirty tables and then not do a thing to help clean them off, just watch and tell you that you're doing a good job (when they're really probably just trying to see down your shirt or something).

I hope one day one of them stumbles upon this blog. I can't get fired because I do this when I'm off the clock. Plus I don't mention names or where I work so they couldn't prove it. On top of that, probably by the time they do find this blog, I will have long since left that restaurant and gone on to a place where I get treated better.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Still Here...

Over a month after I put my two weeks in, I'm still at the restaurant. The only cool manager left convinced me to stay until they had more hostesses. Now, he's leaving! What does that tell you about our restaurant?

I actually have nothing to gripe about right now, besides the usual customer stuff. We're fully staffed as far as hostesses go, and they're all good!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Not Anymore

I just can't do it anymore. My good days at work are few and far between, being far outweighed by not-so-good-days. I can't deal with the servers telling me how to do my job anymore, and guests constantly blaming me for stuff, treating me like crap just because I work in a restaurant and because I'm not a server or manager, I'm tired of Monkey Boy constantly scaring away hostesses because of his extreme sarcasm, I'm tired of hostesses being hired and leaving like there's a revolving door up front. I wish we could pay them more so the good ones would stay, that would be a step in making it worth my staying. That and there's a rumor that one of the to-go guys gets paid a lot hourly plus some under the table. If it's true, that's what I'm going for to make me stay. That, and MY handles on the hostess desk. String Bean's didn't last more than a week! He picked appearance over practicality. Mine were small and sturdy. So they were silver, big deal. It's not like everything in the restaurant matches everything else. Our summer menu (it's an insert) doesn't even match our normal menu! I don't think anybody would notice two little silver handles on the doors of the hostess desk.

I thought I could put up with it, I thought I could deal, but apparently I can only take so much. As soon as my last boss says that they're opening a store near here (Applebee's) and making him the GM, I'm dropping whatever I'm doing to go and work for him. He knows how to run a store.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Wing Night

One of my privilages of being Head Host, is that I get to make the schedules. As such, I feel guilty when I give myself good shifts like morning shifts so I can get out early. So what I do is just not schedule myself for really crappy shifts, like on Wing Night. I absolutely hate working Wing Night. Wings are 35 cents apiece (and no you can't buy three wings, you have to buy them in the amounts allotted in the menu) and every teenager in the county and his brother come down for the cheap wings. They always come in parties of five or more, never call ahead, and usually only order wings and water and leave lousy tips. None of that affects me though, not really.

What I hate about wing night is that the teenagers do not know how to be proper guests, like they were too dense to pick it up from their parents or their idiot parents never tried to teach them in the first place. This pas wing night went fairly well though. I think it was because some people have gone off to college and others going back to school and not staying out as late and spending as much money as before. An entire high school football team wanted to come down at eat during the busiest time of night. When we told them it was going to be at least an hour, they told us that they already had people on their way down. Well, they must have called those people because no one from that team came in. They decided not to come and didn't tell us so much as a "never mind". We had tables ready for them and everything an hour after when they called! We could have sat so many people sooner (we had held off on four tables for this party of 20)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Restaurant Survivor

I came up with this yesterday when I was bored sitting around not doing the homework that I should have been doing...

The Fox Network Presents It's New Hit Show:
Restaurant Survivor!

Irritable guests nominated by the employees of the restaurant they frequent will be flown to a restaurant in the middle of nowhere where roles will be reversed.

The Goal: stay employed the longest to win the prize

The Pize: “A Year’s Worth of Free Food At The Restaurant of Your Choice” (see next line)

The REAL Prize: $2.38/hr + tips, and “the satisfaction of earning a day’s wages in the real world’.”

The Teams Will Be Chosen As Such:

The hostesses will choose five guests for the Hostess postion. The guests they choose will take turns working the different shifts (opening, double/volume, closing) and running the different spots (holding the door, working the board, running, misc. assignments). Guests who consistantly treat the hostesses like they aren’t there will become hostesses. This bad behavior includes (though not limited to): self-seating, ignoring hostesses until absolutely necessary to get sat, lying to get sat sooner, questioning hostess motives and choices, acting like hostess don’t follow rules or that it’s okay for them to break them just for you, etc. The hostesses being the first ones who come in contact with these people get first choice at nomination for the hostess position.

Guests who do not know how to treat servers will become Servers themselves. If they snap at servers to get attention (especially while the server they’re snapping at is with another table), yell at the server for something that is not the server’s fault, blame the server for everything that has gone wrong, make the server’s “poor” performace the reason to get the food free, and other such things will make a guest eligible for the server position. Servers of the restuarants will nominate the guests for this position.

Cooks will be chosen by the servers as well. Guests have been known to walk back into the kitchen and demand to know where their food and/or the manager is. Servers will choose these such guests as the ones who will become cooks. Managers are also qualified to nominate cooks as well.

Bussers will obviously be chosen by the bussers, and they may choose however they wish. Guests who are messy beware! Any children who are allowed to throw food on the floor, any guests mess up the bathroom, clog toilets, refuse to clean up after themselves because “they have people who are paid to do it” are eligible for the busser position.

Bartenders will be the guests that drink the most, flirt the most, are the most disruptive to the rest of the bar, and most annoying. Bartenders may choose whomever among their guests that they wish. Guests who are especially critical of the bartender’s knowledge/style/etc. are the most eligible as these are the worst kind of guests. Bartenders take pride in their job, nothing is more annoying than having guests speaking poorly of them while they are trying to make drinks for these annoying guests.

Managers are the guests that every employee in the restaurant wishes they could just throw out or refuse to serve. Every employee and manager may nominate guests from their restuarant for this position along with a reason why they should be made managment in Restaurant Survivor. The five guests who receive the most votes and/or the best reasons why will be come the “General Manager”, “Kitchen Manager”, and “Shift Managers”. They will all answer to the “District Manager” who is a real District Manager brought in to make the experience that much worse for those chosent to be managers.

How to win:

These new employees will be thrown into a busy restaurant (where the customers will be the employees that nominated them) and told to swim right away. Don’t worry, there will be two days of training before they’re on their own.

Every time an employee does something that is not acceptable for a restaurant employee (rude comments, snappy to the customers, etc.), they will receive a bad comment card. Too many bad comment cards by the end of the day and you will get fired. Thus disqualifying you for the grand prize.

All of the real restaurant employees will come in to eat every day as customers (payed for by the studio shooting this series), but they will get a different “server” each time. They will fill out a “comment card” after they “leave”, and rate their visit and level of quality of service.

They will be forced to smile when the guests make dumb jokes and outrageous demands.

They will take whatever the customers decide to dish out with a smile and say “Thank you for coming, we enjoyed having you here”

There will be a “Secret Shopper” every day to make sure that all of the employees are doing their job to the “company standard”. Too many low shopper scores and employees will be fired.

Customers reserve the right to do anything in their power (i.e. lie, cheat, make the server miserable) to get free food from the restaurant. Management must not give free food out to everyone that complains, however, they must do everything in their power to make the customer happy before needing to resort to giving them free food.

The employees of this restaurant (especially the “managers”) will answer to the “District Manager” who will hold daily meetings about food costs, customer satisfaction, employee appearance and attitude, teamwork, cleanliness, secret shopper scores, and anything else s/he deems worthy enough to rant about.

The managers are not allowed to fire any of their employees, only the District Manager may. The managers can put in suggestions, but the DM is in no way required to read them. The DM will take everything into account at the end of the night, comment cards, secret shopper scores, etc., before making his selection as to who he will fire.

Eventually, the restaurant will be running with a skeleton crew, making it that much harder to achieve good shopper scores and high customer satisfaction. This will also make the winner be selected faster and, as we can’t have that...

There will be one person on each team who is a current restaurant employee. This person will be a “mole” of sorts, and report things to the DM that he might not normally have seen. They will be instructed to make the jobs of their team members as hard as possible without lowering customer satisfaction, and they will be some of the last people to get fired. They are receiving no more pay than expenses for the duration of the shoot, they are doing it for the satisfaction of getting back at annoying guests, and believe me, that is more than enough.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I Learned A New Trick

Tonight, around 11pm, I went and asked Monkey Boy if I could be cut. It's a school night and all, and I didn't want to be out too late (note to self: tell Monkey Boy and String Bean that 11:30 is the latest I can stay on a school night), plus I was giving Candy a ride home so her mom didn't have to drive. Well, when I asked Monkey Boy, there were three other people all having a conversation around us, so I didn't hear him right.

I thought I heard him mumble a "yeah" and nod his head slightly, the Monkey Boy Nod and Mumle. Now, my dad says all the time that he "doesn't speak mumble", and I've found that neither do I. Supposedly, there's a degenerative hearing loss in my family, and I've suspected that I've got it for a while now, I just haven't had it medically proven. It's blatenly obvious sometimes though. Anyway, Monkey Boy goes back towards the office after giving me his answer and, because I heard "yeah", I clocked out and went to give him my time-slip (he's the only manager that wants those, it's easier for him to put our hours into the computer to figure out our tip-share).

As I was heading towards him with my time slip in-hand, he's like, "I said 'no'." I stop, confused as to whether or not he's kidding (he'd been in a wierd mood all night, we all think he's a rare male who gets PMS), and say, "I thought you said 'yes'."
"Well I said 'no'."
"Do you want me to go clock back in and clock out later?"
"'Cause I can it's not a problem."
"No, you can go, I want you to listen next time."

I still don't know if he was kidding or if he was serious. I did leave though, I wasn't going to stay to find out. He would have cut me a half an hour later anyway and it wasn't like they desperately needed me either. It always dies really fast on Thursdays after the trivia game finishes up, plus the football game was almost over too. So now I have a new trick! Pretend I heard the wrong thing and clock out! This probably won't work a second time though, I wouldn't try anyway, I'm "the good little Christian girl". Everybody teases me when I cuss or say something that's remotely dirty. It's kinda funny 'cause they don't expect stuff like that to come out of my mouth...well, the hostesses do because they work with me the most, but it's always funny to see the servers reactions!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Can't Sleep

I can't sleep, so I'm going to rant about what I'd do if I were to quit. Don't worry, nothing too drastic or destructive. First thing I would do: put my handles on the hostess desk and then ask the hostesses for updates on how long they last in comparison to String Bean's (the back one didn't last that long, like I predicted). According to one of the servers who's been here longer than me, there used to be silver handles on the doors, so I don't know what String Bean's problem with my solution is. Sure, my "handles" are U-bolts, but they're small U-bolts and there will be more of them in the doors than sticking out, so they're bound to last longer than his. We can paint them black for all I care...

Next, I would tell off the PITA party, NA party, Salmon Guy, and any other customer who gave the hostesses trouble while I was there. I would say everything to them that I wanted to say while I was on the clock and couldn't, and I would enjoy it with every fiber of my being. I wouldn't raise my voice, name call, or cuss, I would simply defend the hostesses against guest abuse of the "customer is always right" rule. I would ask them why they thought it was okay to treat the hostesses/other employees like crap, why they continued to patron the restaurant if they didn't like it so much, and would it kill them to be the first one to smile?

After that, I would get on String Bean* and Monkey Boy* about how if they could run a restaurant a little better, maybe they wouldn't have so much trouble keeping good people. Sure they can keep servers, but can they really keep anybody else that's worth any beans? I would tell them that they need to treat their staff better, set the example for the rest of the employees, etc. I guess I got spoiled at my last job by having a really good GM, the restaurant really did go to hell in a handbasket after he left. There are still so many people from that restaurant dying to work under him again, myself included, we could probably just open our own restaurant!

I wish I could find a better paying job so I could quit this one and do all this. But, *sigh*, as it is, I have to grin and bear it all because String Bean is the one signing off on my paycheck...

*Names changed, obviously lol. I got the idea for nicknames like that from another blog that I frequent.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The NA Party Again...

Grr, I really wish we could tell these people what we really think of them! The NA party thinks that because they're always coming in and spending money and have lots of people that they own the place and know how to run it better.

It started with a call, thankfully, we've gotten them to a point where they will call ahead...sometimes. One of the other hostesses answered the phone and got the number of people they were bringing, but forgot to get a time. The number they gave her was 20 people (keep in mind that we are a small restuarant, no side dinningrooms, though people always ask), so I mentally added about 15 more to that number because they cannot count and never give us an accurate number. The head guy (the one who always calls) calls back five minutes later and I answer the phone. He says that he didn't give the other girl a time for when they would be arriving, so he tells me they'll be coming with 20 people at 10. It was 7:30 when he called! We don't do call aheads (which was what he thought he was doing) that far in advance unless the wait is that long and we weren't even on a wait! I tried to explaint that we don't do call-aheads that far in advance and he goes off on a tangent about how we're "always" telling them to call an hour in advance (when I put in that that's more than an hour in advance), how sometimes they call and we have it set up and sometimes we don't, and all this stuff blah-blah-blah. He doesn't even let me try to explain how CAS works, or that nothing is guaranteed, especially with a party that size, and that we don't hold or reserve tables. When he's done, he wants to know what servers are working, which means he wants to know if a specific server (one of a few that will willingly take care of this party) is working and I told him that she was. He wanted to talk to her! She was with other customers at the moment, so I grabbed a manager and asked him to please explain how CAS works to the NA party!

Now, this is Friday night and there is a pre-season Ravens game on almost all of our TVs, we were just a little busy. It was a typical summertime Friday night, except the bar was a little busier than usual. We went on a wait around 8 and didn't get off until a little before 9:30, so I didn't have time to think about when NA was going to be coming and to think about saving tables for them. When we're on a wait, I refuse to set five tables aside for a party that firstly, might be coming in and secondly, has never given us an accurate number of people in their party. There is no way I'm going to leave tables open and tell the people waiting that they can't sit there. Technically, we're not allowed to "hold" tables for people, but it happens, we all do it, but it's not often. There was no way that I was going to hold five tables for the NA party while we were on a wait and none of their party was even at the restaurant at the time to sit there even if I did. They didn't seem to understand this point when they arrived.

They came in around 9:30 (they had asked me if 9:30 would be better than 10 since it was more than an hour ahead, like a half hour is going to make a difference, that was still two hours after they called), and it was four of them. One guy (not the one who called) was really mad that we didn't have anything set up for them right as soon as they walked in the door. He was the type that assumes because you call ahead, you should have a table ready and waiting for you when you get there (like we're mind readers and know the exact second when you're coming in the door). He turned to the guy that did call and was like, "Yeah, they didn't do it" and I wanted to scream! I wanted to yell at them how call ahead seating works, nothing is EVER guaranteed especially with large parties, and I wasn't going to hold five tables all night for a party that I didn't know if they were even going to show up (they've done that before, not shown up when they called and said they would) and have never given me the correct number of people joining them. The guy who called, and who talked to the manager, said, "Yeah, I didn't get a straight answer until I talked to the manager and basically nothing is guaranteed...", thank you! I didn't appriciate the not getting a "straight answer" part because he didn't even let me try to explain and just went right into asking who was working, but at least one of their own was saying that nothing was guaranteed. They found an empty table at the bar and hung out there until we found a place for them in the dinningroom. The guy who called kept telling me "just fit us in where you can" and all that stuff, like he understood my position and what it's like to have my job.

I was about to offer a couple of booths that were fairly close together, when two tables got up that we could push together for them to start off with. At this point, they'd been waiting about 15 minutes (maybe 20) and there were still only about four or five people in their group, so I figured an 8-top for them to start off with would be a good thing. We pushed the tables together, told their server where they'd be (and told the server who's tables we took that it wasn't for her, she was happy!), and I told the party that they had two tables for now, and we'd play it by ear when/if anybody else came in and when the other 8-top (people who were watching the game) got up. The 8-top was perfect for them! Four people from their party apparently didn't want to wait and told one of the other hostesses that there were four and she sat them down in a booth close to where the rest of them would eventually sit. The rest of their party fit at the two tables we gave them, no more came in! At most, the number of people in their party was probably 12 or 13, not the 20 like they told us. For a small restaurant like we are, that is a huge difference!

The NA party has been to our restaurant enough to know that we are small, we don't usually handle that many people (unless they come in), we have no side dinningrooms, they shouldn't seat themselves, they shouldn't steal tables when more people come in than what they told us, they should know all of this, but they don't! They don't know this because we're not allowed to tell them! We can't tell them how it really is, that they need to work this stuff out better, or what I really want, that they should ever come back unless they are willing to do it properly and not get mad when they find out stuff is not guaranteed. They all think that we like having them, we want them to come in, we think their jokes are funny, and we want them to keep coming back (they probably would keep coming back even if we didn't want them to).

I know I'm being petty and these people have been through enough, way more than me, and I should just let it roll off my back or whatever. But just because you come in to the restaurant, I don't care who you are, does not give you the right to think you own the place and act however you want. Just because you're padding my paycheck does not mean that you can treat me and the other employees however you want. Actually, if you're going to bring up the "I'm paying your paycheck" and be mean and nasty to me, I'm just going to say "Keep it". If you're going to walk all over me and treat me like crap, I'd rather have nice people and do my job for cheaper.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

They Will Always...

I have found, that in the chaotic world of a restaurant, there are a few constants (comforting or otherwise). They are:

There will always be customers who...

Are never satisfied no matter how much you bend over backwards for them.

Lie through their teeth to a manger just to get something for free.

Make bad jokes and expect you to find them funny.

Think that just because you're working in the establisment they've just walked into, you actually give a flying fart in space about them, their problems, their issues, what they came in for, what their baby's momma's cousin's nextdoor neighboor's babysitter's hairdresser's opinion of the establisment is; they think that they can treat you like crap, expect you to take it with a smile, and are angry when you don't.

Believe because it's not their house, they don't have to clean up after themselves.

Think that "there are people who are paid to do this" when in reality, there is no special position open to unclog toilets and pick random cigarette butts and pieces of paper up off the floor, no matter what universe you live in.

Think they're always right, you're always wrong, and because they are simple the best customer in the world, they deserve everything for free.

Think that it's okay to hit on you to try and get what they want.

Lie about calling ahead and become "angry" when you do not have their name on the list.

Try and weasel their way into getting seated sooner.

Ask how much longer it will be for them to wait, after waiting for ten minutes. Do the math people!

Complain that they've been waiting long than they really have.

Shift the blame to you for their stupidity, incompetence, or total ignorance of anything outside their range of comprehension.

Believe that they are never in the wrong no matter what they do, it's always one of the employees' fault. (Yeah, it's the employee's fault that you ordered steak instead of chicken like you "really wanted" when you really just changed your mind after the server took your order and felt you could get a free meal out of it!)


Oy, you name something that guests do that gets on my nerves and it probably happened today (except self-seating, I don't think anyone did that...).

The oldest toilet in the building needed unclogging because some jerk decides that she needed to use a whole roll of toilet paper. So that took about twenty minutes before it was flushing normally. Luckily, and there was something good about it, it didn't happen while we were busy, it was almost time to close actually, so it wasn't like I was desperately needed during the twenty minutes I was fighting grossness.

People weren't satisfied with the seat I gave them to begin with, even though we ask a bazillion questions about their seating preference, and either moved themselves or asked to be moved.

Large parties did not call ahead.

People go in the wrong door.

People think they're funny with a joke I hear at least twice every time we go on a wait.

People call and hang up before I'm done my schpeal because they've dialed the wrong number. (lol, I think the phone ran like 10 times before I got to it one time tonight, and before I'd even said my name the person had hung up)

We had one party of 10 come in, without calling ahead of course, and after I tell the first guy in the party how long it's going to be (30-45 minutes), this other foreign one comes up to me and starts saying stuff like, "I know you'll do it in less time Baby Girl", "I know how you feel", "I know you trying to do your job", "I know it won't be that long", "I know something will blow up and we can sit down" (I kid you not, he said "blow up"!), and being all flirty or something while he was saying all that. It was almost got to the point where I wanted to say something to him! I wanted to step back (away from him) and say, "Excuse me, I don't know you and you don't know me, please do not call me by any pet names and keep this professional". Except the way I wanted to say it would have not sounded quite so polite.

After waiting about ten or fifteen minutes, they decide that it's going to be too long of a wait for them and they hand me their pager and leave. Five minutes later, back in comes Mr. Flirtateous, and starts asking if he decides to stay, can he have the same number. I had no idea what he was talking about when he was saying "the same number" and he mentioned something about eating alone and then everybody was waiting outside, finally, the other hostess figured out that he was talking about his pager number. He must have thought that the number on it meant when he was going to be sat, not that it was just some random number we page (which would actually make sense, but not very practical with the pagers we have).

When we paged the party, I had one of the other hostesses escort them to the table while I was putting information on the wait list (other people's names and stuff like that), when I feel the foreign guy bump into me! He had to have done it on purpose because there was plenty of room between me and the nearest wall for him to walk between. He acutally bumped into me, not just brushed me as he walked by, he actually messed up what I was writing! Thankfully, after we got them seated (in about twenty minutes thank-you-very-much), I didn't hear anything from any of them again. I asked their server later if they were okay and she said they were, except for that one guy..."he was kinda wierd"...
hehe, "kinda" is putting it lightly...he was downright creepy. he had to have been at least twice my age!

It never fails, when the restaurant is closing down for the night, people think that the entire restaurant is still open to be sat in. I suppose that they think it all gets cleaned after everybody leaves. Anyway, everyone always asks to sit in the closed section on the same night! I'll go weeks without more than one person a night asking me if they can sit "over there", then, like today, I'll get five or six requests to sit in closed sections. I can usually tell when that night is coming too, I'm not sure how, but if I were to give into everyone who asked, the closing server would have no tables in their own section, then, when people come in and want to sit down (in non-smoking) and I say it's full, they're like "huh? Doesn't look full to me". It's harder to explain to people that sections are closed and there's only one server on when tables are spread out over the entire restaurant.

I want a new job, but I think sometimes that I might miss it. I don't know. I found my summer job so boring, the only interesting customers were the ones yelling at you. Call me crazy, but I think I would miss the chaos sometimes when I'm bored. I think I thrive on chaos, pressure, and stress. I don't think so at the time, but when I look back on it, I kinda like it. Maybe it's because it's all I've ever really known for a job, maybe it's because I just don't want to leave my comfort zone, I don't know. I'm just rambling now so I'll end this post...

Friday, August 19, 2005

Notible Customers - Part III

Yes, these customers are so unique, and so utterly annoying, that they get their own Notible Customer post! Read on!

The PITA Party...

At the beginning of the summer, we started to have a live trivia game in the bar every Thursday night from 8:30-10:30. Every so often, this trivia game becomes part of a local, multi-bar trivia tournament, with a "trivia bowl" and everything. Trivia is an annoyance to most of the staff at our restaurant, the DJ is loud, annoying, obnoxious, etc. The guests who come in to play trivia, take up multiple tables and only buy beer, hoping to win free appitizers rather than buying food themselves. The bar area doesn't concern the hostesses really, but when larger parties come to play trivia and don't want to sit in the bar, i.e. because they have kids or they don't like smoke, then it concerns us. The one party in particular that none of us like, is the PITA party (Pain In The A$$). Thankfully, so far, they've really only come in for the tournament.

The PITA party has usually around 8 to 10 people, children included, and they never want to sit in the bar. Ever. The past tournament, the first I've been there for, was a particularly busy season for the restaurant. Thursday nights were almost like Friday nights with the number of people that would come in to eat. The PITA party comes about an hour or so before the trivia game starts so they can have dinner and feed the kids, so not only are they taking up at least two tables for the two hours trivia is in play, they're taking up two tables for an additional hour during peak dinner hours just because they can. We're always telling people that we have call-ahead seating available, though nobody ever seems to quite grasp the concept, and this particular party eventually learned that they had to call ahead if they didn't want to wait. They like many others, however, did not ever grasp the whole concept of call-ahead seating.

Before they figured out that they could call ahead, they would just show up with 8 or 10 people and expect to be seated right away simply because they thought they somehow deserved it. They would always have one of their children check (unless they were really ticked off because they had to wait, then you got Mean Lady or Mr. A-Hole, the ringleaders) and see "how much longer" it was going to be for their party and never really be satisfied with an answer unless it was "you're next so it will be just a moment". For some reason, they always felt entitled to special treatment, though none of us ever figured out why, it wasn't like they were our best customers or anything, and frequent asked for one of our managers in particular (not the GM). I guess they felt like he was being really nice and friendly towards them and making them feel special, or they just felt cool 'cause they knew his name and if they complained enough he did stuff for them.

After they figured out we had CAS, they got especially mean about it. Mean Lady would always call ahead one to two hours before they arrived and not give the poor hostess who answered the phone time to get a word in edgewise. If we would try to explain that we don't do CAS when we're not on a wait, she would snap "I know that but I'm giving you my name anyway" and hang up, after she gave us the name, number of people, and what time they would be coming in. Eventually, I learned to tack on an extra half hour, forty-five minutes, to an hour to what time they gave us because they never showed up at the time they gave us. Probably had something to do with the whole "we're special" attitude they seemed to have. That, and I think they thought that we "reserved" tables for them as soon as they called so they could show up anytime they pleased, that's what they seemed to expect (for no valid reason) anyway. Whenever they would arrive, and we didn't have a table set up and waiting for them (which we did on occaison if we could), they would pout around at the bar (outside if it was nice) and make comments to each other like, "I don't understand this, we called ahead", "If we called ahead we should have a table waiting", "We should talk to *manager's name* about this", etc. etc. You would think, that after coming in week after week after week, and having the same stuff, that is sooo bad, happen to them, they would figure out to either give us an accurate arrival time, call closer to the time their coming, or something along those lines. But, of course they didn't, because that would just make too much sense and be too logical for them.

PITA gives us no trouble after they're at their table, but boy you do not want to tick them off while they were waiting because they're out to make their wait a miserable time for the hostesses and anybody else that came near them. I might not mind them so much if they would at least smile once in a while. The guy usually does, and he's not all that bad, if you keep him happy. But his wife is a trip...she looks like she's in a constant bitch mode or something. I don't think I've ever seen her smile at any of our staff ever. They aren't nice at all though. They complain to our district manager whenever they get a chance (when he stops by for a "visit") over stupid little things that could happen to anyone. Apparently, ONCE they were misquoted a wait time and thought it necessary to bring it to our DM's attention. With all the times they've come in and waited, being misquoted once is an exceptionally good job on the hostesses part, but do they tell our DM that? Of course not. Any chance they get to pick us apart and try for free food, they go for it. I prefer Salmon Guy to these people! At least he doesn't complain about every little thing he can think of to our district manager!

Where do these people get off thinking they're better than every other guest that comes through our doors? Where do they get off thinking that they can treat the hostesses and wait staff like crap and whine and complain to the manger everytime some small mistake occurs? Would it kill Mean Lady to smile once in a while? (I personally, though, think that her face stuck that way a long time ago) What happened that made them think that they deserve special treatment? What makes them think we'll throw the rules out the window for them, and hold tables for them all night while we breathlessly await their arrival? Is it just because they bring money into the restaurant? Because, as much as they probably wouldn't believe it, the restaurant would continue to do good, even great business without their money. What really irks me is that we hostesses still have to open the door for them and smile so they get the impression that we like them and want them to come back. We're not allowed to talk back or defend ourselves, that would probably get us fired (not me, I'd have to do a heck of a lot to get myself fired, they need me too much), we can't explain to the manager what happened while they're listening (they'll contradict or disagree on details), we just have to sit there and take whatever crap they decide to give us.

We have to grin and bear it, just like everything and everyone else.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Notable Customers - Part II

Mr. $100 Pair of Sunglasses...

So this girl calls up one night at work and I happen to be the lucky one that answers the phone. She says that she and her boyfriend “ate there the other night and he left his sunglasses”. They had called earlier in the week and someone told them that they still had them. So, apparently, instead of coming and getting the sunglasses when she called before, she decided to wait a couple of days and call again to see if they were still there. I put her on hold, searched the hostess desk, go find a manager and ask if there are any sunglasses in the office, manager says “no”, go back up front, pick up the phone and tell her that we can’t find any sunglasses of her description anywhere. She then asked me if I was sure because “those are hundred dollar sunglasses”. Okay, I know she couldn’t see me search the desk (or anywhere really), but I was gone a while, but I don’t like people questioning my competence or honesty. I assured her that we couldn’t find the sunglasses anywhere.
An hour or so later, the boyfriend comes in. He tells me his girlfriend called a while ago and asked about the sunglasses. I tell him the same thing I told his girlfriend. He tells me the same thing his girlfriend told me, “those are hundred dollar sunglasses”, and asks me to check. I check the hostess desk again, making a lot of movement and moving things around so he could see that I really was looking, and there’s not much to our hostess desk. I tell him they aren’t there, he asks me to check the office. I go and find a manager to open the office, we look in the office, the only pair of sunglasses we find are a pink pair that don’t match the description he gave me. I go back up front and give him the same report, no sunglasses. He asks “could you check again? Those are hundred dollar sunglasses.” I look again, because the customer is suppose to always be right. I’m sure that if he has me check the desk enough times the sunglasses will magically appear and he’ll be happy because he didn’t really waste a bunch of money on something that is easily lost. Again, I tell him there are no sunglasses and he leaves not so happy. He might have talked to a manager, but it happened so far back I can’t remember if he did or not. I just remember telling people, when I told them about this guy, that he just shouldn’t have spent so much money on a freakin’ pair of sunglasses! I have a pair from the dollar store that do the job just fine and I love ‘em.

We’ll Work It Out When We Get There...

On a Friday night, not particularly busy and not a very long wait, we get a call. This woman has a party of 8 people and they want to sit in smoking. The hostess who was talking to the woman explained that the bar was pretty busy and it was all seat yourself, so she would have a tough time finding space for 8 people. The hostess asked the woman if she would just like to put her name on the wait list for nonsmoking for call ahead seating, but the woman declined, saying, “No, we’ll work it out when we get there.” I shook my head when the hostess told me that she said that.
“Well then she better not whine and complain when she wants nonsmoking and has to wait at least forty-five minutes for it.”

About a half an hour or so later, the party came in. They told us it would be about 8, they wanted smoking, and they had called a little while ago. While we knew that they had called a little while ago, their name wasn’t on the list because they didn’t tell us to put it on the list, they wanted to wait and see when they arrived. On top of that, they took one look at the bar (the smoking section) and didn’t want to sit there, but they didn’t know that the bar was all of the smoking section. They had spotted a six-top booth that we were about to seat (but didn’t because this party came through the door and needed to be dealt with) and were just about to go and cram themselves into it when we told them it was for another party.
“Isn’t that smoking?” The woman in charge asked.
“No, that’s all nonsmoking, over here in the bar is smoking.”

They then wanted to know how long it was going to be for nonsmoking (who saw that one coming?). I took a quick survey of the dinning room and, at the moment, didn’t see anything available, told them it was probably going to be about 45 minutes. Needless to say, they didn’t want to wait that long (should have put your name on the list when you called then dummy!), and were on their way out the door when I saw an open six-top booth waaaaay in the back of the restaurant. I told them that I had another six-top booth open in the back. You would think that since a few minutes before, they had voluntarily offered to cram into a six-top, that this offer would be fine. No. The woman in charge had to go and LOOK at the stupid booth! It’s the same as the other one you were about to get into genius! They took the booth though, in the end. I hoped it was because they realized that if they went anywhere else it was going to be a longer wait and they didn’t feel like doing that (they also had kids with them, which could have added to that, but all the kids came in carrying McDonalds bags!).

With a Heat Index of Over A Hundred...

This one didn’t happen to me, this was one of our other hostesses who told me about it the next day. This particular hostess, Kelly (name changed), is not a particularly big girl, you could definitely say she’s skinny, but it’s not an unhealthy skinny, she’s just thinner than most. One day, as she’s holding the door for these two guests, (an elderly woman with a walker and what was assumed to be her son who was also middle-age-looking) the guy says to her in a rude tone, “With the heat index over a hundred, and you being eighty pounds, I recommend you go and get yourself a drink of water before you wither away!”

What do you say to something like that? How is it that teasing someone because they’re skinny is okay, but if you tease someone because they’re fat, it’s offensive? If this guy had been big pounds and Kelly had said, “With a heat index of over a hundred, and you being 300 pounds, if you don’t go get some water you’re gonna have a heart attack”, he could have gotten her fired. But, since she was a skinny employee of the restaurant he was patronizing, that somehow magically gives him the right to comment on her weight, manners be damned.

I wish I could tell you that was the last of this guy, I really do, but it’s not. His mother was friendly and nice as anything, I wonder what happened to her son that made him as mean as he was. At the end of their meal, he comes up to Kelly with the little black book in his hand and demands, “What do I do with this?” It’s a common thing for people to bring us their checks, thinking they pay the hostesses for their meal and we’re hiding a cash register somewhere in our desk (even though all the servers say “I’ll take the check when you’re ready” after dropping it off at the table). Other people don’t want to leave it on the table because they think someone is going to steal their information (yeah, all of the last four digits on their credit card, whoopie), or they don’t want to leave any cash sitting on the table.

So Kelly thought maybe this guy was thinking that he paid up front, not before she noticed that he didn’t have the check for very long before coming up to her.
“Oh,” She smiled. “You can just leave that on the table and the server will get it.”
He didn’t seem to like that idea. “I don’t think so, that wouldn’t be very convenient for me because I need change. Actually, I don’t think that would be very convenient at all do you think I want to leave that much money?”
Like we can tell what’s in the book when it’s closed and being held in our faces...
“Okay, just a minute, I’ll go get your server.” Kelly replies and heads back towards the kitchen. This guy follows her as she’s going back and into the kitchen! While in the kitchen, he spots one of our managers and demands (see a pattern?), “Are you a manager?”
“Then I assume you can take care of this for me.” Says the guy as he hands the manger the check.

The manager did take care of the guy and his check and he left in a huff, though his mother was all sunshine and smiles to Kelly on their way out. Some people are just rude for no reason aren’t they?

Salmon Guy’s Evil Twin...

One of our servers who somehow ends up with Salmon Guy on a regular basis, got what she called “His Evil Twin” one day. I remember this guy too, I got his drink for him. He wanted an ice tea with the ice, not only out of the glass, in a completely different glass and he wanted it filled to the brim (with ice). He didn’t read the menu right at all, thinking for some reason that the sandwich he wanted came with a salad so instead of this salad that doesn’t come with it, he wants something else. So the server explains to him that his sandwich doesn’t actually come with a salad, but would he like the whatever-it-was-substitue anyway? Nope, of course he didn’t.

I saw him eating his sandwich later. It was a naked chicken sandwich, and I mean naked! This thing came just plain chicken on bread, and he wasn’t even eating the bread! The bread was on a completely separate plate than his chicken, which he was proceeding to cut up into small, infant-bite-sized pieces with his knife and fork and eating it that way (with his ice-tea-ice-in-a-separate-glass to drink). I’m not sure how much he tipped the server, I hope it was more than what Salmon Guy does.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

A Sense of Humor

I've learned, slowly and over time, that having a sense of humor is a very good thing, especially in my line of work. I took a summer job cashiering at a grocery store and it only furthered my point. People will blame you, as the person that they are looking at, for everything they find wrong with the store or are angry about. Because it's always your fault, no matter what. The food rings up a different price than they thought it was, your fault. They left their discount card at home, your fault. The special sale item that they drove across town to get is all gone (imagine that), again, your fault. No matter what it is, no matter how crazy the situation seems, it's always your fault.

People always make it more difficult for you, nothing is ever done the easiest possible way. They always take their time, assuming that you have all day just like them. It's almost guaranteed that at least one person will come through your express lane with a cart overflowing with groceries and unload half of them onto the belt before you've finished helping the customer before them; thus making it impossible to turn them away to another lane. Oh, and the ones that do that, always have to write a check, but they don't have it filled out and waiting for you. Nope, that would just make too much sense. Nor do they fill it out while you're ringing up their obsene amount of groceries (at least it's obsene for the express lane). They wait until you give them their total to whip out their checkbook and say "How much do I owe you", forcing you to repeat yourself at least one more time, which you do because you want them out of your lane. Naturally, their check doesn't want to go through the machine the first time around. Naturally, you're forced to punch all the buttons again and stick the check back into the machine, hoping desperately that it will work and you can get this annoying person out of your line! (This happened today, I'm just venting)

Mr. Courtesy Card

Then, there's people who think they know how to run a store, and proceed to tell you all about their genious ideas. Or the ones that yell at you for following rules or about management's new policy, like you made it yourself just to tick them off.
"I must have done my job because it's working, isn't it?"
Like this one guy I had. He had all of four items, which would explain why he chose my lane, and when I asked him if he had a discount card with him, he proceeded to say, "No but you swipe courtisy card" (he was also foreign, so his English wasn't perfect, unfortunately, I could still understand him).
I replied, "I'm sorry, but we don't have the courtisy card anymore, they took it away"
Which was true, I got back from vacation and found out that this was one of the things discussed at the meeting I missed. Apparently, our store has the highest courtisy card swipe number of the stores in our area, so they took the card away. Making new rules about it too. We aren't allowed to swipe our own cards for the customers and we aren't allowed to ask any of the other customers for theirs. Rediculous isn't it? I can see where the store would want to save money, but this is just nuts! The cashiers are as unhappy about it as the guests are, more so because the guests seem to think it's the cashier's fault! Anyways...

This guy said, "I want a manager" and then went on a rampage about how he was in the store every other day and how everybody knew him. How he was "in here yesterday" and got the card swiped for him then, "the rules change overnight? They different today?". How he spends $200 or $300 dollars a week in the store, and just on and on while we waited for a manger to come over (I had called for one when he asked, but of course, no one was coming to my rescue). He kept saying stuff like do this "before you kick me out of store" and "I know you want to get rid of me", and all this other crap that I had no idea where it was coming from because I had been nothing but apologizing and trying to help him. Finally, one of the main store managers happens to walk by and my guy recognizes him and asks if he has a card. The manager, not even looking at this guy, just hands me his card, I swipe it and hand it back. I almost died from smothering laughed when I saw how much the guy saved, but I didn't say anything. I just bagged his items. The guy then proceeded to tell me how to do my job when a customer tells me they don't have a card. He pointed at the application table and was saying how I should offer to get them a card and all this other BS and brought up the kicking him out of the store thing and he claimed "I know you want me out of here".

Finally, he leaves and I start ringing up the next customer. She couldn't have been more than 15 or 16 and was probably running an errand for her parents or something. When I smiled at her and said "hello" and apologized for the wait, she said,
"Jeez, my mom got a card last week and it didn't take more than 3 minutes."
"Yeah." I said. "And for all that fuss, he saved 20 cents."
After all the crap he gave me before I had a chance to offer my card or see if anyone else in line had one (I didn't know about that particular rule at that point), there was no freakin way that I was going to give him a break and let him use my card!

Too Many Scans

I had another lady who grabbed the wrong ice cream one day. Bryer's was on sale as "buy one get one free", there were signs everywhere, huge signs too, and this woman grabbed two Edy's. When I scanned the first one, among her other groceries, she was watching the screen to see what price it came up as, and when it didn't come up as the right price, she promptly told me.
"No, that's not right" She said forcefully, pushing the ice cream (that was still in my hands!) back towards me...and across the scanner...
It scanned like three times before she let go and I could put it down! I had to call a manager to void it because it was over the amount I'm allowed to do without an override. Boy did this woman look ticked when I called for manager assitance though! I think it was worth the trouble she gave me! She was mad and it wasn't anybody's fault but her's because she grabbed the wrong ice cream and she shoved it across the scanner because she thought she knew better than me and the computer!

"Next time wait!"

Then, on the same day as Mr. Courtesy Card, only earlier, I got a woman who seemed to think that she also had the right to tell me how to do my job. Now, usually, when I'm entering the money they've given me into the computer, I hit the numbers fast, but I wait before I actually finish it up, just in case they have change that they want to give me. Most people will look around for change so they don't end up with more coins, or they tell me before hand that they might have the change. This woman handed me a twenty dollar bill (her total was something like $15.16) and waited until I punched in the numbers, pushed the "cash" button, popped the drawer open, and started counting her change before she decides that she has change and wants to give it to me because she doesn't want anymore. When I told her that it was already in the computer and I couldn't change it now, she gave me this deer in the headlights look, like I had three heads or something. When it finally registered in her head what I had said and why i wasn't taking her coins, why I was giving her more in fact, she said, in a very rude and condesending tone, "Well next time you should wait."

Um, last time I checked, this was the express lane and I'm suppose to get customers in and out. Fast is a good thing. If you didn't want more change, you should give me the coins before I punch in the numbers like the rest of the population, not wait until the last second after you've watched me enter everything. Figure out what the hell you're doing before you start to get off telling me how to do my job.

In Conclusion

So, yeah, I've learned that if you've got a sense of humor, if you can learn to laugh about the customers after they leave, you have a much less stressful time at work. If you can laugh, and not take anything personally, you can actually get through life pretty well too. I'm a firm believer in the fact that you really do need a sense of humor to get through life, it really is much easier to live and laugh at people and yourself.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Proof of Customer Stupidity, No It's Not Just Me...

If you think that maybe I'm just not enjoying my job, or picking out all the customers that tick me off or whatever, here's a post to prove that it's not just me. Stupid customers are universal, in every country around the world. As if the rest of the working world needed proof, this is mostly for my own amusement...

  • Copied From

  • Is this an 800 number? (after dialing 1-416-xxx-xxxx)

    (customer at staples office superstore) HI sir do you sale staples.

    Do you have my size in this? (in a shoe store... what am I a mind reader, I get asked this at least 5 times a day.)

    When you stop an employee that is running down the aisle you're probably a disturbance. If he's running for some reason that reason is usually a good one.

    When you order your food then complain about it and have them bring you back another plate 75% of the time they're bringing you back out the same plate of food. You seem perfectly content with it.

    No matter how flirty the cashier appears to be to you she doesn't want you in any way.

    How big is your 12", 14",16" pizza?

    What time do you close? (In a 24 hour store)

    What time does your midnight buffet start?

    Can you download classical music on these MP3 players?

    (in a auto parts store) Do you sell brake pads?

    How much ink do I use when I print white?

    Are you not accepting my check because you're gay and I'm not?

    What comes on your pepperoni pizza?

    What does salt added mean?

    Which one is the Sprite? (With a coke and sprite on the counter.)

    (At a pet store) "Is this all the guinea pigs you have?" (No, we have some packed in boxes in the back for if we run out...DUH)

    When I go to the bank machine in Israel, will it give me American money or the local currency?

    (At an amusement park): "The safety regulations are just for the kids, right?"

    Why did they build the caverns so far from town? (or the other option)

    (at a caverns national park) How much of the caves haven't been discovered yet?

    (Standing in frozen food section looking at frozen pies) Can those be frozen?

    Do tv's break?

    (at a dairy cone) yeah I got food tonight it was wrong can I come back tomorrow and get it made over?

    "Why won't this play in my CD player?" (Holding up a DVD disc.)

    "Do you have any disposable digital cameras?" (I've honest to God been asked this.)

    Do you have that Playstation game on VHS?

    What's in the icecubes?

    This is (and will quite possibly forever remain)the dumbest question ever asked in a record store: "Do you guys sell milk?"

    Do you think the pet shop next door would let me refund this fish tank?

    What is the difference between your coffee and tea?

    On a HOT Fudge sundae is the hot fudge hot?

    This says days for cd, is it next day?

    What is the difference between a disk and a cd?

    (in a tattoo/piercing shop) "I got my tounge/navel/hoohaa pierced today, should it be swollen/bleeding?"

    If I eat everything off of my plate except for one BABY shrimp I deserve a full refund right?

    Can I have (insert dish name) for free? Because I'm like the best customer in the ENTIRE world.

    If I order the cheapest thing on the menu will you throw in a free soup, free appetizer, free egg roll, and a free drink with it?

    Does the chicken fried rice have pork in it?

    Does the shrimp fried rice have shrimp in it?

    What do you mean by clear?....In the paint department when asking about floor sealers

    I broke this, can I have a discount?

    "Am I being arrested?" (as I handcuff them.)

    Do you have a dvd rewinder?

    Do you take expired coupons?

    What's in the lemon filled doughnut?

    What's in a bacon egg and cheese sandwich?

    "I bought a box of chicken nuggets yesterday and when I ate them the next day they were horrible. Can you give me some fresh ones today?"

    So what do you mean by unlimited hours and unlimited downloads?

    (While working in a gas station while it was raining hard) "Why did you make all this rain?” (I'm sorry I forgot that I was in control of the weather)

    I forgot to exchange all my money for American dollars..can't you just make an exception and accept these francs?

    "Is the one in the skirt a women’s toilet?"

    Can you look up the phone numbers of the other pizza places in town to I can see if they have a better deal?

    Are these prices in dollars?

    Do you have pumpkin seeds without the shell? (Without the pumpkin...??)

    These potatoes tasted AWFUL! (customer holds up a bag of seed potatoes)

    Are the red seedless grapes seedless?

    How do I get out of here? (The store's not THAT big)

    Are these last year's carrots?

    Why don't you sell me a winning ticket this time?

    What do your meatballs look like? (They were right in front of him. )

    (While pulling something out of a cooler) Is this cold?

    Do you carry edible plates?

    (In any liquor store) Do you carry Bud?

    How much fat is in the NON FAT yogurt?

    (At a restaurant) Customer : Is there any meat in the VEGGIE Burger?

    Gee, are you busy? (there's a lineup of 10 people and every table is taken)

    Are refills free? (on a huge latte with about 10 customizations)

    (While working at a coffee shop) Do you have any coffee?

    (While working in a store called calendar club) Do you sell posters/post cards/greeting cards/ beany babies/books/plants?

    Is it the Canadian price or the American one? (The store is in Canada)

    (While working in a store called calendar club) How much is this? (all prices are marked clearly on the back) followed immediately by "would you read it to me?"

    (While working in a store called calendar club) Is this a calendar? (no, it's a banana, you wandered into a fruit stand in disguise)

    (While working in a store called calendar club) Are these records/CDs/books? (i've been asked all of these and more)

    (While working in a store called calendar club) Where are your calendars!?

    What does Frozen mean in a Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri?

    Are your milk shakes made with ice-cream?

    Are your omelet's made with eggs?

    Is your chicken parmesan made from chicken?

    "Am I holding you late?" (at 8:30 ..when the store closed at 8:00)

    "If my mouse cursor is at the top of the screen, how do I move it down if my mouse is at the bottom of the mouse pad?"

    My nephew is 6 years old. What size would he be? DUH!!! (Every kid is different. I have seen six year olds in a kids size 1 and others in a men's )

    What do you have in a size 10? (Like I memorized EVERY shoe in the back room.)

    (Holding a shoe) "Do you have this in my size?" -Like I know their size just by looking at them.

    (In a Book Store) For how many days can I check out books?

    What's the best knife? (sir, we stock 15,000 different knives for 5000 different uses. What the hell are you USING it for? Cutting carpet? Beheading enemy sentries? Whittling toothpicks?)

    Is this real? (While handling a sword) (no, it's a tactile hallucination, and you're in a strait jacket)

    Are these swords sharp? (I reply: Put your head on the table)

    Can you put a power cord on this wireless guitar transmitter so I don't have to use batteries? (Sure. But then it won't be wireless, will it?) But you could do it? (yes, but it's cheaper just to use a 1/4" cord ). Yeah, but wireless is cool!

    A caller calling a corporate travel agency -- "Can you tell me the route of the St. Patrick's Day Parade (in New York)?"

    Why do I need a credit card and valid driver's license to rent a car?

    "You close at 9:00pm right? I can't get out there until 9:30 . could you stay open until I get there?"

    "What time does the 8:00 show start?" at a theater Box office.

    "Do I have to wait in line, even though I am only getting this one thing?" Well, I couldn't care either way, but these 20 people ahead of you might have something to say!

    "Can I get cash back if I use my atm card?" "Yes, up to 50 dollars. How much would you like back?" "Can I get 60?" Yes, I get this all the time!

    "Which brand of adult diapers is better?" Well, seeing how I am only 19, I haven't had that problem yet!

    "How long will it take to develop my film in the one hour service?"

    (During a town-wide power outage, store's dark, doors locked with big signs on them saying "CLOSED- NO POWER") Customers knocking on the door, peering in, 'Are you open?'

    (While I'm alone on a register with no other employees to help me) 'Why don't you open more registers?' Well, gee, why didn't I think of that? I'll just get a nonexistent employee to open up that register and we'll move the lines right along *mutter*

    'I bought this at another store, can I get it replaced here?'

    Your advertisement says no credit card necessary to register. Does that mean you will need my American Express number?

    Will your software work on Windows 96? (or even 97!?!?)

    How much does your Totally Free Internet Service cost?

    While "Independence Day" is playing on the display TV, the bright scene where the cities are being destroyed: "Is this a color TV?" (I replied: No, it's a color VCR)

    How many pieces come in the two piece dinner?

    Customer calls directory assistance and says "Yes, I was wondering, what time do the buses stop running tonight?" (customer is in a different city)

    Customer calls directory assistance and says "Can I get a phone number here?"

    When walking in to a crowded restaurant on a Sunday morning. Is this a restaurant? Can we get something to eat here?

    (At an A & W drive thru) Can I get a big mac and a quarter pounder with cheese?

    (at the lost and found, when told an item is not in the office) "Where is it then?"

    (In Canada) "Are these prices in American?"

    (At a ski resort) How do they get the snow to the top of the hill?

    I don't have a photo ID. Can you use my drivers' license?

    Why do you need to see my photo ID in order to cash a $200.00 check?

    "Can you tell me where ya' keep the internet paper?"

    (with a huge, lime green, brightly lit, sign outside that says "ATM quickcash" and the machine to the immediate right as you walk in) Hey! Do you have an ATM?

    (Said at resort in Alberta) what time do you let your wildlife out at?

    My computer doesn't have an AGP slot, can I still use an AGP video card?

    My roof was leaking and water went into my monitor. Why doesn't it work now?

    Will you be getting this item back in? (when it is clearly marked CLEARENCE)

    What is the difference between 168pin memory, 72pin memory and 30pin memory? (hmmmmm let me think)

    (5:15; bookstore closes at 5:30) Where are your books on rhesus monkey? What do you mean you don't have any?

    If it doesn't have a price sticker, is it free?

    "My child is deathly allergic to tomato sauce. So, I want this pizza with just half sauce on it." (what about when we cut through it with the cutter? Won't it kill him?)

    "Do you have a discount for being put on hold?"

    "What does the $3 popcorn cost?"

    "What's playing?" (on the phone, asking someone who answers calls for an entire theatre chain - - incidentally, the dope probably get the number from the newspaper where the phone number is displayed amongst prominent advertisements for what's playing)

    "What's playing?" (standing by a 10 foot wide by 6 foot high display advertising the current feature outside a single-auditorium cinema)

    "Why are there no matinees at the drive-in?"

    "What time does the 7:00 show start?"

    "Is the Beef N Cheddar Kosher?"

    When not in Canada "Do you take Canadian money?"

    At the drive through: "Can I have that to go?"

    "What kind of cheese is on a Beef N Cheddar?"

    Do I need a computer to use your software?

    The Internet is running too slow. Could you reboot it please?

    I'd like to buy the Internet. Do you know how much it is?

    Do you need the actual roll of film or can you just make the pictures from my camera that I took them with?

    Had a customer pick up a Polaroid once and say "excuse me, is this a camera?"

    That ready-mix cement... is it for cement?

    Do you sell metal thinner?

    Does this checkmark next to brown mean that the light is brown?

    I didn't know if they were standard, or if they were all the same?

    Do you sell travel urinals?

    uhh, can we bring our beer in here? (in a clothing store)

    I was in here two months ago and you told me the name of a good movie to rent....what was it called?

    What comes with a side of fries?

    This version of the Matrix DVD is in widescreen.....How wide does my T V have to be to be able to see it?

    I work in a bird store. Favorite question: "Do you know anything about birds?"

    Do they make Microsoft games for the nintendo dreamstation?"

    Do you have that movie with that guy from that kid's tv show? You know the one, with the girl and the guy and they do the thing. Why don't you understand of what movie I'm talking about? (HELLO!!!!!!!Isn't it obvious??)

    I work in a cafe. One day a lady with a distraught look on her face comes in and asks, "Excuse me, do you have coffee?"

    Do you sell a parmesan cheese shaker in the shape of a rat?

    (Standing in store, hands on hips) What do you sell?

    (At in information booth in Maui, asked by a woman old enough to know better) She: Where are the whales? Me, incredulously: the ocean? She: Oh, really? Isn't there an aquarium where we can see them? (Humpbacks, mind you)

    Where are your kidney gifts?

    "How many donuts are in a dozen?" (Or the variant. "I want a dozen donuts. How many do I get with that?")

    What's the difference between a frozen margarita and a regular one?

    Calling video rental "Got any thing good in?" or "Do you have ____ in?" (when it hasn't even been released in theatres yet.)

    Me: ____ International, how may I help you? Customer: Yes do you deliver packages to other countries?

    What is the difference between a hard shell lobster and a soft shell lobster?

    Customer: What are Your hours?
    Me: We are open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.
    Customer: O'Clock?

    Are you open? (when the lights are off and I have keys in hand ready to lock the door and leave)

    Your apple pies... are those pies, or are they sandwiches?

    Five yards? how long is that?

    Is flat white shinier than gloss white?

    Me: "Hello, (name of store) Videos."
    Them: "Yeah, you rent videos?"

    (In a deli) How hard is your salami? (Can't say that one too loud. Ya never know what people will think you mean :) )

    "Is this my bus?" (How am I supposed to know where you want to go?)

    (To the driver of a bus full of passengers, which has just pulled up to a bus stop) "Oh honey, are the busses running today?"

    Where are your telephones and microwaves? (When you work in a dollar store)

    How come I can't get this out-of-order machine to work?

    What do you mean I can't upgrade my 286 to use a DVD player?

    What do you mean you can't install this program on one of your computers so I can see if I like it?

    Where does the film go in the digital camera?

    Can I deposit cash at the ATM without my ATM card?

    How long are those yardsticks?

    (In a pet store) Do you work in the pet department?

    You know stainless screws? Are they supposed to be rust proof?

    From the mainland: "Can we drive to Hawaii from California?"

    "Is your Sunset Dinner Cruise on a boat?" followed by: "is there any meal on there?"

    (In Hawaii) "You look awful white. Are you sure you live here?"

    "Can I get tickets to the lua?" ("Lua" is the Hawaiian word for toilet. They mean "luau".)

    Can you call up so and so (your competitor) and ask them what they have on sale and how late they are open till? (yes someone actually asked me this)

    Why do you need to see my drivers license? (when they write you a freakin check for $3000+) grow up people

    Why do you close at 8PM? (ummm because I have a life and want to go home)

    On the phone: "I got caught for shoplifting a year ago. Can I come back and shop yet?"

    Can you tell me where you have drill bits? Ahh! (Points at cement and walks away.)

    What kind of brush do I need for this paint? (Holds up a spray can)

    Do you take cash?

    How much will a 5 gal tank hold?

    What color are your blue tarps?

    Can I order from the menu?

    How can you legally sell buffalo wings, don't you know that they are extinct?

    What kind of deal can you give me on this? (pointing to something already on sale)

    Me: Thank you for calling "Store Name" how may I help you? Them: Is this "Store Name"?

    This says Windows 95 or 98, does this mean it will only work on computers made in 1995 or 1998?

    "Do you have Windows 95 for Sony Playstation?

    Is this on sale? (Yeah like I memorize the circular and everything that is on sale in every department.)

    Me: answer phone " ____ CD store can I help you?"
    Them : Do you sell Beanie Babies?

    (clearance sale of Item A): Do you have any more in the back?

    I bought this item 6 years ago. I don't have a receipt and I'm not even sure if I bought it here. Can I get a cash refund?

    Where's the electronic department? (When they're standing in it)

    Do you work here?

    Is this phone y2k compliant?

    Me: Hello (company name), open till 6 how may I help you? Them: Uumm yes, can you tell me what time you're open till?

    How much is a ninety-nine cent cheeseburger?

    What comes on that one topping pizza?

    (in a restaurant) Do you know where the bathroom is? (nope, I’ve worked here for six months and that’s the one thing I haven’t found yet...)

    Monday, June 27, 2005

    My Bubble

    It's my bubble, not yours, so stay out!

    We all have our own personal bubbles, it's the little space that's all the way around our bodies that we hate when people invade it. Guess what? Hostesses have them too! Not only do I have a bubble, but I also, like many, hate having it invaded by people I don't know time after time after time after time...

    This falls under the whole respect thing too. This mostly happens when we're on a wait and I'm running the board (that's what we call the wait list). A guest walks in, makes eye-contact with me when I greet them (sometimes) then their eyes dart down to the wait list and stay there while I'm talking to them. The eyes only come back up to mine (sometimes) when they have something to say to me, like their name or asking a question ("30 minute wait on a Saturday night, you're kidding right?", umm, why would I joke about that? Honestly, some people are just so desensitized to waiting because of microwaves and fast food restaurants). I just hate it when people walk through the door, stand right next to me and my desk (which is my working area) and stare at all the names on the wait list while I'm speaking to them, asking how many in their party and their seating preference (smoking or non, I'm on the east coast, we're working on that whole non-smoking indoors thing). They answer me, but not without taking their eyes off the board like the names will magically disappear if they stare at it hard enough.

    Really! They look at the board like they know what they're looking at, or maybe they're checking to see if I write down the times that all the guests come in and sit down (I do both), I don' t know if they think they know what they're doing or if they know what to do with all the numbers they're looking at (pager number, number in party, time in, wait quote, table number, time sat) or what. It just bugs the hell outta me because it's like them saying that, first of all, I don't deserve their eye contact when I'm speaking to them, and, second of all, like I don't know what I'm doing and they feel the need to double check my work. Other guests, who's names I have already taken, will come up and just stand there, staring at the list, counting the names in front of theirs, and then get indignent when they see names below theirs crossed off. This is the reason I never completely cross off names, I always leave it so you can read all the information (where they sat down, when, or if they left or went to the bar) just in case a trying-to-complain-to-get-sat-sooner guest comes up. This way, I can easily explain that this guest decided not to wait and this one found a seat in the bar. Do I get an apology or anything? Of course not, I get that "oh" (that everybody who's ever worked with cutomers knows) like it's a substitute for an apology.

    If you want to know how much longer until you get sat down, please just ask and don't get all up in my space to find out. Or, you could check your watch and figure, "well, we came in about 20 minutes ago, and she told us it was going to be 45 minutes, so...", but no one actually does that, nobody can do mental math anymore. I wish I had a dollar for each guest that came up and asked how much longer it was going to be when they'd only been waiting half the time I told them. Another thing, look the hostess (or host) in the eye when they are talking to you. Just because they work at a restaurant does not make them any less of a person and it does not mean that they automatically have no idea what they're doing. I've been working in restaurants since I was sixteen, I know how to be a good hostess. I don't appreciate people assuming that I have no idea what I'm doing just because I look younger than they are. I don't appreciate people thinking that just because I work in a restaurant, it's okay to treat me like crap or ignore me altogether. And I don't appreciate people (guests, managers are another story) who try to tell me how to do my job when they really have no idea how this particular restaurant works (I have a previous post about a lady with a party of five who had to wait for a big booth and was mad at me because we didn't have any ready for her when she walked in the door, like she called ahead to let us know she was coming anyway, she probably would've been even more ticked off...anyway...). I've worked at more than one restuarant and I don't even know how every single restaurant does every little thing, so don't think you, a guest who has never needed to work in a restaurant for your whole life, knows everything or anything about how we do things at my restuarant. Some restaurants do call-ahead seating, some don't, some only do it for large parties (8 or more), some only seat larger parties if the entire party is on the premises, etc. Don't think that you know how each and every restaurant works in every microscopic way.

    Look me in the eyes when I'm talking to you, you expect me to do the same when it's you that's talking, don't you? How would you like it if I was staring out the window while you were talking to me? Or what if I was on the phone while you were trying to put your name down, how would you like that? I'm giving up my free time to work a job that isn't always the greatest, and yeah, there's always "someone else" that could be taking care of you, but eventually, we're gonna run out of "someone else"s. Eventually, if guests keep treating people like crap, all the "someone else"s are going to be either 14 and throw a fit every time someone yells at them or barely capible of speaking English so they need 2 people to cover the register because their combined English is better than each one individually. Eventually, those people are going to be the only ones that are going to take the kind of crap some guests dish out for the kind of money that they're being paid. Are you going to like that even better than a 19-year-old college student who's been hostessing for going on 2 years and knows what she's doing? Just like I thought, you'd rather have the 19-year-old college student (more mature than a 14-year-old) who can speak perfect English (and could probably give you a run for your money grammar-wise) and has more experience than most of the other hostesses put together, right? Well guess what, that's me folks! And if you'd like to keep the older, more mature, English-speaking restuarant employes, you'd better learn to be nicer and pay them a little more respect.

    What's a way you can respect me as a hostess? Stay out of my bubble! If you would like to know something about the wait, please ask me, don't just assume you'll find out by staring at the list. Don't look at the last name on the list, see what I quoted them, and ask why your wait will be longer. Because you have a frickin' party of 8 and that'll require two tables! Or, because so many people are coming in at once and I can't tell them all the same thing because it'll take time to seat them all. After getting about four names consecutively on the list with more on the way in, I up the wait quote because I know we can't seat 15 names in 20 minutes, it just ain't gonna happen! Believe me, we (the hostesses) wish it could because that would me less people for us to deal with, but it's just not something we can do.

    Bottom Line: If you haven't read any part of this post, this is the part to read. Basically, stand at least two feet away from me, look me in the eyes when I'm speaking to you, answer intelligently in full sentences, and do not look at the wait list like you know what you're looking for. The wait list and restaurant itself are my domain and you are a guest, so please behave as one!

    Sunday, June 19, 2005

    People Are Particularly Stupid Today

    Ugh, such a sucky day at work. It seems the majority of our clientel is composed of idiots, red necks, rude people who'll do anything for free food, etc. The toilet (yes, the same one!) was clogged twice today and guess who had to plunge it? It seemed like both times there was a half of a roll of TP in there! Why are people so obsessed with using obsene amounts of TP? It's not like it really helps anything, germs travel no matter what and they're so tiny and you touch to many things in a day, it's impossible to know where you pick up germs that make you sick. I seriously want to find out who clogged the toilet and visit their houses and clog their toilets to see how they like it! I'm going to visit their house and sit wherever I want, touch whatever I want, go wherever I want, let my kids (my hypothetical kids) run amuck and throw food on the floor, I'm going to make them run around like crazy, I'm going to complain about every little thing, and I'm not going to clean up any of this mess that I make.

    Honestly, why can't people behave at restaurants as they would at a friend's house or the White House for that matter. You don't do any of this stuff if you're visiting the White House. If you are a guest in some prestigious guy's house, you don't do any of the things that I've seen so many people do at a restaurant. Yet, even though they are still in public, and still not in their own homes, people still think that they can do as they please.

    But I have found that shifts can be good or bad, it all depends on how you make them. You could have an interesting or funny conversation with a guest and it just brightens up the rest of your day; or you could let the sucky guests get to you and let them totally ruin what you've got left of a shift. I could have a really bad shift one day but the next time I come in, I have a great time. Your shift is what you make of it, if you laugh with fellow employees or guests, if you can make a little kids happy by sneaking them something extra special just for them (i.e. extra toy or something), if you make someone else happy just by smiling at them, all these things can change a day for the better. If you're grumpy when you go in, if you remember every nasty comment a guest made to you, or how much they ran you all over the restaurant trying to find a table they liked, if you hold on to every time someone *yells* at you, you probably aren't going to have a good shift. As much as I hate repeating this (because it's what my boss is always telling us), but I've found that it can be true sometimes, choose your attitude. I'll admit though, there are somedays where you just want to choose to be grumpy, I'm having a whole week like that (I'll be working over 40 hours two weeks in a row, dedicated little hostess aren't I?), but that doesn't mean I'll let it stop me from having a good shift it one presents itself.

    Thursday, June 16, 2005

    R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Guests Deserve It...And So Do I

    Far too many people walk into my restaurant and just plain ignore me (and the other hostesses) until I become useful to them! I wish I could just ignore them back and see how they like it, let’s see how far they get when the shoe’s on the other foot! I’m not asking for much, just a little response when I say “Hello”, or is that too much to ask?

    The guest that has just walked in the door is my number one priority as a hostess. I would at least like a little head nod or something to let me know that they at least acknowledge my presence. It gets on my nerves so much! It's like they don't even have enough respect for me to acknowledge my existence or the fact that I said "hello" to them. It's right up there with people seating themselves, it's part of my job to be friendly and the first person the guest sees when they walk into the restaurant. It's my job to make them happy and comfortable, to make sure that they have a seat where they will enjoy themselves. And since it's my job, I would like to be acknowledged at least before you decide that you need me now.

    So many people have just plain ignored me until they needed a seat in non-smoking or when they needed menus. They walk right by me and my cheerful "hello" and into the bar. They only come back once they realize that they don't have menus or even an open table over there. Then they need me, then they see that I exist. And only then. At that point, I don't even care where they sit 'cause I know they aren't going to talk to me willingly while I take them to a table. At that point, I just wanna hand them menus and tell them to sit wherever they frickin' want.

    Cell phones too! I hate it when people can't finish their conversations before the come through the door. Because then, while they're still on the phone, I'm trying to talk to them, to see where they would like to sit, and they have this annoyed "can't you read my mind" look on their face because I'm inturrupting the conversation and they can't hear the person on the other end. This one really bugs me too! I mean, I don't answer the phone if people are walking through the door, why? Because the people in front of me take the priority. I wish people would have just enough respect for me to at least wait to keep talking until after I've put them in their table. I'm obviously making time to take care of them, is putting the phone down for two minutes too much to ask?

    One of my hostesses told me a story about a patient at the denist she used to work for as an assistant. He was constantly on his cell phone, and told the dentist to wait until he had finished the call! He had scheduled his appointment and everything, but he just had to take that call. So the dentist told the secretary to make another appointment for the guy for "when he has time for me, because I've made time for him". I just can't stand to see people that self-absorbed. If the shoe were on the other foot, I'm sure that guy would've been far beyond ticked off. Why can't people realize when they're being ignorant, inconsiderate, and too self-absorbed to notice anyone else around them? Why aren't we allowed to bring this to their attention? Oh, yeah, because "The Customer Is Always Right", well I got news for ya: that statement isn't true, it's never been true, and the only reason the guy (because it was a guy, dumber than a bag of hammers guys can be) coined it to begin with was to get more customers. The customers love that phrase because it can get them practically whatever they want.

    Anyway, before this turns into a rant...I give the guests that come into my restuarant at least the respect of making eye contact and talking with them. I don't call them names (well, unless they tick me off and can't hear me...), I don't ignore them, I don't seat them where they don't want to be seated, I give them everything that they want, the least they could do me is acknowledge my presence. The least they could do is say "hello" back or put the cell phone down for a second and let me do my job. I know it's just hostessing, but I still take pride in what I do and the fact that I can do it well, I still give my job (no matter what it is) everything I've got.

    My fiance says I care too much (thus the reason I've been working so much these past two weeks, that and it gets my parents off my case about money and a second job), and maybe I do, but when I get into something, when I commit myself to something, I give it everything I can. I do work when I'm off the clock, I often times bring home some work with me, and I come in a lot on my days off and I work days I'm not scheduled when they need me. It's my job and I still take pride in it, even if it is "just hostessing", and I just wish people would respect that and respect me for it.

    I make time to take care of them, can't they make time to say "Hi, I'm fine thanks, how are you?"

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    10 Commandments Concerning Hostesses

    The Hostess 10 Commandments:
    (For Customers)

    1. Thou Shalt Not Seat Thyself
    Seating yourself directly refers to walking and and just picking whatever table you like. Seating yourself indirectly means a hostess is "seating" you, but really you call the shots. I wish I had a dollar for every guest that has decided they didn't like the table I was taking them to (or sat them at) and wanted another one. If the hostess puts you there, it's for a reason, deal with your issues and sit down and shut up!

    2. Thou Shalt Specify Up Front
    If you want a booth rather than a table, say so before the hostess starts taking you to a table. If you want to be in a certain place, by a window, away from the window, away from the bathrooms, etc., then tell the hostes that before she sits you down. So many people have come up to me, after they'd been sitting at their table for a while, and asked to sit somewhere else because of such-and-such. I grin and happily (or so appear) take them to another table. When I get back up front, where they can't see my face, I'm frustrated because they didn't tell me what they wanted to begin with and just expected me to read their minds and magically take them exactly where they wanted to sit.

    3. Thou Shalt Assume The Hostesses Know What They Are Doing.
    If there is a wait, but you see open tables, it is understandable to ask why the tables are open, but not understandable that you demand to sit down and not wait because you see open tables. If there are open tables but the hostesses have a wait list going, there are several possibilities. The first is that the kitchen is backed up and food is coming out late and wrong, in order to minimize mistakes and help the kitchen catch up, the hostesses may be on what is called a "kitchen wait". There is no shortage of open tables, but seating them will cause the kitchen to become even more backed up, causing even more problems with even more guests who are now very hungry and impatient. Another possibility is that the hostesses have the open tables assigned to other guests on the wait, it's just that they haven't sat them all down yet.

    4. Thou Shalt Not Be Curt or Uncivil.
    Being rude to the hostesses gets you nowhere, it may (in some restaurants) get you food with *special* ingrediants. It's not a very good idea to tick off someone who has acess to the food you are about to eat. If your kids have you especially irritated, that's fine, take it out on your kids, not the hostesses. The hostesses are doing their best to get you a table that will make you happy (mostly because they don't want you coming back and bugging them, but also because it's their job), there is absolutely no excuse to be rude to a person who has been nothing but sunshine and daisies to you since you walked in the door. One rude customer can ruin the rest of a shift, no matter how many nice, friendly, and funny people come in later.

    5. Thou Shalt Call Ahead With Large Parties.
    If you have a party of 8 or more, pleae call ahead. I cannot stress that enough. People walk in with parties of 25 and expect us to automatically have space for them (we're a small restaurant, we really don't have accomodations for parties like that) and then get impatient and even rude when we tell them they'll have to wait so we can put them at tables together. I've had parties of 20 or 25 walk in during peak hours on a Saturday night (between 6 and 9) and want to know how long ti will be. When I tell them at least an hour, they walk out. Now had they called ahead, had we had some notice, we would have been able to better prepare for a party that size. Those parties were spur of the moment, "hey let's hit a restaurant" ideas so the people didn't have the brains to think that it's dinner time on a Saturday night and that any restaurant they went to would make them wait, no matter the size.

    6. Thou Shalt Not Lie, Thou Shalt Not Say 8 or 9 And Thy Grande Total Be 15 or 22
    This is another thing that I can't get through people's heads (mostly because I'm not allowed to confront the guests or yet at them). They think that if they give us a lower number, we'll be able to seat them faster than if they give us the real number. Then, when the rest of their party starts trickling in, they start stealing the tables around them to accomodate their growing party.

    7. Thou Shalt Be Happy Where The Hostesses Seat Thou
    This is pretty self-explanatory and ties in with some others. If the hostess can't seat you where you want (i.e. all the booths are full), be happy you at least have a table. If a booth gets cleaned off 20 minutes after you sit down, don't ask to go sit in that booth, just stay where you are and be glad you at least got a table right away because the people who are going to that booth probably had to wait 20 minutes for that booth to get up and cleaned.

    8. Thou Shalt Not Be Angry With The Hostesses Because Thou Art Late
    "This happens every time we come at this time!", that's an easy one, then don't come at this time stupid! If we're not on a wait when you call, and don't take your name, then we're on a wait when you arrive, and this happens "every time", either come later or come earlier genius. Leave a half an hour later than usual, that way, when you call, the restaurant will be on a wait and you can put your name on the list, cutting down your in-restaurant wait time. Or, leave a half an hour earlier if possible, that way the restaurant won't be on a wait at all when you get there. Honestly, it's not rocket science people! Another thing, if you're in a semi-large party and you give an arrival time to the restaruant, show up at that time, or earlier. I've had parties that didn't come in until a half an hour after they told us they were coming and we had given their tables away because we figured they were no-shows. Don't sit in the parking lot until the time you gave the restaurant either, just come in and let them know that at least one member of the party has arrived, even if some places will only seat the whole party. It's still better for them to know that the party is coming and not no-shows.

    9. Thou Shalt Not Blame The Hostesses For Thy Own Incompetence
    Just the other day, I was taking a family of three and a high chair to a booth (just like they wanted I might add), when they see the booth I'm heading for, the dad goes, "No, we'll be too cramped there, can we have that big booth over there?". I say "sure" and take them over, knowing full well that two adults and two kids fit very comfortably in that "cramped" little booth I was originally taking them too. Heck, four adults fit comfortably in those four-top booths. So I sit them in the six-top booth that he had picked out (boy do I wish all the six-tops had been taken or that the last six-top was going to a party of six that had come in just after this family) and they seemed happy, for five minutes. Probably five minutes later, one of the servers (not the one who I had sat this family with) comes up and asks who's section they were sitting in. I asked why, and she said that the guy was really rude and wanted to know if she was their "waitress" and where their "waitress" was because they wanted their drinks and if their "waitress" was sooo busy they didn't want "her" (it was actually a guy that was serving that section) and why would "SHE" (meaning me, who had been all smiles to them) seat them with a server who was busy? I was like, "Ooooh, no, no, no. They are not blaming this one on me. I was taking them to a server that wasn't busy, I was taking them to a server who could have had their appitizers by now, but nooooo, 'We'll be too cramped there, we want that booth, I'm a bloody moron, blah, blah, blah'." I really wish I could say what I'm thinking to guests without getting fired for it...

    10. Thou Shall Be Polite and Friendly
    Have you ever noticed how much better your day goes when you're in a good mood? Have you ever noticed that if you're happy and friendly to people, they usually smile and are friendly back? Don't you get better results that way? Doesn't it make everything more laid-back and easy-going, in a good way? The same thing applies when you walk into a restaurant. Just because they work in a restaurant does not make the employees any less a person than you or anyone else. Being polite and friendly just makes everyone's day that much better. Restaurant employees catch so much crap all day long (from guests and other employees), it really is refreshing for them to talk and interact with someone who is nice and friendly. You can just brighten someone's day with just a warm smile and friendly "Hi there, how are you today?" and ruin someone's day with a scowel and a "I called ahead, I shouldn't have to wait, give me a table, let me talk to your manager!". How would you rather be remembered in some random employee's blog, as a friendly regular who the hostess just loves talking to, or being chewed out by what the hostess you were rude to with all the things she didn't say while she just smiled and took the crap you dished out?