Saturday, December 23, 2006

Little Things

It really is the little things that can get to you most. There hasn’t been any real drama at work lately, but lots of little things that are getting on my nerves. It’s standard stuff, I ignore it but it still bugs me just a little bit.

People who can’t decide if they want to sit in smoking or non-smoking and just stand there, ignoring me completely (until they want a seat in non-smoking that is), and talking amongst themselves.

People who say “We don’t care” when I ask “Smoking or Non?” or “Table or booth”. Worse is when they say that to both questions. I prefer to hear it for “table or booth” because that makes my decision of where in non-smoking to seat them a little easier. But sometimes when I hear it for “smoking or non” and then ask them (like I’m required to) if they would like a table or a booth, they get a little agitated that I didn’t read their minds and just assume they didn’t care about that either. The reason I don’t like hearing “we don’t care” for “smoking or non” is because smoking is in the bar and it’s all self-seating/first-come-first-serve. The hostesses have absolutely nothing to do with the bar at all. So even after I explain that the bar is smoking and self-seating and non-smoking is the dinning room and the hostesses will seat them, and people still say “we don’t care”, I feel like handing them menus and saying “Okay, bar’s over there sit where you want, enjoy your meal.” But I don’t, like the good little hostess that I am, I take them to a booth in non-smoking (or a table if I’m feeling slightly mean).

When people are actually able to make a decision and decide to sit in the bar, I ask them if they would like menus (some do, some don’t, depends on if they’re just drinking) they say “yes” and then turn and walk away before taking the menus from my outstretched hand! Puh-lease! I’m not chasing you into the bar just to hand you menus, it’s all self-seating, I couldn’t care less about the seating in the bar. You either take the menus from me or you can wait until your server gets to your table and sees that you don’t have menus. Thankfully, most of the servers completely understand why I don’t always give the customers menus and agree that if they ignore me or walk away, I shouldn’t have to follow them because that was rude.

The bathroom is a constant source of annoyance. I used to wonder why I would find paper towels on the floor on the complete other side of the bathroom from the dispenser (because the trash can is right under the dispenser, about as convenient as you can get) and then I watched this one lady. Whenever possible, she avoided touching anything in the bathroom with her hand directly. I know she used a toilet seat liner that are provided in every stall, but I know she didn’t touch it after she used it (because I had to knock it into the toilet to flush it after she left). She used her elbow like a doctor to wash her hands and get soap. When she left the bathroom, she pulled her long sleeve up over her hand to pull the door open so she wouldn’t have to actually touch the handle. That has got to be why I find paper towels on the floor every once in a while, someone used it to pull the door open then dropped it on the floor after they were done with it.

I also find little pieces of toilet paper on the floor constantly under the dispensers in the stalls. How hard is it when you accidently pull off a tiny piece to just throw it in the toilet? Is it really harder than just dropping it on the floor for someone else to pick up? I don’t mind picking them up, because I know they’re not dirty or anything like that, I just don’t like having to put my face that close to the toilet. I especially don’t mind picking them up if another guest is present and can watch me clean the bathroom so they know a) there’s not someone special just to clean the bathroom, it’s the hostesses job (and we touch the same menus that you touch, clean hands or not ^_-) and b) it’s a good little bathroom conversation point. I can talk about how it’s not that bad because I’ve had to clean up worse and some people think that because they’re not in their house they don’t have to keep it clean or worse, I’d hate to see their house. I’ve even gotten compliments in the bathroom about how good a job I was doing keeping it clean because the customer had seen it in worse shape!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Trivia Guys’ (Hopefully) Last Night

Oh, where to begin, so many *wonderful* things happened tonight! I’ll start by mentioning that last week, we were graced with the presence of the nicer and much less obnoxious trivia guy. We begged him to keep doing trivia with us and not let G come back. None of us like G at all, he’s full of himself, obnoxious, and he thinks that the people playing his little trivia ge are the only people in the restaurant worth being nice to. Which leads me to why I’m writing tonight!

Started off normally enough, as most drama-packed shifts do. There was a college football ge or something on, so G had to do his little ge from the dinning room instead of the bar *where he would normally be and has been for the past year, except when there’s football games on*. No biggie, he’s been doing it this way for the past couple of weeks, what with the start of the NFL and all (National Football League, American football for you Brits out there) and we are a sports bar that’s why people love eating with us.

First thing we hear from some of the guests is, “we need a table, we can’t play trivia in the bar”. Okaaay, this is news to us. We sit them, and then I go back to go find out what the deal with that is. Apparently, G decided tonight that you can’t play trivia in the bar if he’s in the dinning room. “G said” was what the manager told me. Oh grow a spine please! We hire HIM to come in to do this, just because he’s the owner of the little trivia company does not mean that he’s in charge of the whole freakin’ restaurant!

G was in the dinning room again because there was a collage game or something on, and they didn't want him in the bar. Either that or they wanted to see if he'd tick off more customers so they could pull the plug. So he's in his usual booth all the way in the corner, which we'd kept open since around 7 to make sure that it'd be empty when he got there because if we don't have a place for him ready when he arrives he throws a hissy fit. But we did seat the other big table next to his and the one caddy-corner to his. At one of those, we sat a K (who works at GD) and her kids.The other table we sat with a party of four, nice family, who knows K.

G was kind of rude to K, telling her it was about to get very loud in here in the next five minutes or something like that, but she didn't really think anything else of it, she knew the guy was a d***. Then he went to the other table and I guess he told them the same thing. The family tried to explain that they didn't know it was trivia night and they would have asked for somewhere else to sit if they had known. He didn't want to hear any of it and didn't let them finish when he said, “Well you can just leave then, there's an exit there and there.”


The dad took the kids out so he wouldn't lose his cool and the mom went over to carry out to ask the girl over there if she could tell their server they wanted their food to go because they had been made to feel like THEY were inconveniencing HIM because they were sitting there (where we had put them)
and get this, the dad is the pastor of K! If G doesn't get struck by lightning...Oh, and it was their little boy's birthday too! They went out to celebrate his birthday, and ended up taking their food home and eating it there when they should have had a nice night at Glory Days. Not everybody (the employees) knew exactly what G had said to that table, just that he talked to them and then they wanted to leave. Their server apologized profusely, the kitchen manager went out and apologized, and even one of our bartenders/managers who was on his way home went over and apologized! After the bartender/manager apologized, he came over to use our phone to call a cab, so we asked him what G said. (“Then you can leave”)

So on K's way out with her kids, I asked if G had been rude to her, she said kinda but didn't think anything of it, then I told her what G had told the other table and she was shocked and steamed! I told her that the other table had gotten our web site and was going to e-mail corporate, and K said that she'd make sure the pastor's wife sent the e-mail and she'd send one too! Then J, who had also taken care of K as well as the pastor's family, came out to say goodbye and I asked if she knew what G had said to the table, she didn't, so I told her. She blew her lid.

A little while later, she went over and let G have it! She didn't cuss him out or anything, not on the floor, but she said that more people come to GD to eat than play his stupid trivia game, those were her tables and her tips and her tips suffered because he went over there to talk to them. She told him that he had no right to talk to her tables, that was money out of her pocket not his, “but then I guess it doesn't matter does it”.

She let him have it for like five minutes and then went to the kitchen, he followed her. The other hostess and I followed him, we weren't gonna miss that! Especially if J hit him like she was very likely to do. G tried to get in J's face back there in front of String Bean, but J would have none of that (she’s one server you don’t really don’t want to mess with ever). She said she'd knock that “mother f*****'s teeth out again” (G as it turns out has either false teeth, his four front ones, or caps or something because they fell out one night a few weeks ago and he didn’t finish Trivia) and went to turn to leave when he yelled, “Go ahead!”. He must have either felt safe with String Bean right there, or he was going to press charges if she did hit him (which is more likely, I don’t call him String Bean for nothing...).

J stopped and turned right back around and said “I will! You wanna take this out back right now?” That's when it got scary and me and the other hostess when back up front.But during the whole thing back there, like ten of us were standing around with cone cups and soda like we were all getting drinks when really we were listening!

J says she can't take anymore tables that night because she couldn't work with G right there by her tables, so she's cut and gets ready to finish with her last table and do her sidework. G goes back out and finishes trivia, but not before he stops at a couple tables to explain what happened or put his own spin on it...

Then we find out from Original J who worked there waaaaay back in the day when I first started working there and who was playing trivia with his table that G was being Smoking Nazi and not letting them go over the bar to smoke. Anybody that wanted to smoke had to stand at the partition on the bar side of it and smoke where he could see them so he knew they weren't on cell phones or talking to other guests.

Oh goodness...and there’s more...

Apparently, G has been ticking off all the wrong people when he approaches other guests. Napkin Guy, which some of you may remember but I’ll give you a quick refresher: Napkin Guy had a legit reason to be on his cell phone (mom was going into surgery and dad was keeping him updated) but G didn’t care and got in his face about it, so the guy threw a napkin at G and G flipped out. He went back into the kitchen and started yelling about how he wasn’t going back on the floor until that guy got kicked out. *Rolls eyes* what a wimp. Long story short, Napkin Guy not only did not get kicked out, turns out to be friends and neighbors with our company’s OWNER. Oops. Guess you better start being nicer to people in general, hmm?
Apparently G ticked off another friend/neighbor of the owner (I must have missed that day or something...) and that left him with one strike left before someone would make String Bean get rid of this guy. Tonight was strike three. Yay.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Fun on Trivia Night!

Okay, this guy technically isn't a "coworker" because he doesn't do shifts at the restaurant. But I gotta put this out there because this guy is a piece of work. He's not a server, bartender, hostess, busser, cook, or dishwasher. He's not a manager. But, our store manager pays him to come in once a week for a few hours. "For what?" you ask. Trivia. This guy started his own little trivia game where people play in teams, he asks questions, plays music while the teams write down their answers and bring them up to him. The idea/game is actually fairly popular and has been in several bars locally. Recently however, he's pulled out of several locations because (according to my boss) "they were dicking him around". I think he just got himself kicked out because he's so obnoxious.

Anyway, last Thursday was Trivia Night again. We had something like 18 or 19 teams playing, beating the previous record at our location which was 17. There were lots of people who were playing and going to be camping for several hours. Plenty of people in the bar half of the building were playing because that's where he, G, is located with his speaker and microphone, and lots of the players are new, brand new.

There's a "no cell phone. period." rule and G is very adament about it. Anyone caught on their cell phone during times when they aren't allowed will result in their whole team forfitting the game. One of the guys used his cell phone while G was outside on his cell phone. The guest asked me to verify if G asked that he wasn't cheating on trivia, he was actually using his phone. G caught the guy and threw a fit. The guy said that his mother was in surgery and the hospital was keeping him updated.
"That's what they all say!" G practically yelled.
Now, I could believe that. Because the hospital could be in another state, thus the reason that the guest was at our bar rather than their waiting room. But G, he's a jerk.

The next thing I knew, someone asked who it was that threw something at G. Sure enough, one of our managers was out on the floor talking to the guy who'd been on the phone, along with one of the bartenders. Eventually, the manager went around to the other side of the bar, so the bar was between him and the guest (possibly so he could hear better?? dunno, not sure) and continued talking. Meanwhile G's saying things like "you don't throw anything at me" and the manger is like "G, go back to your game, I'm handling this".

Apparently, when G was getting on this guy about the cell phone and not believing his excuse or whatever, the guy threw something at G. G flipped out! He went into the back and threw a hissy fit!! "I'm not going back on the floor until that guy is thrown out!" Yeah right. The guy was apparently a regular and there was no way the bartenders were going to let a regular get thrown out because G was a jerk.

Eventually, (only a few minutes later) G goes back out front and continues the game, just like nothing happened. The bar settles down and it's back to normal for Trivia Night. One of the servers walks by and I ask her if she knew what it was that the guy had thrown at G because I hadn't seen it happen.

She rolled her eyes, looked at me, and said, "A napkin."

I always knew that G was a jerk and a baby (and he thinks he's cool btw, he's most definitely not. He's a step above going outside with shorts, black socks, and sandels, lol), but I didn't realize just how much of a puss he was until last Thursday. And believe me, that made my night.

Monday, July 10, 2006

My Rant From

We have this woman who comes into our restaurant fairly often and she's blind. The ONLY reason I mention that is because it pertains to how and why she does certain things when she visits us.

She's never been rude or me. She's had problems with other employees though. I'm not sure exactly why she likes some servers over others, but I know that she has not left a tip before and asked to speak to a manager before. Normally, she comes in during the Saturday morning shift and she basically needs a babysitter (which ended up being me, but that's a story for another time). Because she would normally come on Saturday mornings during lunch and we weren't as busy as during the dinner shift, she could have someone take her to the bathroom and take her across the parking lot to another store (yes, EVERY week I had to do that...). Eventually, I got tired of having to take care of her like that every week and not get anything for it other than a "thank you" (which was fine until she started being rude to the servers). I switched to Saturday nights because there's more tips, cooler servers, and to get away from her. Not nice, but true.

A few Fridays ago, I'm working a double. Dinner time rolls around and we go on a wait. No biggie, being on a wait gives me an element of control that I wouldn't have normally and I'm more than comfortable running a waitlist. Then I see Her coming through the door with the dog and an escourt I didn't recognize. "Oh great" I mutter and pray that she doesn't need someone to walk her across the parking lot because I didn't have hostesses to spare on a Friday night.

Problem #1: She couldn't understand that we were on a wait and kept asking "You don't have a table for just one?" over and over again. I kept trying to tell her that first of all we had no tables for just one and they all seat at least four and there were no table open at all currently. No matter what I said to her, she couldn't understand that. She asked how she would know it was her turn to be sat and then didn't want a pager when I explained how it worked (it will flash, vibrate, and beep all at the same time when we page it). That's not a problem because there were no other blind ladies with dogs in the restaurant, she would be easy to find. She then kept insisting that she didn't want us to forget about her. I kept trying to assure her that we wouldn't forget about her and we were going down through the names on the list in order. Meanwhile, her escourt hasn't left yet and is watching her to see if she wants to stay. When it's clear that she's chosen to stay (and through all of this has not mentioned anything about being on a time restraint) the escourt says to call as soon as she's done eating (I guess so she can come pick her up) and then leaves. I have one of my other hostesses lead N (the blind lady) where there is a bench so she can sit while she waits.

Problem #2: After five minutes, N wanders out into the aisle (blocking other customer traffic) where another (very nice) customer imediately notices that she's blind and asks if he can be of assitence. She mumbles something to him, he comes back to me says that this woman's blind (like I can't figure that one out) and she needs help. I told him that she was already on the wait list and he shrugs and goes about his business. N starts asking my other hostess, C, if her table is ready yet. C tries to explain again about the wait list and N begins to demand "why didn't we tell her that while the cab was still here so she could have left" over and over with every explanation C gives her. That's when she starts telling C about whatever time restraints she has, not a moment before *shakes head*. N demands to speak with a manager. Manager comes out talks to her briefly, asks if there isn't a table we can get for her now (just to get her to leave him alone because he doesn't feel like dealing with her either). Her name is two from the top of the list at this point, she only has a few more minutes to go and her total wait time would be far less than the 20 minutes I orignally told her, more like 10ish. We seat her anyway, thankfully, we're a small restaurant and all the other waiting guests could hear and/or see what was going on and no one complained that she got sat sooner than they did.

Problem #3: She's been to our restaurant many times before, she's had the menu (the WHOLE menu) read to her many times before. I understand that she goes to other restaurants as well (I've even seen her other places when I've been off duty) and it would be hard to remember who has what food. She also has dietary restrictions which makes everyone else's life in addition to hers a little more interesting. The server, A, she's been given is one of my favs, absolutely nice and funny girl, she'll bend over backwards for you, so long as she knows that you're nice and worth it. A reads N the whole menu, twice. When N has questions about a certain dish, A answers knowledgably like with any other customer because other customers do ask the same/similar questions. N orders a dish with two (2) chicken breasts (important!). The dish comes out, A even cuts everything up for her so it's easier for her to eat. N accuses A of lying to her, saying that A told her 3 chicken breats not 2.

Problem #4: N gets over the chicken breats, finishes her meal, orders the cobbler for dessert. Accuses A of stealing some of her cobbler. Then accuses A of giving her child-sized portions of everything, treating her like a child, etc. N now wants to speak to the manager again. Manager comes back out and sits down across the table from her and listens to all of her rants about how bad her server was and blah blah blah. N doesn't want to leave a tip now, she gets Manager to tell her what her bill is and hands the money off to Manager and makes sure that Manager brings back her change. You would think that would be the end of it now that she's paid her bill.

Problem #5: She gets up from her table and waits out in our foyer (it's really a little box between our outer doors and our enter and exit doors) for her ride I guess. One of the other servers goes out to see if N would like help out to her car or something. N says something about not tipping her server and wanting her server to come back out and talk to her. Lol, like that was going to happen. As it happens, A had *just* gotten another table ( ) and was too busy to come out and talk.

N wasn't all bad. A's next table actually happened to ask casually if all of A's tables had been treating her right tonight. Of course A had to mention (in an abridged version of course) the whole episode with N. That nice couple happened to leave her a nice tip too. I had also just been "cut" (translates into "you can clock out and go home now") and my fiance was coming up for dinner with me when I let him know I was off. We sat in A's section and also left her a nice tip. It was the least I could do for seating such an SC in her section, I felt bad but it was the closest table we had and I thought it would get her off our backs. Oh well. A said that if it wasn't for all the employees in the back making her laugh, N would have made her cry.

The whole situation reminded me of another post before the boards went down, asking if an elderly woman was really an SC or should they have given her some slack. I said it then, I'll say it again now, it's not whether you're disabled or elderly, your race doesn't matter, it's your behavior, your attitude, and your outrageous demands that make you an SC. N has been moved from Minor Annoyance to an Offical Sucky Customer.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

My faith in humanity is restored once more...for now.

Today, my managers got chewed out by a guests (who happens to manage a restaurant in the inner harbor) for sitting on their butts and not helping any of the other employees (including myself and a manager in training, who's awesome by the way) who were all very busy because we were understaffed this morning. It made my night. :) Here's the story in a nutshell:

Independence Day, July 4th, rolls around and the boss decides that we're going to be open for lunch. Normally, we open at 4pm and most of the people in the area know this. Also, the 4th of July is not usually a busy holiday for most restaurants as families are getting together and it's a huge cookout day. So we figued we would be slow. We have three servers on the floor, one in the bar and two in the restaurant and one hostess working a double (yours truly), thinking this would be plenty. Well, we didn't realize that we would be the only sit-down restaurant around that was going to be open for lunch. We got fairly busy (would have been much better with more servers) and most people were perfectly understanding and nice (no SCs!) and in a good mood for the holiday.

I told my boss when I got there that since I was sacrificing an entire day with my family to come in to work (and the last time I did that I could have seen my grandfather one more time before he died) he was going to give me an hour break to go home and see my family for a little bit. Since the grandfather thing (which is true) guilted him into it, and I've been there long enough he doesn't want me to walk out (which I would have done if he had said no), he agreed. I busted my butt seating guests and bussing tables (the genious didn't get a busser to work the morning shift either...) until my break, took my break (didn't clock out though ), got back and continued to bust my butt along with the other servers and our current Manager In Training (MIT). Where was my boss and his relief, another manager, when I got back? Sitting on their butts eating lunch. I could understand my boss eating, he'd been there since before I came in, that's fine. The other one though, had only been there an hour. Several minutes later, thier plates were empty, yet they still sat and laughed and talked with the rest of us running around like chickens with our heads cut off (again, including the MIT).

The next thing I know, one of the servers T comes up and says that she just got into a fight with D and G. Apparently, she went over to their table, cleared their plates, and asked if they were finished. When they said that they were, she looked at them and said, "Good, now do you wanna get up off your asses and help us?"

They followed her into the kitchen and asked if she knew that they were managers. She asked them if they knew that there was food that needed to be run and work that needed to be done.

A little while after T told me about telling of D and G, I see G sitting at one of T's tables talking with them. He's over there for a good ten minutes or so. T comes over to me and tells me what happened after G is done with them. Apparently, when the couple at the table came in D and G were still sitting on their butts. The Guy ask T if that was a manager he saw in the striped shirt when he came in, one who just sat and stared at him without bothering to get up and help seat them. T said that yes, that was a manager. Guy asked if the other guy dressed like him was a manager too. T said, "Yes, that's our store manager". Guy tells T to send one of them out because he needed to talk to one of them. That's why G was at the table for so long. Guy was chewing him out and telling him that if it wasn't for his server, he would have never come back to our restuarant because he was so appalled at the managers sitting on their butts not doing anything while he watched EVERYONE else running around and being overworked.

So if you're out there, Guy-Who-Told-My-Manager-What's-What, thank you, from the bottom of my heart for telling him what we were all thinking but didn't want to risk our jobs to say! I hope to someday do what you have done for us by either defending an employee to a SC or some similar action and pass the good karma around! Viva Rockin' Customers like you!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Notible Customers - Part IV

We Just Like The Way It Looks

I was cleaning the bathroom one day when the bartender came in with steam practically coming out of her ears. She's the best bartender around, such a sweetheart, and one of our original employees. It really takes a lot to get her riled up. She starts telling me about these two women that were sitting at the bar. They asked for a special drink, one where you have to layer the two or three different kinds of alcohol, one that the bartender has made before. Whatever the reason, her mind was somewhere else or something else, she couldn't seem to get the alcohol to layer properly. It took several tries. During the time she was attempting to layer the drinks, the two woman were talking to each other, calling their friends, and asking the people around them in the bar what was in the drink and how to do it, all while the bartender was right in front of them. She knows how to make the drink, she's done it before, and these two women, who I'm sure were not bartenders themselves, were giving her a hard time about it. Finally, she was able to layer it and the drinks were done. One of the servers that the women had been talking to asked if it tasted different layered like that. Their reply?
"No, we just like the way it looks."
They gave the bartender all that grief and made her so frustrated all because they just liked the way the drink looked? How completely ignorant is that??

I'm Just Messing With You

This guy and his son come in one day. I ask if it will be just the two of them and the guy says, "Yeah, well, it might be three. Do you have a phone so I can call my wife and see if she's coming?"
I said that we didn't.
"That's mean." He said.
I told him that we had pay phones but they didn't work.
"That's really mean." He said.
Then he stormed off to the bar. He talked to the bartender before spotting a manager and then talked to him. He came over a few minutes later.
"You know, if you came to my house, I'd let you use my phone."
I tried to explain that the phone up here didn't call out at all.
"I'd still let you use my phone if you came to my house."
I told him that if I could call out I would most definitely let him use the phone, it just hadn't been able to call out for a long time.
"I'm just messing with you." He said.

I sat him, I told him to enjoy his meal, and I went back up to the hostess desk and exploded. I was furious at this guy. I didn't care if he was kidding or not, that whole this was totally unnecessary and completely rude. It's not uncommon for phones in restuarants not able to call out and it's not like it's my fault anyway that the phone can't call out. It used to be able to, I've let customers use it before. I've called out on it once or twice myself. But it got to be a bad habit for people to make personal phone calls from up there and the managers got rid of that feature.

Just Plain Wrong...

I don't have a big long story on this one, but these customers make me mad just the same. One of our servers had a party of about 6 or 7 (not enough to grat unfortunately), one of whom had worked with a couple of our other servers at another restaurant. Usually, that means decent tip, if the customer has worked at a restaurant before. Not this time. Their food took a little longer than it should have, but there were several of them and everyone's food was taking a little long that day. The guy at the table that had worked with our other servers was a cook at that restaurant, so he of all people should have known that it wasn't the server's fault the food took so long. Their bill? $80. The tip? $1. No, that's not a typo on my part. They actually left the server one dollar on an eighty dollar check for no reason other than their food took too long. *Shakes head* what is wrong with people??

Stinky Guy...

There's not much to this guy, just that none of the servers want him because he always smells like he hasn't showered in a week and he doesn't tip. Although, one of our cuter female servers did manage to get a decent tip out of him by being extra friendly. He always comes in by himself, (I think he orders a chicken sandwich everytime) sometimes a couple of days in a row, but at least once a week. It's not just that he doesn't smell very good, it's that you can smell him several tables over.

Chicken Guy...

This guy is a trip. He comes in with his family (his asian wife and two daughters), orders for them water and all three of them share one soup and one salad (the soup & salad combo) while he gets soda (alcohol sometimes I think...) and a big entree all to himself (the chicken sandwich). One time, he made a comment to either the hostess or the server about how they had fed the girls before they came, which makes sense, sort of...One of the theories about this guy is that his wife is a mail order bride and getting to eat out is a big treat for the family, even if all they get is soup and salad to share...If he does tip, it's usually not very good, I don't think...

Wing Lady...

This lady is mean! She usually sends her wings back at least two or three times before settling for what comes out and eating them. She has specific instructions for how her wings are made and she's not afraid to send them back if they don't come out right. None of her instructions are even close to what she wants either! She tells the server to have them cook the wings for a certain amount of time, and when they do, it's not long enough and she sends them back. And that wouldn't be so bad if she were nice about it and left decent tips, but noooo, she's nasty about it and none of the servers want to take her at all!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

What's a Monday Night without some drama?

We didn't have quite the same quality of drama tonight as with the cheerleaders' mothers, but your usual Monday night stuff! :)

The night started off normal enough, a little on the slow side, but perfect for all the trainees who are still learning the ropes. Someone in the bar had four kids with them who were running around screaming and yelling like it was Chuck-E-Cheese's or something, they were annoying, but they left eventually. It wasn't until around 9 or so that things got interesting. There were two hostesses left, me and my best friend who I was training, and these two guys came in.

One was slightly taller and the other one was shorter and stockier. The shorter of the two had a little too much bounce in his step, and I don't mean the filled-with-energy kind of bounce, it was more like a wobble. He couldn't open his eyes all the way and he slurred his speech, so his friend did all the talking. "Just two of us, we're not here to drink" -- um, okay? We definitely didn't ask if they had come to drink, the one seemed plastered already, except he was way too out of it to be drunk...

After my friend got back from seating them, we all (the third hostess hadn't left yet) agreed that he was beyond stoned and we wondered what his friend was thinking bringing him out to a restaurant like that. A little while after they were seated, the stoner gets up and goes to the bathroom (which as far as I know, he found by himself), when he comes back, he asks us if we knew where his "boy" was. I look back at their table, and there he is, just where the stoner left him. I point to his table, "He's over there, at your table." And the stoner shuffles off to his table.

Several minutes later, the stoner gets up again, this time, he ventures outside. Why is he going outside? Why is his friend letting him wander around outside? Who knows. We couldn't figure it out. The stoner was gone for ten minutes before his friend went to go find him. After he went outside, we saw the stoner to the left of our building (if you're looking at it from the street) and we saw his friend start walking in the opposite direction. We watched the stoner as he was doing his "drunk walk" over to our next door neighbor's, a Chevy Chase Bank, his arms are streching and going from his sides to the top of his head, and back down again. He can't hold still, he has to move. We finally see him start to come inside, so I say "I think we have stuff to do in the back, don't you?" my friend agrees and we try to get to the kitchen before he sees us, but we're too slow...
"Miss, miss!" He calls (at least he was a polite stoner) and we turn, 'cause we're good hostesses like that, "Do you know where my boy went?"
Luckily, his friend was right behind him coming through the door.
"He went out looking for you." my friend said.
"He's right there." I point.
The two reunite and go back to their table.

Within a minute of being at the table, the stoner has passed out. He's slumped over in the booth and his friend is on his cell phone. A few minutes after that, the cops show up. I think someone else called the cops (we had been discussing whether or not to in the back since the stoners showed up), and it must have been a slow night for the Anne Arundel County Police Department because four officers showed up!
"We got a call about a drunk wandering around in back of your lot." The first officer says to us.
I point to their table, "They're over there, and we don't think they're 'drunk'. We think they're stoned."
Another officer asks if they had a bill or anything like that. I told them no, they only had drinks. I got a funny look from a couple of the officers and I realized they thought I meant alcohol, "Sodas,"I quickly added. "They got sodas."

Then our little Manager In Training comes out to talk to the table. I point him out to the officers and they go over to talk to him and the table. Somehow, one of the servers got involved and was talking to them too, meanwhile, the whole bar had pretty much stopped what they were doing to watch. Me and my friend and one or two of the servers, were just leaning against the hostess desk just watching and trying not to smile too much.
"Only on a Monday Night." and "Gotta love that Monday Night Drama." could be heard from employees throughout the restaurant.

Eventually, the guys are asked to leave and they do. The cops linger for a few minutes and they leave too. I go into the back and everyone is still buzzing about it while doing their sidework.
Come to find out, the same server who took care of the stoners, (also the same one who was called a stupid wench by the gay cheerleader) also had the people who had the four annoying kids. The kids ran around the bar the entire time they were there, they would play with each other, they would think they were playing the games, they could yell back to mom that they were playing the games, they would fall down and go crying back to mom, then they would run away again, only to come crying back to mom once more. The entire bar (and possibly the whole restuarant) knew that the kids where there, it's kind of hard to forget four screaming, undisciplined kids, but turns out it is possible because the parents left them in the bar!

The server had to run outside with all four of the kids bawling behind her trying to catch the parents before they left. Then, the woman yelled at the server! :-O "We were coming back!" She snapped. The server was just doing what she was suppose to, "exceed expectations" (that's our silly little motto), what else was she suppose to do if a customer left their kids? If people leave food or jackets or credit cards, we chase after them into the parking lot to try and catche them before they leave. If the server hadn't chased her with the kids, she would have been angry that no one reminded her that she had four kids with her (although how anyone could forget those brats I'm not sure).
"Only at my tables" that server was mumbling at the end of the night when people were saying "only on monday night". Unfortunately, it's true! She had the gay cheerleader who looked like he was sixteen and tried to get her to serve him alcohol then started drama, she had the stoners (because the server who's section that was didn't want to take them), and she had the people who left their kids and then yelled at her for bringing them out to the car.

That is why I don't serve tables. Because some servers get all the good tables (by sheer luck) and make $95 on a Monday night, and some just get all the lousy ones. And with my luck, I'd get all the lousy ones. It's happened before when I served at Chi-Chi's, I'd get all the really nice people, I'd play with their kids and their orders were perfect, and I'd get less than ten percent as a tip (although, the two gay guys I had once were really nice, funny, and they tipped well). Or I would get the people who didn't tell me if their food came out wrong and write a negative comment card about how I didn't care about them. Don't get me wrong, there are awesome people who do come into the restaurants in this area, it's just that they are extremely out numbered by people who have no idea how to behave themselves or tip.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cheerleaders: Their Mothers Aren't Much Better...

Holy crap! What a Monday night! I’ll try and start from the beginning and stay in order as much as I possibly can, but everything is so mixed up and there’s so much to tell I don’t know how well I’ll pull it off. I’m so completely...tired, coming off of being furious with these people, hormonal, and God knows what else right now, I’m just a big ol’ melting pot of emotions.

It starts out as our typical GD Monday night, slow as anything. This is the night I work not for the money, but to hang out and have fun socializing with the other employees. It’s mostly the same crew that works on Monday nights, so we all know each other and joke around freely. There’s no tension or hostility, Monday nights are the best atmosphere to work in, unless you want to make lots of money, then you’re just SOL. I’m in the back trying to work out who’s going to cover my Saturday night shift (I know I make my own schedules and it’s a boo-boo on my part, but come on, it’s not like I’m the only one who makes boo-boos), when one of the other hostesses tells Monkey Boy that there’s some lady on the phone about a party of 30. Monkey Boy goes in the office, and either he talked to her or she hung up, and looks in the manager’s log and sure enough, there’s something in there for a party of 30 at 7:30. It’s now 7 o’clock and we’re trying to figure out where they can go.

Basically, Monkey Boy sent me up front and told me to figure something out. My plan was to set them up in the 30’s and 40’s (a row of tables and a row of booths that were across the aisle from each other), that way, we could push as many of the 30’s together as we could so they could have one long table and a bunch of little ones back to back. No big deal, it’s a Monday night, we only have to wait for other tables to get up before we can say that we’re completely ready for the party, and that’s with a few extra seats incase one or two people had decided to tag along.

Around 7:00-7:15ish, one woman shows up. She comes through the exit door, and asks me where the restroom is located. I point back towards carry out and tell her it’s down the hallway underneath the American flag (yeah yeah, it’s actually a rodeo flag but she didn’t know that).
“Where’s the party of thirty being seated?” was her next question, after I had barely finished telling her where the bathroom was.
I’m thinking, “Okaaaay, ‘cause that was definitely the next question I was expecting out of you!”
I tell her and point out the area of tables that the party will be taking and she goes to use the bathroom. The other hostesses and I kinda laugh at her while she’s in the bathroom, “Because if she had just gone ahead to the bathroom, seen all the tables with menus and silverware set up, and put two-and-two together, she wouldn’t have had to ask that question!”

When she comes back from the bathroom, she asks if she can have a glass of water so she can take some Tylenol. I asked her if maybe she might prefer to go ahead and sit down at one of the tables for the thirty, because they were all set up and ready to go, and just have her server take care of her. She said that she would rather wait for everyone else and just have the water now. I’m still cheerful and willing to help at this point, so I go back in the kitchen and get her some ice water and bring it back up to her. She still doesn’t want to sit down at the table, she still wants to wait for the others, and me and the other two hostesses go on chatting about whatever we were talking about.

Ten minutes go by, the woman is still waiting for the rest of her party and, with the three Ho’s talking amongst ourselves, she wanders over to one of the party’s tables and sits down. We all thought that it was a little weird and out there, I was the teeniest bit frustrated because I hadn’t explained which tables were going to be the party’s and how the checks were going to be handled, but I wasn’t upset that she was one less person I had to deal with.

7:30 rolls around, and the Lone Woman is still the only one sitting at the party table. Our Team Captain for Monday nights comes out and wonders where the party is. We were wondering too, ‘cause, it’s an entire 29 people who are all late together, usually they tend to trickle in around the time that they tell the restaurant. At this point, we (the hostesses and a few of the servers) are joking about how many the rest of the party is the imaginary friends of this woman, and random other silly stuff like that. Nobody is really giving two shits about anything at this point; it’s Monday night, everyone’s mellow on Monday nights.

Finally, fifteen or so minutes late, the party shows up. We knew it was gonna be cheerleaders, we knew they were gonna be young. What we didn’t know, was that when they called to tell us it was going to be a party of 30, what they left out was the number of parents who were also coming.
“Is it set up for the parents too?” One of the mothers asked me.
“We were told it was going to be 30 people.” I tell her, which was as much of an answer as I could give.
“Oh well that’s just the girls, the parents are here too.”
“Well how many parents are there?”
”At least one or two for each girl.”
I wanted to slap her, but not that much...not yet.
“Well,” I said. “I kinda need a definite number.”
Blank stare. Like she’s never heard of a “definite number” before, come on! You’re all adults! You’ve eaten at restaurants before! Most places can’t just throw tables together for 60 people when they were only expecting 30, not on the fly like that!
“You can’t just accommodate us as we come in?”
I really wanted to smack her and ask if she even knew how a restaurant worked.

Instead, I told her I was going to go run all this by a manager and I would be right back. While I was gone, someone told me later, that some of the women were complaining about how we weren’t prepared to take care of all of them and this and that. I’m sorry, but if you’ve ever been to our GD before, then you can see that we don’t have room to hide a party room somewhere! We’re not a party restaurant, we don’t have the space or patience for large parties, and yet, they still insist on coming and then they start complaining about the lousy service their getting.

Now, we don’t really have a policy on what to do if a party is larger than what they initially tell us, so we do the best we can. Something that we’ve had to do too much recently (more on that another time, we’ll just say that the entire North East Junior Prom decided to come in one Saturday night), but we somehow mange to manage not too poorly.

At the time, there were four open tables in the 20’s, well three in the 20’s and one in the Teens. Three four tops and one six top, and these are right on the other side of a wall from the rest of the party, it’s not like their completely secluded off in a distant corner. I begin to set that up for an extra 18 people, thinking that because we came up with something on the fly and they didn’t have to wait for a half an hour (like a second party of 30 would have had to do), that it would be all right and if we needed more space we’d deal with that when we came to it.

By the time I get back from setting all that up, four of the adults from the party had gone and grabbed a table in the bar, and it was fine with me because it was less for me to deal with. One of the other Ho’s shows the remaining adults to the tables I had set up for them, and that’s the end of the direct interaction with the party on the hostess end.
The four people who had gone to the bar up and decided later that they were gonna move to a table closer to the rest of the party. Which is normally fine, we had an extra six-top available actually. Did they ask us or talk to us at all about moving? Nope. They just picked themselves up and moved over to a booth that wasn’t even one of theirs to begin with nor was it ever going to be one of theirs. I went and I told one of the servers that they had moved and she asked if someone could get drinks or something for them, and I told her that it wasn’t gonna be me and they could all rot there without service for all I cared. Moving like that, picking your own table, seating yourself, all those things I take personally. I take those as an “f--- you” because that’s saying to me that you don’t respect me enough to let me do my job, you don’t respect me enough to acknowledge that I’m here or that I’m doing a job that would take care of you in that way. So yeah, I refused to have anything else to do with the people who moved from the bar to the dinning room on their own.

The rest of the story gets a little fuzzy from here on out because I had to hear it from several different people who heard it from other people. The gossip in GD is good, but it isn’t perfect, there are still a few kinks, and it sometimes ends up like a game of Telephone, but it’s pretty good with the important details.

So here’s what I know: there was buying of alcohol from the bar and bringing it to one or two of the middle-school-aged girls, there was drinking/attempted drinking on the part of one who was refused for sale of alcohol because he didn’t have his I.D. with him, there was rudeness all around, and there was name calling. As far as the details go, I’m going on what I heard, what I was told, and what I can remember (because this all happened like five or six hours ago and a few little things have happened in between).

While I was talking with the other Ho’s about what kind of stupid you have to be to not include parents in the number of a group of kids, when we start to hear rumors about one of the mothers buying a White Russian (Light cream or milk, Kahlua, and Vodka), bringing it over to the party, and giving it to her daughter to drink. We started to ask around, mostly whoever happened to come by the desk, and it turned out it was true.

Then, we started hearing something about the gay guy. The gay guy was this skinny little thing who didn’t look like he was much older than the girls himself, and he was, as it turned out, the coach! This guy was so flamboyantly gay, he had the walk down to a T, and he was wearing capri's!! This is Glen Burnie, we are Ghetto Rednecks, we’re not used to flamboyantly gay, the guys in this area are too macho for that.

Anyway, this guy did not look 21 by any stretch of the imagination. He wanted an Appltini (or some sort of martini) and his server (who had been literally dragged from the bar, by one of their number, to come and take care of them, this is clear on the other side of the restaurant) asked him for his I.D. He tried to explain that he left it in his car and if she would put the order in and go get it, he’d go out and get his I.D. while she was doing that. Well, that was not gonna fly, not even with our dumbest of employees. Their server calmly and politely explained that without proper I.D., she couldn’t serve him alcohol, “No I.D., no alcohol. That’s our policy.” The table being right by carryout, the girl working naturally saw everything. We had enlisted her to relay to us what was going on later when we realized that something actually was going on with this party.

After that, those four got even more rude with the server. It was like every chance they got, they found something rude to say or a rude way to make a comment. Two of the other people (one of which had an I.D., and it was real, it just wasn’t her picture) at the table ordered the martini, and when the server stopped by later, one of the martinis was in front of the guy. The carry out girl had been watching and he had been drinking out of it. Someone did even overhear the table say “they’re on top of this” as far as checking I.D.s for alcohol goes.

I made sure and explained to the other Ho’s, who are relatively new, why we were so strict. GD is a relatively new company, we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary this year, the company not our particular store. And one big, drunk driving or underage lawsuit could potentially bankrupt the entire company. Not just the whole store, the entire COMPANY could be gone in one lawsuit and there’s no way that we’re gonna be the store responsible for bringing down the whole company, so yeah, we basically I.D. everyone who orders alcohol.

One of our Team Captains, who wasn’t working but came in for food and got roped in to staying and helping out for a little bit, ended up going out to the table and taking the martini away from the guy, which sent the people into even more of a rage. They wanted to talk to him, but unfortunately for them at that point, food was coming up. Orders needed to be prepped and trayed up and run out, all for the party and this team captain was the one who ended up expo-ing. Monkey Boy had to go and talk to the now irate table, who were not happy that the “manager” who had taken their drink wasn’t back out to talk to them.

Our entire store is buzzing now, the party is all any of us can talk about. We’re all doing our work, let’s not leave that part out, but it’s Monday night and there isn’t much work to be done, so all we’ve really got to do is stand around and talk to each other about the party. Soon after Monkey Boy visits the irate table, the two other servers who are actually taking care of the rest of the party, realize that the party is being even more stupid. All of the people placing orders, are placing orders with each of the three servers taking car of parts of this party. Food is being ordered in triple. Big problem.

The kitchen is backed up, Monkey Boy tells the hostesses to stop the door, the team captains are expo-ing and running food, and the party is getting more and more rude by the minute. The enitre staff (the part that speaks English anyway) knows exactly what’s going on and where by now, everyone is filling in everyone else on any stray bit of juicey news that comes along. If one of the customers made one rude remark to one server, the rest of the staff knew about it within five to ten minutes. Our entire attention and focus has been this party since they walked in the door, and now that they were causing trouble with some of our own, the focus wasn’t gonna shift to anything else.

Some of the women, who still seemed to be stuck in highschool-drama-mode, didn’t like the fact that the staff were standing around talking about them, or so they presumed (they were right, but that’s beside the point). Some of the women began to complain that the staff was talking about them and rolling their eyes at them. So what? They came in with a large party that was double the number of people we were expecting, we get them sat down almost right away anyway, we’re accomodating as best we can as far as servers, drinks, refills and like go, and then they want to start complaining about the service? I don’t think so.

Ours is a tight-knit group, our GD staff. Even if we don’t like one of the employees, and a customer riles that employee for whatever reason, everyone knows about it and swoops down and automatically hates that customer. You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us. We are very much like a big family, even if it is only a work family. So when the irate table from before moves to the bar, and starts calling the server a slut, whore, stupid wench, and other nasty names every time she walks by, of course we’re gonna talk about them and roll our eyes at them! We’re girls (for the most part) that’s one of the things we do best! It was so hard for the rest of us to keep our cool and not go chew out some of these people or throw them out ourselves!

Monkey Boy was once again called out to talk to the table, this time by both the table and the server. Several of the employees actually. We all wanted them kicked out for the names they were calling their server, when all she ever did was her job. Monkey Boy tried to talk to them, but they just didn’t wanna listen at all, they didn’t want to reason, all they wanted to do was argue and cause trouble. After Monkey Boy left their table, they went back over to the party and talked some more about what had happened and what was going on. They were all talking amongst themselves, making themselves even more angry, and we were all talking amongst ourselves. It was like being back in highschool, except the middleschoolers were the ones who were the most well behaved out of this entire party of 60.

The time for the checks came, we all knew that this was going to be a fun little adventure. We knew from the get-go that they were going to want separate checks, with each kids’ food matching up on the same check as her parents’ food. If racism hadn’t been brought up by the party before, it was now. One of the servers, while trying to figure out who had which check, asked one woman if she had the steak salad. The woman said yes, but when she got her check and it supposedly wasn’t right she said, “I know we all look the same to you, but you need to get your stuff straight, this is rediculous!”

Apparently it didn’t matter to her that the server had to figure out where 60 or so different checks needed to have all the right food and go to all the right people, the server still had to know exactly what she and her daughter specifically ordered and then find her in the crowd of people waiting for their checks to give it to her. I forget why exactly, but Monkey Boy was once again out front talking to one of the women who was “in charge” (yeah right, she was in charge of all the angry complainers who couldn’t get away with whatever they want), and she wasn’t happy. She seemed to be getting angrier with every word that came out of Monkey Boy’s mouth. Nothing he could say seemed to make her even less angry. At one point, I heard her say, “And what’s with this attitude we’re getting? What did this group do?”
And I thought, “Bitch are you serious??”
I couldn’t believe that she thought that we were going to sit and take all of their crap without an attitude of some kind! I heard her telling Monkey Boy about how no matter how mad the customer makes you, you still have to do good customer service and this and that. She’s going to sit there and tell one of our managers how to have customer service and handle crappy customers?!

We bent over backwards and basically ignored every other customer in the restaurant to take care of this party, and rude comments, name calling, and giving alcohol to minors (something we could loose our liquor license for) are the thanks we get in return. Add to that, complaint after complaint about how we were unprepared to take care of them, blah blah blah blah blah! No one in that party seemed to realize just how a restaurant worked, how much the size of their party and the fact that we weren’t expecting that many had to do with their problems! That and they were idiots about the whole alcohol thing.

Not one of them was very mature about any of this! It was like they were barely out of highschool themselves or something! The actual cheerleaders themselves were on better behavoir than their parents! The mothers (there were only one or two guys there, so I’ma say mothers all I want ‘cause that was who was causing the most trouble) were the ones who were stuck up and thought that they could say and do whatever they wanted. They were like spoiled, rich brats who have everything handed to them and when something they want isn’t given to them, they trow a tantrum. That’s what this whole thing was, it was an entire group of grown women having temper tantrums at the same time.

After they all finally leave, three hours after they came in, I find out that a lot of the women refused to pay their checks because of how they were “treated” and racism and all that bull. I don’t know how many checks there were initially, or how much the grand total for the party was. All I know is that after they were all gone, there were 13 un-paid checks that added up to over three hundred (yes, $300) dollars worth of food and drinks. All because one server was doing her job and ID-ing someone who didn’t look like he was over forty years old.

Monkey Boy called up String Bean and told him the whole story. String Bean told him to get statements from anyone who had direct contact with the party, or almost direct contact (was watching the entire time, servers and stuff were able to keep closer watch over them than the hostesses). The reason he wanted statements was because the one main Bitch (if you’ll excuse the language, I’ve really got no other words for her at this point) that Monkey Boy was dealing with towards the end had come back into the restaurant to get Monkey Boy’s and the server’s name as well as the corporate number.

Naturally, all of us were talking long after the party left. We wondered about how far she thought she would get with corporate, especially if we sent them everything about the story first, with our different sides of it. She’s crazy if she thinks she’s getting more than gift certificates out of it, corporate’s not gonna listen to her when they know that the guy didn’t have his I.D. (they were trying to play it off ot Monkey Boy that none of them was ever carded, please! That’s such a load of bull, the carry out girl saw the server card them!), it’s just not gonna work out her way.

I think that’s about everything that went down. If I think of anything else, I’ll put an addendum down at the bottom or something. This is just over 8 pages long and it’s as much as I can remember with this party. I have never written a blog entry this long before. These people take the cake as far as lousy, rude, mean, and crappy customers go, they really do! While it’s true that this whole situation could have been handled differently and/or better on our end, but we managed as best we could under the circumstances. I’d be willing to bet money that if that party had gone to any other restaurant, and done and said the exact same stuff they did to us, if they treated another restaurant the same way, they would have gotten a similar, if not exactly the same, reaction as they got from us.

Oh, yeah, if I haven't mentioned it yet, the cheerleaders were all MIDDLE SCHOOL AGE!! Their parents weren't much of an example of how to behave at restaurants at all!

Oh yeah, the three servers who took care of the party for three hours, made $0, $9, and $11 in tips. For that kind of crap, they might not as well have even wasted their time. They could have had so many other tables in there while they were taking care of this party, they could have made twice that, at least.

Addendum: 4-15-06
I found out Wednesday, that String Bean had a meeting with the leader of the cheerleaders on Tuesday, but not how it went. I found out last night (finally) how it went. Apparently, the owner of the gym, or wherever the cheerleaders are from, came to meet with String Bean, apologized and paid the balance left by the angry mothers. Apparently, some of the mothers also called up to apologize. I'm also told that String Bean didn't do any apologizing on behalf of the restaurant, I didn't realize it, but he can have a backbone when he wants with the customers. Go String Bean! (I still wanna quit by the way... ~_^ )

Monday, March 06, 2006

One less teenager in the world...

We have a birthday here on the count of three, 1 2 3

Happy Happy Happy Birthday, Hey!

Happy Happy Happy Birthday, Ho!

Happy Happy Happy Birthday,

To Me, To Me, To Me, Ole!

One more year and I can buy alcohol legally!

Friday, February 03, 2006

More "Shit-eth"

Okay, so get this! As stated in my last post, "Danny" didn't get fired for helping himself to alcohol after hours, he got promoted. No one else got fired either, I'm sure they got a talking to, but that seems to have been about it.

So this past Saturday, String Bean tells me to take one of my hostesses off of the schedule. This hostess has been working there for almost a year, she's one of my best, especially for putting up with all the crap of this particular restaurant. Sometime last week, when we were both working, along with "Danny", she called him a "wannabe manager" jokingly while he was around. Apparently, he took great offense (even though he kids around and is sarcastic all the time) and wrote her up. String Bean was going to fire her. However, "Danny" couldn't even remember when it happened, he claimed that it was in front of the trainee hostesses, but it wasn't! It was just me, her, and him that heard her make the comment.

So apparently String Bean definitely plays favorites. "DannY" gets caught drinking after hours, at the restaurant's expense, and serving a minor (which is illegal) and he gets promoted anyway. This hostess, jokingly calls "Danny" a "Wannabe" and she's gonna loose her job? In what world is "wannabe" worse than serving a minor? He is a wannabe manager, the position isn't technically a manager position, as I've mentioned before. So she just re-worded his title and he goes and tries to get her fired? Look at who's calling the kettle black.

Thankfully, one of our other not-managers told String Bean and Monkey Boy that if this hostess was fired, she was walking right out the door with her. I would have gone too, and I had half a mind to crash that meeting between Monkey Boy and the hostess, I'm not sure why I didn't...I really should have...

Friday, January 13, 2006

“The Shit-ith Hath Hit-eth The Fan-eth”

Whoa boy, what a shift at work today, and on Friday the 13th too! Talk about your drama! Names* of some sort are going to be necessary in this latest installment of the happens of my restaurant. Monkey Boy and String Bean are partially involved, and there are a few more that need to be established before hand:

Danny: a server has only been working here a few months
Frenchie: has been working much longer than Bob, also a server
Sandy: has been working longer than both Bob and Jill, first as a hostess then as a server.
Rizzo: “manager”/server, one of the original employees hired three or four years ago.

Okay, I'll try to put this in chronilogical order as best I can, but I'm not totally sure of the order of everything.

First, Rizzo put in her two weeks not too long ago. She's smart trying to get out, but she was willing to work two full two weeks (not like other employees we've had who just up and quit and not show up anymore). Well, String Bean foolishly left the manager schedule out where everyone could see (whether on purpose or simply because he's not all there, I'm not sure) and one of the servers noticed that he had taken Rizzo off the schedule completely after ths week (thus, not giving her the full two weeks of work). So this server gives Rizzo a call to let her know. Five minutes later, Rizzo calls up and asks for String Bean, who is sitting at a table in the bar.

I tell String Bean that Rizzo is on the phone for him, not realizing that the server had called her already and head back up front. Rather than taking the phone call in the office as my previous (and much better boss) would have done, String Bean takes it up front where me, another hostess, and a carry-out person are and where we can hear every word of his half of the conversation. Only hearing half is definitely not as good as the whole thing, but you can figure out most of what the other one is saying from the reactions you can hear. The extent of the phone call was this: Rizzo quit right then and there because of what String Bean did to the schedule, that among other things. The conversation lasted about ten or fifteen minutes and from what String Bean was, calmly saying, Rizzo seemed to be really mad. I imagine String Bean took Rizzo off the schedule for what happened last Saturday after hours on her shift.

Backing up to last Saturday...
Four people were caught on tape after hours. The the bar has two security cameras on it at all times (the actual bar itself, not the whole area we call "The Bar") and these people thought the cameras were off, I think otherwise they would not have done this. Danny, Frenchie, and another two servers were in the bar (that's the area now), helping themselves to beer and other alcohol. Danny is on tape going back to the bar 4 or 5 times for more beer (whether it was for himself or the others I'm not sure). Three of them definitely had beers and they poured the fourth server, who is most definitely not 21, a shot. I was told later (by the minor himself) that he didn't take the shot because he was about to get up and go drive home. At least he's a sensible minor ;)

Bringing it back up to date...
Sandy is royally ticked about Danny's getting picked for Rizzo's place. Not just because she got passed up, but because a whole bunch of other, more capible people, could have been picked instead of Danny. Several other servers would be much better choices for the "Team Captain" position. It's not really a manager position, you can't hire or fire people, it's like a manager assistant or something. They can open and close the store, and they've got access to the office and we're suppose to listen to them (yeah, right), but that's about it. It's kind of a joke position really, "We don't trust you enough to be a real manager, but we'll let you pretend"

Update: Thursday, January 19...
Danny had a manger shirt on today! I walked in and he was up front trying to tell one of my more experienced hostesses how to do her job. Yeah, that went over well. Needless to say she was happy to see me. I'm perfectly fine with Danny being a "manager", but if he tries to tell me or my other hostess (who actually do know what they are doing by the way) how to do their jobs, I'm gonna raise some hell. He's been at this restaurant for three months max. I've been hostessing at this restaurant for over a year, plus my hostess experience before that! I've got at least two years experience hostessing, plus my other experience bussing and serving. I know that in the week Danny's been a manager, he couldn't have possibly been trained enough as a host to meet my standards for my host. He probably wouldn't last on a Monday night hosting by himself! Yeah, they can throw all the "rules" at him, they can tell him how it's suppose to be done, but there's so much more to it than that. Yeah, he's got people skills, he made a good server, but that doesn't mean that he can host worth beans! Hostessing isn't something that you get good at by being taught, it's by doing. You have to learn to anticipate what the guest will want, and that is what makes them the happiest. You can't teach that, I don't care how hard you try. Servers are always saying to me that my job isn't all that hard or stressful, and I say BS! It can be both if you let it! It's not a hard job, but it can get complicated, and it's only stressful if everyone else in the restaurant isn't doing what they should (which, in our restaurant, is pretty darn often) or if guests are being particularly annoying.

*Names changed to match characters from "Greace" because I watched it recently and it was on my mind. Names of characters in the movie and in my restaurant have no corispondence and were assigned randomly.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Shopping List

Week of December 21st to the 28th, 2005.

Diet Coke
Whirl (melted butter-like substance that is squirted on veggies)
French Fries
Linens (cloth napkins that we roll silverware with, thus the term “Ghetto Wraps” was coined one day, we had to use paper napkins...)
Wings (we ran out of wings on Wing Night!!)
To-go boxes
Honey mustard
Cheese Mix
Chicken Breast
Tabasco Sauce
Crab Dip
Mustard (yellow, we still had the yucky “Bertman Ball Park” stuff that nobody seems to like)
Au Jus
Sam Adams
Hefaueizen (a draft beer we usually carry)
Miller Lite - draft
Miller Lite - bottle
Paper napkins
Bev. Naps (the little square napkins we put drinks on)
Mac & Cheese
Heiniken - bottle
Raspberry screen (I have no idea what this is, I think I’m not reading my own handwriting properly...)

This entire list covers the things that we ran out of at one point or another over the course of seven days. That’s right. Most of these things we ran out of over a period of five or six days. The last few were added on the seventh. This list is unbelievable; these are things that we should never have run out of. I’m not sure where the foulup was, or who’s to blame, but thirty-six things? One or two is understandable, we’re humans, we make mistakes. It’s easy enough to overlook a few things, but wouldn’t thirty-six things have been noticed?