Friday, April 29, 2011

Timing is Everything

Tomorrow I leave for three weeks of vacation! This week every shift felt like it dragged on...GET ME OUT OF HERE!

And a miracle, I received a job offer for my first "Big Girl Job!"

It was a very bizarre feeling to walk into Bloggiano's last night, and submit my resignation.

Dear Managers,
I know I'm leaving for vacation in two days, but....uh...I'm not coming back.
Thanks for everything!

Probably the saddest only sad part about quitting my restaurant life (hopefully for good) is that it must mean the end of Gratuity Not Included. Booooo! After enjoying writing this blog for 7 months, I'm very sad to give it up!

 This is not the end of my writing career. Shit. 
What the hell am I going to write about now?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

If you're not sure what that is...

...maybe you should just ask.

I don't get it. If you have a food aversion or allergy, shouldn't YOU be the one to double check the description of the menu item you're thinking of ordering?

The biggest culprit comes from our house salads, which have "prosciutto" listed as one of the ingredients. If you don't eat meat, or pork, and you aren't sure what "prosciutto" is....just ASK me. 
I promise I won't make fun of you.
In fact, I'm more likely to talk shit about you in the kitchen after I bring out the salad and you give me the "ew" face, telling me you thought maybe "prosciutto" was a kind of cheese.

Let me be clear. I don't eat pork. So I understand having to remove items. And that's why I totally understand a guest who asks me if our meat sauce, meatballs, or sausage are made with pork products...because I do it, too.

Another one of my favorite "we didn't know" is our dish called Chicken Saltimbocca. In the description, it says there is a layer of "prosciutto" on top of the chicken along with provolone. I can't tell you how many I've had to send back when the table cuts into the chicken and sees a bacon-like strip under the cheese.

"Well we didn't really read the description in the menu..."

No shit.

This little piggy is Italian.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Did I mention I got my Degree in Acting?

On the weekends, the managers make a big to-do of our shift meeting....remember The Nod?
On this particular night, one of the managers singled me out for a "WOW" comment written by one of my guests...
They said I was very enthusiastic and they could tell I REALLY loved my job.


My manager looks at me. "Lindsay, tell the group how you convey your enthusiasm to your guests to show them you love what you do."

Yes. I love my job so much. That's why I've been applying for other jobs the entire six months I've worked there. It's why I have to take deep breaths every time I leave a table because I'm afraid I might snap every single shift. Seriously? I'm an actress!

"Well, I really just love food and I'm enthusiastic when I talk about the menu with my guests. And I find that if I'm smiling and bubbly, they feed off my energy and find it hard to be mad at me!"

Our GM jumps in..."Haven't you guys noticed whenever you're talking to Lindsay you can't help but smile? That's why we hired her!"

I glanced over at Minnesota and she's dying of laughter. She knows I'm counting the hours until I leave for my  three week vacation to Maui and Australia...that I'm SO over work right now and wishing I didn't have to come back!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Not Lost in Translation

We get a lot of Israeli guests at Bloggiano's. And despite their stereotype for low tipping and being on the rude side, I always get a little excited to hear them speak Hebrew to each other.

Imagine my surprise when one of my four tables on Easter Sunday was a party of 8 Israelis. Throughout their time at my table, I heard them discussing the menu for their Family Style order in Hebrew and was tempted to wish them a Happy Passover, but didn't want to overstep my boundaries.

When it came time to box up the food, I heard the two mothers say they wanted to split it chetzi v' chetzi, and without thinking, I jumped into the conversation and told them I could split the food for them.

One of the fathers gave me a smile. "You understand us, don't you?"

Oops. Yes! Sorry for interrupting. I understand some Hebrew from living in Tel Aviv for awhile. 

Apparently one of the mothers had thought she saw me understanding them from the start, but they all laughed. In the end, I was able to wish them a Happy Passover like I wanted....and for the record, they left me 18% without me adding the gratuity.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Large Pizza, Extra Cheese, and Mushrooms

I walk up to Table 92...

Are you all ready to order?

"Yes. We'll have a large pizza, extra cheese, and mushrooms."

Umm. Yeah....we don't actually have pizza on our menu...
I mean, we have some appetizer flatbreads, but we don't have traditional pizza.

Oh. But it's baked in an oven with cheese, right? Not just bread?

Yeah..It's more like a thin, crispy pizza though. And we only have one size.

So, it's square?'s a rectangle??

OH! Ok, we'll have that.

Maybe you should read the menu before ordering... I don't know. Just a thought.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A lesson on Broccolini

Imagine the grandma who drinks a champagne split to her face while waiting for her teenage grandkids to meet her for lunch.

I'll tell you this much: She's never had broccolini before.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present:

The Broccolini
I like to describe it to my guests as the lovechild of broccoli and asparagus.

This lady ordered it, despite her grandson suggesting she get asparagus instead. I do my checkback, only to find her pushing it around on the plate.
"Do you like the broccolini?"

"Well...I didn't realized it would be so....long-stemmed."

"Oh. That's pretty much the main difference between broccoli and broccolini."

"It kinda looks like a weed."

"....May I get you something else instead?"

"I'll take the asparagus."

You're right, lady. I'm sure you'll love the asparagus....the vegetable that is almost 100% stem!

Broccolini is a green vegetable similar to broccoli but with smaller florets and longer, thin stalks. Although often misidentified as young broccoli, it is a cross between broccoli and kai-lan, Chinese broccoli. A natural hybrid of the cabbage family Brassica oleracea italica x alboglabra, it was developed by the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan with the name Chinese kale or gai lan. Broccolini's flavor is sweet, with notes of both broccoli and asparagus. -Thank you Wikipedia

I'M broccoli. Nice to meet you.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'm serious about meatballs.

First of all....
Happy 100th Post to Gratuity Not Included!
I can't believe that I've:
a) been serving again for 7 months
b) gained so many wonderful readers in that time!
Thank you for your dedication!

On to the topic of this glorious 100th post: Meatballs!

We have a special I've nicknamed, "The meat-lover's dish" when describing it to my guests. It's a fettucini bolognese with VEAL meatballs. You know how I feel about veal. See below...
Mmmm Baby Cow!

Anyway, I was having a particularly good night, schmoozing with my guests, selling a ton of specials, and having zero problems...when I got a table of two young guys. I helped them out with the menu and one ended up going for my "meat-lover's dish!" Throughout their meal, I had time to chat with them and joke about the dish. As they slowed down on eating, all that was left on the plate was ONE last veal meatball. I came over and asked, "Are you really not going to eat that?!?" The other guy chimed in and said he saved it for him...I turned and said,
"I'll arm wrestle you for it."
I even went so far as to put my elbow onto their table.
They both laughed, and I could see in his face....he thought about it.
Then, he came back and said...."Nawww I can't arm wrestle a girl!!"

I'm 100% convinced he was afraid to lose to a girl.
I totally could have taken him.

The nod.

Is this a waitor? Or the Godfather?...The Nodfather!
God bless our managers. They are trying SO hard to make shift meetings interesting for us...

And yet, the topic last night was a selling technique we will call, "The Nod."
We sat around discussing how if you nod to your guests as you're describing a particular dish, they're more likely to bite. Apparently, this is real selling technique, but I couldn't help but laugh as I looked around the room and 15 servers and 3 managers were all "practicing" THE NOD!
We looked like a room full of bobbleheads.

To make it even more comical, the managers had us go around the room and individually practice selling our favorite item using the nod technique. Sooo creepy. 

But for the record, I was voted into the Top 3 to win free dinner for our nodding skills! YES! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I have to 'bus' my ass tonight!

The bussers are BUS-ted! 
Ok. I'm done with that joke, I swear.

On a typical night, the servers tip our bussers between 2-4% of our server sales.
If they bring bread and water to my tables, I give them 3%.
If they help me box food, 3.5%.
If they do all of the above and help clear plates on my tables, I give them 4%.

The managers aren't really allowed to tell us what to tip-out. Some weird corporate thing, I'm sure. Anyway, I'm not sure how they figured it out, but the managers realized on a night where the busser has 4 servers to take care of...if he knows two of them tip him higher than the other two, he'll neglect the two that tip lower. This means the servers tipping lower are wondering, "where is my busser?" all night!

To make things more "fair," the managers have told the bussers they are no longer permitted to get us water and bread for the tables, no longer allowed to help clear or box food. Their #1 priority is to keep the server stations around the restaurant stocked with full water pitchers, plates, and glasses.


  • I never go to grab a water pitcher and find that all 8 in my server station are empty
  • We're now told to only tip-out 2% for the busser....that could mean $20 instead of $40!
  • Running around because I have more work to do is good for my upcoming trip to Hawaii ;)
  • When I get triple sat, it takes forever to get water and bread for all my tables. I get a lot of, "is the bread coming?" from the guests
  • I'm a girl. I feel my carpal tunnel getting worse with those heavy plates
  • I miss the extra help already :(
I mostly feel bad for the bussers. I think they SHOULD have a job like ours where the harder you work, the more money you make...

Don't let Grandpa tip!

You know I love making people feel special.
And I also love old people.

But, if you're out with your grandparents, and they're footing the bill....maybe you should double-check the tip.

I had a really nice table of two guys and their grandparents.
Grandma is vegan, so I went over the menu and helped her choose something she'd like. The guys were overwhelmingly thankful. They'd brought in a cake for one of the brothers' birthday. I made sure it was perfectly know, made it really special.

When I went to box up the rest of their cake, I decided I deserved a little piece for my hard work (they'd never notice) so I took the tiniest amount, and there was still a half a cake left. I brought it out, and had an "uh-oh" moment.
The grandkids are gone. 
Grandpa's treat. 

I wonder how they'd feel knowing Grandpa left me $11 on $93...that's an ALMOST 12% tip. Maybe that was a good tip back in his day...

I should have taken a bigger piece of cake.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gender Bender

I am so embarrassed.

It was a busy Friday night, and Minnesota and I were sharing a section. We got double-sat so we decided who would take which table and headed over for the greet. I get to Table 20; it's a two-top.

I start pouring the oil and vinegar while they have their heads down at the menu.

"Hello, Gentlemen..............and LADY."

Oh shit.

Her head was down! She had a short Bieber-ish haircut and wore a blazer! I didn't even realize...
It's a girl!

They're a couple.
Eff me. 
She was too busy looking at the menu to notice, but the guy laughed. I quickly walked away after finishing the pour.

Minnesota, we need to switch tables.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tow Truck

I know guests think they're SO funny when they say this, but guess what...
I hear it at least 3 times a night!

So how was everything folks? Can I get you anything else?

"Yeah. A tow truck to get us out of here!"


"Mator D"
I can be funny, too.
Oh, I get it. It's funny because our portions are big.
And you ate a lot. That's a good one.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Damned if I do...

...damned if I don't.

I took a party of 15 for lunch. Technically, I shared it with another server, but we both got pretty busy...putting most of the weight on me. 10 of the 15 show up on time, but the host isn't there yet.

Hmm. Well, they have a set Family Style menu. Should I start the first course??

If I start it, she'll arrive, see the food, and say we didn't confirm the menu with her.

So I decide to wait. Let them eat bread and start on their drinks.

Then she arrives (15 minutes late) and freaks out:
"Where is the food??"

Great. I was probably going to lose no matter what I'd done. 
Needless to say, we got off on the wrong foot, and she was on top of me the rest of the time.

Still left me 18%. Thank goodness.

Happy Retirement?

I mean, I want to make your Retirement Party "special," but ummm...what do I write on your cookie plate?

Happy Retirement?


Sorry, you got laid off?


Or, my personal fave:

I'm jealous.
Your Server

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Excuse me! My coffee!!

Apparently I have magical powers I'm unaware of. But my guests sure do believe in them!

The woman at Table 10 orders a decaf coffee while sharing her salad with her husband. I leave the table and go to take the order at Table 11 right after. Yes, Table 10 is directly next to Table 11. In fact, they are booths, so they are connected to each other. I'm at Table 10 for maybe a couple minutes, then start heading back towards the server alley to get Table 10's coffee.

As I'm walking past, the woman grabs my arm and says,
"Excuuuuuuse me! My COFFEE?!?"

Are you freaking kidding me, lady?? How the hell was I supposed to magically get your stupid decaf coffee when you clearly saw me at the table RIGHT next to you?!? Do I have a clone that's supposed to go get it? Can I magically make it appear? Do I have Stretch Armstrong arms that grab the coffee while I'm at my other table? And is this really a decaf coffee emergency? Wait your turn!!!Oh! And NEVER touch me again!

Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

Yes, I was actually just at the table over helping another guest, and now I'm going to get your coffee.
Fake smile. Walk away.

It took all of my strength not to make it a regular coffee....just for fun.

Oh, and that's not all.
Later, I brought the pot over to refill her coffee, and she asked me,
"Is this the same good coffee, or the other stuff?"

It's the other stuff. Just drink it. And leave. Thank you! Have a great day!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Black Shirt

You already know how I feel about our de-womanizing (yes, that's what I'm going to call it) uniforms.

As a cocktail server, we have a slightly different uniform...the shirt is black. Exactly the same....just black.
A few of the guys told me they think it looks a little bit better for the girls, but I have my doubts. Well, that is not the point of this entry.

This entry is about the hell I went through trying to find a plain, black button down shirt. Doesn't sound like it would be that difficult, but I almost gave up!

First, I tried Target:
1st location: 2 XL men's shirts
2nd location: 1 L men's shirt
3rd location: 0 black shirts

Then, I asked one of my co-workers...She suggested H&M. I decided to call first. The first location told me they were out. The 2nd location only had v-neck button downs.

I started to worry if I would find a shirt in time for my shift the next night! I called GAP. They have it, but it's $50! Yeah, I'm not doing that.

Final Stop: Kohl's!
Don't worry. I found a million different men's black button downs with stripes, ridges, designs, weird buttons and pockets, all before I found a PLAIN BLACK SHIRT!
They had 1 small....which is 15in, 32/33 aka still huge on me as a 5'3 girl, but I took it anyway. Hey, it says slim fit, right??

Moral of the story: 
I still look like a linebacker, but now I'm wearing black instead of white.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


This is bad.
I had an audible reaction to a table's gross table manners.

I'm serving a table of 5 and when their food comes, I notice the parmesan cheese container is missing a serving spoon, so I say to the table,
"Oh! Let me get you a spoon for the parmesan cheese"

I leave immediately, head straight for the spoons, and return within a minute only to find:

I'm talking, dipping her hand in the container that sits on the table all day, available to all who sit at that table!

I walked up, must have had a look of disgust and said, "Uhhhck. Um, here's the spoon."


And, yes. I did change out the cheese after they left. Gross.

Rose doesn't want me to convert.

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Work has really been getting at me this it's about time I vent!

But first, a little story about everyone's favorite regular!

One of our lunch servers got a big boy job, and is moving into another servant serving position: Production Assistant. Rose, who has always thought he looked like a "nice, Jewish boy" (he's actually catholic) was pretty sad to hear it was his last day...

"Who am I gunna bother now?"
The rest of us will still be here for you, Rose!
"I don't wanna bother you. I wanna bother him!"
Rose, you know he's been trying to get me to convert to Catholicism for him??

Guess she won't miss him THAT much :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Code 45

You win, sir. 
For the oddest and most annoying response to,
Do you have any questions about the menu I can help you with?

"I'll have the Coupon 45."

Excuse me, what?!?
"You know, that pasta where you buy one and take one home."

Ugh. That beats the server who just tells guests it's on the, "second page, bottom left" before they have a chance to ask.

From here on out, I will refer to tables who are guaranteed to order the two for one pasta deal as:

We got a code 45 over on table 15...Yeah, that sounds perfect.

Monday, March 21, 2011

That makes no sense.

Sometimes it just does not exist at Bloggiano's.

I was scheduled for a 6pm shift in the back room.
At 2:30pm, my GM calls to ask me if I can come in early...
It turns out, there's a party of 21 that has requested to sit in the back room, and they are coming in at 5:30pm. There's only one girl coming in at 3:30pm to serve in the back room, and they don't want her to serve the party alone...
Soooooo she asks me to come in at 5pm.

Now, here's where it gets tricky:
The purpose of a 6pm shift is to avoid having to take a break. You're on at 6pm, boom boom boom, and then out before 11pm.
But, I came in at FIVE and there's no way I'll be out by 10pm. So at 9:30pm, in the middle of a crazy busy shift, a manager comes to me and says I have to go on break. Wait, what? 
"Well, you have to work for an hour AFTER your break, so this way you can be out by 11pm still."
But I have 3 tables right now.
"It's ok. Your partner can take them."
But she has a party of 12 and another table.
"It's ok."

So you're telling me I rushed my ass over here an hour early because my partner absolutely could NOT take a party of 21 by herself, yet at 9:30 in the middle of a freaking crazy night, you're going to pull me out in the middle of serving, so I can sit by myself in the mall eating free soup and bread while my partner takes her 12-top, a 2-top, my 8-top, my 3-top, AND my 2-top BY HERSELF?!?!?

That makes no sense.

Eff you, labor laws!
Don't mind me. I'm busy eating soup while everyone else scrambles around the restaurant.

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...


On Saturday, March 19, I managed to get myself scheduled for the worst of all the worst full moons:

That's right, the largest and brightest full moon in 18 years! 

C'mon, Lindsay! You're supposed to schedule yourself OFF on days like this!

The restaurant was as chaotic as ever, servers running all over for insane demanding guests possessed by the full moon. The server alley was impossible to get through, the water and ice were never stocked, even the usually cheerful coffee lady was "TOO BUSY" to help anyone, and proclaimed the chilled plates were hers only when servers wanted to use them for dessert plates.

Luckily for me, I was just freakishly busy...I didn't have any crazies.
But a few of my friends did...

  • Like the party of 16 whose Family Style First Course came out, and they yelled at the server because half the group couldn't eat dairy...yet they chose their items. When the server re-did the order and tried to confirm it with the group, their host yelled at him again and said, "I don't care. Bring me my food. I'm hungry!" 
  • Or the guy who yelled at my friend for not garnishing his bloody mary with celery. Get over it, Mister. We use an olive and lime. Drink it, and like it. When she got it more dressed up for him, he still complained and pulled anyone who'd listen over to the table. The other guest lowered their eyes in embarrassment, but none of them seemed to complain about the managers comping their $200 dinner.
  • How about when the same party of 16 got drunk and started fighting with EACH OTHER in the middle of the dining room around 10:30?!?

I just put in a request NOT to work on April 18th. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Our managers wear headsets.
It's silly.

Yeah, sure, they can communicate with each other and the kitchen and the host stand...but boy does it make them look schizo sometimes.

"So tonight's contest is who can sell the most bottles of....
YES, that's right. I already told them it's a party of 10 at 7:30. Set it for table 43.
...what was I saying?"

Imagine if the servers had them:

"Hey there, folks! Can I start you out with an apertif, a calamari, or...
Ok, Homer. I'll greet table 12 right after this! I'm telling them about the specials. Can you get me a coke? This guy definitely won't order a cocktail....
..Anyway, would you like to hear about tonight's specials?"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"You could buy yourself a new car!"

14 insurance salesman from Kansas City.
2 female servers.
It's on.

I see nothing wrong with using feminine powers to get a better tip.
"Hello gentlemen! My name is Lindsay, and this is Minnesota....and we'll take great care of you tonight! Now, what are we drinkin'?"

Serious amounts of flirtatious laughter and batting eyelashes later, we'd gotten their bill up to about $550 when one of the salesman informs me they need individual checks.
Since we were kinda slow that night, my manager ok'd it, especially since I worked it out that I couldn't split their alcohol by who drank what...we'd just split the total by 14 and add gratuity.

14 credit cards later, they were all paid out (and no one else could find a check presenter) and we were thanking them for coming in!

"You could buy yourself a new car with that tip!" 
Sorry Mr. Insurance Man, but $91 doesn't go that far when you split it amongst SIX people.
Thanks for making my week night a bit more interesting, though!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's like buttah

I get it. 
You're hungry. 
You want bread.
But when I am pouring the oil & vinegar onto your plate (our signature), and TRYING to make it though:
"Hi, I'm Lindsay, and I'll be taking care of you tonight..." and you interrupt me with:

or just


I'm not okay with that.

For the record, I'm a human, not an automated voice recording that you can say your request to without listening to the whole message.

Old people, I'm talking to you especially!!! 



Ok, that's my one and only Charlie Sheen reference.

I know it seems like all I ever do is bitch. Effing guests! Shitty tips! Annoying co-workers! Anal managers! 

Bleepity bleep bleep bleeeeeeeeeeep!

But the truth is, some days are GOOD.
Apparently I've been making a lot of people feel special, because I've gotten a string of amazing surveys about me:

"Lindsay is a FANTASTIC server! My wife has a gluten allergy and Lindsay helped her choose an item she'd love. And when she saw us opening gifts for my wife's birthday, she brought out a plate of fruit instead of the usual complimentary birthday cookies, knowing my wife wouldn't be able to enjoy them. It was very thoughtful!"

"Lindsay is so friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. She helped us with our selections, and even brought a sample of the wine we ordered to try before deciding."

"Lindsay is the best server on the planet. She carried all 14 of our entrées out at once! She spoon-fed me my Rigatoni D! Even the water tastes better when Lindsay pours it!!!"

Ok, that last one is fake.
But the others are real! And I got 3 more just like it in the past week. So Bloggiano's decided to reward me....with a $20 giftcard to their sister restaurant, that serves fast-food lower quality Italian food (compared to ours). Thanks for that. Just what I wanted. To go eat Italian food. 

I also got introduced to one of the visiting corporate Big Wigs in town. While doing my checkout, I overheard he and my GM discussing hiring techniques and how you can tell if someone isn't smiling or looking happy while waiting for an interview, that they won't be a good fit...then my GM interrupts saying, "Oh, well have you met Lindsay??" 
Gee. Thanks GM. Because I'm SO unhappy looking and NEVER smile. And she says, "Oh no! That's not what I meant! She's great!" Cut to the next day when she made sure to tell me he loved meeting me and asked her all about thanks to her awesome introduction.

One more little pat on my back: I've been asked to start training to be a cocktail server. The managers told me it's for the "best" servers. The male serving staff told me it's because they just realized all of our cocktailers are ugly, and they need some eye candy. Hey, maybe it's both! I'll take it. Now I just need to improve my alcohol knowledge!

What's your favorite cocktail???

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'd still chase them down.

Well, I got another slap on the wrist at work....this time by a different manager. 

I had the misfortune pleasure of serving two families dining together with their 5 kids, which is usually fine...unless they want to split the kids off on their own table.
"Sure! It's no trouble at all!"

Actually, the turned out pretty cool. The dads were getting shwastey faced, and the kids ordered filet mignon. I'm okay with that. I think I wrangled the kids pretty well, while also pleasing their parents and giving them the "dining without the kids" experience they were looking for. At the end, their bill was a little over $200. Because there were more than 8 guests, I added the suggested gratuity on the check. But I was so busy that when the two dads split the bill, I forgot to mention that the gratuity doesn't get included when you split the payment. 

As soon as they got up, I grabbed the checks to see what they left. It was all scratched out and they left $0 for a tip. SHIT, they thought it was included! I caught them at the front door, though and told them I hadn't included it. They were so thankful I stopped them....said I was great, and they didn't mean to stiff me like that. 

With a sigh of relief, I started walking back into the dining room with their added $44 tip, and my manager stopped me:

"That's a big no-no. If you don't fix problems in the dining room, it's over."

I totally understand where he's coming from, but ya know what...

I'd still chase them down. That was $44!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Let me repeat that for you...

I'm gonna be honest. I don't repeat back orders.
I probably should, but I just don't.
...that is, unless the order has all kinds of crazy modifications and substitutions. In that situation, I'll repeat it back twice even. I don't want them arguing with me later about what EXACTLY they ordered. Obviously I care about them getting what they want. Ya, that's it. I care. I'm sticking to that. 

The Picky Woman and her A-hole husband came in to dine with another couple. Submissive Woman and HER D-bag husband were just as lovely to serve.
Picky Woman orders: "A spinach salad, dressing on the side, no bacon. Is your salmon grilled?"

Yes, it's grillled and served on a bed of spinach.

"Ok then I'll have that."

Ok so you'd like a side spinach salad to start, with no bacon and dressing on the side? And then the grilled salmon?


D-bag husband orders: "I'll have the calamari, but I don't want it fried. I've had it here before, and they grilled it for me."

Ok, so you want the appetizer calamari as your meal? With the side of marinara?

"No I want the entrée. I want it for my meal!!!"

Well, we don't have a calamari entrée. So it will be the appetizer size.

"I want it as my meal."


So I bring out the spinach salad out with A-hole husband's soup, and Picky Woman flips out.
"I'm supposed to have a full size salad! And with salmon!!"
Oh, I thought you said you wanted the salmon as your meal. I'm so sorry.

The entrées go out, and I already know D-bag is going to flip. The calamari doesn't look as big when it's not covered in batter... Sure enough, he yells at me.
"What is this??? There's nothing on here!"

Well sir, that's the appetizer.

"I wanted an entree!! This is nothing!"

Let me get the chef, sir. He can better help you.

Hottie Chef #2 comes out and the D-bag YELLS at him in front of the entire restaurant about the portion size. We end up making him THREE portions on the plate to satisfy him, and charging for two. He's still bitching, so my manager comps one of the two portions and tells me to make SURE he knows we did it for him, but won't again.

When I drop the check, I explain it to him that next time he comes in, he should order two portions so there won't be any issue. A-hole looks at me and says, it STILL wasn't very much.
My jaw drops.

Ugh. People suck. They left me 10% off the new total. Shocker.

My eyes are up here.

Just when I thought I wore the least sexy uniform possible, I served 26 members of a high school boys' basketball team.

Hellooooooo, hormones!

We set up two tables of 13 in the restaurant during our slowest time of the afternoon, and fed this army of teenagers:
SIX large plates of fried mozzarella
SIX large plates of fried calamari
EIGHT large bowls of salad
FIVE large bowls of spaghetti and meatballs
FIVE large bowls of Rigatoni D
....and who knows how many pitchers of water I poured!

Me: "Hey guys, how are you??"

13 boys staring at my chest: "Good."

Me: "Who are you playing tonight??"

13 AWKWARD boys staring at my chest: "Why don't you guys wear name tags?"

Me: "We don't need to! I'm Lindsay!"

13 AWKWARD boys with raging hormones: "Hiiiiiii Lindsay!"

Hehehe. That was fun.

Oh hi, Finn. I love you.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Don't get fussy with me, Rose!

On a lunch shift, we usually have 2 servers on the floor right away at 11am when we open. The other few must take their break from 11:30-12 so they can't take tables when they first arrive at the restaurant.

This particular day, Rose came in right away at 11...but the section where HER table is (Table 2, btw) didn't have a server yet. The dumb hostess started to tell Rose she couldn't sit at that table because there is no server to take care of her...

Uh oh...

Rose LOST it. She screamed at the hostess and told her she would sit wherever she wants because SHE is the boss.

I came out just as all of this happened, and told the hostess not to worry....we would take care of Rose no matter whose section she sat in. The only bad part is, I had to deal with the aftermath:

"Can you believe that girl tried to tell me I can't sit at my table? Who does she think she is?"

Rose, it's ok. She didn't know. She doesn't normally work lunch.

"Whattaya mean she didn't know? How could she not know who I am?"


Then, she started to get snippy with me, saying I must be "too busy" to take care of her. But since I feel comfortable putting her in her place, I had none of her sass.
Don't get fussy with me, Rose! I'm not the one you're mad at!

Needless to say, Rose told EVERYONE that walked past her about what happened.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Aren't we all on the same team?

As a server, I tend to be extra considerate when I go out to eat. I think everyone who reads this and is also in the restaurant industry can say the same thing.

But here's what I don't understand. We have those lovely little Team Member Rewards cards. They get us a 50% discount at any of their brand locations. That's great.

But why is it we don't just tell the server right off the bat that we are a Team Member? Why do we wait until the very end, and whip it out like some kind of sick surprise? Ha HA! I'm a Team Member! GOT YOU!

Shouldn't we just help each other not stress about yet ANOTHER table, and feel comfortable with one of our own? 

I'm guilty of it as well. I've used mine twice, and didn't tell the server either time. One time with my friends, I really wanted to because the server was giving us the whole schpeal when I already knew everything. But I didn't. And I'm sure she felt like shit when I brought it out, and she remembered how she'd forgotten to bring us bread in the beginning.

I'm starting a movement. Let's do this the easy way, people!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Carry the 1...

This short little post is just because I find it absolutely ADORABLE when guests are adding the subtotal and tip, and they mark when they carry the 1 on the check....

You guys are just so cute. 

Subtotal: $40.34
Tip:           $8.56

Total:      $48.90

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Really? ....REALLY??

It's Emma's 98th birthday.

It's a milestone. It's special. And I, your server, would LOVE to make it special for you and your 8 family members.

I will go out of my way to hand deliver Emma's meal. I will keep your glasses full. I will smile and keep your table perfectly maintained. And when I bring out the tiramisu (Emma's favorite) with a big candle and personalized plate....I will get the attention of the ENTIRE restaurant, and have them sing Happy Birthday to Emma, on her 98th birthday! Yes, the entire restaurant. And we don't sing at Bloggiano's.

But I'll admit it hurts when you give me one of the biggest verbal tips of my serving career, only to slash the suggested 18% gratuity marked on your bill...and cut me down to about 12%.

That one caught me by surprise. 
I never thought I'd actually see something like this..

Suggested 18% Gratuity

Monday, February 28, 2011

He likes me! He really likes me!

There's one manager everyone seems to love....but he seems to hate ME!
I know you're shocked. How could anyone hate her?? ;)

Well, I don't know what I did to make this happen, but one manager is always on my back. He checks my tables constantly, he gives me the "are you okay??" on most shifts, and just won't joke around with me like he does with the other servers. I don't get it!
One time, I waited for him while he did a cocktail server's checkout and when he finished I politely asked if he could discount my employee meal for me when he had a chance.

Blank stare.

"I'm going to go lock the door because we're closed. Don't you think THAT is more important, Lindsay?"

Oh. yeah. Of course. Whenever you have time.

To make matters worse, I had a night where he as following me around like I suck, and then I made a mistake. Shit. I blame him. I forgot to bring a cup of soup and the entrées came out. The dad who ordered it told me he completely forgot about it, so he didn't need it. I need to void it. Of course, this manager is the only one in sight. So I made another mistake. I told him a little white lie that the guest didn't like it. It's just a $2.50 cup of soup. It'll be fine. Well... he caught my white lie. I saw him approach the table and my heart dropped. He's asking the guest. Shit shit shit. I thought I'd get fired for sure when he came over to ask me about it. Said he looked stupid for asking the guest what he didn't like about the soup only to find out he never got it. He's right. I was mortified. Now, he hates me....and thinks I'm a liar.

Weeks later, I've finally broken though his shell. After discovering that I will laugh at just about ANYTHING, he's on Team Lindsay. He points at me at any awkward moment during the shift, and boom...laughter.
Last night was big:
"You're fun. I like you."

YUP. You heard that right! After that, we threw a paper airplane around the back room when it was slowing down. I'm so in. If I knew I could make inappropriate jokes around him and laugh at nothing to win him over, I'd have done that right away. That's the last time I'm quiet and shy at this place.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I don't care what USED to be on the menu.

Guess what.

I do not make the decision of what stays on the menu, and what goes on it.
I don't understand why guests feel it will make a difference to tell me what used to be on the menu.

"You used to have this shrimp dish. It was served with this bread and it was grilled, and I don't remember..."

Yeah. That's great.

"You know, there used to be this cake...I don't see it on the menu. It has berries. Do you still have it?" 

No. If it's not on the menu, we don't have it. So weird how that works.

"You know, your portions used to be different."

Uh huh. They changed.

It's nice to know the guests think I have such an impact.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Crying over split soda

Four months into my serving career at Bloggiano's, I had my first incident where a guest made me cry.
Damn it.
I blame the long weekend. I was burnt out, and made a stupid mistake.

It wasn't a very busy Tuesday morning shift, but I had a few tables. Then I got sat a party of 7 guests.
Right off the bat, things went sour when one of the women at the table reached for bread, and knocked over her diet coke all over the table.

The bussers quickly got everything cleaned up. When I went back to the table to check on things, one woman commented on why I hadn't brought refills. Ugh. Sorry.
It takes me five minutes to ring in their order, thanks to them all ordering soup and salad combos, adding and subtracting a variety of items from each . Ugh.
All goes well, and I'm informed by the hostess while they're eating that there are two birthdays at the table. Double Ugh. I'm so busy now.

I go to get the birthday cookies. We don't have any birthday plates pre-made. I KNOW I need to wow them more, so I make the pantry staff write in chocolate for this table. While I'm waiting for the plates, my busser comes in and says they're asking for the check. UGH. I give it to him, and I wait two more seconds, then follow with the birthday plates. The group smiles, and they wish the two ladies a happy birthday. I think I'm safe, but I'm not. They hand me cash and ask for the remainder of the bill to be rung on the credit card. I quickly get it done and return in a minute. They look, and say I must've miscounted the cash. My heart skips. I look in my bank. FUCK, I did. 

Now I need a manager to void the charge and re-ring in the correct amount. This is a HUGE pain in the ass, and it's happened to me once before. My manager is pissed. I show the woman proof of the void and the new charge, and she flips out. "Am I going to get TWO charges on my bank statement now??" UGHHH
I get the manager because I tell her I don't want to give incorrect information. I immediately start crying as the woman yells at the manager and I like we are five years old. 

You'd think I charged her a huge amount right?? The first charge was $40. The second, $20.
In the end, the manager voided her credit card completely, taking her amount off the bill. And I will surely get written up. I cried in the back for about 5 minutes because once I start, I can't stop.

So happy I'm not working today!

Lindsay, California

#1 question when I tell guests my name: " Lindsay Lohan?"
MY response: "Only a lot less crazy."

In a discussion with one of the best tables I've had in a while, I was informed of a city in California (where I live) called no other than LINDSAY, CALIFORNIA!

How can I not have known about this?? Mom?!? 

Anyway, the subject came up when the cutest little old lady told me she was going to order a drink she hadn't had in years: a gin and tonic. She also asked for an olive with it. Later she made a request for ONE more olive, as she enjoyed the first so much. What a cutie. I told her she could have as many olives as her heart desires, as I am rather partial to olives myself, being named Lindsay and loving Lindsay Olives...

At this moment is when the gentlemen at the table informed me of Lindsay, CA, which is where the olives come from and also home to:

The World's Largest Olive!
Next time someone makes the Lindsay Lohan association, I'm going to correct them and say,

"No. Like Lindsay, California...home of the World's Largest Olive!"

Monday, February 21, 2011

Clusterf*ck Weekend

I went to bed with my feet throbbing from an 8 hour shift.
I woke up, and they still hurt.

This weekend was a clusterfuck. There's no other way to describe it.

Saturday morning didn't start off well. I was feeling pretty chipper while setting up the restaurant (thank you ipod) until I was 5 minutes from break time and our GM asked me to take my co-worker, Minnesota, to urgent care. Apparently she popped her back while getting out of the car. No break for me.

Right when I got back, the restaurant opened and I had my first crazy hit with only 2 of us serving. Awesome. We're supposed to have 7 servers on this lunch shift, but with one person calling in, and Minnesota in the ER, we're down to 5. The first turn was smooth, and my friend Jared even came in with his mom to get his birthday lunch (Hi Jared!) but right as they were leaving, things started to get wild.

I had so many tables, and no partnered sections so we were all on our own. It was so bad I actually had to scroll down to look at all my tables on the computer screen. Me, a girl who normally cocktails (and worked my last Saturday clusterfuck shift with me), Homer, and the Old Lady from my serving class who SUCKS....wait, that's only 4 servers you say? Ya, because they cut one girl early at 1pm. WHY??

For the rest of the day, I never had less than 5 tables at once, usually more like 8, while also getting large parties. I nearly drowned. "In the weeds" can't even describe it. It was one of those days where I didn't even know how to help myself, my brain was scrambled and I just ran from table to table. Thankfully, I still got AWESOME tips because I kept smiling and hid my panic well. Even though I wanted to cry, I made almost $200 that lunch....the most I've ever walked with at Bloggiano's. So I guess it was worth the craziness!
Sales: $1250

Worked a closing dinner shift, which I seriously hate. I really need to tell the manager I don't want to be a night closer. So not worth it. This shift was ALSO a madhouse because we had about 300 reservations, where we normally have about 150. Right when we came on at 4:30, the bussers were on break. Awesome. It was nuts. My partner ended up taking the bulk of our small tables, while I took our large parties. Both went really well until on my second party of 13 doing Family Style where the kitchen FORGOT my salmon entrée. SHIT. And that's not an easy item to make "on the fly." I did the right thing and got a manager involved. Didn't want to risk my tip on a bill that was over $400! The host was a little on edge, but the group was wow'd by the manager and chef hand-delivering the items and then bringing out a special VIP dessert platter. Phew. Still got my 18%. 
Sales: $1100

Net Sales from this Weekend: $2350 

Who wants to give me a foot massage??

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Safety First!

Accidents happen.

At our Bloggiano's location, they seem to happen a LOT. We have one of the highest number of accidents amongst our brand. How embarrassing.

You already heard about the blood bath in my post about the full moon. (Her family was just in to take photos for their lawsuit. Yikes.)

I, myself had a mini accident recently, that was completely my fault, and easily could have been prevented. I dropped one of our bowls on the floor in the kitchen, and instead of grabbing the broom, I reached to pick up a big piece. I immediately looked down and saw blood dripping out of my finger, and it wouldn't stop bleeding!

The funniest part of my accident is the finger condom I had to wear as a result. Yes, I said finger condom. At least that's what it looked like.

You be the judge:

I guess it's better than my guests getting a band-aid in their spaghetti & meatballs!

Laila is on the front of getting our restaurant to be safer. We started a contest that if  we're "accident free" for 30 days, the team will get a pizza party. Yes, we are motivated the same way a group of 5 year olds might be.
On 17 days accident free, one of the ceiling tiles started leaking and FELL onto two of our booths, hitting an old man on its way to the floor.

Back to Day 1...

P.S. The accident happened on the night of the full moon, and I did NOT work. See, I told you it's cursed!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rose is 82.

Oh yes. 

February 11th was Rose's birthday, and you can BET she was at Bloggiano's.
(I can't believe I hadn't written about this yet!)

She had very specific requests demands:
-Balloons and flowers at her table for her and her friend 
-Her "special" minestrone soup ready when she got there
-To not pay for her coffee

Laila is a saint, because she actually paid out of her own pocket to make it extra special for her. When Rose arrived, she was overwhelmed with the amount of visitors and "Happy Birthday's" she received from the employees.

She kept saying how much we must really like her, and how she felt so special. See, sometimes Rose can be a little sweetheart. Even our General Manager went over to talk to Rose, and when she left the table she came up to me saying...
"I didn't realize Rose knows you as the 'little Jew girl'" 

Hey, whatever works! 

At the end of the meal, I brought Rose a specially made fruit plate with candles and EVERYONE sang! Homer got in real close and sang right into Rose's ear. That's probably the closest proximity she's ever been to a black man. I'm just saying, she was smiling ear to ear.

This little Jew girl got the biggest tip Rose has EVER given to a Bloggiano's employee: $5
...That may or may not have been because her entire meal was comped.

Can you feel the love tonight?


Just like every other holiday I've worked, (and I've worked them ALL) Valentine's Day is a day people have to spend money when they don't want to spend money. So what do they skip out on?? You guessed it!

"Oh hey, folks! Have you heard about our special Valentine menu for two? It's $79 for an appetizer, 2 side salads, two entrees and dessert with two glasses of wine!" 

Cut to when I see what they've left me after they thank me SO much for the wonderful service, and multiple cocktails: 10% tip. Am I still in America?!?

WHAT THE EFF?!? I canNOT feel the love tonight, people! Not only should you feel bad for me that I'm working a holiday, but you should tip me extra for making your special freaking night special as can be!!!

My worst tips for the night (and possibly EVER):

$10 on $93
$15 on $106
$3.13 on $42

By the end of the night, I started to want to tell the men at my table: "Tell your lady to get the chipper chicken if you can't afford to tip me an appropriate amount!" 
(I hope you get my Father of the Bride reference)
My last table had the Vday special, plus 3 beers for the guy. The bill came to $108. I took the payment: $100 in giftcard, and $16 in cash. Hmmm, maybe he doesn't realize he's only tipping me $8...
So I hand him the change and the receipt from the giftcard. "You didn't have to bring this back," he says. And leaves it as is. You're really going to not tip me 20% when you didn't even really pay the bill out of your own pocket?!?

Ladies who dined at Bloggiano's for Valentine's Day: You are all dating cheapskates. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm glad I'm working on Valentine's Day...

...because I just booked a plane ticket to:

Happy Valentine's Day to Meeeee 
(and my Valentine, of course!)

Hope all my readers have a wonderful day of chocolate and love....And if you have to work, then let's make some cash tonight!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Did I say that out loud?

Sometimes, I lose my filter.
I forget to be polite.
I snap from all the cheap people in this world.

This particularly cheap couple opted for the "waters only, and we'll split a buy one, take one pasta" route.


Oh. Did I mention that they had a $10 off when you spend $30 coupon? So I tell them they haven't spent $30...the pasta deal is $12.95. They order a Rigatoni D, and a Diet Coke.

Their bill?

...which became $22

When I brought out their take-home lasagna he says, "This looks like half a lasagna."

Word Vomit....
"Well, sir. It's a FREE lasagna."
::Big Smile::

Obviously, he tipped me off the $22, and not the originally $32 total:


Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's the little things.

The morning after our holiday party, everyone was pretty out of it hungover.

Luckily, Laila was the opening manager (hooray!) which meant a morning without a shift meeting, eating LOTS of food, and making cotton candy with the party rental from the night before.
While everyone appreciated the chill morning, Homer was still in his usual form...
You can't dare ask a question around him, because he'll go on for hours! And lately, I've been having to close with JUST him at lunch...which means he's my PARTNER. I usually just ignore him and help his tables, because he even talks them to death while others sit waiting.

One of my friends at work (who won Class Clown at "prom" btw) and I love to joke about how we might mess with Homer. Remember when I hid the holiday cards?? That was fun.

This time, I took advantage of Homer's organization methods. Towards the end of a shift, he lays all of his closed checks out on a table in the back room...spread out in order like Solitare. It's actually quite irresponsible because you could easily lose them that way.

So what did I do?

I mixed them up a bit. #43 next to #39, swapped #81 for #125, etc etc etc....
We had a little giggle. It's harmless fun, right??

The show really came later when Homer discovered it, and had the verbal reaction I'd hoped for.

Ahhh, the little things in life.

(Don't feel bad for him. Earlier that day he assumed I had Native American blood because I wore my hair in a braid.)

Awkward Prom 2011

We just had our holiday party at Bloggiano's. Yes, a holiday party in February.
I have managed to work EVERY SINGLE holiday. And to put the icing on my zuccotto cake, I also got scheduled to work the night of the holiday party. Oh, AND the morning after. I win at life.

Here are the Top Ten reasons why our holiday party was so very awkward:

10) It's prom-themed. Didn't we all do that about 10 years ago??

9) It's AT Bloggiano's. With NO booze. By the time I got ready and back there for the party, I was about 10 shots too sober to be there. Everyone had gone out to drink prior.

8) Homer wore his James Brown wig. Every time I saw him come towards me to ask for a dance, I magically heard my name being called from across the room. 

7) The one guy who "didn't take it seriously" and showed up looking like a 'Where's Waldo' hipster edition.

6) The cheesy DJ, who wouldn't play any song we requested. And was about 5 feet tall. I mean, really. We're  having the party AT the restaurant, with no alcohol. We can't afford a good DJ??

5) Our manager dressing up as the High School football coach, running around blowing a whistle at people dancing too close together.

4) The "Prom King" being too wasted to know he won.

3) The fact that the majority of employees in attendance were the Mexican kitchen staff, whose eyes I felt undressing me every time I stepped on the dance floor. They literally stood silently on the perimeter, watching.

2) The girls who decided to be funny and wear 80's prom outfits.

1) After 1.5 hours being there (sober, remember) the party ended. And I went home. Only to be back at work in 9 hours. Why did I bother going??

I guess it made for good writing material, at least.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You guard the door!

Ever since my first walk-out with these assholes:
I Remember What You Look Like!!!

I'm always hesitant when I sense a weird table that might not pay, pull a "hair in the cake" maneuver, or yell at me over nothing to get a free meal.

As soon as I walked past this table at 3:30pm, I knew I was in for trouble. Crazy Lady #1 looked homeless, which is fine with me as long as she can pay for her meal, "Derek" the guy in the middle was mentally challenged, which is also fine, but "Linda," who was in charge of the group freaked me out the most. She started our interaction making it clear that Jesus Loves Me, and proceeded to say my name repeatedly..."It's so beautiful!"

I got the OK for them to do light Family Style, even with only 3 guests. But I was already nervous.

My heart jumped a bit when Crazy told me she was going to the bathroom, but put her napkin over her food and told me not to take it away while she was gone. ...kinda sad, right?

I started to sweat when Derek threw a mini tantrum, and Linda fled the scene on her phone. Umm....Linda??

Then Derek went to the restroom.

OMG they're going to leaveeee! And I'm going to get in trouble!
Linda was gone for about 15 minutes when Crazy started to cry at the table because she had an eyelash in her eye.

Omg. Omg. Omg.... Where's Linda?!?

I run to our Maitre D, who was with me on my first instincts about the table. We get the Asst. Manager who tells us to "guard the door" to make sure they aren't going anywhere without paying.

Ok, now I'm panicking.

After 25 minutes, Linda returns, asking for the bill quickly. I'm not gonna lie, I was wondering if the credit card would go through.

But it did. And she actually left me a huge tip.

My nervous breakdown may not have been worth the $20.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Corporate Cake

Oh, corporate restaurants.

If you're home this evening thinking, "Hmmm I'd LOVE some cake, but I'd prefer to not pay for it..." here's how to make that happen:

  • Go to a corporate restaurant. Oh I don't know, maybe Bloggiano's?? 
  • Bring your own teabag and ask for hot water. (It's free.)
  • Order the chocolate cake.
  • Eat half of the cake.
  • Tell your server you don't like your cake, even though you've eaten half. 
  • Get a manager involved.
Free Corporate Cake!
I hope you all sense my sarcasm.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cougar Town

Lately, I've been noticing our restaurant is a prime location for Cougars.
In case you've been living under a rock, I'm not talking about this kind of cougar:

I'm talking Stifler's mom from American Pie...
..Or Demi Moore marrying Ashton Kutcher, 15 years younger than her!

I'm used to the idea of men trading in women for younger models, but at Bloggiano's, it appears the women are the ones out on the prowl, so to speak. Just the other day, I waited on one table where the cougar even asked about an employee who was recently fired. He was notorious for hitting on the cougars that came in.

I felt nauseous serving my most recent cougar with her boy toy. They reminded me of that teacher-student couple so famously captured in Lifetime movies these days. She didn't take her hands off of him for even a moment. She even ordered for him, and told me what kind of things she knows he "likes." Ew.

"He'll have the baked ziti, but go easy on the ricotta because he doesn't like ricotta. You'd like the baked ziti, right baby?" 


For dessert, she ordered the profiteroles, which are pastry puffs with ice cream in the middle.

"But can you put the hot fudge on the side. You don't like hot fudge, huh baby?"


Once they came out, she asked me for some caramel sauce because he "LOVES" caramel sauce. I had to watch as she basically fed him and made groaning noises of satisfaction.


I guess a lot of men in Los Angeles have an Oedipus Complex.

My BFF: The Clorox Bleach Pen

I can't seem to make it through even the slowest of shifts without spilling on myself. Why, oh why do we wear white oxford shirts?? And of course, it is a big no-no to roll up your sleeves a bit. 

So, I've entered into a loving relationship with the Clorox Bleach Pen.

It may sound like a simple pleasure, but I am so thankful for this invention. After a shift, I go home and spot treat the balsamic oil that dripped up my sleeve, the marinara sauce that's somehow ended up on my back, and the oil stains that have accumulated on my stomach. 

It's become my favorite tool of the trade!

But, did I get wine here?!?

(Shout out to my nephew, who is the adorable face pictured above, covered in ravioli and marinara sauce! )
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...