Monday, January 31, 2011

Full Moon

Remind me to request full moon shifts off from here on out.
Saturday, January 29, 2011 will be remembered as one of my worst shifts yet. And I don't even know how I lost control of it. Oh wait. I never HAD control. I blame the full moon.

Incident #1: Table 31 translating the menu to each other WHILE I'm standing there waiting for them to order. If you're not ready, I can come back! They were pretty low maintenance otherwise until their Family Style Linguini & Clams dropped all over the kitchen floor (not by me) causing them to wait way too long for their food. I was lucky they didn't complain, but I wasn't getting more than 10-15% even if the service had been perfect.

Incident #2: Table 1 (Old Lady) drops her purse under her booth and asks for a flashlight to find its contents. Ugh. We don't have flashlights, so I run around for 5 minutes asking everyone, and end up with a mini on some server's key chain. She's shocked at how long it took me, and then asks me if she can get Veal Parmesan as her "Tomorrow" pasta for our buy one, get one free deal. NO. It's a free pasta, lady! You take what I give you....and you like it!

Incident #3: Happening simultaneously to Incident #2, I run to the back room looking for a flashlight and stumble into what looks like a murder scene. A woman has tripped on the messed up floor panel and cut her leg open. And is bleeding all over the floor. While the back room is full of guests trying to eat. And our manager is piling cloths napkins over the pool of blood. Kudos to him for not puking or passing out. Good luck to Brinker on that lawsuit.

Incident #4: I get an order for salmon, parmesan-crusted like our tilapia. I put "See Server" into the computer, and go write it on the ticket because it's crazy back there. Eight minutes later it's still not out, so I check with Hottie Chef #2, who he hasn't even made it because I wrote it in without talking to him first. UGH. Cut to the end of the meal when the woman who ordered it asked to see my manager to, "say something nice about me" and ended up with a free meal and dessert.

Incident #5: Table 41, party of 6, orders three of our buy one, get one pastas to share. Awesome. But to make it even better, one of the couples will be sharing Gluten-free pasta. Ok, I can do that. When it comes out, they complain about the portion size being smaller than usual. I explain that we changed our portion sizes some time ago, and maybe they haven't been since. I also note that I'd be happy to put in a second order, that could be ready in just a couple minutes. The man insists I'm "wrong," because obviously I have every reason to lie (nope) and I immediately get a manager involved. Even after getting them a second dish, and two take home Gluten-free pastas for free specially made for them, you can guess the kind of tip I received.

Thank goodness for Table 3, a mid-thirties couple who calmly sipped on glasses of wine and shared an entrée. When I asked if they'd like one more glass and dessert, they skipped the dessert but opted for another glass because they were heading to meet with old college friends they hadn't seen since. Because they were the easiest/most pleasant table I had all night, I rang in some free lemon cookies and gave it to them with the wine. I told them the cookies were on me, because I knew they were in for an interesting night. She left me $25 on $60.

If only that $25 had helped me sleep better that night. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

"It's like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs!"

Gotta love a good "Mean Girls" quote...

The oddest part about having work friends in a restaurant is that we wear uniforms 90% of the time we see each other. The idea of my co-workers seeing me with my hair down, and in real clothes reminds me of a Catholic schoolgirl bringing a change of clothes from home...

Last night I went to a benefit concert for one of Bloggiano's most beloved bartenders, Chris, who passed away on New Year's Eve. I never brought it up on the blog because I want to respect his family's privacy. Chris was one of my favorite co-workers, even though I only knew him three months. I found out two months into my time there, that he suffered from Crohn's Disease and was struggling to pay for his treatments. But you'd NEVER know Chris was sick. He had a smile for me every morning, and always asked how my day was going.

Of course, Chris wasn't only a bartender. He was an immensely talented musician and actor, as well. He could do an impersonation of ANYONE working at Bloggiano's. He really cracked me up! I know he touched so many lives, in the work place and his personal life, so of course I wanted to support his family and attend the benefit concert to help them pay for his funeral costs.

Anyway, on a lighter note (that Chris would absolutely demand) I got to see a lot of my co-workers outside their Catholic school uniforms at the concert. Ohhhh she's a lot thinner than I realized! He's a horrible dresser! She's a hipster?? He's not as hot in real life...

One of my girl friends noticed my first work crush staring at me every chance he got. She thought, "Wow! I think he's work crushing on you now!" 

I replied, "No. He's just realizing I have boobs."

Today, I'll put the uniform back on. 
Happy Work Weekend, Readers! 
Chris, you are LOVED.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

10 minutes to close

Just to let you know...

If you're that group coming in 10 minutes before a restaurant closes, EVERYONE hates you.

No, but seriously. When it's completely empty and you come in, the kitchen has to wait for you to order, the staff has to wait for you to eat in order to clean and go home, and the bussers can't get tipped out until you pay and the servers can do their checkouts.

I don't care if you'll be "really quick" or "know exactly what you're ordering."

Everyone STILL hates you.

LOL Awards

I started this blog in October as a means to keep myself sane while re-entering the restaurant world VERY reluctantly (Thank you, American economy). I never imagined it would grow as it has.... I honestly believed only a handful of people would read it. (Hi Mom.)

Three months have flown by, and I'm now part of this amazing blogger community, and getting recognized! It seems I've been nominated for an LOL Award by THREE different bloggers! While it may be a chain letter kind of thing, I'm honored and and happy to keep others laughing!

Now, I'll pass it along and follow the rules:

Rule #1Link to the person who gave you this award (in a post, or in your sidebar, wherever you have this):

Thank you The Restaurant ManagerYour Friendly Neighborhood Barista, and F*ck My Table!! 

Rule #2: Pass the award along to seven other people who post about at least slightly amusing things and tell them (by emailing them or commenting on a post, etc.):

1) F*ck My Table (I'm obsessed with your blog!)
2) Hooters According to Sauce
3) The Restaurant Manager
4) The Only-Slightly-Cranky Waitress
5) Your Friendly Neighborhood Barista
6) The Lexingtonienne
7) The Educated Server

Rule #3: Say seven things about yourself that no one knows (or at least you think no one knows). 

1) Macaroni & Cheese is still one of my favorite meals (and I'm 26)
2) I love to throw away trash/give away old stuff
3) I want to open my own restaurant one day
4) I am a nomad
5) I'm scared of ladders
6) When I was younger, I was CONVINCED I discovered Destiny's Child
7) I have 11 toes. HAHA jk ;)

Rule #4: Pass on the rules


Monday, January 24, 2011

Mmmm, Baby Cow

Some of you may be against this, but dammit I do love veal.

Right now we have a braised veal as one of our specials, and every time I'm at a table, I suggest it.
I really try to be as detailed as possible to show my guests I've actually tasted it, but I'm 99% sure


of my guests believe I eat it.

I may be a 5'3 little girl, but believe me, I love me some baby cow.

...And I'm not afraid to admit it!

(For you, Kyle)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mormon Pink Sauce

Obviously I am sitting here looking at that title, giggling like a 12 year old. 
The best part about is it's a direct quote from my table of Mormons last night.

My party of 10 sits down, very friendly, and I go to get drink orders. Waters all around, and 2 Diet Cokes. Awesome. Thank goodness they are doing Family Style. Bloggiano's should be proud of how "special" I made them feel, while stuffing my pockets with their Mormon cash. They couldn't decide on only two appetizers, so I told them they could get three appetizers and one salad instead. 
When they STILL couldn't decide on only three, I suggested they order an additional onion strings for the teenagers. 
When they asked me about the vodka in the gnocchi's pink sauce, they informed me that they were all Mormon and couldn't have alcohol. Ohhhh now I get why there's no wine on the table! I kindly told them we are a scratch kitchen and can make the sauce without vodka.
"Tell the chef we need Mormon pink sauce!" -says the father of the table whose birthday they are celebrating.
Even with their millions of questions, I was feeling especially friendly and they loved me. This is a new thing for me since I dated a Mormon once and his mother hated me for being Jewish. "Aren't you nervous about going to hell when you die?" Yep, that happened. 

Anyway, dessert time rolls around and we have another alcohol issue. They definitely want cheesecake, but also want chocolate. Unfortunately, most of our chocolate desserts have liqueur, so that's not an option. I suggest my glorious Apple Crostada, and they go for it! I bring out two plates with "Happy Birthday" written in chocolate and they are totally wow'd. And when someone asks what's in Spumoni and I tell them how delicious ours is, they get an extra order!
Their bill got to $314 without any drinks, alcohol, or coffee....and I was pretty pleased! And to make it even better, they added any extra $20 for tip beyond the 18% included! 

Hallelujah! Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halleeeeelujah!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Typically I hate closing lunch shifts for one reason: 4:50pm.


Well, the dinner servers come in at 3:30pm, but they don't start taking tables until 5:00pm. They take a break from 4:30-5:00pm. But EVERY day, we get a rush of early birds at 4:50pm. And the two lunch closers are stuck running around with no bussers, trying to start every single table....which we then transfer at 5:00pm when the dinner shift can come onto the floor. 

It's a nightmare. 
Sometimes there's even the extra fun of being out of bread because someone's on a break, which is exciting. 

However, the last two days have been conveniently slow from 4:30-5:00pm. Yesterday there wasn't a single table in the restaurant. I went around the dimly lit room and lit each of the table candles with a long, single candle. It looked so creepy. 

Then I went into the backroom to tell the dinner servers that, "If [they] ever wanted to do a cartwheel through the middle of the dining room without any guests seeing, this was the time!"

We decided to do a conga line. It was my manager's idea :)

I love being home by 5:30pm!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Skinny Bitches

Here's a tip: If you're on a diet, DON'T eat at Bloggiano's.

I had a table of 8 women, counting their Weight Watcher's points. "Skinny Sangrias" all around!

Now, that would be okay with me because they're $8.25 a piece, (lesser calories thanks to Splenda in the syrup)  but it all started to go downhill after that...

Let's count the Voids I had to make my manager deal with:

1) One Skinny Sangria sent back because she didn't like it.

2) I brought stuffed mushrooms as an entrée for one of the women who had to be in and out quickly. She sent them back because we "must have changed the recipe." I explained that all we only added the spinach that used to be sprinkled on top into the breadcrumb mixture itself, tinting the stuffing a bit green. She told me I was wrong. You're right, lady. I'm lying...because I care that much.

3) Once another girl realized someone sent back the sangria, she sent hers back also...after having drank half of it.

4) A salad sent back because the chicken "tasted funny."

5) And finally, the only void that was actually my fault: I had to take off a Stella draft because I didn't know we were 86'd.

I just don't understand why you'd plan your birthday dinner at a Family Style Italian restaurant if you're watching your figure. There are plenty of restaurants with special diet menu items and calories listed everywhere. Why torture yourself?!? I suggested the flatbreads to two ladies because they actually have the least amount of calories compared to our other dishes, but instead they got shrimp butter....easy, easy oil, no salt.  Yummy. 

I'd rather have a lean cuisine.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Fake Out

You know, I'm willing to admit when my serving is having an 'off day.' And frankly, the last few shifts have been horrible. When it's slow, I just can't get into the groove of things and mistakes happen.

To add insult to injury, I had a guest pull something that left my jaw WIDE OPEN.

There I was, scrambling through a somewhat busy restaurant when I saw two middle-aged women walking down the aisle to exit the restaurant. Even though I had to go dump dishes in the kitchen, ring in a dessert, box food, and print out a check was in a bit of a hurry, I kindly stopped to let them pass first. "Give the guests the right of way," right???

Well just as the second woman passes, I start to go, and BOOM...
She jumps backward and fakes me out!!!


She laughed and said, "You were waiting so patiently I just had to fake you out."

Very funny....bitch.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rose wants dough.

Well, it's a new year...

But for Rose, it's business as usual. She still...

1) refuses to pay for her soup (which they keep mostly for her because it's not on the menu anymore)
2) refuses to pay for coffee
3) leaves $1 or $2 in tip, depending on whether or not she likes her server

The other day she told me a story about how she asked our GM for a donation to the Jewish Community Center she's involved with...
"She looked at me and said, 'Again?' That's not very nice. You know The Pizza Factory donated $100. But, anyway, I know she's got a lot on her plate."

Oh, Rose.

When I asked our GM about it, she told me she already donated to Rose and is even hosting an event for her at the restaurant! No wonder, "Again?" was her response.

I'm afraid it's too late for dear, old Rose. She's a living stereotype. 
But as long as I continue to chat with her about Israel, she's on Team Lindsay, so we're good!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen!

I need to find the balance between getting my food out on time, and getting molested by the kitchen staff.

It appears I have won the hearts of many of our kitchen staff...

The other night I really got myself in trouble when they were ALL working the same shift.

-Oso, my teddy bear food runner
-Another food runner I've befriended who was working at a pasta cook
-Hottie tattooed Chef #1
-Hottie banquet Chef #2


Needless to say, they were not pleased to see me "flirt" and hug any of the other staff members. Hottie Chef #2 got so competitive that he actually asked me on a real date.... which I politely declined because I "don't date people I work with." Last night got a little tricky when my desserts were taking too long and Hottie Chef  #2 saw me waiting nervously.

"You're so busy making sure your food runner gets the food to your table, you forget if you talk to me...I can MAKE the food ready faster, baby!" 

I'm so busted.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Did you buy your tickets?

One of the comments I get the most as a server at Bloggiano's is about our plates. Most of the serving plates are very heavy, seeing as our portions are very large, especially for Family Style. We're also big on table maintenance, so there's a LOT of plate clearing for each table.

At least a few times a day I get hesitant guests asking,

"Are you SURE you can carry that?"
"Wow...I can't believe you guys carry all of that!"
"You must have to work out a lot to have this job!"

People, if I am holding too many plates....I won't reach for more. I know my own strength, but thanks for checking on me. I may be small, but I'm a lot stronger than I look!

Here is my cheesy stock answer to the guests:
"You have no idea! (fake laugh) I don't even need a gym membership while working here! This is my work out! (fake laugh)"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Homer's Holiday Cards

I hid them.

Well serves him right! He walked up to me and asked, "Did I give you a holiday card yet?" 

No, but if you don't remember if you gave it to me...does it really mean anything?

"Do you want a kitty or the other thing?"


And then he proceeded to sign it and put my name on the front of me.

A couple days later, I saw the pack of cards laying out and decided to have a little a LOT of fun. I hid them in on a shelf in the back room. Homer ran around the restaurant for 30 minutes asking everyone if they'd seen his holiday cards. I was feeling very sneaky and laughing to myself, until I realized I ended up punishing the rest of the staff since we had to listen to him talk about it for 30 minutes.

After that thought, I made them reappear without him ever knowing it was me. 

Happy Holidays, Homer!

Monday, January 3, 2011

I don't care if you're Italian. Part Due

Remember this post?

Well, this picture explains my point perfectly. One of my guests asked for a pen to sign-up for our email listserv...

Very clever, Mr. Corleone.

I've always been more of a "Goodfellas" fan...
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