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.
Gulp.

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 know....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....like 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
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

SUNDAY
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?

Nope.

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?!?
DICK.

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

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.

Awesomesauce.

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?

$32
...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:

$3.

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...
Non
Stop
Talking!
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.
Ta-da!
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?" 

Barf.

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?"

Gag.

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.

Sick.

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, seriously...how did I get wine here?!?



(Shout out to my nephew, who is the adorable face pictured above, covered in ravioli and marinara sauce! )
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