Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gag.

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:

THIS GIRL IS USING HER FINGERS AND SPRINKLING THE CHEESE ON HER FOOD!
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."

Gag.

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 week...so 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??
"WHAT?!? NO! YOU'RE JEWISH!"

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:

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

Monday, March 21, 2011

That makes no sense.

Logic:
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...

SUPER MOON!

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


THE SUPER MOON!
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

Voices

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.
FML.
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:

WE NEED BUTTER.
DO YOU HAVE BUTTER
or just

BUTTER.

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!!! 


WINNING!

Duh.

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 me....no 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?

"Yes."

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."

Ok.

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.
"JUST KIDDING!"

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?"

Oy.

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. 

                                      1
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
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