First Night

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So yesterday was my first night at my new serving job. It was dead and I was only given a two table section because I’m new, but it was worth it. It wasn’t worth it in the sense of money. I made very little last night. It was worth it in the sense of my experiences last night. I was reminded why I do enjoy this job so much.

My first table was an older couple. They were celebrating their 48th wedding anniversary. So of course we chatted a little about when they met and I congratulated them on their time spent together. Throughout the night I found myself at their table talking for quite a long bit of time. I really got to know them and they also got to know me.

The lady was drinking a martini with blue cheese olives and she just kept raving about how she could have been fine with just the olives. So of course I brought her more of the olives as an “anniversary” present. She ate that up. They told me about their dinner two years ago at Sam’s Club and how funny it was. Now they call it the club so people think its somewhere fancy. They were too cute.

At the end of the night they told me how much I made their night and thanked me for it. They said the next time they came back they would definitely be asking for me. I actually believe them on that one. These are the kind of experiences as a server that make your day. They left me a nice tip, but the fact that I made their wedding anniversary more special to them was the real tip. This is why I do what I do. It’s nice to be reminded of that.

New Job- my most interesting day of training—-ever.

So it’s been awhile since my last post. I moved from Arizona to Missouri. What a difference. I was also trying to get out of the restaurant business and do something with my communications degree. BUT now I have another serving job. Who would have thought!

 

Anyways, last week was my fist week of training. Luckily it was the only week of training. I absolutely hate training. Especially the last day. You do everything and get to see all the tips you could have made. But hey its over now. This is the story of my most memorable day of training–ever.

So it’s my second day of training and everything is going just fine. It’s a slower night but not dead. I’m following my trainer around like her little shadow and everything seems normal. Until all of a sudden I hear that the paramedics are here.

WHAT!! Then I see this lady walking to the bathroom looking at her hand all crazy. We go to get the manager but he’s already aware of what’s going on. Apparently the host had picked up a wine glass that wasn’t going to be used and it just broke. The glass went all over the lady’s cleavage and hand. Apparently she had said she didn’t want to wipe the glass off of her because she was afraid it would get worse and wanted a paramedic to come take a look. Later she said she wasn’t serious about the paramedic. Whatever.

 

Then my trainer and I look around and notice the whole restaurant is pretty much going down in flames. Not really. But everyone seemed to be running around with their heads cut off.

 

It was a Tuesday night and there was a surprise party in the bar. So it was actually really loud in the restaurant. Which made some people uncomfortable. I mean its a Tuesday. Then it seemed like no one could hold onto plates to save their lives.

 

It was by far the weirdest day of training I have ever had.

Why you should never mix business with pleasure

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In honor of it being throwback Thursday I though I would share a story from my early days in the industry. It is also a good lesson in why you should never work with your boyfriend.—At least when you have a crazy on your hands.

So at this time I worked for a restaurant as a cashier. I was not quite old enough to serve–hey you have to start somewhere right? Anyways, I had worked at this place for awhile and ended up getting my boyfriend a job as well. Oh how I should have listened when they told me it was a bad idea.

We had a pretty interesting relationship anyways. One of those ” I know I can change him ” kind of relationships. Boy was I wrong.

So one day we break things off and we are both at work. One of my guy friends came in to visit me and we had made plans to get together later that day. —Side note: My best friend also worked with us– So I had told her my plans for the night before I left and we planned to meet up later. She wasn’t supposed to get off work for a few hours yet.

So not thinking anything of the crazy ex boyfriend I went home and started to get ready for the night. Out of nowhere I get a call from my best friend–I had thought it was really weird that she would call me during work so I answered thinking something was wrong. My god was something wrong.

Mr. Crazy had locked her in the freezer and forced her to call me. He literally would not let her out. So she told me he was holding her in the freezer until she called me and found out if it was true that I was going over to this guys house later. HOW CRAZY IS THAT!!

But that’s not where it ends. You would think it enough for him to harass my friend, but no he had to come and harass me as well. About an hour or so later I hear a pounding on my front door. –My mom travels for work so she wasn’t home– I looked out of the upstairs window to find my ex and 3 of his biggest friends outside my door. So I open the front door-but not the screen- and he’s crying! I have no idea what the hell is wrong with him at this point. His friends are actually looking at me as if they feel bad. However, they try to tell me to let him in —RIGHT? like I am really going to open my door to someone who just locked my friend in a freezer and is currently ripping his shirt for no reason?

So eventually it becomes such a fiasco that my neighbor comes to try and get him to leave. My ex tries to fight him and it doesn’t go well. At this point all I want to do is get out of there. Oh but sure enough they had blocked my car in.

Eventually I was able to leave and he got fired for locking my friend in the freezer.

This is an extreme case, but definitely an example of why you should not date within your work place!

In with the new…out with the old?

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We all know what it’s like to be new. No one ever started a new position with the respect you gain as time passes. Restaurants are funny like that. As soon as a new person starts… so does the shit talking. “who are they?” “where did they come from?” Why the hell did we hire another server…or 4?”  No one likes a new person. simple as that. You are potentially taking money out of all of our pockets. So sorry we’re not sorry if we don’t talk to you until you prove yourself.

The easiest way to prevent other employees from hating you forever is simple. Don’t be that new person who thinks they already belong. Restaurants are like families. We have developed into a small knit family and will not except you if you act like you have known us forever. Get your shit done and stay below our radar. Eventually your time as a new person will pass and we will be like “whoa, your just like one of us.”

 

Recently my work has decided to hire 4 new servers. This did not go over well. When you work at a place that is meant for career servers this is a bad first impression: asking for someone to take your very first serving shift by yourself. Followed by making the statement that you don’t usually work on Sundays and your MOM is upset. —told to me and some co-workers by a new girl.

I’m sorry hunny but you are as new as they get. Most of us have worked for months just to get a Sunday off. Good luck with that. And are you serious about giving up your first shift??? why are you here? Not a good start.

 

Woof, its been awhile since I’ve ranted 😉

“All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.”

-Albert Camus

No, I didn’t want my pen back. Thanks for asking

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The one thing I just can’t understand is how people think it’s normal to take the pens we leave you to sign the credit card slip. This has been happening to me, and ever other server in the business, since the day we started withing in the restaurant.

I have always just ignored it–because I mean what can you really do? However, the other day it came to my attention that the customers actually contemplate taking the pen. At least for the most part. Here’s what I witnessed the other day.

As I was putting the steak knives back into the appropriate drawers I overheard a conversation at the table in front of me. The lady was seriously asking her friend if she thought the waiter would mind if she took the pen. Because come on, why would they need the pen anyways. She saw me look at her and her facial expression was as if she was caught red handed stealing something. Well she was caught red handed. Needless to say she put the pen in her purse and walked away.

I don’t know if it makes sense or not, but we obviously need our pens! How else can we take your orders AND give you something to sign your credit card slip with?

What a nightmare!!!

I think just about everyone has had a work related nightmare, but being a waitress I think ours might be the worst!

It’s one thing to have a nightmare about some strange guy trying to kill you, or falling to your death and waking up. At least when you wake up your brain realizes that it’s not going to happen and wasn’t real.

It’s another thing to have a nightmare that relates to your day to day life. When you wake up from it there is almost nothing you can do but think it’s going to happen.

This happened to me the other night. I had one of those never ending serving nightmares. You know, the ones where you can never get to your table in enough time–someone is always yelling at you– you can’t seem to find your tables order and so on.

This time I definitely couldn’t get anything right at my tables. I couldn’t find any of the orders I had taken and all of the drinks I brought out were wrong. At one point I literally couldn’t get to my tables. They all got up and left! Which then lead my manager to come over to me and fire me!

Needless to say, when I woke up and had to go to work I couldn’t get it out of my head!! It made for a really long day.

Don’t be THAT guy

We all know that special person at work who is the ultimate slacker. In the restaurant business it can really cause problems…so DON’T BE THAT GUY!!

I was reminded of this as I was working today. The person I was closing with is definitely “that guy.” In the middle of our shift he decided to go taste some wine and just leave everything up to me. Needless to say, as the tables kept showing up after everyone else was cut except us—he was nowhere to be found. I won’t even get started on how he sat and ate lunch as I reset the whole restaurant. Basically, when you are THAT GUY you develop enemies at work. –and lets face it– that is the last thing you want when you work in a restaurant.

 

I also think it’s ironic how the laziest people always seem to be the ones talking about how hard they work. Get it together and just stop being lazy!

 

“All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.”
–Albert Camus

When a first date might be a last date….

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One thing that I have always found funny is when my table is obviously on a first date. There seem to be so many things that can go wrong.

The first thing that seems to happen is one person drinks too much. This always seems to make the other person uncomfortable. I mean come on it’s a first date..at a restaurant..not a bar.

Another thing that tends to make things interesting is when the ordering begins. Believe it or not the stereotypes about first dates are almost spot on. Women tend to order small portions and salads and men order whatever the hell they want. It gets interesting when someone tries to order for the other person. It usually doesn’t work out well.

We all know first dates can be awkward–don’t make it worse by ordering for someone you don’t know–no matter how well you think you know the menu.

Typically when the bill comes the guy is the one who pays. FYI fellas, if your date can see what you’re leaving for a tip–don’t leave 5%. No matter how much the bill is you will look cheap.

 

“I’ve never been in love before…But I can imagine its similar to the feeling you get when you see your waiter arriving with your food.”–Unknown

Tipping 101

contrary to popular belief– just because I’m a waitress doesn’t mean I always tip 20%. Here’s some help for some of you who don’t understand the basics of tipping.

 

First of all, it’s important for you to understand that serving is our job. It’s how we make a living, put a roof over our head–that kind of stuff. Some of you seem to think differently. My table is my business. So, when you sit there for 2 hours after you pay you are causing me to lose money. If you plan-or even if you don’t plan but still end up sitting there- for more than 30 minutes after you have payed out–leave a little extra. It shows that you understand you are hurting my night.

 

I don’t go out to eat a lot-mostly because I am working anyways. But when I do I tend to notice a lot more than the average person out to eat. I can understand when someone is busy or what other tables my waitress has. It makes me tend to want to tip 20+% when I go out. However, that doesn’t mean I do. I might even be harder to impress. Like I said, here are some tips for tipping 😉

 

No matter your age, color, or class your waitress should treat you kindly. That is unless you are rude to them. If they are pleasant to you tip them well. If they appear to treat you differently then don’t. Simple as that. When I was younger I was treated differently at restaurants and that is definitely the worst feeling. I make sure to never treat my tables different because I know how it feels.

If your food isn’t exactly what you expected– remember that’s not the waiters fault. We don’t cook the food. The only exception is if the food is described completely different than what comes out. The tip doesn’t depend on the cooking of the food–but the service provided.

If your drink is always refilled before it’s empty then be happy.

If your waiter has a personality and interacts with you then tip them! We don’t interact with rude tables, but we can make your night a great one if you let us!

 

This is just a beginners 101 into tipping so if you have any specific questions I can definitely answer them.

Just a thought

I think it should be mandatory that between the ages of 16 and 25 everyone should have a serving job for at least one week. This includes the hostesses that we all love. Let me explain why.

 

Every person should have to serve just so they can understand what we go though on a daily basis. Maybe that way they would understand why creating your own dish can cause issues. OR why you sitting for 3 hours after you pay can be bothersome. OR maybe just so you show a little respect instead of rolling your eyes at us.

 

Now, I mentioned that host’s should have to serve as well. This is because then we could all just get along! We definitely love our hosts, but sometimes they just don’t get it. It would probably help them to understand how triple seating us can be just a little frustrating.

 

It takes a lot of energy to do what we do, but if everyone understood–it would be nice!

 

“I don’t love comedy but I can watch someone who’s kind of interesting forever. I think a waitress who’s having a bad day is a lot more fun than Robin Williams doing forty minutes of material.”

Bruce McCulloch