Thursday, April 23, 2009

things that amuse ( and or irritate your server )

I have been a waitress or bartender for most of my working career ( and yes I use that term career loosely ). It enabled me to go to school, as the hours were somewhat flexible. It gave me an insight to dining out that all should have, but trust me DO NOT. It let me live in my fabulous Shangri-la and other great beach towns. Also, gave me the ability to smile when I was not in the tiniest way happy, learn to work thru hunger, anger, sleep deprivation and hang overs. In this illustrious career of mine I have worked with the best and worst that the world of restaurants has to offer. Bosses who never heard of sexual harassment lawsuits, co-workers who were dumber than the proverbial box of rocks and people who would cover your asses just because they had been there at one point.
Now, having said all of this there are many things that amuse or annoy us as industry workers.
Calling or walking in with a large party ( let's say 15 people ) on a Friday evening and saying "oh we have to wait 30 minutes?" Um, well let's see...our tables only hold up to 6 people at them, thus a few need to be moved. It is 7pm on a FRIDAY EVENING when everyone and their family has decided to go out. OH yeah and you didn't bother to are lucky it isn't an hour you silly people.
Then there are the needy peeps who ask for more napkins, then more sauce, then more soda...ok we are here for you, but please try to understand we have 4 or so other tables. If you know you need all of this, we will be happy to do it all at once. We just dislike 10 trips when we could have taken 2.
My personal fave is people who say that they need change, you run over to the bar or cashier if your place is lucky enough to have that...make change, bring it back & they say "oh, that's for you" sweet...thanks again for the extra steps.
Let's not even talk about the people with small children who let their kids run around or throw food, it is a restaurant, not a daycare. Enough said.
Thinking we are lowly subservient types because we do this for a living. I made more in one year of serving at a beach side restaurant then my friends with a degree did a couple years back. Some of us do this because we like it, some for the hours & flexibility, but trust me we all need the money.
Uncle Sam taxes us on 8% of our sales...not our tips...our sales. So if you leave us 10% we aren't getting ahead. I am fine with tipping according to service, but the act of putting money out and saying this is your tip if you are GOOD is crap. Keep it in your pocket and tip me at the end off the meal like everyone else . Oh and verbal tips are lovely, but they don't pay my rent.
Now lest you think this is a major rant of how bad people are, here are some things I love. When people come in and ask how I am...and actually want to hear. Someone who tells me how nice their experience and service was, we like hearing we are good at our jobs just like everyone else. Regulars who follow you if you move from a local spot to another. Co-workers who joke, sing, dance etc while working & make a 8 hour shift seem like 5. Knowing that I can go anywhere in the world and work.
All I ask is next time you go out, be patient, the person serving your food is just trying to make a living like you are. maybe watch Waiting, the movie and see what happens when you can make the wrong person mad who is serving your food....haha

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