Thursday, July 16, 2009

Remember When???

So last night, I got into an interesting conversation with one of my co workers...

We've both been at the restaurant for WAY TOO many years, so between the two of us, we were able to remember some of the most interesting moments.

Remember when a certain waitress accidentally sat on a tub of grill cleaner that was left out of the closet and got burns on her behind? (Yeah, really toning that down - I know)
I hear she still has scars. She was out for almost two weeks. (Sorry, honey, yes, we laughed...)

Remember when the teenagers set off the fire alarms and we all had to go outside and wait in the rain for over an hour while they cleared the building?
Yep we were busy that night! And we still had to go back in to clean up the messes on the table. Too bad no one had to pay...or tip...

Remember when the power went out, and I was waiting on a party of 10 that would certainly have left a sweet tip - if I could have served them food?
Yes I do - and remember cleaning up the mess in the galley after waiting over 2 hours for the power to come on?

Remember when we got the alarm for the take out people to "wear" to the cars?
Remember how many times the restaurant lit up and the alarm rang through the dining room before they took it away???

Remember when Woburn had ecoli in their drinking water, and we caught people brushing their teeth in the bathroom?
And scrubbing their armpits?

Remember when a certain bartender chased a customer out the door because he left a crappy tip?
Yep - she got fired...

Remember when a certain waitress chased a customer out into the parking lot because they didn't pay? Then proceeded to scream at them even though the customer was twice her size?
I miss her...

There are a million more... and I'm sure we all have some...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Where did the Doorservers Go???

Don't get me wrong... I know that being a doorserver is not an easy job. I've done it. I hated it. I would do everything I can to avoid doing it again.

But the fact remains that a crappy doorserver car ruin your night. And don't think that only the new ones are the crappy ones....

So I have put together a little list of important points to remember, just in case anyone needs a little refresher course.

*Someone needs to stay at the door. There are 4 of you, you can't all walk off at the same time...

*You really need to know where the clean tables are before you start walking people into the dining room.

*Since there are 9 food servers, please follow the rotation set up by our corporate managers to make sure all servers get at least one table.

*Don't make elderly people walk through the entire restaurant for a back table.

*Don't skip me because you just sat me 10 minutes ago. I can handle it.

*Don't put people on a wait if I have 3 open tables.

*Don't forget about Station 9. I know it's in the back, but.....

*Don't give customers menus with teeth marks in them ~ or hot fudge on them.

*Don't seat dirty tables.

Anyting else??

Saturday, May 2, 2009


You know the night is off to a rough start whan the first three tables you wait on all have some sort of issue.

I'm working on the bar tonight, but I got to hear a wonderful story from one of the more animated waitresses.

Table number one ~ Read the wrong price when ordering and was upset by that extra $2 on the bill.

Table number two ~ "But the Medeteranean Chicken doesn't look like the picture..."

Table number three ~ Declined Credit Card. So what does he do??? Leave his kids at the table to run to the ATM. Ummm... ok, but there"s gonna be an extra charge for that...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Can We Put the Yankees on the Big TV?


I love bartending.

Notes from the meeting....

They let me leave the meeting 30 minutes early, so I feel a little bad about trash talking, but seriously, was it really that important?

First, they fed us Tootsie Rolls (At 8AM?) Ok
THEN - they told us that the person who took the most candy at our table had to stand up in front of everyone and share something personal about their life. Thank goodness I can't eat candy until after that second cup of coffee is down.

Next was the Award Ceremony - which for the first time went to someone who is not a huge show about how much she helps. Someone who actually DESERVED the award. I was already impressed.

Following the Award Ceremony, we took a look at out Customer Service scores. Almost impressive - we're near the top of the company. (Hmmmm - manager's scores are a little low, though...)

Next - and this is my favorite part - we got to ROLE PLAY being servers. Please tell me we weren't expected to take this seriously, because I need far more coffee to pull this one off.

Finally, we - Oh - 9:30 - Time for me to sneak out the back door!

So I arrived back around 5PM for my bartending shift. What a riot! Half the staff was on doubles, the entire bartending staff had been at work since 7:30 AM. We were too tired to pretend that we were anything but a bunch of laughing idiots. We had a blast.

Thank goodness for regulars. I simply told them about my day, and to keep their expectations low. They loved it. So did my tip jar.... Maybe I need to be tired more often.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mandatory Meeting

Don't you love those???

One of the joys of working for a corporate company who thinks that the $2.63 an hour that they pay me entitiles them to impose on the rest of my life.

Oh Wait - that's right - they do provide me with the Opportunity to make more money.

Either way - there is a "mandatory" meeting tomorrow morning. 7:30- 10 AM.

Ok - so I show up a 7:30, leave early to go open my shop at 10, work at my shop until 3, then go BACK to this hole to bartend until 12:15.

And the best part - after paying for gas to drive back and forth, it will actually cost me to go to this meeting....

I'm irritated. Does it show?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I can post from work.....

Well that just added a whole new dimension to my blog. Usually I can sit and reflect before writing. I can find the words that show the emotions in a humourous light. I have time to cool down before writing something that would surely be no more than a rant.

Not now. Now I can share the honest truth behind being an overworked waitress.

New wait staff, pushy customers, angry cooks - beware...

April Fools

"There's a guy choking out front!"
Riiiiight. After 3 recent choking incidents there's another one on April Fools Day. OK.

Good thing I'm the only one that thinks that way. A customer was able to do the heimlich and several people called 911.

The guy was fine. Sat down to finish dinner after all was said and done. A stream of medics from the local PD and FD stopped by his table to check on him, but he left with a full belly and a happy smile...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What I Really Meant to Say...

By now we all know that waitressing is all about creating a pleasant, cheerful, persona. One that doesn't get upset or frustrated. One that can handle anything thrown its way on a busy Friday night.

I have found the best way to keep that persona alive, is to play a little game I like to call "What I really Meant to Say". So the customer may never actually hear what I really meant to say, but believe me, the rest of the staff knows...

When serving the couple who can drink 7 glasses of diet soda during a one hour meal.
"Of course, I'll be right back with a refill."
What I Really Meant to Say...
"Are you kidding me??? I've made 6 trips to your table already, and I know that you are only going to leave a $4 tip. Maybe I should just hook up an IV!"

When serving the man who ordered a Medium Rib Eye and got a beautiful Medium Rib Eye that is making my mouth water.
"Oh I am so sorry sir. The kitchen seemed to have under cooked it a bit, I'll take it right back and have them put it on for a minute. Would you like a salad on the house while you wait?"
And When I return with a slightly more cooked Medium Well Rib Eye....
"It was only on for a minute, I cannot understand how they managed to overcook it in only 2 minutes."
What I really meant to say...
"Just order the damn chicken!"

When serving the family who let their kids throw popcorn all over the floor, dump out all of the sugar packets, and smear marinara sauce and hot fudge on the table, the seats, the windows, and the couple sitting next to them.
"Oh, don't worry about the mess, I can take care of it."
What I really meant to say...
"It's a busy Friday night. Not only is my table taken up when you eat, I now have to take 20 extra minutes just to clean up the mess that your little heathens have made. Thank you for that 12% tip. It's good to know that you appreciate my time."

When serving the couple that can't just order off the menu, and need 15 changes made to each item ordered.
"Oh, I can't believe that they forgot the walnuts on your sandwich! I'll be right back with some for you."
What I really meant to say...
"The 17 other things you ordered changed came out right. I know you didn't ask for walnuts, too. But I will get them because you won't eat the sandwich without them, and I need you to eat - fast - so you will leave."


HaHaHa - That's an understatement.

In early December, I fell down my basement stairs and injured the muscles in my back. (I'm fine now, months later, but it's still an interesting story that has led to MANY changes in my life.)

About 1 hour before my shift on a busy Friday night, I was talking on the phone and running down the stairs to get my work shirt out of the laundry. Who knows what I slipped on, or how I managed to fall the way that I did, but I caught one of the stairs square on my side. PAIN.

No one was home but me and the dog, and all he could do to help was to lick my face. Seriously, when you are stuck on the floor this is not a sensation you want.
I managed to drag myself to the top of the stairs and was able to get my phone. I called a friend to come pick me up and take me to the hospital, and I called the restaurant to let them know that I may be a little late - maybe even a few weeks late.

Long story short - I spent the next few weeks on my couch with a heating pad and some pain killers. What a fabulous relief to not have to work!! It has been years since I actually took a vacation. Although this one was forced, I still enjoyed it. Maybe it was the painkillers...

As much as I missed the money, and as much as my mortgage company missed the money, I did enjoy the time off. It made it that much harder to go back after my 4 weeks was up.

So what did I do during those 4 weeks? I may have sat on the couch for most of it, but I was sitting there with a laptop in front of me. I started a business. Yes, 19 years of waitressing experience has finally led to a career in customer service. I am now the proud owner of a small second hand clothing boutique that works to raise money for local schools. Since I just opened at the end of January, I'm still waitressing 2 nights a week. I was even able to pick up a bartending shift on Saturdays.

I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's very bright....