Monday, July 30, 2012

Rest Breaks, Meal Breaks, Smoke Breaks

I just came across an interesting post from Under Cover Waitress!

All about breaks, smoke breaks, rest breaks, lunch breaks...  I was completely unaware...  In all 22 of my waitressing years...  Completely unaware that the laws about breaks actually applied to me! 

Here is the post:
Rest Breaks, Meal Breaks, Smoke Breaks

There are certain types of breaks that we get.  And in all of the restaurants that I have worked in, these rules for these breaks have been the same. 

Smoke Break -
It's a quick 3-5 minute break that is only allowed if the waitress has every single one of her tables in good shape with absolutely no needs expected to rise in the next 5 minutes.  (I know, kind of hard to judge, and we don't always get it 100%, but we try...  most of us try.)  I should also add that as a general rule, only smokers get this break. 

Lunch Break -
Middle of a shift???  Not going to happen.  Some of the nicer managers have allowed a full 30 minute break for servers on a double, but not always. 

Dinner Break -
I always worked the dinner shift, so I have always gotten a dinner break...  They happen around 9:00 PM or 10:00 PM, when the dinner rush is over.  Actually, the most recent restaurant I worked at didn't allow any eating until the last table was cleared and all of the sidework was done.   

Bathroom Break-
Same rules as the smoke break.  "It's a quick 3-5 minute break that is only allowed if the waitress has every single one of her tables in good shape with absolutely no needs expected to rise in the next 5 minutes. "  Hopefully this happens more than once per a shift. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I Can See Right Through You!

Remember when I said that I saw a lot of new comments???

HAHAHAHAHA!  I read more of them, and found myself laughing throughout. 

As a former server, I find the humor in the profession because I have seen it all.  If you take a moment to look through the comments on some of the posts, you can clearly pick out who HAS worked in a restaurant, and who HAS NOT. 

It gets a little feisty, which, I personally find amusing.  There are many Anonymous comments.  Well, If I was as mean spirited and bitter as many of those people, I wouldn't attach my name to it either. 

I had to leave my own comment on one of those rants, written primarily by people afraid to write their names:

Hahaha! Love all the comments! To those of you who seemed to miss the SARCASTIC HUMOR in this post and the rest of the blog... Thank you for proving my point.

When you look down on others because they have chosen a line of work that puts them in a position to HELP YOU, you are only pointing out that you are indeed a jerk.

Enjoy the food at the next place you eat... May the wait staff treat you with the respect and courtesy that you seem to know nothing about.

It's Saturday!!!  Enjoy your nite out.  And remember...  BE NICE!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Go Ahead... You Know You Want To.

We have all imagined that moment when we will simply drop our apron on a countertop, tell the manager what you REALLY think of him, and walk out the back door leaving tables sitting unsuspectingly in the dining room. 

Actually, I had been visualizing this moment for years.  Would I yell and scream?  Would I walk out the back door quietly?  Would I simply take my apron off, sit down at the bar, and order a drink? 

Possibilities are endless.  All with the same result.  The release of years of holding back on what you want to say, what people really should be hearing.....

Well, I'll tell you what.  On the evening of Saturday, December 17, 2011, that moment became a reality for me. 

I started the evening with a conversation with one of the managers about the possibility of me covering Saturday, December 24.  Obviously, with two children, this was not something I even wanted to consider.  However, my regular shift was Saturday night, so if worse came to worse, it was mine to cover.  This conversation left a very sour taste in my mouth, but I went on with the evening with a smile on my face. 

I waited on a few very nice families and couples.  (I should also mention that this is the very first post about a new waitressing gig I had picked up in my new hometown.)  I was working in an upscale, fancy restaurant where the entree costs were higher than most of the check averages at the place mentioned throughout the rest of this blog.

So I waited on a few very nice families and couples.  Check averages were high, and tips were higher.  It was a pretty ok night! 

Until I was sat with a table with some severe allergies.  No problem!  We can handle just about anything.  Armed with ingredient questions, I went out back to double check with the owner/manager/head chef.  He was obviously stressed with the way the rest of the evening was going.  And, frankly, when he answered my questions, he did it in a manner that was meant to demean me and make me sound stupid.  And I am not stupid. 

No worries.  Shake it off.  I tried, I really did.  But I now had to ask what this new, custom meal would cost.  Ugg.  So I pulled my head high and asked.  And received the same treatment.  I mentioned I'm not stupid, right?  Nor do I appreciate being treated as such. 

No worries.  Shake it off. 

Another server needed help running food for her table, so I stepped in to help.  The manager was obviously irritated with my stupidity.  While asking which seat number received each meal, the server who was working the table took the plates that he had described to me.  Ugg.  This was not going to be good.  So I had to ask again.  The response I got was worse than before. 

To keep my sanity, I walked away to shake it off.  What followed me was a battering of obscenities yelled at me within earshot of the entire bar and most of the staff. 

I finally turned around and looked at him.  His words at this moment were, "What, you can't take it???"  and I realized that it wasn't that I COULDN'T take it, it was simply that I DIDN'T WANT to take it.  I calmly untied my apron and set it on the counter.  I walked to the bar area where his wife, the owner/manager/bartender was working.  I told her that I would no longer be able to cover the Christmas Eve shift because I was walking out. 

And that's what I did.  Right after I made sure that all of my tables had new coverage. 

It wasn't overly dramatic.  I didn't yell and scream.  I didn't set anything on fire.  I simply walked out.  I called a few friends and we went out for one of the best nights on the town that I had had in a long time. 

I'm back!

I'm back. &  I'm not a waitress anymore.

Maybe not even ever again.


Over the past two years, there have been a number of huge changes in my life. I moved, got a day job I almost love, and settled into a brand new life as a divorced single mom.

  Life has been good to me!

So, I kind of forgot about this little blog... Initially started to simply give myself an outlet for all of the annoying frustration that comes with constantly being nice to people who are not always that nice.

Imagine my suprise when I was searching "waitress awards" on google for a project that is related to my current field and I found a link to this blog.

  As I went through all of the old posts, reminicing about the "fun" times in my old position, I saw a lot of new comments.

Well, in all fairness, it really has been almost two years since I visited, so most of them were new to me. I am amazed at the positive response. 

I'm proud to say that although I may not be a waitress at the moment, I still have a lot to write about!