Unmitigated Hell

July 26, 2007 at 8:01 am (Crazy Shit, Work)

Please, have mercy on the poor servers of the world as I am one of them.

We got righteously slammed today. Had it not been for our incredible management staff who poured in to assist us, we’d still be stuck on lunch.

The day started out with some smoke from the kitchen setting off the fire alarm. At my law firm job this happened quite a bit, for some reason, and I knew all you had to do was go to the box and reset the alarm. Not quite so easy at the eatery. That magical button was way up behind the ceiling tiles. Big Chef, as in, Owner Chef, had to make a strafing run to reset it… about 30 seconds before customers started arriving.

Then, it was on! I had my first large table today of six peeps, I got my table numbers mixed up, I had to create a table number, I’m pretty sure I forgot to charge someone for a salad, I learned what “on the fly” means, and I had to talk myself out of breaking down at the POS system. One of my managers totally saved my rear by getting two salads “on the fly” and she actually made another one “on the fly.” One minute she is serving food and the next she’s behind the counter making the food. She rules.

When it was over, it looked like a bomb had gone off in the restaurant. Every table, except the high tops, were dirty. We were lucky to be able to seat the two tables that came in after the rush and even now, I’m not quite sure how we accomplished that. Well, I do. Its called teamwork. I wish more managers knew the meaning of that word because they sincerely foster a close relationship between management, servers, and cooks where I work.

On the bright side, other than simply surviving today, I got my first compliment from a customer yesterday. Not only did she compliment me, but she bragged on our restaurant from stem to stern to me, before ever saying anything to management before she left. And, when Big Chef was there today, he mentioned it to me and that made me feel good. Plus, she tipped me almost 100% of the tab. And that was before I did a little tap dance at the table. It was her friend’s birthday!

Today, I doubt anyone was bragging much. Frankly, the other server and I were quite surprised that we got tipped at all by some folks. Hell, I was surprised some folks didn’t ask for a refund. Again, our superb management team got our asses out of a huge sling today and I learned more lessons. I guess it couldn’t have been as bad as I thought, probably just because I felt like I was drowning, doesn’t mean folks saw water filling up my eyeballs. Just keep smiling, smiling, smiling.

The other lady that started the same day as me, well, she didn’t make the cut. I guess the other staff gave her a bad review and said she didn’t quite “fit.” That made me feel bad for her and I told Hal, the server that I survived today with, that had they done that to me, I would have bawled my eyes out. Well, then again, if I didn’t feel the fit, then I probably wouldn’t have, and I would have been glad to go and find my niche somewhere else.

And I forgot to actually post this, so all of it happened yesterday. Have a great day!


  1. se7en said,

    I just hope you’re making money! I’ve always had respect for servers, they’re people too, after all! LOL

    I don’t think I would be very good at it!


  2. CrazyRideLady said,

    Just wait, in a few weeks its going to come so naturally you won’t even have to think about it. I still miss it sometimes, especially the cash.

    Have you had any “Waitress Nighmares” yet? I remember a BAD one I had about table clothes in the dishwasher – woke up with all the sheets from the bed in my lap.

  3. Vince said,

    Good wait staff have my utmost respect, cause you guys have to put up with so much crap. It’s refreshing to know some managers still believe in getting into the thick of it with the people they supervise. I’ve always found the managers I respect most are the ones that used to do my job and actually have a clue as to what it’s about.

    I’ve always tipped well for good service. I know you guys make crap for pay and live on tips. What better way to tell your server they’re doing a good job than to reward them?

  4. kenju said,

    If nothing happens between now and then, I’m going to be in Chas. over the weekend of August 11th. If you email me the name of the restaurant, I’ll come there and see you!


  5. KtP said,

    Glad you survived! (Like I had any doubts)

  6. Tina said,

    I am sure you will be kicking ass in no time, hun! It sounds like you are already! It’s great to hear that you are working for awesome peeps! I am the type to tip and brag on waitors and waitresses as well. Actually, I have the utmost respect for ANYONE that is in customer service, whether is waiting tables, retail, etc. I have never eaten at your place but I hear great things about it all the time. Rock on!

  7. LisaBinDaCity said,

    Wow, sounds like both a good team and a good fit. Yay you!

  8. Lois Lane said,

    You lived to tell! Yay! Craziness makes the work day go by quicker right?! šŸ™‚

    Have a great weekend!

  9. brightonandbear said,

    Oh girl, been there on both sides of that business, lol! Good for you jumping in and doing it right!

  10. Old Horsetail Snake said,

    I’ll be darned. I didn’t know you were slingin’ hash. I know you were good at it, because you’re good at everything. True.

  11. Inanna said,

    Se7en, I haven’t gotten my first paycheck yet so… I dunno.

    CRL, I’m gonna have nightmares about waitressing???? Oh NO!

    Vince, I’ve always been a great tipper, although some women are notoriously low tippers. Yesterday I had a single lady and then two ladies later at the same table. Their bill’s were about the same. The single lady tipped over 20%, the other ladies, about 10%. Same table, same service, great food. You just never know.

    Kenju, we’ll wing it!

    KtP, I seriously had doubts the other day!

    Beanie, one day we’ll hit the joint together as customers.

    LisaB., yay me!!

    Lois, craziness does make the day go by faster.

    Brighton, Oh, I know you know!

    Hoss, I sling I mighty hash… no doubt.

  12. Zelda said,

    As the world’s most bitter former server, I sympathize. My back does not miss those days.

  13. Juan Morales said,

    Time for a visit to:

    How quickly we go from gratitude to bitterness!

    the horror. . .

    “Kurtz”ie when you serve.

    Juan (Dark Heart) Morales

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