Be I So Intolerant

August 25, 2007 at 12:15 am (Attitude in Overdrive, Work)

I’ve been hissin’ mad over catching this August cold. Makes it harder to breath and do just about anything else.

 

It was 103* when I got off work at 20 til five. The heat index though was only 106* or so because humidity had only crept up to 36%.

 

We have a catering job tomorrow for 250 people… outside. Temp tomorrow – 97*. Clothes we have to wear – black. Gatorade is my friend.

 

I’ve worked at my new job now for a month and a week. Today was pretty rough in terms of it was very busy with large groups. My first group was seven 11 to 12 year olds, fresh from middle school orientation. One of the girl’s mom’s is a regular around the restaurant and she swung through to let me know the specifics, saying she would return.

 

I’ll have to preface this next part by explaining that on one side of the restaurant we have 13 tables, numbers 1-14. We skip #13. On the other side are tables 15-22. Table 20 is situated at the end of the rows of tables and has another name and is also called the Chef’s Table since it is closest to the line. We can seat up to 10 folks there. If you work the back section, you have tables 5-10 and table 20, which I did today. If you are a bartender, you work 15-19, 21, and 22.

 

When the lady returned, she brought another group, including herself, of six. The largest booths closest to the Chef’s Table are 8 and 19, 8 being in my section, 19 being in the bartender’s section. My #8 was already reserved for one of our evening bartenders, his sister, and her month old twins. (I was very pleased that they requested that I be their server, btw.)

 

Our bartender is … easily flustered, despite the fact she has considerable more serving experience than I do. When I saw the second group, the hostess and I took them back to 19 and were in the process of discussing whether or not I should take the table and I said that it would have to be up to the bartender as it was her section. The bartender said, “I just can’t handle this right now.” (Later, she said that it was due to the complexity of the checks, but in reality, she could have waited on the table and it would have been fine because the guest paid all the checks separately to help me out.)

 

About five or ten minutes later, the hostess came up and said that she had to seat my section again and I said, “WHAT?” She said, “I ran out of room, I have no where else to put them.” My assistant manager came up and asked how she could help and I just asked her to help me with getting drinks and orders and I would take it from there (she’s getting married TOMORROW and the kitchen was busy getting her cake ready etc. etc.)

 

I’m under a lot of pressure to cash out the middle schoolers and five of them had cash. The lady at 19 was going to go ahead and pay for her daughter, another girl, and her table, all separately via credit card so I wouldn’t have to have the manager transfer the checks. Well, I have to go to the bar for cash. Bartender is there but informs me that she is too busy to cash out my table and to have the assistant manager do it.

 

Pardon me, but that really ticked me off. First, once she saw the schedule she started complaining and she was upset. Second, the “being flustered” is more like “laziness.” Thirdly, I knew exactly what she had in her section because I was over there. Of the six tables, I believe she had three 2 tops, and either two 3 tops and a four top or a 3 top and two 4 tops. I had her other table. Fourth, in our team environment, she should have been trying to help me out a bit, yet, she didn’t. Fifth, given the fact I have seven 11 year olds running around near the line, where food is being moved at an alarming rate, telling me she didn’t “have time” to cash them out was complete and utter bullshit.

 

Further, she also couldn’t find time to get drinks, either for me or our other server, even though she had ONE LESS TABLE. The drinks ordered from my section were made either by the assistant manager, poured by me, or made by me under the direction of our evening bartender, the one sitting in my section with his sister and nephews. Of course, I made them for him, so, no biggie.

 

At the end of shift, the other server and I were caught in the conundrum of whether to tip out the bartender or not. Our General Manager was wandering around the line as we discussed this and she sat down and talked to us about it. She said she didn’t want folks getting their own drinks so they didn’t HAVE to tip out. It was $1.99. I think I can handle it, it was just the point of the matter. I also told her what had happened that day and that the bartender’s attitude really puts a downer on the servers and hostess when we’re all trying to work together to get through the lunch rush.

 

Yes, we were all full. But, she had one less table and I know that one of her tables was in no hurry to go anywhere. I had one of those myself, however, I also had guests at table five that were reviewing our conference room for a possible party. I had waited on the lady yesterday and she brought her boss back today and I really wanted her boss to have a good impression of the restaurant.

 

Luckily, our evening bartender at #8 is a real sweetheart, and so is his sister. Once things calmed down a bit, we all took turns loving on those sweet babies. I blackmailed the General Manager to finish his bill (it has to be discounted by management) before I would allow her to take one of the twins from me. They are so precious and really made my day.

 

I’m not the only one who has irritations with the bartender. She even managed to piss off the dishwasher, which is nigh impossible as he is one of the nicest, most easy going people I’ve ever met. She knows her wines, etc., I will give her that. But I’m not at all impressed with her work ethic.

 

Everyone is busy at the restaurant tomorrow. I believe two of the senior servers may speak to management about leaving our day bartender off of the catering as originally intended. She’s already upset about it and given that we have the two day servers, that being me and my second son, and the married couple, who all work well together, why upset that delicate balance amidst a super scorching, long ass day? If we’re going to end up doing half or more of her work anyway, why bother?

 

However, that decision is not up to me and I will make the best of whatever happens. I’ll do what I did today, turn and walk away. Actually, when I was cleaning up the mess at the Chef’s Table and she was jabbering on, I didn’t even look at her. I couldn’t. I’ve been told by more than one person that I carry my feelings on my face and I speak with my eyes. No need to waste all those daggers.

 

Wish me luck, ya’ll.

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5 Comments

  1. kenju said,

    I suspect you are more than capable in shooting those daggers (but in a good way…LOL) That sounds so hectic.

    Speaking of the heat, I almost passed out yesterday, setting up an outdoor party in Pinehurst, in full sun and over 100* with humidity of about 50 %, I think. I had on black too. My face was as red as a beet. We go back there today, but this time, we get to work inside with the air conditioning.

  2. Tina said,

    Good luck, dude! I am really hating this weather as well. Is it fall yet?

  3. Jammie J said,

    People who don’t pull their weight irritate me to no end. She’s not on vacation, she’s working! Pfft. It’ll come around though, it always does.

    I hope you feel better, summer colds are no fun. Well, winter colds aren’t fun either, but at least it’s when it’s supposed to happen.

  4. Moon said,

    I just got through a summer cold myself..they totally SUX…I hope u feel better soon….and your head doesn’t explode …..
    Hats off to doing such a hard job…I have worked with ppl who didn’t pull their own weight, it’s not fair ..the upside is what goes around comes around…always does…one way or another.

  5. Vince said,

    It always amazes me how business owners will put up with people that don’t pull their weight. I don’t care about expertise, that can be developed. Especially in the resteraunt business, you can’t afford to have people that don’t pull their weight.

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