I am aware that your job sometimes sucks worse than mine. I have worked hosting shifts and I far prefer serving. People are fucking rude to hostesses, and I get that. That’s why I try to be exceptionally nice to the hostesses (and everyone else I work with, really) and don’t yell at you when you double, triple, or quadruple-seat me. I don’t yell at you when you forget to give my table silverware or fail to give my table the fresh fish menu. Shit happens, people forget shit, that’s fine. I can handle those things.
What really irritates the shit out of me, however, is when you seat me out of section when:
1) The tables in my section are clean and perfectly okay to seat,
2) The guests have not specifically requested to sit somewhere other than my section, and
3) The table you sit is way fucking away from my actual section.
What the fucking fuck? And I certainly don’t expect this sort of shit from my favorite hostess. I was extremely disappointed yesterday when I was sat with not one, not two, but FIVE tables outside of my fucking section. That meant that I had to clean nine goddamn tables before I could leave. I left at 6:00pm, long after the dinner crew had arrived. Again I ask, “What the fucking fuck??”
I had a full section and as each table left I pre-bused the shit out of it. The only thing that needed to be done was wipe down the table and it would be ready to seat again – I had even gotten new silverware and placed it on the seat so it could be immediately placed on the clean table. We didn’t have an SA on at that point (only 4 servers on the floor) so I was responsible for resetting the table. We also didn’t have an AC which pisses me the fuck off, but that’s getting off track. Sometimes the hostesses will wipe our tables down if there are no dishes or trash on the table, so I was hoping the hostess would have time to help me out since I was too busy expo’ing food, helping the other servers, and trying to pre bus my tables. She didn’t and sat me a table out of section since the two empty tables in my section still needed to be wiped.
That’s cool, understandable. So right after I took that table’s drink order, I made a point of wiping down the two empty tables and resetting them even though I was in danger of falling back in the weeds. I didn’t want more out of section, you know. I returned with table 1′s drinks to find she had sat me out of section again. Uh, what? She was walking by me to get back to the front and I asked her if they had requested that table. She said no, she just sat them there. Uh, what?
“Hey, I did wipe down those two tables so you can seat me in section for the next tables, okay? Thanks!” I said it in a friendly tone because I really do like this hostess and, even though I was irritated, didn’t think it was worth going bitchface over.
She said, “Oh, yeah, sorry. I’ll try.”
So my other two in-section tables got up and left, leaving me with two clean tables in section and two empty but dirty tables. I quickly pre-bused them on my way back to get table 2′s drinks, and after I took the table’s order I wiped them down in a hurry. So now I had three clean booths and a clean 7-seater round table, plus my two tables out of section. I came out with salads for table 2 and she asked me to pick up 27…which is identical to table 30 IN my section, a 7-seater round! I stopped and looked at the table, and asked her, “I guess they didn’t like 30?”
“Oh. Is that in your section? I’m sorry.” She seemed genuine, not trying to fuck me over, but I was more than a little pissed because that’s yet another table I’d have to clean before I could leave.
I took a breath and said, “It’s fine. Just please try to seat me in section if you have to seat me again.”
The next table was NOT the hostess’s fault, in her defense. I was making salads for 27 and my manager walked into the alley and said, “Hey, [FMT]…I’m sorry, I did something stupid. [Hostess] told me to seat you at 28 and I sat you at 25. Can you pick it up?”
I agreed to pick it up, shaking my head all the while. Seriously?? At least the hostess told him to put it in my section; he’s the one who fucked it up. Oh well.
But then, after table 1 had paid out, she sat me out of section AGAIN. I have no fucking clue why. She found me in the alley and said, “Hey, can you pick up table 11?”
“Really?” I asked. “Again? You know all of my tables are out of section right now, right?”
“Well,” she said, “at least they’re in a section at all!”
I was confused. ”What do you mean, ‘in a section’?”
“Three of those tables are in a section.”
Ah, she was saying that she had essentially been keeping my out-of-section tables within another section so they weren’t spread out across the restaurant.
“Um, [hostess], you do realize that since I have to clean half the restaurant now anyway it doesn’t really matter to me if they’re all in a cluster or sprinkled across the whole restaurant, right? The point is, I have to clean my section now AND those other tables. I’m up to nine tables.”
“Oh. Well, I’m trying to help you.”
“Seating me outside of my section doesn’t really help me.” I realized I was starting to sound bitchy so I joked, “Next time, tell them, ‘You sit here. No change! You like! Good table, you no complain!’”
We both laughed and I hope she didn’t go back to the stand thinking I was being bitchy about the whole thing, even though I had a right to be. It’s not worth getting on the hostess’s bad side over this, especially since I don’t think she was seating vindictively. It just really fucking sucks. I understand when I don’t have clean tables to seat or when guests request a certain table, but when you can seat me in my own section, PLEASE FUCKING DO IT.
The best part? I started cleaning my actual section since I assumed I was cut (that’s a whole ‘nother story about me getting fucked over) and then, right after I was done and started cleaning my other 5 tables…they fucking sat me in section, finally. I can’t win. Just fucking seat me wherever, I guess. Fuck this.