I walked into my Friday night shift expecting a busy night. What I didn’t expect was the slew of cheapos who would bring in the stupid-ass $10-off coupon that BC is currently sending out to literally everyone. I also didn’t expect that several coworkers would pull no-call no-shows, leaving us in a goddamn tailspin during one of the busiest shifts of the week that was made exponentially worse by the aforementioned coupon-toting cheapos.
Even better? They slated me to work what is simultaneously the best and worst section in the entire restaurant. On a normal Friday it would have been a breeze; last night was even worse than some of my real-life work nightmares. My section gave me the potential to make a wad of cash because it had TWO large tables – the only section in the restaurant like that – and two 4-top tables. I cannot stress to you how cool that shit is, because larger parties mean larger tabs and (usually) larger tips. The one catch about that section? It is quite literally the section farthest from the kitchen. The kitchen is on one side of the restaurant (which is about 150% the size of my old BC), so I have to walk through the entire dining room, through the bar/bev area, and across the entire bar side. It may not sound like a lot in print, but if you have to walk it every time someone needs a side of ranch, salads, or bread…fuck, it sucks major balls. I don’t mind the walk; I love that it’s easy for me to stay somewhat in shape just because I move so much at work. No, the problem is that in the time it takes you to go make salads or fetch bread, you could have been double-sat. Someone could be in a hurry to pay out. Someone could have taken out your food and now your table needs you, but you’re on the other side of the fucking restaurant. I’ve been in that section before, so I’ve learned to accommodate and always bring more of everything than I really need. I bring extra bread, drink pitchers, and extra bread just so I don’t have to waste my time walking all the way back. It helps, but sometimes it’s not enough.
Of course, it would have worked fucking FINE last night if: 1) we hadn’t run out of bread every 15 minutes and had to wait another 10 for a new batch, 2) a few people had fucking shown up for work as scheduled, and 3) people hadn’t flocked to BC on the busiest fucking night of the week to use their coupon. Yeah, no one else had that bright idea either, sunshine. Come on a fucking Monday or Tuesday when it’s normally slow, and then you don’t have to bitch about the wait to use your goddamn coupon.
Things went south with my first round of tables. Two were very understanding about the situation and commented that I looked extremely busy but they were impressed that I was taking such good care of them. The other two…well, one just seemed pissed off all the time even though I was focusing all of my energy on them. They left me $2 on $81. Fuck that, they ALWAYS had bread and full drinks despite all the shit going down in the kitchen. Fuck them with a fucking rake.
The other table, though, was a pain in my ass from the second they sat down. Questions about substituting literally everything off of a combo dish, every person wanted a tea and a goddamn water (and then sucked it down like camels), and the little girl was adorable but fucking annoying. I was standing there trying to take their order and the girl threw her cup on the ground. I picked it up and said, “Accidents happen, that’s okay.” Then I noticed there was a big crack from the top of the cup to the bottom. Sprite spilled out of the crack. I stood there in shock for a moment while I racked my brain. There was no fucking place to put the cup. I was in the middle of nowhere – the nearest ledge was across the bar side and there were no empty tables. They stared at me until I stammered, “Uh, this is leaking so let me just go get a new one and I’ll come back to finish taking your order.”
The bitch mom looked at me and said, “Uh, no, you’re going to take our order NOW.”
I realized I was holding a small tray under my arm so I plopped the drink, still leaking Sprite, onto the tray. The only way I could write in my book was to also put my order book on the tray which was slowly filling with Sprite. I tilted the tray to keep it away from my book as much as possible while every person at the table took for-fucking-ever to order. The cup was empty by the time they were done, its contents sloshing around my tray. I hated this table immediately.
Then their food came out cold. I didn’t walk the food so there was no way I could have known. I approached the table and cheerfully asked, “Did everything come out okay?” They all scowled at me and the bitch mom snarled, “You gave us cold food.”
Bitch, I didn’t give you cold anything. Did you see me cook the food, wait for it to get cold, and then bring it to your table? Then fuck you.
My manager had the kitchen remake the food and only one dish made it to the table, so they had to wait for the other two dishes after that. The whole time they glared at me every time I walked by. Jesus fucking Christ. So their entire meal ended up being comped. They had the decency to tip me ten percent on what would have been their total, thank God.
In the middle of that table’s cold food crisis, the hostess asked me to pick up table 66 which was adjacent to my section. Cool, no problem. They were nice and left shortly after the cold food table. Then it got sat again. I walked by the couple sitting at the table a few times, looking for the server who was supposed to be in that section, but couldn’t find him anywhere. Finally I thought, “I can’t walk by this table one more time without saying something.” After all, with this new serving system, if your buddy gets a guest complaint you BOTH get written up. The logic is, if you were both doing your jobs the table shouldn’t have a service complaint. So I’m thinking, “I’ll be damned if I get written up on top of this already shitty night for something as stupid as a table not being greeted.”
I greeted them and they said they were ready to order. Uh-oh. I was just going to get their drinks and relay it to the other server. Oh well, guess I can give him the food order too. Except that I spent five minutes trying to find him and failed miserably. I finally decided to just ring in the food under my number and offer him one of my tables. Except I never crossed paths with him throughout their meal. It’s not uncommon for that to happen on busy nights; it’s likely that we were just doing opposite tasks at the same time so we just weren’t in the same area of the restaurant. So I kept the table, got three other tables, and my fourth table was never sat, though I would have tried to offer it to him had it been filled.
As I’m ringing up desserts for table 66, he finds me and demands, “How long has 66 been there?”
“Uh, a while. They’re getting desserts now.”
“Who told you to take it?”
“No one. I walked by several times and they hadn’t been greeted so I took them. Sorry. You can have one of mine.”
“Don’t bother if they’re almost done. Just don’t take 66 again.”
“Okay. I’m sorry. I tried to find you.”
Okay then. Fucker. I saved your ass (and mine) from a guest complaint. You’re welcome.
So then the other hostess comes up and goes, “Um, yeah, I don’t know what you THINK your section is, but 66 isn’t your table.”
“Then next time I seat it, don’t steal it from Kyle.”
“I didn’t. No one had greeted it and they were ready to order when I greeted them.”
“Whatever. And next time, tell me when you take a table out of section.”
She stormed off and I was left wondering what the fuck was stuck up her ass that made her so cranky.
Not 15 minutes later, she fucking came and found me just to bitch me out more!
“I’m going to seat 66 so don’t steal it again. Your section is 63, 64, 65, and 75.”
“I know. I greeted them to–”
“I don’t care, you can take a drink order without taking the food order!”
“Yeah, like I’m going to make them wait longer and get a writeup because they complain?”
“Do your job and stop fucking things up for everyone.”
She stormed off again and I called after her, “You don’t have to be such an ASS about everything.”
I wanted to say something more vulgar but I didn’t want to get fired for yelling it loud enough for guests to hear. I figured that I could argue that you can say “ass” on radio and TV if anyone heard me.
She complained to the girl manager and the manager seemed to brush it off. She never talked to me about it, and I didn’t bring it up. The hostess glared daggers at me the rest of the night. I’m pretty sure she also skipped me in rotation a couple of times. Oh, maybe I should mention that she’s usually a server and was only hosting as a favor that night. So I get to deal with her shit in closer proximity the next time we’re scheduled together. Ho-hum. Personally, I think that since she’s a server she should have been able to put herself in my shoes and think, “I would have probably done the same thing,” but I guess not.
So not only was my buddy Kyle mad at me for “stealing” his table, but the bitchy host/server will probably kill me on side work whenever she closes with me on shift in the future. Oh, the fun.
Forgot to mention, I broke down in tears at one point in the night because I had two big tables that needed salads and soups (for a total of 14 I needed to bring out in one trip, not gonna happen) and I was asked to pick up another table outside my section. I forgot to greet the table they asked me to pick up and I had a mini panic attack because I still needed to get the soups out to my other tables. I started crying because I kept thinking that this night was getting worse and worse, and I was going to get written up over shit out of my control, and I wasn’t going to have a good reference for my job applications…it just snowballed in my head. Luckily one of the SAs saw me freaking out and asked how she could help. She greeted my table, got their drinks, and got bread for my other tables. Bless her. I’m going to make her cookies for something, seriously.
Luckily, my second and third round of tables saw how fucked the staff was and all of them were so nice. “No, take your time. I can see you’re busy.” “Are you shorthanded tonight? Oh, I’m so sorry, don’t worry about us. We don’t need anything right now!” “Wow, you’re so busy tonight. Thank you for working so hard to take care of us. You look like you haven’t stopped moving since you got here.”
I was amazed and thankful for those people. They even tipped me way over what they should have. I got a $35 tip on $112, $40 on $180, and $15 on $50. That’s the only reason I made any money last night. Ultimately, after the shitty night I endured, I was rewarded with about $150 for that one shift. I can’t say crawling through the shit was worth it (keep in mind we were running out of everything while all this shit was going on) but at least I walked out with money for food.
I guess we’ll see if the hostess/server and Kyle want to become my nemeses or decide to chill the fuck out.