Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Okay, so the drama.

The other day, I'm minding my own business, and I hear/see a lady screaming in the front of the restaurant.
The story goes: she and her dining partner were blocked in by our delivery truck. The dining partner (coworker, husband?) ask the driver to move, and he does. He waits for 5-10 minutes and they don't return to move the car. So Driver moves back, he has to finish his delivery and go on to his others. 
The lady comes out and immediately tears into Driver. "All I did was go to the bathroom, WTF you  effing this and that," etc. So Driver tells her, "okay. You asked me to move, I did. Then you disappeared. I would have moved a second time, but you caught an attitude, so nah I'm gonna finish my job."

Lady comes back in to the restaurant, our assistant manager says he'll talk to Driver, who tells him the same story and, "I'm going to finish unloading, if you want me to move, call my boss." Since technically, we are not the boss of Driver, we only employ the delivery company.

So. While AM is doing that, our GM comes out to talk to her and she again immediately says, "this is fucking absurd, I have to get back to work, etc etc," just losing her mind. GM is trying to tell her they're working on a resolution and please stop yelling and cursing. She walks out and calls the police and the Department of Transportation, who both tell her she's insane and wasting their time. 

Finally, truck gets moved. But she's not done. She comes back in to tell my GM he's a POS who sucks at his job (and believe me, that's the cleaned up version). 

He follows her out and tells her: "Real fucking mature. I was trying to have a conversation with you and tell you we were fixing it - you screamed and cursed and walked out. Go fuck yourself, I hope you're late enough to lose your job."

Friday, September 9, 2016

My First Trainee!

I went to a coaching workshop last week set up by corporate for team members to learn how to effectively train new hosts/servers/bartenders in the "brand style." I got to meet people from other stores in the state, and spend 8 hours roleplaying and practicing the "compliment sandwich" - a compliment, constructive criticism, another compliment. It was actually pretty fun, but the hour and a half drive either way and sitting in a conference room all day left me absolutely beat.
So I have a few "homework assignments" before I'm an official trainer, such as teaching my GM how to do basic stuff to show I can be an effective coach, but they threw a trainee at me anyway and I feel really good about it. It was nice to be able to go through everything, tell her the things I felt I didn't learn in my training, just set her up for success! She told me yesterday she had to work with someone else on a day I was off, but she was so glad to be back with me because that's where she started and she felt most comfortable. Her validation is on Monday, wish us luck!

Later tonight or tomorrow, I'll write a post about how my GM cursed out a lady yesterday and it was the greatest day of my life.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

What I wish people understood about restaurants.

Just because there are empty tables, does not mean you don't have to wait.
I was reading some random restaurant reviews, like I do, and one was 1-star because, "we had to wait even though there were five empty booths."

We have specific sections, and servers have specific tables.
The table you "need" may be in a closed section. We would have to pull someone from their other customers to run over and take care of you. Which we will do, as soon as we can.
If you want the service you *expect* (and I think you're the type of person who needs 100% attention), you might have to wait ten minutes so you can be seated with a server who has the time and resources to give you the standard of service the restaurant, the server, and you, expect.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

a complaint and a compliment.

With school starting, we've lost a lot of people. The schedule is weird, everyone is working many days in a row and not their usual shifts. I worked my first night since I started and it was bananas.
I walked in to them changing the seating chart and everyone running around. Fine, I'll run food and clean tables until my station clears. But then - I get triple sat. I ran to the big table, got their drinks and they were ready to order. Did all that. Went to the other table (three ladies), told them I was really sorry and thank you for your patience.
They told me, "we didn't know what was going on, we were sat first, we didn't think you were taking care of us."
I told them, "I'm very sorry, I wasn't sure who was here first, but now that they're taken care of I can focus on you ladies!"

They ordered (cheap of course), and I kept an eye on them as long as they were there. Refills of Diet, etc. They were always fine, never complained about their food or said they needed anything. I thanked them again for holding on as I brought their check.

When they left, they told a manager it was the worst service they ever had. That I had to check back with them three times for their order, and still mixed it up. He gave them nothing because it sounded nothing like me (I always write everything down) and they just wanted something - which he didn't give them. And of course 0 tip.

I had a table next to them that told me they had heard them complaining and didn't understand. They said the service was great (and complimented me to the manager) and the food was perfect.

It all evens out.

Friday, July 29, 2016

I guess he liked it.

So he put a ring on it!
My work husband, I was so worried about the attraction one year ago, is now going to be my real. life. husband. He remembered the beautiful ring I noticed back then when we first started dating, and saved for it. Gave it to me while I was vomiting and at my worst, carsick and dehydrated.
Goes to show, Dear Reader. You never know when you will find your soulmate, and sometimes the universe works in mysterious ways.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A pleasant surprise.

Today was a weird day. I walked in to everyone running around, the kitchen backed up, because there were a bunch of larger parties. I get sat with one table, once they're taken care of I start doing what I can to help my coworkers. Run food, bus tables, the usual. I'm still not really getting sat because my station can't accommodate the bigger parties, so I'm just doing busywork.

I'm cashing out my one table, with my MOD because they have a coupon, and as I'm walking through the kitchen again (I have not been away from my station more than five-ten minutes) he stops to ask if 43 is mine. I say yes, and he tells a couple says they've been waiting for 20 minutes with no service.
I said, "That can't be possible! I've only been away from my section for as long as I was with you!"
He says, "I know that was an exaggeration, just get over there and tell them I grabbed you to take the table. You're not blaming anyone and it sounds like you're doing them a favor."
Verrrrry clever.

So I'm not looking forward to this. The exaggerated wait time means they're going to be difficult. They're rolling their eyes, but I grab their drinks and their order and tell them I'm very sorry, I'll take care of them. Of course, I mess up their order. 
Completely my fault, I hit the wrong button on the POS. They're rolling their eyes again, I get the right order out and of course have it comped. At this point, I was going to take care of their check if it wasn't because I was so embarrassed.

Okay, so I've run their card and I can tell they're still aggravated, but they're all boxed up and ready to go. I give them the receipts and a pen to sign and tell them again, I'm very sorry. She hands me a cash tip, which was about 20% on the bill before the comps, and says, "I know it wasn't your fault."

I was really, really shocked. I told her the order mess-up was my fault and I was sorry again, I hope they come back soon. And you know what, I meant it.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

I figured it out.

I'm making the same per-hour tips as I did at the diner. You know, like 40 in 4 hours. But I honestly feel, throughout the day, that I'm making nothing.
The reason is, I'm making the same tips, just on higher bills. At the diner, I was grateful for a five because the bills were only 15-20 for two people. Now, I have a two-top with a $50 tab giving me 5.
So, I'm making the same money because the tips are the same - but my percentage is way low. I know it's not me. That's all I keep telling myself, "I know it's not me."

Saturday, July 9, 2016

"So.. what's your REAL job?"

I think I've posted about this before. People seem to think of servers as servants, obviously, and there must be something else for us.

A few weeks ago, a customer had stopped me to give me his rewards card and I ran it. He had hidden his credit card to pay behind the check slip and I simply didn't see it. He asked me for his card back and I said I didn't receive one. So, already knowing where it was, he pulled it out and said, "are you going to college or something? Probably Biology."
Whatever that means, I laughed it off and said, "hey, close, it's Anthropology." He responded, "I could have guessed." Again, whatever that means. Dude probably didn't even know what Anthro is.

So for the 4th I'm with my mom and some friends who ask about the new job. One of them is pretty concerned if I graduated and what I'm doing now.
My mom snaps back, "Exactly what she's doing."

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Well, that was new.

Okay, so I've never worked in a place that sells alcohol before. I've also never worked corporate before. You might be able to see where this is going.. I had to cut someone off today.

A man and his girlfriend came in today for lunch, ordered cocktails. The man finished his before I had their order, maybe 10 minutes, and ordered another. I probably shouldn't have even given him the second so quickly, but I didn't even think twice and they were sitting and eating. They finished their appetizer, their meals, and he ordered a different cocktail. When I was going to put it in the computer, I realized it hadn't even been 45 minutes since his first.

I know when I was hired, it was dug into my head to always check ID and be careful when serving liquor. So I asked my manager to double check, I wasn't sure what the time frame was when serving cocktails. She said no, don't give him another.
So I went to tell the guy that according to policy, I couldn't give him another right now, but if they wanted to sit a little, maybe order something else, they were welcome to hang out and enjoy the company and another cocktail in a bit.
"Are you serious?"
"Well, what if I cash out with you and go sit at the bar?"

I told him that probably wouldn't work, my manager was right there and she keeps track of the cameras so she would know he came from a table (kind of trying to hide the fact I had said something, also just kind of nervous and unsure what to say). Well, he didn't like that. He wanted the manager at his table, come to find out he wanted her to SHOW him the policy that he couldn't have another drink.
So she's in the office, trying to find the appropriate paperwork to print out, and he's at the kitchen door every time I come and go, saying how he wants to see the policy, he wants his receipt, and more "are you SERIOUS?!"

I was actually kind of nervous at this point. This is a big guy, pissed off, hovering around in my station so I'm actually embarrassed going to my other tables. Finally, I gave him his change and receipt ($10 change from a $100 bill, the book empty when he left), and the manager showed him the paperwork, although he still said he was going to book a BIG complaint.

Luckily, my manager, as I was cashing out, told me she had my back and I had done everything right with that table, from double checking the drink timing to cutting him off.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Run-in with an old customer.

Today, I guess Sunday is a family-type day, we had a bunch of big parties. I didn't take the 9 or 13, but I only had a few that were less than 4. I took one of 6 out of my section because that server hadn't arrived yet, but right next to my own couple tables.

I go and start to get their drink orders, as I do I recognize one man from my old diner and immediately regret it. He just needs attention. So I grab all their drinks and tell them, "I'm just going to check on my other tables so they're okay and I can focus on your order, guys."
Only two checks, Diner Man and his wife, and then I guess somebody's daughter/husband and their two kids on another. I take their order, DM's wife literally replacing or getting on the side everything on her sandwich. I saved the order pad to show my boyfriend when I got home, her little section was just full of small scribbles and cross-outs. Of course they give her the wrong onions, but that turned out alright I guess, she took both home.
So as I'm trying to clear out my station so I can make sure I'm there for when the food comes out, I see DM talking to my manager. I don't think anything of it, maybe they know each other. After it all comes out and I get them settled, my manager comes to me and says, "What happened at table 10?"

Me: Uh.. ?
Manager: Well, he came to tell me they waited 30 minutes for their food and they didn't see you once in that time.
Me: (explains I recognized him and I probably shouldn't have taken the table at that point knowing how much attention he would need) I mean, I was walking by them, I was peeking at their drinks, no one needed refills or anything, what was the problem?
Manager: (checks the computer, their food had taken 20.) Well, it's not just after their food, you need to constantly be checking. And he wants a ginger ale.
Me: Did they need something?
Manager: No.. they just didn't see you.

Now, this is a tie for my favorite manager. I think he knew the guy just wanted something to complain about but needed to say something. So the guy gets his ginger ale and a refill (not free) before they leave.

So they're done. Keep in mind he is the ONLY person that complained about anything and the rest of the table was super understanding at the *wait* (20 minutes for 6 people in a full restaurant) and found me delightful.
I bring the checks, he opens his and says, "Well, you're going to take the ginger ale off my check because I had to wait so long for my food." Allllright. I take the checkbook back and say, "okay I'll grab my manager to do that," and he stops me saying "WAIT, don't you NEED my CARD?"
Like I was being silly for assuming he would want a correct print-out before he handed me his payment. Then he had me stand there for a good 30 seconds while searching his wallet for the card. And after he had me run his card, double-checked the ginger ale was off.
He gave me 15%, the other check gave me 20%, it worked out. And my manager didn't say another word.

I mentioned it to a coworker and she said, "Well, what are you supposed to do besides refill drinks if you have to? Just go over to say howya doin?"

Some people just want to complain, I don't get it. Why not enjoy time with your family instead of worrying about how long your food is taking? I would understand if I felt someone was looking for a reason not to leave a tip, but this feels like whining for the sake of whining.

Otherwise, today was a great day. I worked with good people. My tables were great and understanding and I'm really getting the hang of my timing. And my foot/ankle is holding up which I am so thankful for because this is the work I enjoy.