Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees.

I know I have a few faithful readers, and I'll let you all in on some Blondie secrets. It's about to get personal, y'all, and I'll throw out a trigger warning for anyone suffering in their own brain.

The past two years have not been kind to me. I had a car accident that left me bedridden for six months, in and out of the hospital. Lost my diner job, started a new one.
I got engaged. I got un-engaged - on my favorite holiday, my own birthday. My brother got married, and I'm coming up on my best friend's wedding. (happy occasions, but stressful all the same.)

I recently read an article about a woman taking a mental health day and her CEO telling her that she could have as long as she needed, and we should all feel free to talk about what's going on in our heads. I had to quit the corporate place, for my health. I was diagnosed with stress, anxiety, and depression. It felt good to have a name for what was afflicting me, but it wrecked me even more knowing that I was so sick for so long without knowing, and letting my mind and body go to waste because of ignorance or pride.
I mean, I obviously knew there was something wrong in some part of my consciousness, but it wasn't until I was admitted into the mental health unit of my local hospital at 84 pounds, kicking and screaming, that I realized my physical health was severely at risk, and I was killing myself with no idea why. They told me another week or so of isolating myself, literally and metaphorically, would have surely led to my heart stopping. As in, you don't wake up. I think I had gone 8 days without eating, but I had no conception of time, much less appetite. I slept in fits and dozes and pretended I couldn't hear my phone.

I made some surely life-long friends in my two weeks at the hospital, as much as I struggled to stay afloat. Imagine any teen-drama movie set in a mental health ward, and the sad little girl on suicide watch. I fought them every step of the way. They threw pills at me, appetite stimulants and horrible protein-packed supplements. They paraded me through a string of doctors asking the same questions, but I didn't feel heard. I still don't, not for lack of trying, but I'm still detangling. I met late-stage alcoholics, opiate addicts, and people having conversations with the voices in their head. Girls who lost their kids due to heroin addiction, men whose wives took their kids and left because the home got toxic.
The nurses, I'm not sure if that's the correct term, so someone tell me if I'm using the wrong nomenclature, were the real MVPs. They saw a tiny bird with clipped wings. The tough-as-nails battleaxe working the day shift would turn her ear to my door as she did rounds, so she could knock if I was crying. The two gentlemen who worked the night shift let me watch TV after hours when I couldn't sleep, and kept everyone out of my room when I finally conked out. They talked to me about books and movies, and always made sure I had the heated blankets fresh from the machine because I was always cold.

I'm fighting with my insurance right now, because I know I desperately need to adjust the meds given to me, or I'll end up inpatient again. In light of the recent celebrity suicide (Chester from Linkin Park), I'm driven to share my story. It gets easier every time I tell it, and so extremely to the point of bafflingly accepted and understood, I feel a Jenga piece lifting from my shoulders when I tell a family member, or a friend, "I'm not okay."

Sunday, July 16, 2017

I'm still here.

Blondie breakdown. I might even switch my blog focus. Would y'all still read if I spoke of eating disorders and mental illness, rather than.. well, people with disorders eating in my station?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Well, I learned something new.

So, we have this weird couple. They're nice enough... just weird. And cheap. And talk too much. But at least they know what they want, so as long as you don't get sucked into conversation, they're fairly low-maintenance.

I have the guy by himself, and he orders a flatbread. When I bring it out, he says,
"Oh, I meant to tell you to have them cook it light. I don't like the burnt edges." (the edges get crispy due to it being such a thin crust)
Which is completely fair, and I was pleasantly surprised when he didn't accept my offer to make him a new one.
"No, no, I'll just have to remember for next time!"
Which was five minutes later. I warned the cooks, and switched out his plate (the burnt pieces torn off and uneaten) with the lightly cooked one, which he agreed looked much better.

Then he told me why he doesn't eat the burnt. Because APPARENTLY, he read somewhere that when food gets black like that, it gives you cancer. I paused.
"What?"
"Yeah! Eating that will give you cancer!"
"I... really doubt that. Anything else right now?"

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A little off topic.

I'm teeny. I have dietary restrictions and trouble gaining weight. It's not exactly fun.

I've found, usually at work, and usually older ladies, love to comment on it. But without much context, so I'm not sure how to respond.
I ask them how many in their party - "YOU ARE SO SKINNY!" Okay... is that a compliment? Just an observation? Do I say thank you?
I had one lady actually grab my arm as I walked by the other day, "You are just so thin, you're making me think fat!" Okay, should I apologize?

I know they don't mean to be offensive, but good golly, would I love to give a smart comment.

I worked an extra couple days in a row this week and I am truly beat. I am going to relax SO HARD the next two days. And eat tons of junk food :)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

I got my first note on a receipt today!

I had a lady, with her baby, in my my section. She was on her phone, so I did not greet her right away. Eventually, she flagged me down. I told her, "I'm so sorry, I didn't want to interrupt your phone call!"

She orders for herself and the kid, all the while telling me how she has a coupon because the last time she was there she had problems. Eventually, I just send a manager over because she needs a remake on a soup, this is the same problem she had last time, she need this that and the other. I check on them, get refills, y'know - do my job.

At the same time, it's a weird day - we're understaffed and the hosts don't know when to go on a wait, so it's not like she couldn't see me running around. Yet, she felt the need to snap her fingers at me every time I ran by. She finally asks me to cash her out. I do.

The note reads:
"Try smiling and being friendly, honey! It's part of good customer service. Have a blessed day!"

Friday, March 3, 2017

I am a horrible person for face-palming at this.

A review of a restaurant:
"I ordered a turkey burger. After eating almost 1/2 of the burger, I knew something was just off. When I had the waitress check to make sure it was a turkey burger, she said, "Yes it is," but took it to the kitchen to check. The manager then came out and confirmed that the burger was actually a BEEF burger. [...] In my 28 years on this earth, I've done my very best to follow my religion and not partake in eating beef. It hurts that your business was the cause of me breaking that oath."

It took almost half the burger to realize it was something you have literally never eaten before, especially assuming that you HAVE had a turkey burger before?
I respect your religious beliefs and I understand that you are upset that you were eating beef against your will - that shit isn't right. But if you feel that strongly about it, you have to alert your server. Make sure it isn't cooked in the wrong pan, or that the grill is cleaned properly, so there's no cross-contamination. Just like an allergy.

I'm sorry this mistake was made. I'm sorry you feel if you have disrespected your religion. I'm sorry if your tummy got upset over it. But seriously, HALF the burger?

What girls really do in the bathroom.

Well, not always. I just had an interesting encounter at work. I was in the bathroom and I heard a lady come in, sniffling. I asked her if she was okay and she told me her dog had to be put down due to cancer.

I'm a huge animal person. I can't resist a rescue. I'm currently up to five cats and a dog. I couldn't help myself, I immediately hugged her and started tearing up myself. I told her I was so sorry, and it gets easier. She said thank you a hundred times, and before she left, she gave the bartender a tip to give to me. It's just surreal how people meet and comfort each other.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I messed up (but the customer was a dick about it).

So, the other day, our hostess just jacked us all up. The kitchen was behind, going on 30-minute ticket times. I told her more than once to put us on a wait because although there's empty tables and the servers are okay, it makes more sense to have customers wait for a table than have to ask us why their food is taking so long. Instead, she triple-sat every section.

So, I'm doing my best, honestly. My poor manager is doing comps left and right because everything is taking too long and coming out wrong. Now, what I did wrong was put table 26's order on table 16's check. Not a big deal, I can ring it in on the right check as a "don't make" on the right table, so they have the right tab, and I can split it off of the wrong table so it can be comped later. I missed one item, a $2 side. So table 16 is charged an extra $2, on my mistake.

Now, instead of saying something to me (at this point things have died down enough I was able to pay more attention to them), and letting me fix it, they walked out after signing the credit card receipt - circling the $2 side and writing, "DID NOT ORDER THIS - TAKEN OUT OF TIP."

Now, with that two dollars, I would have gotten just shy of 18% from them. Without it, it was maybe 15%. Which is fine. It just feels to me that they weren't searching for a reason not to tip, but that they knew they should have left more and were looking for a way to justify it. .

In better news, a table of 6 who got completely screwed up due to kitchen issues dropped me a 20 and was super nice about it.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

My first complaint.

So, I've been at this restaurant for about 8 months now. It's a corporate place with not the greatest clientele, so we have a lot of people trying to get stuff for free. The french fries weren't hot enough, the steak was overcooked, I didn't like my Super Pomegranate Bahama Mama, and I wasn't offered a dessert.

Whatever, deal with it, get it comped, make my money (if they decide to leave 10% on their comped-ass bill), and go home.

Lately, I've been killing it with upsells, signups for our rewards program, stuff like that. But it all seems nil when I get a complaint about myself specifically.

I was done for the day, just cleaning my section and rolling silverware. I see someone's food is up so I go to run a cup of soup to 37. The conversation that followed:
Blondie: "Chicken noodle?"
Cranky Man: "Yep... well where's the rest of it?"
Our soup is a standard size. It might look a little skimpy because of the dish it's served in, but I've never had a complaint before.
B: (thinking he was playing the Original Comedian role) "Yes, sir, that's our portion size! Enjoy!"

I turned and walked away, intending to find his server to send her over because I wasn't dealing with that. In my search, I walked near his table again and he yelled, "HEY! Is there a MANAGER available?"
I go back in the kitchen, explained what had transpired, and my manager went out to speak to him. Apparently, he had said something else and I 'ignored him', so he was going to take his business elsewhere. I told my manager if he did, I honest to God did not hear him and I would go out and apologize right now if he hadn't have left.

Now, in hindsight, I probably should have said, "I'm going to find your server and see if she can get you something else." But I really thought he was just being a smart-ass and the conversation was over. I mean, how petty can you get?