A night in the deep end…

I’ve become the worst blogger ever. I used to post everyday, and felt guilty if I didn’t. Now I barely post once a week. What am I becoming. A lot of it has to do with just being tired. Waiting tables is taking it out of me, so that even when I don’t work I’m exhausted. I’ll try to be better. I promise.

I worked tonight. It was actually an adventure just starting my shift. On Tuesday night I was approached by a manager asking if I’d be interested in picking up a cocktail shift for Friday night. Seems a server’s mother was ill and she was going to be out of town all week to be with her. I needed the money so of course I said yes. Fast forward to today. I get to work and am pulled aside by a different manager. Seems the girl with the sick mother, came back early and showed up to work her shift. So now they have two people to work in one station, even though I signed the book and it rightfully belongs to me. Not one to be bitchy (well most of the time) I asked what was going to happen, and I was assured that I’d get a shift, if I just let them work it out.

About 25 minutes later, the same manager comes back to me and tells me I’m going to be in section 5 and that it’s all worked out. This makes me happy because although it’s not as good as the section I was supposed to be in, it’s still good and I won’t have to work as hard. Fast forward 10 minutes. I’m sitting with the crew, waiting for pre-shift to start (this is where they fill us in on the specifics for the evening) and the same manager tells me there might be a problem with my shift and to just sit tight. Then another manager pulls me aside and tells me the shift is mine, but that someone else is there to work and I just have to wait until they talk to her before I can take it. Then the original manager comes back by and tells me not to say anything during pre-shift and just pretend that I don’t have a shift until they can figure it all out. And so that’s what I do. I sit there and listen as everyone else is told where they are working and what’s happening for the evening. I now realize that a girl named Amy is in my section but I still have no idea what’s going on.

Pre-shift ends and everyone scatters to start their shift. I’m told to go wait in the manager’s office and await further instruction. At about 5:15 it’s announced that everyone needs to leave the office so there can be a meeting with a server…Amy. I get up and stand outside chatting with other employees. I’m chatting and don’t see her go in. It’s now almost 5:25 and they still haven’t told me what’s going on and they’ve just taken Amy into the office to talk to her. I wait, and wait, and wait and suddenly the door opens Amy bursts out crying and storms off. I have no idea what’s happened or why. Then the manager comes out and tells me I can now start my shift.

I head off to my section to find it completely full and find out from another server it’s been full since 5:15. Which means that people have been sitting there for almost 15 minutes without being helped. I’m now going to have to do some damage control if I’m not going to be stiffed on my first round of tables. I greet all the tables and tell them that the server who was supposed to be waiting on them has had a family emergency and had to leave. I apologize to them profusely and tell them they’ll be in the best of hands now. It seems to appease everyone. I’ve now said the same thing to all four tables and I think everything is under control. And then, while I’m standing at the computer entering orders an entirely different manager comes up and starts to bitch me out because I have been missing in action for 30 minutes and my tables haven’t been waited on. I wait until he stops to take a breath and tell him to go speak to George about where I’ve been. That I was doing exactly what I was told and that every thing was under control. His response. Perhaps he should give one of my tables away since I don’t seem to be able to handle them. I grunted and walked away. About 20 minutes later he came back up to me and ask how everything was and apologized that he was yelling at me, when clearly no one had kept him in the loop about what was going on.

And that was my first 45 minutes of work. I’d love to say that it got better from there but it didn’t. It was 5% night tonight. At least 10 or 11 tables left less than 10%. And if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a 1,000 times. Italian tourists suck ass. If they tip at all, which they don’t always do, it’s never more than 5 bucks no matter what the tab. Oh, and to the very nice teenage four-some that was the last table seated in my section. You know, the ones who took forever to order. The ones that took forever to eat. The ones who made me do a birthday when no one was in the restaurant. The one I gave the free dessert to because it was your birthday. $6.75 on a 75 dollar tab is not acceptable. In fact it’s insulting. If you are educated enough to tip, then pull out the calculator on your cell phone and figure out what 15% is. And since you got free food, and a birthday…why don’t you make it 20%. I’m just saying.