Don’t piss off the waiter!

As for what to do when a table asks for something else when they’ve already not stiffed you?  This is what I did.

I stalled.  A good long time.

I took the order.  Two Buds.  One Stella.

I immediately went to the computer and placed the order.

And then I checked on all my tables.  And I stopped to talk to my friend Curtis.  And I went to the kitchen to get a soda.  And I went to the bathroom.  (I washed my hands, stop worrying).  And I hung out in the wait station for a while.  And I checked all my tables again.  And I chatted with a table that was nice.  And then as I was walking by the table calls me over and asks what happened to their beers.  And I slap my head and say, “Oh darn!  I forgot all about them.”  And then I go to the kitchen and get another soda.  And I make some wildly innapropriate conversation with co-workers.  Probably about sex.  (Speaking of which, remind me to tell you about the conversation I had with a table on Friday night about anal sex).  And then I finally went to the bar.  And I chatted with Eric the bartender.  He’s my favorite because he’s cute and he’s the fastest of all the bartenders.  And then after at least 20 minutes since the beers were ordered in the computer,  I picked them up and carried them to the table.  I’m sure they were warm and flat.  I apologized profusely that it had taken so long.  I gave them their check.  They paid.  I never went back to the table.

Is any of this appropriate?  I don’t know.  If it had been in the middle of the shift I would have responded differently.  I would have gotten them the beers faster so that they would leave faster.  Unfortunately for them, it was the end of the night.  I’d already made most of the money I was going to make.  And they’d pissed me off.  At least I didn’t do some of the things my coworkers suggested.  Trust me you don’t want to know what they are.  And I’d like to think that I’d never do anything that bad.  Of course these people do know how to push my buttons.

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Dash and Dine

So I promised the story about the British couple.

Last night sort of sucked.  Everyone was in a bad mood.  Which didn’t help my mood.  I was insanely busy.  I sold more last night than I’ve ever sold before.  In fact I’m not sure there are many people I work with who’ve sold as much as I did last night.  And the real kicker is that it was mostly 2-tops.  Meaning 75 – 80 % of the tables I waited on last night had only two people.  And it’s not like their checks were huge.  I was getting them in and getting them out.  Unfortunately a lot of people weren’t tipping.  And it’s not like the service was suffering because I was busy.  I’m always busy, last nights business was sustained longer and everyone seemed to need to leave quickly.

And so around 11:00 a young British couple sits down at my counter.  By this time we are off the wait and things are calming down a little.  I greet them, and get their drink order.  They both order rather expensive alcoholic drinks, I card them and they are both 21 or 22.  I tell them I’ll be right back.

I come back with their drinks and nothing else notable happens with the table.  They finish dinner, I clear the plates and ask them if they want dessert.  They say no, and I tell them I’ll bring their check in a couple of minutes.  I return with the check and they tell me they’ve changed their minds they don’t want dessert but they would like a couple more drinks.  I say great, get their order and head to the bar.  I don’t remember what their drinks were but I do remember that they ordered two shots to go along with their drinks.  I return a couple of minutes later, drop off the drinks and that’s that.

I still have a number of tables and my friend Curtis is eating in my section.  So I’m going about my thing.  Curtis leaves.  I turn a couple of other tables.  And my British couple asks for the check.  I bring them the check and tell them that they can pay me whenever they are ready.  The check was for $117.00.  I’m sure they had no idea they’d spent that much but it’s what happens when you’ve been drinking and having fun.  A few minutes later I’m walking by and the girl calls me over.  She’s confused because the check says they’ve had 2 B-52’s and they didn’t have B-52’s.  I explain that the shot they ordered wasn’t in our computer so I rang up another shot and had the bartender made what they wanted.  And then she exclaims, but this is almost 10 dollars a shot.  And I reply yes, because it’s more alcohol than a normal drink.  I also explain that the normal drink she had would have been the same price if I’d charged her for a double.  She’s outraged.  I apologize and explain there’s nothing I can do.

And I walk away.

Not two minutes later I walk by and they are gone and there is money on the counter.  I pick up the check and look at the money.  They’ve left me two crisp fifty dollar bills.  Which is seventeen dollars short of what the bill is.  Not to mention that there is no tip.  So I tear out of the dining room and just as I’m starting to the exit I see the guy.  I catch him at the side door and say, “Excuse me but you didn’t leave enough money for the bill.”  He immediately gets defensive and says they are not paying for the shots.  They were too expensive and you should have told us how much they were before we got them.  I explain that if they’d asked I would have been happy to tell them how much they cost but since they didn’t ask I didn’t mention it.  He then tells me that they are definitely NOT going to pay for them.  Now he’s pissed me off.  I say to him, “I’m under the impression that you drank them.  I’m also under the impression that you ordered them.  I’m also aware that if you don’t want to pay for them that’s fine, but we’ll have to discuss this further across the street at the police station.”  He immediately grabs his wallet.

Unfortunately that’s when Ms. British couple comes up.  She’s a little more vocal.  She’s not shouting, but she’s close.  The shots cost too much.  You should have warned us.  I told you at the table we were not paying for them.  Blah, blah, blah.  When she runs out of breath I say, not being very nice now.  If you didn’t want to pay for them you shouldn’t have ordered them.  If you really thought they cost too much you should have asked for a manager at the table.  You never told me you weren’t going to pay for them or we’d have had this discussion earlier.  And on top of all that, IF YOU DON’T PAY FOR THE DRINKS, I DO!!!!  AND I’LL BE DAMNED IF I’M BUYING YOU DRINKS.  (I don’t even mention that they didn’t tip).  And now as I’ve told your boyfriend, it’s fine if you don’t want to pay for the drinks.  It’s in your right.  But at this point we’ll have no other choice than to march across the street and have this discussion with the police.  I’m sure they’ll like the part where you shorted the check twenty bucks and were dashing for the exit.  I’m also sure they’ll be happy to hear that you ordered and item, consumed the item and then decided you weren’t paying for the item without mentioning it to anyone.  So if you want to spend the rest of your weekend in New York in the city jail, let’s walk across the street.

Or you can give me my seventeen dollars.

The boyfriend looks terrified.  He opens his wallet, hands me the money and they leave.

I march back downstairs.

I probably crossed a couple of lines here.  But I was pissed.  I will not have it put in my file that I had another walkout.  I also won’t spend twenty bucks to buy someone I don’t know a shot.  Unless he’s damn cute and there’s a chance I can sleep with him.  And don’t dine and dash.  If you don’t agree with something ask to see the manager.  Otherwise it’s stealing.

And so I went back to work.  A little out of breath.

I got there just in time to have table 71 ask for their check.  I drop it and they pay it with a hundred dollar bill.  The change is eight dollars.  They take four of the dollars and thrust them into my hand and tell me what a great server I am.

Fuck.

About three or four minutes later they called me over and told me that they’d changed their minds and would like another beer.  Two Buds and a Stella!

The question of the day:

What should my response be?

What was my response?

And what would you have done?

A Waiter’s Life

It’s been an interesting two days at work.

Last night I sold the least I’ve ever sold on a weekend night.

Tonight I sold the most I’ve ever sold in one night.

Last night people were nicer and tipped better.

Tonight I wanted to push everyone down the elevator shaft.

For example.  If you are in a bad mood.  And you are tired because you’ve been shopping since 4:00 a.m.  Don’t fucking take it out on me.  I didn’t make you come to NYC.  I didn’t make you shop all day at stores that you probably have at home.  And I sure as hell didn’t make you choose this restaurant, which is on an hour wait.  What I did do, was come to the lobby and rescue you from your wait, and seat you well ahead of a lot of other people.

Your response.  Can’t we have a regular table.  My response.  OF course you can have a regular table.  Just head right back to the lobby and I’m sure they’ll have a table for you in 30 to 40 minutes.  (This usually brings them over to my side).

Then because you are in a bad mood you get into a fight with each other about whether you’re going to drink or not.  Can we talk here?  You are all middle aged fucking women.  You don’t need anyone’s approval to drink.  If you want something, order it.  If not don’t.  And please don’t make me fucking stand there and wait while you have the discussion.

And now can we talk about ordering food and how that order is processed in the kitchen.  You place your order.  For example you order wings, fajitas and a salad.  As I’m about to walk away you ask whether you should order the nachos or the skins as an appetizer.  I recommend the nachos because they are faster (I don’t say this to them) and they are easier to share.  I tell them I’ll put the order right in.

And so I leave and I put the water, diet and Stella into the computer, with the order for the nachos.  I don’t put the order in for the rest of the food because the nachos are supposed to be an appetizer.  Something you enjoy first.  I get the drinks and drop them off.  No we do not have Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  We are a classless joint, but not that classless.  Yes, I know but I have no idea who the girl was that told you we did.  Can you point her out to me?  Was she a waitress?  No?  A busser?  No.  A host?  Maybe?  She probably didn’t know I’m sorry.  I do have a raspberry lemonade that I can recommend.  It’s new and it’s very tasty.  “But I don’t want ice tea from a machine.  I want something like Mike’s with alcohol.”  Yes, I know.  (I’ve been fucking listening and having this conversation for way too long now.)  Actually the raspberry lemonade is mixed at the bar with fresh raspberries and I serve about a 100 of them a day.  Everyone loves them.  Okay, if you are sure.  I’ll bring it right out.

And so I get the lemonade and while I’m gone, the Nachos hit the table.  I do a sweep down the aisle to make sure everyone’s okay.  I seat a table and I get some drinks and I head to the computer to enter the rest of their order.  It’s maybe been five minutes since the nachos were delivered.  And I continue my night.  I stop by a couple of times and it’s clear you guys aren’t happy but you seem to be okay.

And then you call me over to ask if there’s a problem with the food.  Why is it taking so long.  At most it’s only been 15 minutes since I put it into the computer.  Making it 20 minutes since you got your nachos.  Which you are still enjoying I might add.  I say that I’m sure it will be out soon.  At which point you make some snide comment about having to wait so long.  (What I’m thinking:  Listen bitch if it weren’t for me, your sorry ass would still be in the lobby sitting on the floor waiting for a table.  You WOULDN’T be complaining at my table about the food drinks that you are already enjoying.)  I assure them that the food is coming again.  And again I get a snide little comment.  I say (this time out loud):  This isn’t McDonalds we don’t have salads in boxes waiting to be picked up at the register.  I’m sure your food will be right out.  (At this point I knew that I was lost, but sometimes you cut your losses and say fuck it.)

And so I went to the kitchen and expedited their food.  And they hated all of it.  Of course they wouldn’t just come out and say it.  They made little comments under their breath and picked at it.  In front of me.  They said things like, “This isn’t what I was expecting”  “I thought it was going to come with the citrus dressing”  I thought the dressing would be on the side.”

Fuck YOU!!!

I stopped checking on them.  I stopped trying to make them happy.  Some times you just have to take one for the team.

Finally they asked for the check.  I knew that I wasn’t going to get a tip but I thought what the hell.  I dropped off the check.  It took sometime for them to figure it out but finally I was called over and asked to put 32.00 on a credit card and the rest was in cash.  With out the credit card tip there was an extra four dollars on 78.00.  So I dropped the receipt off to be signed.  Thanked them.  And walked away.  Two minutes later I walked by the table only to discover that they’d taken the credit card slip with them.  FUCK.  That means no extra tip for me.  It’s no big deal that we don’t have the slip.  The information’s in the computer and it’s all processed from there.

But even paying they had to be a pain in my ass.

Tune in to tomorrow when I tell the story of threatening to call the cops on two English 21 year olds.

It’s more fun than you can imagine.

You’ve Got Mail!

I suck at returning emails.  Especially personal emails.  I have a strict rule that I have to answer business emails within 24 hours and I try to do it by end the day.  But those pesky personal emails drive me crazy.   It’s one thing if you just need information.  Something like, “What time is the wedding on Saturday.”  What drives me crazy are the emails that want to play catch up with me.  If you are really interested in knowing what I’ve been up to pick up the fucking phone and call me.  And yes, I know there are a lot of people out there who might not have my number.  Well of all the personal email catch-ups I’ve got sitting in my inbox I would guess 90% have my phone number.  And of the 10% that are left, they found me on Facebook and my number is part of my profile, so there you go you have access to my number.

And why is this important?

I got an email two weeks ago wanting to know when the Jeff’s were having dinner.  (there are three of us.)

I responded yesterday saying “How about Monday.  It’s my day off.  We could all meet for dinner before Jeff’s therapy.

The response I got this morning:  “Thanks.  I think I’ll pass on dinner.”

I was a little taken a back.  Knowing this person, god only knows what could be the problem.  He’s proven more than once to just sort of flake and to be hard to deal with.

So I sent him a response.  “So are you passing because you are busy or because you are mad at me.”

I should point out that none of this is on real email.  It’s all Facebook.  I’m glad I’m on it, but I wish that it wasn’t becoming the only way of communicating with people.

Tonight I found this response:  “Not mad, just sent that email over two weeks ago. Kind of disappointed at the lack/delayed response. It gives the impression you’re not interested. Jeff says it’s common, but it drives me crazy when I feel ignored.”

Is it just me, or is this more his problem than mine.  I could of course point out to him that our last conversation was a week after I broke my foot.  No calls or concern over how I was doing, if I was back in town, or what was up with me.  Nope just a random request for dinner.

I responded:  “I’d like to think that my lack of response speaks to how busy I am. I’ve worked like a mad man since I’ve gotten back because I managed to rack up an additional 6,000 dollars in debt borrowed from friends to get through four months without income. I owe you and about 50 other people emails. I get to them when I can.  If you are hurt I’m sorry. But I would like to think you are old enough to know that people don’t always respond on your time or react the way you want them to.  God knows I’ve had to accept that more times than I can count and a few significant times with you.  I’ll try to do better but I can’t commit to answering emails the day that I get them.   If you are still interested in doing dinner sometime, let me know.”

I wrote the email and tried to calm down.  I wanted to write and just tell him to fuck off.  I didn’t.

His response:  “No problem.  However, I have learned to get back in touch with people immediately. We are all busy. : )”

I still want to tell him to fuck off.

Yes we are all busy.  But can I just say it’s a little easier when you work a 9 to 5 job.  It doesn’t make like perfect but it sure as hell is better than 5 to 2.

My schedule:

The alarm goes off at 11:30.

I get up at noon.

I make coffee.

I drink a Diet Coke waiting for the coffee to brew.

I turn on the TV and watch fifteen minutes of NY1.  (It’s our local cable news show that’s just New York City news).  I watch till I see the headlines and the weather.

I get my first cup of coffee.

I come back to the couch and turn the TV to Headline news.

I watch TV and drink my coffee.

The next part differs depending on the night before.  I either switch to MSNBC to watch more news or I fall asleep on the couch.  Either way I’m there till about 2:00.

At 2:00 I get up and check my email, pay my bills, check my blog for comments, balance my checkbook, try to read and sometimes actually comment on the blogs that I like.

At 2:30 I get in the shower.

At 3:00 I leave for work.

On Sunday thru Thursday I leave work around 1:30 to head home.

I get home somewhere between 2:00 a.m. and 3:30 a.m.

I come in and drop my book bag in my room.

I check my mail.

I turn on my computer and look to see if there are any important emails like job offers or someone’s died.  I also check my comments again.  I check the news to make sure nothing else has blown up during the 9 hours I was at work.

I head to the kitchen and I make dinner.  (Lunch was at 4:00 at the restaurant.)  Once my dinner is ready I head to the living room to watch Jon Stewart if he was taped that night.  If not I turn the news on once again or sometimes I try to watch a show I’ve saved.  (This doesn’t usually happen because I don’t want to give more than 30 minutes to dinner and TV.)

I head back to my computer and try to be witty and funny and not to long winded as I write a post for my blog.

It’s now somewhere between 4:00 and 5:00.  I floss, brush my teeth and head to bed.

I read a couple of chapters from the book I’m reading.

I turn the light off sometime between 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. (It’s 5:00 a.m. as I write this).

I turn the light off.

I go to sleep.

The alarm goes off at 11:30.

I get up at noon.

If you were paying attention I’m at my computer during my two most tired moments of the day.  Right after I wake up and right before I go to bed.  I try to answer emails but they either require too much time, too much energy or I can’t even begin to figure out the answer.  So I put them off till tomorrow.  And tomorrow and tomorrow.

If you call me, I’ll pick up the phone while I’m watching the news having coffee and return your call or if you are on the west coast and it’s not too late I’ll call you before I go to bed.

Long story short.  I’m tired.  And if you really wanted to do dinner, then why didn’t you say, “Hey are you free Tuesday for dinner?”  And you fucking live in NYC.  Getting more than two people together to do anything takes a party planner, organizational skills, and the drive and determination like nobodies business.  My friend Christian moved to NYC in March.  I saw him for the first time this past week.  We are all busy.  We all live in different parts of the city.  We all work different hours.  And we all are interested in different things.

And to tell the truth.  I only want to have dinner with you because it involves having dinner with the other Jeff.  I actually like him.  I always have.  He’s never been flaky on me.  Or come to my house for cookout and gone home without eating while everyone else was in the backyard making hamburgers.  Without even saying goodbye.  Or come to a going away party for me, and leave without even saying goodbye.  Actually you never say goodbye to anyone.

I’m annoyed now.  And I’d really like to tell you to fuck yourself.  But it’s late and I’m tired and I might regret it in the morning.  And I’ve bitched about it on here, so maybe that will help some.

I’m going to bed.

And I might add that he sent his initial email and all the follow up emails during the day.  From work.

If I could sit at a desk and write emails all day I might be better at following up too.

Fuck.

A Day In The Life Of Maddog.

Wow.

It’s been such a boring day.

I got up around 10:00.

I made coffee.

I watched some TV.

I talked to my mom.

I showered.

I grabbed a Diet Coke and went to the subway.

I rode the A train down to 14th street.

Got my new glasses readjusted so they fit my face better.

Bought some new underwear.

Bought a calendar.

Picked up my old glasses that I’d had prescription sunglass lenses put in.

Came home.

Watched True Blood.  (that’s another post in and of itself.  Hot men.  Vampires.  Hot sex.  What more could you want)

My bank went belly up.

I watched Project Run…

What the fuck.

My bank was taken over by the FDIC in the biggest bank failure in the history of the U.S.  I hope my roommate cashes the rent check soon because the money may not be there by Monday.  I don’t usually talk politics on here because I’m usually talking about me, which is a much more fun topic to discuss.  As they say in the south, “Enough about me, let’s talk about my dress.”

But really?  How much more fucked up can things get.  The entire financial market is ruins.  The Republican’s are more interested in winning the presidential election than actually trying to save the economy.  I don’t know how to break it to them, but if we are all living in cardboard boxes down on the piers, ain’t no way anybody’s voting for them.  Do we really want to shell out 700,000,000,000 (my calculator won’t even go that high) to the people who’ve spent all their own money and not want some sort of regulatory guidelines in place.  Really?  If the companies knew how to manage money we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place.  And do we really want to bail out companies whose executives make trillions of dollars a year but not give a break to the little people who are losing their homes.  I know, I know, they shouldn’t have borrowed the money if the first place if they couldn’t afford to pay it back.  But “The Man” shouldn’t have loaned the money if they knew the people they were loaning it to in the first place couldn’t pay it back.  There’s a reason I don’t loan my relatives money.  I give, they take.  I never see it again.  They should know better.  They are paid to know better.  And that’s just the economy.

Sarah Palin?

Really?

Really?

Really?

The homeless man I pass on the way to work everyday would make a better vice president than she would.  At least he understands the economy and how it effects the little people.

My roommate pointed out that the verdict is still out on whether she’s stupid or ignorant.

And I’m at a loss of words

You live next to Russia and you have foreign policy experience.  I’ve been to Europe five times and I lived 30 minutes from Mexico and I live in a Dominican neighborhood and I see more foriegn people in ten minutes on the subway than Ms. Palin has seen in her whole life.  So clearly I must have enough foriegn policy experience experience to be VP.  And don’t forget I was employee of the month in January.  That should count for something.  And I have only attended four universities (she attended five) but I have two more degrees than she does so I’m definitely better educated.  I am gay so that might be a problem but I was also baptized Southern Baptist and went to a Southern Baptist college so that might offset the gay thing.    I’ve never had a news conference, but wait, neither has she.  I wasn’t president of the PTA but I was the social secretary of my fraternity and president of the drama club so together I think that compares.   I’ve never been a governor but from what I’ve seen on the news and in the four questions she actually took from reporters today, that might be an asset.  Besides I met the governor of Kentucky before and that’s the same as being governor.  Fuck, I met Jimmy Carter in 1983 so I’ve damn near be president all ready.

All kidding aside.

Really?

There are people who think she’s a good choice.  I can understand people who support McCain.  I don’t agree with them, but I can at least understand it.

But Sarah Palin?

Really?

She might be a MILF but I don’t think she should fuck the country.  And from what the National Enquirer has to say she hasn’t been exactly faithful to her husband either.

And we haven’t even discussed every other fucked up thing that’s going on right now.

Now that my head hurts and I’m out of wind I think I’ll go to bed.

God Help Us.

If there are any doubts about Sarah Palin watch this:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP12aNzocSc]

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQRGsZ0SN7E]

Ramblings

I have made notes over the past month on about subjects to cover concerning the service industry.  None of them seem to be the topic to cover tonight.

So I’ll just ramble.

I had a great night at work.  We were SLOW!!!!  The wait never was never more than 10 or 15 minutes.  It was enough to keep my section full.  And luckily for the first four hours no one tipped less than 20%.  Of course for the last four hours, no one even came close to 20%.  Luckily the two averaged out and it was a prosperous night.

By the way, if you are NOT going to wait for the waiter to bring your check, and you are going to throw down money (like in the movies) and leave.  Make sure that you throw down enough money.  And if case you are confused.  a 13 dollar burger and a 7 dollar beer don’t add up to 20 dollars.  It’s not even close.  With tax etc. it’s almost 24 dollars and we haven’t discussed the tip.  Luckily the manager discounted the check for me tonight so that I didn’t have to make up the 4 dollars I was shorted.

If you are going to go out to eat by yourself, get sat at a four top and then sit there for an hour just staring at the people around you.  Please remember to tip more than 5%.  Please.

And if by chance one of your co-workers does something you don’t like, the way to deal with this is to say something to the co-worker.  NO ONE like a tattle tale.  And it really pisses everyone off when you run to the manager and then stand there next to him while he asks people to stop.  Yes the issue was sexual, and yes we probrably shouldn’t be graphic at work, but if you are going to work in the restaurant business you need to have a tougher skin.  Let’s face it, everyone we work with talks like a sailor and will discuss just about any thing concerning their bodies.  And like I said, if you don’t like it say so, we’ll be much likely to stop.  (I wasn’t a part of any of this, except for listening to fifteen employees bitching because Melissa went to a manager).

The Naked Cowboy came in and had a drink at the bar tonight.  He was wearing a fur coat so as to not be too offensive.  Anthony the annoying waiter was more thrilled by his presence than anyone.

He’s kind of trashy looking.

Larry the Cable guy was in on Sunday night.  I didn’t even know who he was.  I just thought he looked like some of my family and I hoped I didn’t have to wait on him.  Because the last thing anyone wants to do is wait on someone from my family.

I have tomorrow (Thursday off) I think I may get up early and go out and explore the city.  That is if it’s not raining which it’s so supposed to do.  If it’s raining, I may get a blanket and nap on the sofa all day.

And one final note.  There is a vitamin bottle in my kitchen with the label:  My Favorite Multiple:  Original.  This morning pouring coffee I thought it said, My Favorite Multiple Orgasm.  I was wondering why I didn’t take them more often.

One Year Anniversary — Paper — Send Money!

It’s been a year since I started waiting tables again.  September 19th was the day I went in to fill out all of my paper work. If any of you were reading back then I was nervous that I wouldn’t remember how to do it.  That I would embarrass myself.

A year ago today 9/24 was my first solo shift.  I picked up the shift on the lottery that is used for people who just show up to get shifts.  It was a day shift, in the worst section in the restaurant.  I made 94 dollars and was pleased as punch.  It was the first money I’d made in months and it felt good to have hard earned money in my pocket again.

Little did I know what working there would really be like.

By December I’d become the number one ranked server in the restaurant using some weird system they have.

In January I was employee of the month.  (I didn’t blog about this because I just found out two weeks ago.  What can I say it’s a top notch place I work).

That I would end up getting the exact schedule that I want, in the sections that I want and that everyone would be happy to give them to me.

That management would actually be glad to have me around.

That most of the staff would actually like me.  And I like most of them.  Some of them I even consider my friends.  (I posted a year ago about how I thought they were all asses).

That I actually like my job and am somewhat good at it.

That I’m making more money than I need which has taken some of the pressure off of being back in NYC.

That they gladly give me time off to go do my “theatre” work and and gladly have me back when I return.

That I would be made a trainer.

That I would be a part of the clique that is the bar staff.

That co-workers would tell me that they wanted to come in and follow me to find out how I make so much money.

And well I have fun there.  And although I don’t see myself doing it for the rest of my life, it’s fine for now.

And a year ago today I posted the now infamous photo of the foot.  Not my foot although several people thought that it was.  I do know having four month off to let my ankle heal also allowed the blisters and calluses to heal and my feet don’t hurt nearly as much.

For those of you who’ve forgotten.  Here’s that now famous photograph.

Makes you want to kneel down and kiss it, doesn’t it.

I’ll check in a year and let you know how things are going.

Where’s the Geek Squad when you need them?

Work has been beastly for the past two days.  You’d think that a restaurant that does as much business as ours (37 million in NYC alone last year) would insist that the computer system that is the brains behind the place works properly.

Friday night around 7:00 we started hearing grumblings that something was amiss and that we should print out all of our active checks in case the system went down all together.  And then it became apparent that the system wasn’t going to go down, it was just going to slow to the slowest possible speed and still be called a computer.  I’m not exagerrating, at one point last night I was in the kitchen for more than 15 minutes to ring in one beer.  And as the system continued to get slower the lines for the computers began to get longer.  With each server taking more than 10 minutes each to ring in an order I’m surprised that the place didn’t explode into complete chaos.

Around 9:00 someone had the good sense to take us off line.  This meant that we were no longer syncing with the host computer but were working alone.  This helped to speed things up a little but not much.  And the problem with working off line is that things have a tendency to disappear and reappear at will.  At one point I went to ring up a round of drinks for a table and the check wasn’t present.  I thought maybe it was one of the orders that I got without putting it into the computer so I re-rang everything they had, plus the new drinks.  Ten minutes later the original check reappeared.  So now I had to get someone to void the extra check so I wouldn’t be accountable for the extra money.

We continued in this fucked-up system till the end of the night.  Around 11:30 they brought us back on line and the crap started all over again.  The system was running slow.  At least ten servers had checks on the system from three weeks ago and once again I’m surprised things didn’t fall into chaos.  There were a number of people who had difficulties with their check out.  One girl, according to her report only made 92 dollars on 1,500 in sales.  This is not likely.  One guy had to wait almost an hour after he was finished so they could figure out how to deal with the “ghost checks.”

Finally the night was over and we all went home.

And tonight when I got to work I was greeted with people telling me the system was worse than it was last night.  It had finally been taken off line around 2:00 and it was running better, but better didn’t do much to describe.  When I came on the system sucked.  It still took three hours to ring in a couple of orders.  And we had been given strict orders not to tell the guest that we were having computer issues.  I tried doing that for about an hour and then decided that I’d rather them think there was a computer problem than think that I was just a bad server.

For the most part the night went okay.  I estimate that I’ve lost about 125 bucks this weekend because of the computer.  And that’s just me.  You can’t get people in and out when it takes four hours to get things done.  The food takes forever to hit the table.  You can’t cash people out quickly because there is a line to get to the computers because they are running so slowly.  I sold about 500 dollars less tonight than I would have typically sold on a Saturday night.  Which means that there was less money in my pocket.  So the question I’m going to have for the general manager next week, is who’s getting fired?  The system hasn’t worked fully since it was installed and there are always problems with it.  And my stock question when this happens is that if any employee was as efficient as the computer system they would have been fired withing two weeks of starting.  And yet I have this feeling that someone’s going to get some big ass bonus because they conned us into this piece of shit.

And just for the record.

When you asked for your check you should have told me that you had a AAA card and wanted your discount.  But you didn’t tell me that.  And I’d already explained that the computers were fucked so why did you throw suck a hissy fit when I explained that you couldn’t get your discount because the system was down.  She said, “This discount was promised to me, I should have been told before my meal if it wasn’t able to happen.”  Which I agree with, if she’d FUCKING told me she had a AAA card.  So then she insists that a manager will be able to do it.  And so I say fine, I’ll take care of it.  In the mean time I have two tables that need to order, another table that’s asked for their check and I need to get two people from the lobby to fill two chairs.  So I did all of that before I went in search of a manager to get her discount.  In all she probably waited 30 minutes for her discount.  Which was 2.76.  And I probably could have made it happen faster but she was such a bitch about it when it was just a couple of dollars.  And lets face it in the big scheme of things that’s hardly worth causing a fuss about.  And so guess how much she tipped me.  I think it was around 64 cents.  And she probably thought that she’d “Shown Me.”  But not all.  I didn’t expect a tip.  And when I decided she was going to wait, I forfieted my tip.  And so I let her sit there and wait and stew and took my time to get her out the door.  And I laughed the whole time.  Her sitting there let me catch my station up without having to worry about filling her chairs so in the big scheme of things she did me a favor.

Act Your Age!

In case anyone is wondering, the legal drinking age in New York is 21.  Yes, I know in Belgium it’s 12 and in England if you are big enough to sit on the stool, you are big enough to drink.  But in New York the legal drinking age is 21.  So don’t get pissed at me when I tell you that your 15 year old son can’t have a beer.  And no I WON’T bring you two beers so that he can sip on one.

Sorry but that’s not going to happen.

And while we are on the topic, why do you look so surprised that I’m asking you for an ID?  It’s the U.S. we spy on everyone.  I’m not actually checking your age, my bionic eye is scanning your license and dumping the information into a super secret database.  Seriously, you look 12.  And as I’ve mentioned you have to be 21 so all I’m asking is for you to prove your age.  And I don’t care that you came here last night and you didn’t need an ID.  And I don’t care that Red Lobster didn’t ask for an ID.  I did.  And now because I’ve asked you are legally obligated to have it or I can’t serve you.  End of story.  Even if you are 53.  If you want to drink in the city carry your ID.  And expect to use it.  I’m 43 and I get carded and trust me I haven’t looked under 21 in a long time.

And while we are on the subject…who leaves home without their wallet?  Or ID?  I might run down to pick up my laundry or to get Diet Coke from the grocery next door.  But that’s about all I do without my ID.  And I definitely don’t go anywhere more than a mile from my house without my ID.  I just don’t do it.  Even if I’m not going to drink.  Suppose I get hit by a bus and am scattered all over Broadway.  It might be the only way they can tell who I am.  Except for that prison gang tattoo on my left ankle.  It’s of a butterfly crying in case you are wondering.

So the moral of this story is…carry v an ID.  And don’t pack it up in your belt pack, that is located in your underwear.  The tour guide books you are reading must have been written in 1984.  New York is for the most part not a dangerous place.  Be careful, watch your surroundings, but unless you are going to some more less desirable locations (that you would have to really want to go to, to find them) then you are pretty safe.

And to end, realize that it doesn’t upset me, when you get up and storm out of the restaurant because I won’t serve you.  And I promise you Planet Hollywood down the street isn’t going to serve you either.  You look tooooooooo young.  Sorry it’s the way it is.  Your best bet is to head back to your room and get the ID or to eat your meal, without the beer and enjoy the endless supply of Diet Pepsi that I’ll be bringing you.  And as I’ve told everytable I have ever waited on that whats me to serve them without an ID, give me all the money for my rent for the next year, up front, and I’ll be happy to bring you anything you want.  In fact I’ll buy the first round.  If not, sit there and shut up.

Work News

I had to be up early today.  I had to be at work at 9:00 a.m. to attend a training seminar.  I’ve been asked by the training manager to become a certified trainer.  I was already certifiable but I guess now I’m certified.

So I got to work at 9:00 a.m. this morning to sit through five + hours of information on how people learn.  I could have written the information and probably done a better job at it.  Things like people learn better by doing than by being told.  Start out with simple instructions on little tasks building to more complicated tasks.  Do not try to cover to much information at once.  Blah, blah, blah.  Nothing I haven’t heard before.  I was probably teaching before some of the other members of the seminar were even born.  Scary huh?

So I sat there like a good boy and answered the questions and behaved myself for the most part.  And when it was all over I was presented with a certificate, a hat and a pin that says I’m ready to teach the new slackers how to be even better at slacking.  I think I’ll put the souvenirs with the other training stuff that I still have from the last time I worked there.  I have worked for this company three times and each time I’ve been a trainer.  You would think they’d learn sooner or later.

The big question I had for the manager leading the seminar and the GM was how the hell am I supposed to train if I’m working in cocktails.  The pace is too busy, too intense and I’d lose all but the very best in about 10 minutes.  So it was briefly explained to me (I still don’t have all the details) that I’m going to be teaching people how to work the cocktail section.  Which I’m fine with.  It’s a beast in and of itself and no one really takes the time to teach new people the ins and outs of how it works.  You get thrown to the wolves and everyone hopes for the best.  A couple of weeks ago a server screamed at the host not to put anymore people in her section and then went and cried in the corner.  I think it will be a while before she’s scheduled in cocktails again.

My big fear with all of this is that I’m going to train myself out of a job.  Right now I’m the only person who works just cocktails.  And without tooting my own horn it’s because I work my ass off, sell more and make more money than anyone else.  I also very rarely have trouble with my tables, very few complaints, not to many problems with the kitchen and I think most of the management staff likes me.  So as long as I don’t end up losing my status I’ll train my butt off to their hearts delight.

I’ll keep you posted.

And I’ll end by saying.  Guess what I found out last week.

Guess who was employee of the month in January?  No not the girl who was crying in the corner.  ME!!!!  You would think that someone would have taken the time to tell me this.  You also would think that someone would have taken the time to give me the stuff I was supposed to get.  Like a couple of gift cards.  And a Metro Card to use for the month.  That alone is worth 81 bucks.  But alas I guess everyone was too busy.  It’s only the second time in my life I’ve been employee of the month.  The last time I was fired about six weeks later.  Perhaps it’s better that I didn’t know.