Maddog’s Last Waiter Shift of 2009

Adam has requested that I  mention that although the events I wrote about last night might have happened that I’m prone to embellishment for comic reading and for furthering my own need for attention.

Damn him!

Okay.

So sometimes I might embellish the story for effect.  But a few of the facts are correct.  He drove 75 miles an hour in the snow.  I did take a nap.  AND.  He DID call me a pussy.  Twice.

Two of my favorite tables of 2009 were in the restaurant tonight.

At 10:30 I sat a couple.  I took their order.  They ordered two waters and a brownie sundae.  And at 1:00 a.m. when I left for the night they were still chatting at my table.  They did tip me 20%.  But as I pointed out to many of my co-workers.  20% of 9.80 is 2.00.  Yeap.  They were there for over three hours and I made a whole two dollars.

FUCK THEM.

BUT.

I really had one of the best tables ever tonight.

A woman cornered me and asked if she could sit at my table.  There was much discussion and finally I said yes.  She told me then that I would be rewarded for my deed.  This is always a red flag.  The minute someone says they are going to “hook you up” that means you’ll be lucky to get 15%.  Turns out the table was great.  She was funny.  Her husband was funny and sexy with that distinguished grey hair at the temples kind of thing.  The teenagers were great.  And they didn’t even mind that the kitchen was taking forever.  At the end of the meal she asked for the check.  When I got to the table to drop it off she was the only one at the table.  She took the check and thrust money into my hand.  She told me the money was for letting them sit at my table and that the tip would be what ever her husband left when he returned to sign the credit card slip.

She had given me40 dollars.

Her husband tipped 30 dollars on their 100.00 check.

70 dollars off one table.

My faith in humanity is renewed.

Tonight was my last money shift for 2009.

I have to be a cater waiter for New Year’s Eve.  The restaurant is closed for a private party and because I was off Xmas and Thanksgiving I have to work.  I’ll let you know how that goes tomorrow.

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Maddog’s Christmas Vacation…

Good evening boys and girls.

I know I’ve been missing in action for the past week or so.

Here’s what has been going on.

On Saturday, December 19th, Adam and I got into a car and drove 30 hours to Texas to spend Christmas with his family.

Yes.

Adam.

Me.

In small town.

Texas.

Population 2479 2478.

Okay, pick your chins up off the floor.

As always I’ll spend a few days telling you all about the trip.  Just keep me on track.  Sometimes I get distracted and never finish the story.

We got into the car around 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.  I had worked the night before so I was pretty useless as Adam got things ready to go.  Actually I’d been pretty useless for the whole week but I’ll tell you all about that later.  We loaded the car, stopped at Starbucks for coffee, McDonald’s for Diet Coke and around 11:00 or so we crossed the George Washington Bridge.  We were actually nervous and anxious.  The weather forecast was predicting insane amounts of snow on Saturday.  We were watching the news the entire time we were getting ready and they were really counting it down.  I felt like we were in a disaster movie.  The storm is 60 miles outside the city.  The storm is 30 miles outside the city.  The storm in 12 miles outside the city.  That was the report as we drove across the bridge.

We drove about 30 minutes before the snow started.  Adam was driving, and I was trying to stay awake for at least the beginning of the trip.  By noon the snow was really coming down.  By 1:00 the roads were covered.

And the tension between Adam and me was building.

I’m 44.  I’ve outlived my dangerous carefree days.  I tend to live on the side of cautious now.  I’ve been the crazy one.  I once drove from Atlanta to Lexington in five hours.  At 60 miles an hour it’s a six hour drive.  For most of the trip I was topping 90 and sometimes 100.  Been there done that.

Adam not so much.

About ten minutes into driving in the snow I look over and see that he’s going 75.

An hour later I’m begging him to slow down.

He inches the speedometer up five miles and calls me a pussy.

I beg him to slow down.

He whispers pussy under his breath.

With one hand I’m gripping the door handle.  With the other I’m gripping the seat belt.  I’m not religious but I was starting to pray.

He continued to drive fast.

I ask him to slow down.

He tells me when I’m driving I can drive as fast as I want to.  He’s driving, he’ll go as fast as he wants to.

I finally let it go and put the seat back and fall asleep.  I figure if I’m going to die, I might as well be rested for it.

When I wake up, the snow is still falling and he’s still driving fast.

I just let it go.

It snowed from Stroudsburg, PA to Columbus, OH.  In Columbus the snow stopped, the skies cleared and all was good.

Adam pulled over and let me drive.

I got to drive the last three hours to Lexington.

Nice of him don’t you think?

We got there around 2:00 a.m.  All kidding aside it did take us much longer to get there than it should have because of the weather.

He did drive fast though.

And he did call me a pussy.

Once upon a time……………….

Once upon a time there was a boy named Nick.  And he was depressed.

Nick was a lot like Eeyore.  Everything that cames out of Nick’s mouth was depressing.

Everything!

Do any of you out there know Eeyore’s.  It’s enough to make you want to claw your eyes out.  Actually it makes me want to slap him and tell him to “Snap out of it!”

Nick is one of my fellow cocktailers.  He started a little over a year ago and like all of us, found himself working those three stations and there you go.

From the beginning Nick was hard to deal with.  I tried to offer him advice when working cocktails.  He didn’t need it.  He already knew everything he needed to know.  To this day Nick thinks he’s one of the best servers in the restaurant.  I personally think I’d tip him just to try and make him smile.  I don’t think it would work.

Nick also always has a plan.  Since I’ve known him he was going to:

Become a stock broker.

Manage an Italian Restaurant.

Manage a Soup Store.

Buy a deli.

Be a Financial Advisor.

Go to School to be a nurse.

Become a fine dining waiter.

Move to Atlantic City and get a job at a casino.

Move to Florida to go into business with his Dad.

These are just the ones I can think of.  Having a plan is admirable.  I don’t have a plan.  I wish I did.  Having a new plan every time you work is annoying.

Nick is also engaged.  He’s 28.  His fiancee is 21.  I say fiancee because he gets upset if you say girlfriend.  They are getting married next year.  They are spending 30,000 dollars on the wedding.  He has to put down a 3,500 deposit on the reception hall after New Years.  He proposed to her in Atlantic City.  (Maybe he was there looking for a job).  He texts her endlessly throughout the night.  He sends more texts in one night than I’ve sent in my whole life.  Actually he sends more texts in one hour than I’ve sent in my whole life.

He also has a plan for the fiancee and the wedding.  In two weeks she’s going to move in with him and he’s going to pay her cell phone bill, her credit card bill, and her ____________ bill, and he’ll cover the rent.  That way they can be together all the time.  In two weeks he’s going to move into her brother’s room and that way he can save money to help pay for the wedding.  In two weeks, she’s going to start school so she’ll have to quit work so he’ll have to pay for the wedding but it will be okay because she’ll have a good job when she’s done.  In two weeks she’s taking a test to get into school.  If she passes and can keep her grades above a 3.0 her parents will pay for it.  In two weeks they are going to ____________ (I’m tired.  Fill in the blanks.)

He also has a plan as to how to pay for the wedding.  If he works four shifts a week and makes 200 dollars a shift and puts 50% of that in the bank then he’ll just be able to make his half of the wedding in __________.  If he gets a second job works five days a week every week until 4:00 then he’ll have time to get to work and wait tables at night.  He’ll only get about three hours of sleep a night but that’s okay because she’s worth it.  If his uncle lets him work in his office six hours a day two days a week then he’ll be able to put the money down for the photographer in March.  If he________.  I’m getting tired again.

Other things I’ve learned about Nick.

He lives in Staten Island.  It takes him 2.5 hours to get home.  He usually gets about three hours of sleep.  (Which might explain why he’s depressed).

He spends about 250 dollars on EZ Pass each month going to and from his “fiancee’s” house each month.

He hates her parents.

He took her Christmas shopping because it made more sense just to buy her what she wanted than to buy stuff and have her take it back.

My personal favorite:  “I won’t break up with her because I have too much time and money invested.”  No mention of love.  Just time and money.

And he had to leave work early tonight because they go into a fight over the phone in a text conversation and they were both crying.  And why were they fighting.  She called him an asshole because he yelled at her for going out with her friends tonight instead of staying home and saving for the wedding.  Then he told her that she was selfish and then they both started crying and he went to a manager and asked to leave early.

Of course none of this was a secret.  He told everyone what was going on.  Over.  And Over.  And Over.  And of course as soon as he was gone we all started talking.

My opinion.

He’ll never get married to this girl.  She’s young.  21.  She’s not going to school.  She has no prospects.  He buys her things.  He pays attention to her.  And he doesn’t live near her.  In other words he’s the perfect stooge.  He shows up.  Brings her presents.  Doesn’t have sex with her because she’s still living at home.  She’s able to play during the week because he’s an hour away.  As soon as someone better comes along she’ll be out the door.

And then we’ll all be left to pick up the pieces.

And if he was depressed before she came a long and is even more depressed now.  He’ll be unbearable if she does dump him.

Once upon a time there was this boy named Nick.  And he was depressed.

Christmas 2009

In the interest of positivity in a blog that is often too negative, I thought I’d share our Christmas party with you…

Santa’s little helper at work…

The view of our apartment from the frot door.

And the stocking were hung by the chimney with care…

A view from the kitchen…

We went a little crazy with the poinsettias.

Little known facts:  They are not poisonous.  90% of all poinsettias are exported from the US.  California grows the most.

It’s fun to cozy up next to the fire and sip hot chocolate…

Adam’s Memaw made him this stocking.

In the foreground the stocking I grew up with.  In the background the stocking Adam’s mom made for him.

My aluminum Christmas Tree with vintage ornaments.

I love my plastic vintage light-up snowmen.

Martha Stewart ain’t got nothing on us.  Check out this Frosty Winter garland.

I’m the lighting designer but it was Adam who solved the problem of lighting the garland…we hid an LED battery operated light on the top of the fireplace…it was subtle yet perfect.

Our Christmas Party Spread.

This is just a little glimpse into the home Adam and I have created together.

Michelle comes to NYC.

I was in a bad mood last weekend and didn’t post.

So in the need to be a little more positive than I have been, I thought I’d tell you about last weekend.

Last Friday my best friend in the whole wide world came to visit.

Michelle.

It’s the first time she’s been in NYC since 2004.  Yes you heard that right.  Although I go to Maine at least three or four times a year, she’s never come to visit since I moved back to the city.  I made sure I reminded her of this fact as often as I could.

So she arrived and we spent the whole weekend playing, laughing and having a good time.

Friday we went to my restaurant and had lunch.  I think she was underwhelmed.  Then we met Adam and brought him coffee.

The rest of the afternoon was spent having cocktails at The Ritz, a little gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen.  Adam came by after work and we had a few more cocktails and then it was off to the Theaaater.

Adam had a connection with someone at Dreamgirls being performed at the world famous Apollo and got us all free tickets.  The show was amazing.  I’ve known the music since about two minutes after the original cast recording was made, although I’ve never seen the show.  In fact I didn’t even know the plot until the movie came out.  Needless to say, seeing it on stage is about a thousand times better.  Watching Effie pull downstage and belt I’m Not Going was breath taking.  The audience stood in unison at the end of the song, and it’s not even the end of the act.  The design on the show was pretty amazing as well and there was a couple of times that I was cumming in my pants from the lighting.

On Saturday we went downtown to mine and Adams little dive breakfast place.  La Bonbonniere.  It’s epitomized the definition of the word dive.  It only seats about 30 people, it’s cramped and tight, the bathroom is down steep stair nestled in the corner of the basement.  You can’t actually stand up straight in there.  The ceilings about 5’10”.  There are odd photographs of food pinned up on the walls.  And the food is awesome, fast and cheap.  We all three had breakfast, shared pancakes and it was less than 25 dollars.

We then ran a few errand and it was back uptown to prepare for mine and Adam’s first dinner party.  In honor of Michelle being in town, the fact that she hadn’t met two of my other favorite people in the world, Kelly and Chuck, Adam and I (mostly me) decided to throw a dinner party.  Of course all this was dependent upon Adam cooking since I was not allowed to bring my crock pot with me when I moved making spaghetti pie out of the question.

So on Saturday afternoon Adam did his amazing thing and whipped up homemade squash soup, mussels, salad with Adam’s secret recipe dressing, and to finish it off creme brulee.  All of this was of course served with amazing wine and champagne.  The night was perfect.

Sort of.

Adam has told me all along that he loves to cook.  He loves to have dinner parties.  He loves having people over.  Until it actually happens.  Then he stresses.  What it amounts to is that he hates the hosting part.  Even with people he already knows and is good friends with.  He would much rather hide in the kitchen and cook popping out every hour or so to say hello.  He was in such a bad mood on Saturday I thought I had done something wrong.  After the fact he explained all of this to me…once again.  I suggested we forgo any future parties and this upset him.  Of course not.  He loves having people over.  He loves dinner parties.  He just hates hosting.  I don’t know how this is ever going to work.  Especially this coming Sunday.

The party was great.  Everyone had a great time.  We managed to include politics and religion in the conversations without anyone getting upset and as promised Michelle managed to bring up pedophilia on more than one occasion.

On Sunday we had homemade waffles for breakfast.  One of my favorite Sunday breakfast items that Adam makes.  On a typical Sunday I’ll plant myself at the end of the counter with a HUGE cup of coffee and chat with him while he makes waffles, french toast, cinnamon rolls, bacon, eggs, etc.  It’s a great way to start our day together.  We had our waffles and then headed downtown.  I don’t even remember where we were going.  Michelle wanted to buy a couple of presents before she headed home and we just wanted to enjoy the day.

After much walking we ended up at Stonewall and played a couple of games of pool.  Adam and I enjoy playing each other more than we liked playing with Michelle.  She’s good.  We suck.  She won every game.  Then it was off for Mexican food at our favorite Mexican food dive.

And then it was home.

Michelle flew home on Monday.  I was tired, but it was a great weekend.

And this Sunday????

Adam and I are hosting our first annual (our two last names shortened and combined into one name) Christmas party.

I’ve made him promise that he won’t be in a bad mood all weekend.

Keep your fingers crossed.

I’m not spell checking or editing.  I have to go to bed so I can get up early and clean.

Brrrrrrrr!

It’s cold here.

I didn’t know it was going to be cold.

When I left for work it was not very cold.

I went to work wearing a light jacket.

I didn’t think I was going to make it home tonight as I walked from the subway.  It’s fucking cold.

Tomorrow I will watch NY 1 before I leave the house.

Thank god we were finally busy tonight.  And thank god people were finally tipping.  I walked with 15% of my sales tonight and considering I tipped out 5% of my sales, that means at the end of the night I had made 20%.  Which is impressive because I know that I was stiffed on a 150 dollar check.  That means I was over tipped enough to make up for the 30 dollar tip I didn’t get.

Something happened tonight that happens a lot at work.

I dropped off the check for a foreign couple.  I picked up their credit card a few minutes later, ran it and returned it to them.  When I returned to the table they were gone but they’d left cash with their credit card slip.  And they had tipped 15 dollars, but they also put 15 dollars on the tip part of the credit card receipt.  For the life of me I can’t figure out why they do this.  They have to know they’ll be charged the total that’s written in the total line of the card.  In fact I have to close it out to the total.  I do have to admit that most of us don’t mind when this happens because you get double tipped, but as I said I can’t for the life of me figure out why they do this.

On the same note:

When you go out to eat, don’t mistakenly take the credit card receipt with you.  If you leave with the signed copy the waiter gets nothing.  Also check your math.  If you add your tip to the total and miss carrying the one the waiter might end up being shorted on their tip.  Of course don’t be upset if you carry the one too many times and you double tip the waiter.  We are required to close the check out to the total on the slip.

Oh.

And I had another walk out tonight.  Four fucks from Jersey that got drinks from me and moved to the bar.  I went to get their check to transfer it to the bar and when I returned they were gone.  If you want a glimmer at what they look like, check out Jersey Shores on MTV.  It was a guido, guidette, and their fucking parents.  The girl actually had one of those things in hair that “bumps” it up.  Scary very scary.  Luckily management doesn’t seem to get upset when it happens in cocktails.  I think it’s because we deal with so many customers.  I’m starting to think that I should ask for a credit card to run a tab on people at my counters.  The weird thing about this is that I’ve waited tables in a million places for a million years and I never had a walkout till I started this job.

Maddog at Work

When I filled out my schedule request for this week I let my manager know that if I had to be in station 11 this week then I’d rather have a regular station.  She gave me the worst section in the restaurant.  Section 14.  Okay, maybe it’s not as bad as 28 and 29 but it’s pretty damn bad.

On a typical night in cocktails I have three four-top tables and five-two tops.  Occasionally I will get in the weeds.  (When a waiter is really, really, really busy.  Usually to the point of frenzy and things can quickly start to fall apart).  Actually I never get in the weeds.  I started my first restaurant gig in 1987 at Bennigan’s in Atlanta.  I will never forget the training I received there.  A wonderful man named Jimmie (he died about three years later from an aneurism) led the training.  Every afternoon for a week, we’d gather in station three and have classroom training.  We spent most of that time learning about how Bennigan’s did things.  But a good part of that time was spent on how to be a waiter.  What the term 86 means.  (For you non-restaurant types it means to be out of something.  The salmon is 86’d).   At the time I thought it was called 86 because it was 1987 and clearly that meant it was last year so we didn’t have it.  In truth no one seems to know where it came from.  There are about a 100 theories.  I digress.  I learned to be a waiter.  And the three most important things I learned was:  1.  Be assertive.  People will tip you more if they think you are in charge.  I still find that to be true.  2.  You don’t have four tables you have one big table.  If you treat it as such then you’ll never be in the weeds.  3.  Being in the weeds is a frame of mind.  Stop and take a second to figure out exactly who needs what first.  Do that and you’ll be right back on track.  I NEVER get in the weeds.

Back to the story at hand.

I usually have three four-tops.  Five two-tops.  In the old days when section 11 was being cut my station would grow to five four-tops and five-two tops.  I never got in the weeds.

Station 14…

Is three two-tops and one four-top.  10 Chairs.  10.  I can wait on 10 people at one time from home.  I could just call it in.  Needless to say I was a little bored tonight.  I was also pissed off.  In fact for the first two hours of my shift I plotted and planned my revenge on everyone.  This really doesn’t get you anywhere.  It just makes you angry.  I also decided early on that I was not going to help run food (going to the kitchen, picking up food, and delivering it to the tables waiting for it).  I had clearly spent the last two+ years doing a good job and that was rewarded with a cut in pay.  Surely if I performed as most of my co-workers performed then I will get a good schedule and great sections.  I also learned a long time ago how to look busy when you aren’t wanting to play nice.  Almost everyone restaurant I’ve ever worked in has a loop/circle to it.  You start toward the kitchen, pass through it as if you are getting a drink, pass right on through, out the other side and back to your station.  If you do this once or twice every fifteen minutes or so, you can get away without doing much of anything.  Of course every once in a while you should be seen going in to the kitchen with dirty plates or out of the kitchen with food, which is usually yours.  I did a lot of that tonight.

After an hour or two, even that became boring.

So I decided to play nice to the people I liked that were near me.  Jessica was in section 1, Kristina was in section 15, and Jill was in section 12.  I cleared their tables, filled their tables drinks, got their tables things they needed.  It was much more fun helping people I liked than it was doing what I was supposed to do.  I even volunteered to take two tables from servers who were sat at the last minute so they could get out early.  The first time I cleared plates for Jill she followed me into the kitchen demanding to know why I was helping her.  She suggested that it was because the plates I picked up belonged to cute guys.  I told her it was actually because I was a nice guy and if she’d go look at her table that just because they were young did not make them cute.

My head waiter tonight was little miss “A” from last night’s post.  This fact was one of the reasons I picked up those last two tables.  She was the person who had to check me out tonight to make sure that all my work was done when my shift was over.  She was in section 4 which is an early out section.  Section 14 CAN be an early out section it just wasn’t tonight.  In theory I would start my side work early and have it finished even though I still had tables so section 4 could leave.  I didn’t do it.  I waited until the very end to do my work.  If she’s nice enough to wine about how much money I’m making then I’ll be nice enough to make her stay as long as I can.  And stay she did.

Now some of you out there might be thinking that all this devious planning takes a lot of unnecessary energy.  You are absolutely right.  It does.  It’s also very negative energy that’s being thrown around.  You are absolutely right.  It’s also a lot of work to be this bitchy.  You are right.

And so why do I do it.

Because I can.

Because right now I’m pissed.

Because I’m very worried about how I’m going to take a week off to go to Texas to spend Christmas with my boyfriend’s family and still have money to pay rent when I get home.

Because I feel that two years I’ve done the right thing, played the game and somewhere along the way someone said that’s not enough.

And because.

Sometimes it’s just fun.

I’m sure in week I’ll be bitching about something new and have moved on to something else.

PS.

To the very nice couple from Pennsylvania who was in town for the evening.  You know who you are.  The husband works in Long Island and commutes four hours to and from home.  He drives down on Monday, stays for the week and drives home on Friday.  You know, the mother who has raised two lovely sons both of whom are now in college, one of which is a senior..  The same senior who attends Penn State.  The same senior who joined you in NYC to watch the Thanksgiving day parade.  You remember, when you were staying at the Marriot Marquis and you walked out the front door and out on to the parade route.  You know the couple who wanted to know all about living in NYC, especially Manhattan.  That wanted to know what brought me to NYC from Kentucky.  The couple that has never been to Kentucky.

The couple who paid for the 50 dollar check with a gift certificate.

The couple who used their frequent flyer card to get money toward their next visit.

The couple who told me how wonderful I was and that they’d ask for me the next time they came in.

The couple who fucking tipped me four fucking dollars.

FUCK YOU!!!!

FUCK YOU!!!!

FUCK YOU!!!!

I HOPE YOUR FUCKING OTHER SON LOSES HIS SCHOLARSHIP AND HAS TO WAIT TABLES TO PAY HIS TUITION AND GETS STUCK WAITING ON FUCK UPS LIKE HIS PARENTS,  THAT DON’T TIP AND FORCE HIM TO QUIT SCHOOL AND SPEND THE REST OF HIS LIFE HOMELESS LIVING ON THE “A” TRAIN PLATFORM AT 207TH STREET WITH THE WEIRD PEOPLE THAT HAVE SIGNS SAYING THAT CHRISTMAS IS A SATANIC HOLIDAY!!!

FUCK YOU!!!!

Just let it go. Just let it go. Just let it go. Just let it go.

The shift tonight was just as much as fun as they’ve all been recently.

I told Adam tonight that I’m going to have to find a way to just let it go.  I don’t know how but I have to.

Things I learned tonight.  Seems this cunt girl named “A” might be who caused a lot of this.  I was told tonight that about a month ago she complained to management about it not being fair that the cocktail servers made more money than everyone else.  She also complained that it wasn’t fair that when station 11 gets cut that stations 10 and 12 pick up the extra tables.  Can anyone say FUCK HER!!!!

Perhaps I should take the time to tell management that she’d probably make more money if she spent less time in the back stairwell smoking pot.  Maybe I’ll just send them looking for her the next time she heads that way.  At this point I’m not afraid of being a little cut throat.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Did I mention that we have a new manager?  His name is Kurt.  With a “K”.  He’s 22.  He just graduated from restaurant training school.  He’s only ever worked as a bartender in a small Irish pub before he started work here.  I give him about six weeks till he implodes.  We are a high volume restaurant and our staff will eat him alive.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

I don’t really mind that I’m old enough to be his father.  I mind that he’s never had to make his money on the floor.  I think it gives a manager a much different vision of things if they’ve had to make their money in the trenches.

Do not tell the manager (Kurt, with a “K”) that you are ready to order and you haven’t seen me.  I stopped by three times to say hello and to see if you were ready and you waved me away because you needed, “more time.”

Tonight’s shift…

Do not get pissed at me when I ask to see your ID and you are only 22.  If I didn’t ask to see your ID it would be an insult.  And just because you friends are old enough to drink and have ID’s does not mean that I’ll let you slide.  Oh and….Sutter Home White Zinfandel?  Really?  Really?  And a whole bottle?  Really?  And just so you know.  I lied about keeping the bottle at the bar so it would get cold.  I had to get your glasses refilled at the bar because it comes in 2 liter bottles…

Do not get pissed at me when I come by and ask if you need another beer.  It’s my job.  It’s not my fault that you are fighting with your girlfriend.  It’s not my fault that you are begging her to sit back down and stay.  It IS my fault that I waited till the climax of that plea to come by and ask if you needed a beer.  I couldn’t help it.

Do not order your food from me if you want to sit somewhere else.  It’s not easy to let you move.  And it’s a supreme annoyance.

Do not order dessert when the restaurant is clearly closed and you are only one of five or six tables left.  And you are eating by yourself.  Get dessert at the deli down the street and take it back to your hotel.  Please!!!

Do not tell me three times that you need separate checks.  I heard you the first time.  I heard you the second time.  I heard you the third time.  I heard you all three times.  And do not tell me on the third time that “you just wanted to make sure I remembered, because I have lots of people that I’m waiting on.”  I’m paid to remember things like that.  And even if I did forget, I’m sure you would remind me.

And to the same lady.

Yes you told me you didn’t want the drink in the souvenir glass.  That’s why I didn’t charge you for the souvenir glass.  And no you did not pay 6.50 for that drink last month.  Here’s the deal.  We don’t have a mixed drink that’s 6.50.  We don’t have any drinks that are 6.50.  AND!!!!  You didn’t order that drink last month.  It’s a Christmas drink.  It’s only been on the menu two weeks.  Now pay your fucking check.

And last but not least.

If you have to tell me your LIT needs to be strong then you have  drinking problem.  It’s the strongest drink on the menu.  And the fact that it’s too dark doesn’t mean anything.  It’s just because they added more Coke than sour mix.  The alcohol amount doesn’t change.  If you need a drink that tastes strong, then try scotch, vodka, gin, bourbon, tequila etc on the rocks or straight up.  It’s actually cheaper, you get more booze and it will always taste strong.  And you’ll look your age.  Not 22 which is the average age of someone who drinks a Long Island Tea.

I must go to bed now.  I get to do this all over tomorrow.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Just let it go.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck…

It’s 4:40.

I find myself looking for reasons not to go to bed.  Anything to waste more time and keep me at my computer.

Even though I have a beautifully wonderful boyfriend in bed waiting for me.

The problem is:  If I go to bed then it’s the next day and I have to go to work.  The longer I stay up it’s still today and that means I don’t have to go to work till tomorrow.  I know it makes no sense but it’s how I’m feeling.

Work sucks.

Let me repeat that:

WORK SUCKS.

I’ve made in the last five days what I would have usually made in three days.  This is a bit of a problem.  I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be a bit stressed over a 30 or 40% decrease in their salary.

I spoke to the GM over the weekend.  He was completely dismissive.  So much so I’m not even sure he knew what I was talking about.  I felt as though I wasn’t even sitting in the room with him.  He told me he would check in to things and then let me know what he found out.  He said that he knew what I was saying was mentioned in a manager’s meeting but he wasn’t paying attention so he didn’t know what the final decision was.

Yeah, right.

He told me to email him and he’d let me know something.  Or call.  No mention of course of coming by and speaking to him again.

So today I went in early and spoke to the AGM.  He’s the one who’s fucked up everything for me in the first place.  He was about as helpful as a kick to the groin would be.  He said he knew that I was frustrated but that the rules had to apply to everyone.  He really didn’t have an answer to how I was supposed to live on my new found lack of money.  He also said that he was told to enforce this rule by the GM which meant the fucker knew what was going on last Friday when I stopped in to talk to him.  Now I’m really annoyed.

The thing that annoyed me more than anything was the AGM’s discussion of our survey scores.  Right after I started working there, we started offering a 5.00 off coupon for anyone who would fill out a survey.  This is nice in theory but most of our people are tourist and aren’t going to be returning any time soon.  Most of them don’t travel with computers so they are not going to be doing them on their trips.  And after a days shopping if they filled out all of the surveys they were asked to fill out, they’d spend more time doing that than they would see the sites in NYC.  So of course no one does them.  Unless they are pissed.  Which means most of the surveys that come back are bad.

Officially the restaurant as a whole is supposed to be above 6.0 average.  Here’s the problem with the surveys where servers are concerned.  Only three or four questions actually relate to us.  Most of them are about atmosphere, cleanliness, music levels, food quality, interaction with manager, etc.  We however, are unfortunately graded on the whole score so if someone completes a survey that complains that their burger was cold and the manager didn’t come by the table then it goes against my survey average score.  Even though I had nothing to do with either thing.

The way most of us have found to get around this is by doing our own surveys.  Every couple of weeks I’ll bring home a check, have Adam (or Chuck once upon a time) or sometimes even me, and I fill out the online survey, tell them how wonderful I was and all is well.  My score for the year is 6.4.  I’m sure it would be great if the manager had bothered to stop by my table.  (I’ve worked there for two years and I’ve probably had less than 10 table visits in that whole time.  And I’d be willing to bet 9 of them were requests from me for some problem).  As I was saying my score is 6.4.

The restaurants total score is 5.8.

This is much to the dismay of all the managers.  They are not dismayed enough to actually do table visits, but they are dismayed all the same.

So until the restaurant score is above 6.0 he’s not willing to discuss this with me.

NOW!!!!

I was shouting above.

Here’s the catch.

You want to improve the score.  Then make the improvements where they really need to be made, not some arbitrary place that you can change to make us think you are doing something helpful.

Things of note:

The manager’s never do table visits.

The music is always too loud.

Therefore no one’s ever going to get these points.  You are around a 6.7 before you even start.

There are two other things right off the bat that occur that almost everyone complains about that I can only explain if I put it out there exactly where I work.

And the things that piss me off.

You want to fix the scores:

Get the manager’s out of the office, eating pizza from next door.  Get them on the floor talking to people.

Put a stop to the smoking by the staff.  I know you need to smoke, but do it after work.  This would not be the first job that limited you ability to smoke.  If a waiter spends 5 minutes upstairs, then how are their customers getting what they need.  This will never happen because ALL but one of the managers smoke.

Stop the texting in the wait station.  Sometime you can’t even get into the wait station to ring things up, or to get a Diet Coke because there are 14 people in there texting.

Stop people from getting high on the job.  There are many trains of thoughts on this I know.  However, if you can’t do your job sober than you either shouldn’t be working as a waiter, or you should check yourself in to rehab.  Or perhaps both.  Any given night half the staff is high when they come on, and they have all figured out where to go to keep the high going during their shift.  The restaurant employee of the year is always stoned at work.  A couple of months ago a manager told me that he prefers when a certain bartender is high because she does a better job.

If you are going to have more staff on then give them the support they need.  Don’t have 40 waiters on the floor and one service bartender.  She’s too stoned to actually keep up.

Don’t have 40 servers on the floor and only one food runner.  She’s too stupid and slow to actually do a job called food running.  Food walking maybe.  But definitely not food running.

Teach the servers to engage their customers rather than treat them like shit because they are foreign.

If you implemented one of these things scores would go up.

In the meantime, I go in.  Do my job.  And in return I’m punished for doing my job too well.

Fuck Them.

Fuck.

Them.

Fuck.

Maddog’s Perpetual Bad Mood.

I’ve been in a bad mood since Monday.  In fact I was in such a bad mood on Monday that I wanted to punch something.  Tuesday was even worse.  The crap started lifting last night and although I’m still a little pissy I’m much better.  You know I’m in a bad mood when I don’t just sit down and yell at all of you.

Work is really sucking.  Our new assistant GM made a very insignificant decision about three weeks ago and it’s costing me about 75 bucks a shift.  I’ve tried to talk to him about it and although he professes to be approachable I don’t buy his bull shit.  Since I started at my restaurant I’ve worked in the cocktail section.  I work my ass off, run twice as much as everyone else and I make twice as much money.  The cocktail sections in my restaurant are 10, 11, 12.  10 and 12 are best and 11 kind of fills in the holes.  Usually around 9:30 or so station 11 is sent home.  So I go from three tables to five tables.  So with my rail and the five tables I have 30 seats and I bust my butt to keep them full and everyone happy. In return I make a ton of money.  Well the AGM’s decree was that 11 would no longer be cut.  It’s now a closing station along with 10 and 12.  So instead of three hours with two extra tables it stays the same.  And I make less money.

So lets see if I have gotten this right:

I’ve worked there for 28 months.

I don’t have complaints.

I don’t complain.

My guest surveys are excellent.

My restaurant scores are great.

I’ve been employee of the month.

I sell more than everyone else.

I don’t show up late.

I always show up.

I close every night I work.

I don’t make a lot of mistakes.

My co-workers like me.

I can handle more tables than probably everyone else in the restaurant.

I tip out more than anyone else so my “staff” loves me.

And the result of my doing a good job is a 30% pay cut.  Something doesn’t seem quite right to me.  I’ve tried to be patient and just wait it out hoping that it’s just one of those rules of the week.  But it seems to be sticking.  And right now is busy season and I’m making less than I did in January working three days a week during slow season.  Which means that by January I’ll have to set up a Paypal account where you guys can send me money to help pay my rent.

It’s funny how I’ve gone from my job being a cash cow to not making any money at all.   And trust me when I say it doesn’t do much for moral.  Every night at work we are told to sell this, suggest that,  etc. etc.  And what I want to know is why?  If I do a good job I’ll make the same amount of money as the people who show up late, or not at all, can’t spell upsell let alone do it.  I’ll also make the same amount of money as the stoners who sneak out during their shifts to get high in the fire escape stair well.  I was invited tonight to join the festivities.  I’m not sure now why I didn’t just say fuck it and do it.

I came to the realization tonight that it’s time to take it to the big boss.  I can’t just sit back and hope things get better.  So on Friday I’m going to stop in and talk to the GM.  I’m going to pretty much tell him everything I’ve told you, explain how I do a good job and yet I’m having my pay cut by 30% and see if he has any suggestions as to how to keep working there and still pay my bills.  Perhaps he’d let me sort the silver ware in the dish room.  At this point they are probably making more money than I am.