Tonight sucked ass. With a capital SUCKED ASS.
Let’s see. I was one of two head waiters tonight. That means I get to make sure everyone else is doing their work and I get to check them out at the end of the night. And the big advantage of doing this is that my section is better and I get sat first and more often. At least that’s what we are told. I went on the floor at 5:00. At 5:15 they promptly double sat (two tables at once) section 3. I’m in 4. In quick succession they sat sections 5 and 6. So it’s now 5:30 and I still don’t have any tables. SO. I go to the host desk and ask them if there is a problem and why they aren’t seating me. I’m told it will be fixed. I get one table. And they fill up everyone else. SO. I find Kurt the host manager and ask him if he could explain it to me. He says that the head host tonight is new and I should try and be patient with him. I want to ask if he’d be patient with me if my inability to do my job caused the restaurant money. I do not say this.
So finally my section gets filled. I wait on my tables. They leave. And they sit empty. I find Kurt and ask him what’s going on. He tries to make excuses and I just say, sections 5 and 6 are full. I have one table. Section 3 has no tables. This isn’t brain surgery it’s not that hard to figure out. I think he was getting frustrated with me.
Luckily the tables I do get are nice and tip well. Which is good because at 8:00, exactly three hours after I started they closed my area of the restaurant. FUCK. I knew we’d get closed early but this is a little extreme. So I count up my money. It’s around 75 dollars. Which kind of sucks. So I have to decide if I’m going to finish up and leave or if I’m going to stay. I decide to stay.
So my friend Suzie agrees to finish “head waiting” for me and I moved into her station.
Here’s how that played out.
I moved into her section around 8:45. I’m immediately sat with Tex and his girlfriend Mary Jo. I’m making up the names. They were from Texas. They wanted to know where the Harley Davidson store was. They were disappointed when I told them there wasn’t one in Manhattan anymore. (There used to be a restaurant.) I would have guessed them to be bad tippers. Turns out they were the only redeeming table I had the rest of the night.
My second table was sat at almost the same time. It’s a hispanic couple. The order a nacho. Two waters. A glass of wine. They were still there 2.5 hours later. They tipped 20%. But as I say. 20% of nothing is nothing.
My next table was a five top. I have no idea where they were from. I greeted the table. I was told to come back. I come back and they order drinks. I ask for the young guys ID. I’m told he’s not drinking. He had four beers while I was waiting on the table. But he was not drinking. They get drinks. Then they need time. Then they order appetizers. And they need time. It’s was well over an hour before they ordered their entrees. When it was all said and done they were at the table for almost three hours. Their bill was 160. My tip: ZERO!!!
In case you aren’t paying attention, two of my three tables have been taken up for three hours and I’ve made nothing on them.
In the mean time Tex leaves. They tippedd 20+%. A nice family comes in. They tip. A nice lady with her three young children come in. They are there for almost 90 minutes. She leaves 15%. She leaves and then…
I’ll come back to them.
Table 101. Hmmm. So there were three people at table 101 for about 45 minutes when I first started. They got up and they were replaced by Indians. Ugh. They were bossy. Rude. And tipped 4 dollars on their 50 dollar tab. Which was split on to two credit cards. They were replaced by another Indian table. And they were replaced by another Indian table. FUCK. The stereotypes don’t make themselves.
My five top stiffs me and they are replaced by two gay guys. So at this point you’d think. Whew. Finally a table that will be okay. Oh, but you’d be far from the truth. One of them is that somewhat overweight type that sweats a lot and wants to be cuter than he ever will be. And so he brings his very cute friend along with him. And although the cute friend has big muscles you can’t get passed the big white head pimples that adorn his bald head. I wanted to get my rubber gloves out ala Hairspray and pop them. And they aren’t sure they are eating so they’ll just start with drinks. So I ask them what they want and it begins…what do you suggest. WE ARE A FUCKING HIGH VOLUME TIMES SQUARE RESTAURANT. This ain’t the fucking french restaurant down the street. You know what we have. We have the same fucking thing that every other high volume restaurant in America has. And yes our fucking long island teas are good. How hard is it to make one. I’m there for at least 10 minute getting grilled by slightly overweight not so attractive gay guy. FINALLY they order. I come back with the drinks and ask them if they are ready to order. I’m told they are going to wait a while to order. I hold up two fingers and say, “You’ve got two minutes. The kitchen closes in two minutes. I’ll come back.”
In the mean time I’m sat a two top at table 410. A very nice couple. I don’t know where they are from. They don’t speak English very well but they are nice. They are sat around 12:10. The kitchen closes at 12:15. I get their drink orders. I come back and I take their food order. They’d like to start with nachos. And then have one salmon for two people. I repeated this at least three times. Of course nothing ruins your night like a table wanting courses at closing time. And not only are they having courses salmon takes the longest to cook of anything in our kitchen. So if I wait and ring it in when I’m supposed to when they have their nachos, it will be forever before they get it and start eating. And the kitchen will want to kill me either way.
I put their order in the computer.
Go back to the gay guys and they tell me they are fine they’ll take the check. So I drop off the check. It’s around 30 dollars. They leave me a three dollar tip. You know it’s a shitty night when even the gays aren’t tipping.
And while all of this has been going on I’m dealing with:
cue drum roll please:
CELEBRITIES WITH A CAPITAL “S”.
I really try not to think that way. I really want to give everyone the opportunity to prove me wrong. But as I told my manager tonight…I just want to take them aside and explain to them that the behavior they are exhibiting is the EXACT reason every other black table that goes into a restaurant after them will get bad service.
First they are pissed about where they are sitting. They they are pissed because they are told they have to move their stroller out of the aisle.
And then I get to greet them.
They barely speak to me. I ask what they’d like to drink. I’m told “I want something strong.” Ugh. If you want something strong order a martini. Or bourbon on the rocks. You don’t order a mixed drink especially something with sour in it. Including a Long Island Tea. And of course I can’t say this so I try and offer suggestions. He (I’m still not sure if he was a he. I avoided pronouns while they were there) order his drink. I know he’s not going to like it but what can you do. No one else is talking so I say I’ll be right back. But then the really large girl with the most attitude says, “I’d like to order now.” So I ask her what she’d like. And I stand there for what seemed like hours before she decided upon a margarita with patron and an order of wings. I finally leave. I come back with the drinks. I ask if the rest are ready to order. I get sort of an indifference grunt. Finally I get orders from the other two. Large girl isn’t at the table but since she’s already ordered and her wings are on the way I assume she’s good. Two seconds later I’m called over. The drink is too sweet. It’s not strong enough. And there’s too much ice in the glass. I’m already in a VERY foul mood and I’m getting to the point where I’m being snippy. I take the drink and ask what he’d? like instead. Grey Goose on the rocks with a lime. Can I point out that if you really do drink vodka on the rocks then don’t be fucking surprised that the drink you ordered is too sweet. While I’m standing there large girl says, “I’d like to order now.” I thought she already had. She orders a fajita and drumsticks and mashed potatoes for her kid. (Should your three year old be out after midnight?) So I put that order in. It’s three different orders all placed at separate times.
So of course when the wings come out, the others want to know where their food is. And then their food comes out and large woman wants to know where the kids food is. And then the fajita and the drumsticks come out and large woman has an absolute fit that she’s been given her food when she’s not even started on her wings. It could be because she’s not been at the table but who am I? I’m not there for any of this.
So I go to the table to find out what’s going on and another lady throws her pasta at me and says this “This ain’t even hot. I ain’t eating this. I want what he’s having.” FUCK. I take the dish away. I walk to the office and stick my finger in the pasta and it may be me but pasta isn’t supposed to be scalding in the plate. Her food was exactly as warm as it should have been. I’m really starting to lose my cool now. I get the new sandwich (remember I still have a full station) take back to her and she says, “I sure as hell hope that this is hot.” I say, “I sure as hell hope so too.” And walk away.
In the mean time the fajita has been taken back to the table which has left the large woman in a serious mood now. She doesn’t want the fajitas, the wings are cold. At this point I’m done. I go to Kurt and say, It’s all yours.
It never got any better. The manager comped almost 50% of their bill further proving that you can go to a restaurant act like an ass and if you complain loudly enough you don’t have to pay for anything. I barely spoke to them after this.
And while all of this is going on, it’s now 12:40. The kitchen has been closed for 20 minutes. And I take the salmon to table 410 and they immediately say, “No. Two salmons for two people.” FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. I go back to the kitchen and tell the manager that I need another salmon…on the fly.
They didn’t get their food until 1:00 a.m. By now everyone else is finishing up their side work and cashing out. At 1:05 I’m called over and it’s pointed out to me that the gentlemen’s salmon isn’t cooked in the middle. I just walk away. I find Kurt and tell him that he needs to go talk to table 410 and explain to them why their salmon is raw and that it’s too late to get anything else. He talks to them. Takes both salmon off the check and tells me he’ll buy them dessert. Which promptly pisses off the last kitchen guy who’s been ready to leave for 45 minutes but now has to stay so they can have dessert.
And so they call me over and tell me they’d like Creme Brulee and two coffees. I take a deep breath and explain that they can’t have coffee. The man sighs with exasperation and says, “never mind.”
It was almost 2:00 before I got on the subway to come home.
And it fucking annoys me that I have to go do it again tomorrow night.