Hostess

March 28, 2010 at 9:17 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

  I walked into work yesterday, completely dreading it. I was scheduled to work on the counter. again.  But after smoking a cigarette and putting on my apron, my manager had informed me that there had been a slight scheduling conflict. Apparently she had put too many people on the counter.  She had a guilty expression on her face,  like she was about to send me home, but instead she asks,

 “I know this is completely my fault, but would you mind being a hostess today? I tried to ask Ashley already but she flipped out. She hates hostessing.”

“Are you serious? I would love to hostess!” I say, so enthusiastically that several coworkers turn and stare.

Hostessing was actually my first position at Happy’s, and I loved it.  You pretty much have complete control of the dining room, and no one really bothers you too much.  The Happy’s  I currently work at only has 16 tables, so there’s pretty much always a wait to be seated.  So I keep track of the customers on a waiting list, and when a table opens up I clear it,  vacuum under it if  necessary, and then seat more customers. Easiest job I’ve ever had. I have no idea why Ashley would rather get her butt kicked working the counter all night than hostess.

 I only had to deal with one idiotic customer last night, which is an incredibly low number considering the ones you encounter  waiting tables or working on the counter. A woman whose name was on the list walked up to me and claimed that people who got here after her were getting seated before her.  I showed her the list and said.

“This is where your name is.(way towards the bottom of the list) You got here ten minutes ago. The people who were seated before you had already been here for twenty before you walked in the door.”

“No.” She replied, no explanation, no reasoning just a flat-out denial. I stare at her for a few seconds before responding

“Well if you were here first, then why is your name at the bottom of the list?”

“I don’t know, why is it?” She asks, looking at me as if  I  purposely put her name there to sabotage her dining plans.  My manager asks what the problem is, and the woman repeats her whole spiel.  My manager backs me up one hundred percent, which is something that never happens. 

Finally, when it was this idiot’s turn to be sat, she says,

“I don’t think it’s my turn.” I just stare at her. What do you mean? If you don’t think it’s your turn then what the heck have we been fighting about for the past twenty minutes? I get this insane urge to laugh, and try my best to hold it down.

“I think it’s their turn.” She clarified, pointing to a group of people standing next to her.  “You are seating us completely out-of-order.” She declared.

“No, the hostess is right we came in here after you, it’s your turn.”  I can’t help but smirk as I take her to her seat.

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Training

March 25, 2010 at 6:20 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Aside from being a server, one of my other job’s at Happy’s is to work at the counter, which basically entails scooping the icecreams that  the servers need for their tables and taking orders from customers who want food or icecream to go.  During an ideal shift, servers would ring in icecreams correctly and I would make whatever it says on the slip. During an actual shift,  the servers are usually too fzzled to ring in icecreams and shout out what they need as their running back and forth between the service aisle and the dining room.  Or whenever they do find a moment to ring something in,  it is almost never correct. There are few things more annoying than making 8 sundaes to perfection, only to hear the server say.

“Oops, I’m sorry, those were supposed to be made in to go cups.”   Because they couldn’t be bothered to hit the ‘to go’ button. Or,

“Oops,those weren’t supposed to get whipped cream!”

Another thing that really bothers me about working the counter,  is the fact that sometimes you feel like you’re caught in a whole and can’t dig yourself out.  At times, especially in warm weather, I will have a line out the door of the restaurant. On top of that.. I’ll have a line to the parking lot at the icecream window.  And to make things even more delightful,  I will have 5 impatient servers all demaning that they need their icecreams right now. Now in my opinion if you have time to stand there and whine and complain about how fast you need icecreams, wouldn’t it make sense to make them yourself when you can see that the person working at the counter clearly will not get to them any time soon? When I’m waiting tables I make my own icecreams 90% of the time, for a few reasons. First, because if  I can make someone’s job a little easier by making my own icecreams, then why not?  Second, because I feel like i can get it done faster myself.

The worse part about it is the fact that I get stuck doing all this work for minimum wage, which is less than ten dollars an hour, while these lazy servers make at least a hundred dollars a shift, all the while complaining that they have to do things like *gasp*  clear their tables!  When I serve, I never complain about things like that, especially considering the kind of money I make on the floor.

So, you’ve probably guessed by now that I have a strong dislike for working the counter.  Something I hate even more than that, is training someone else to workthe counter.  No matter how smart/ enthusiastic the person is, they are going to slow you down. I understand that it’s perfectly normal, and that I was the same way when I first started working here, but when you’re busy it is exremely frustrating. 

So when I walked into work today, and found out that I was training someone, I was not happy, but for the rookie’s sake, I tried not to let it show.  While it was slow, I walked him through our area, and showed him where everything was. I eplained to him that it’s a good idea to stock everything, icecream, candies, topping, while it’s slow before the dinner rush.  Every so often a customer would trickle in, or a server would ring in a slip and I would explain what to do, and show him how to do it. Then I would let him try. For a while, it seemed like things were going to go smoothly.

But then the dinner rush came.

Within ten minutes the dining room was packed, servers were yelling out icecereams, and a line was forming at the carry out. Trying to take control of the situation,  I would rip slips off the printer, explain to him what he needed to make, while i handled the carry out line. But apparently the fact that we were now busy made him lose all common sense. He kept asking me questions like,

“Uhhh, which icecream is vanilla?”

“The white one.” I replied, trying desperately to keep the annoyance out of my voice. “The icecream chests are labeled, so if you read the labels you’ll know which flavor it is.”

“I still can’t find it”

At this point the customers in the the carryout line start giggling at him, and for a second I can’t decide who I’m more irritated with, them for being so ignorant, or him, for being so oblivious.

Later on my manager tells me that this kid isn’t even going to be working here until april! So by the time he comes back he won’t remember anything that I tried to teach him tonight! If my manager thinks that I’m going to train him again she has another thing coming.

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Successful Sunday

March 22, 2010 at 4:15 am (Uncategorized) (, )

I rolled out of bed on just four hours sleep this morning, and felt amazingly refreshed. I don’t know why, but I always seem to do better with less sleep.  I’m more alert, and my mood is much lighter when I get less than the recommended 6 – 8 hours.

I arrived at Happy’s early enough before my shift to be able to smoke a cigarette without feeling guilty.  One of my biggest pet peeves is not being able to smoke before work. The other one is being late. So that means I have to arrive at work with at least 10 minutes before my shift starts so that I can smoke.  After finishing my cigarette I went inside, trying to squeeze by the mass of people milling around the podium without bumping into too many of them. I put my sweater in my locker, washed my hands and was ready to hop on the floor.

It turned out though, that my whole section had filled up during the 5 minutes I took to smoke . Wonderful.  Now I would have to wait anywhere between 20-45 minutes  to even get my first table.  To keep myself busy, I rolled silverware setups and ran food out to other tables, trying to help the servers who were clearly overwhelmed.

Twenty minutes later everyone clears out of my section at once. I am quick to help the hotess, Kara, bus my tables so we can fill up my section, which  consists of 5 tables.  As soon as Kara seats my first table, I head over to get there drink order. Out of the corner of my eye I can see her seating my other four tables in rapid succession. This is something that would stress out many of the other servers that I work with, but it is something I look forward to. When  all the parties come in at the same time I just grab all the drink orders put them on a huge tray and bring them out. I then loop back to the first table to get their food order  and so on.  All the food comes out at relatively the same time which means while I am waiting for the food I have a bunch of free time on my hands to roll silverware,  stock the service aisle, or even sneak out for the occasional cigarette. After they are done eating food I grab icecream orders from all five tables,  scoop them, and drop them off with the corresponding checks.  After the customers eat the icecream and leave, the cycle begins again.

   It was especially busy today, with the weather being so nice and I tried to take advantage of this my turning my tables over as fast as possible. The one thing holding me back, though, was the grill cooks.  There is one guy, Mason, who transferred from a different Happy’s, that pushes food out at a snail’s pace. He blatantly tells anyone who will listen that he could care less how long the food will take to come out, doesn’t care if it affect’s the waitress tips, and doesn’t care if the customer’s call the corporate office to complain.  The other cook, Jason, genuinely does try his best, but he just isn’t all that coordinated when it comes to cooking.  Needless to say,  the two of them in the grill together are somewhat of a disaster. 

For an eight hour shift, they day went buy surprisingly fast. My sales were $800, and I ended up making $170 in tips, which is a little bit better than 20%. Not a bad day at all.

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A Short Introduction

March 21, 2010 at 9:25 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

   As you will soon come to realize through my rants and raves, the title of my blog is quite sarcastic.  For anonymity’s sake, we’re going to pretend that my name is Emily. I am a waitress at a restaurant called Happy’s, where the employees are usually anything but. I decided to create this blog to share with others my daily life, which unfortunately, seems to center around Happy’s.

    If you haven’t guessed by now, the name of  the restaurant where I work is also changed because I don’t want to have to censor myself in any way to keep my boss, coworkers, and friends from finding out I’m writing this. Although the odds of them stumbling upon this are very slim, I don’t usually have the best of luck and knowing that my posts will be completely anonymous will give me some piece of mind.

Please bear with me, as this is my first blog and I know my grammar is not the best.  Talk to you soon.

–Emily

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