Monday, March 23, 2015

Micro-Manage This!

Control freak.  Bossy.  Obsessive compulsive.  Nit-picky.  Micro-manager.  Call them what you want, I can't stand any of them.  Being a manager is already a disliked position in a restaurant, but add the word "micro" to it, and now you've got somebody who will stay on you like stink on shit.  And they really enjoy the smell of shit.

I work with one of these... (ahem)... people.  And I don't know why I ahemed them, but basically this person is a major pain-in-my-ass.  Sure, the intentions might be good, but when a server is trying desperately to do their job so they can make money in order to pay their bills, the last thing we need is somebody getting in our way of making that money.

There is a thing called, "The Steps of Service," that most of us servers try to follow with each table.  That's the rapport that I am trying to establish with each guest that is sitting in my section.  I am trying to get you to like and trust me, and then I can do my job of making sure that you have some sort of pleasant dining experience.

Then the control freak steps in and completely takes over my table.  Usually you would expect this from one of your server co-workers, but not somebody in a management-type position.  Now that he has completely monopolized all of my customer's time, I try to step back in a do my job only to find out that their entire order has been taken.  Like I said, normally this would be called table stealing, (KIM,) but in this case, it's micro-managing.

And now I've become the weird guy at the table because the guests don't understand that I'm their server, not the manager with the control issues.

It's like when you are outside, and there's a fly that keeps buzzing around you for no apparent reason.  That's what it's like.  And the more I try to run away and swat at it, the more it keeps buzzing around me.

BUZZ OFF!!!

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."










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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bike vs Car. Car Weighs More, but Bike Acts Like Car

I drive through Beverly Hills when I go to work.  Besides the usual annoying things like Bentleys, Porsches, and Maseratis; me having to ignore all of the texting and driving--because apparently if you have money, you're exempt from this law.  That leaves me with the bicyclists, and they are the worst of the bunch.  They are the worst because they think that they're cars too.

Since when does a bike outweigh a car?  I got A's in Chemistry so I'm going to confidently say that a car outweighs a bike.  Even if the person riding the bike is morbidly obese, my car still outweighs the bicycle package.  But bicyclists still act like they are a semi-truck driver, barreling down the road, on the way to make a delivery to the supermarket, while peeing in a wide-mouth-jug.

My last encounter involved a guy riding his bike right in the middle of the road.  Just to give you a visual, there are two lanes going in each direction.  But those two lanes are packed with cars desperately trying to cut each other off, in order to save 15 seconds so when they arrive at their destination they can give a shorter apology for being late.

This guy doesn't move left, and he doesn't move right.  He stayed smack in the middle, and ignored any sign that there was a car behind him.  That car was me.

I give the "Hello?" horn honk as a courtesy.  He turns around and courteously gives me the finger.  I can't go around him because I've got an older woman driving a Cadillac to my right, and she is drifting around her lane like a boat that didn't get tied down in the marina.

We go a couple of more blocks and I see that a bike lane has started on the righthand side.  I know that the bike lane has started because it had a sign that said, "Begin Bike Lane."  Again, I honk.  He turns around and I motion that he should move over to the bike lane.  He doesn't get what I am pointing at, but instead he decides to ride along the side of my car.

Our conversation went as follows:

Bike Guy:  "What the fuck?"

Me:  "No thanks.  I was just telling you that there's a bike lane over there.  ALL FOR YOU!."

And I pulled away.  Because another thing a car can do better than a bike, is go faster.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."










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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Waiter? My Teeth Are in the Bread

When things get awkward between a server and the guest, they get REALLY awkward.  Sometimes the problem can be solved with some sort of diplomacy, and other times the server can only walk away and blog about it the next day.

Last night was the latter.  

I had an older gentleman and his daughter sitting in my section.  I wasn't sure if she was his daughter or not--but it didn't gross me out as much to think of her as his daughter--so I just went with that.

After they had ordered, I brought them the bread.  It's a mix of baguettes, crackers, and stuff.  Next thing I know, the daughter is waving me over.

"Is everything okay?" I ask.

"Not really."  She motions to the gentleman.  "He bit into the baguette and broke his front teeth off."

Sure enough, the man showed me where his front teeth used to be, and they weren't there.  But the whole time I'm thinking of what to say in this moment.  I've handled a lot of situations, but never something like this.  I was assuming that these were fake teeth that broke off and not his real ones.

"Did it hurt?" I asked.

"Of course it hurt," the woman responded.

What I didn't get was, why the hell would somebody who has fixed-fake-front-teeth, bite into a baguette?  The baguettes are the hardest of the breads that I offered.  And now the woman was worried about the rest of their meal that wasn't yet at the table.  I just apologized to them, and walked away.  

I told my supervisor, and the chef, and we didn't know what to do.  We got an incident report filled out just in case they would want to get some sort of compensation for the teeth.

The food arrived at the table, and the woman was worried about how her dad was going to eat the Chicken Caesar Salad, and Margarita Pizza.  He was just interested in eating, but she had to keep telling him that he had no front teeth.

He found a way to do it, because the food disappeared.  Hey, if worse came to worse, I would have offered to puree the salad and pizza.  That's how you know I'm a professional, I'm willing to go above and beyond for my customers.

But now I am going to start carrying a tube of "Fixadent" in my apron for the next time this happens.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Review About Yelp by An Elite Yelper

The following post is my interpretation of what a review of Yelp would look like by one of their "elite" Yelpers.

A friend of mine told me about Yelp a while back so I decided that I would give it a try since I have nothing better to do with my life.  You call this a helpful website?  First of all, the color scheme is all about the red.  Some of it is white, but it's mostly red.  Way to try hard at picking colors, Yelp!  I don't know about you guys, but red doesn't say "helpful," it says "I'm mad as hell."

Seriously?  I'm missing "The Real Housewives of Portland" to do this right now.

God!  I need a cocktail.

Anyways...

You would think that Yelp would be more welcoming to having people come to their website to use it.  And I know what the hell I am talking about, I use websites all the time.  All I do is go to the browser thingy and type "www" and then whatever I'm looking for and (BAM!)... internet magic.

My first impression of Yelp was just okay.  I wasn't excited, but it wasn't like I was going to be doing anything else, so I gave it a chance.  I enjoy being able to say bad things about people behind their backs, so this is a perfect place to do that.  But then I had to look around the site to find the "write a review" link.  I'm out of breath just thinking about how hard that was.

MOVING ON...

Now I was asked to create a profile.  REALLY YELP?  My profiles are all over the internet.  I already have so many social network friends, that I can count on any of them to give me a ride to the airport, OR help me move.  That's how important I am in my world...

So I created the profile.

After I lost 10 minutes of my life (I had to take several selfies to use for my profile pic) I got down to business.  And Yelp should kiss my feet for giving them any business in the first place.

When I was writing my review, it did something weird on the website and I had to wait a whole 5 seconds for it to not do the weird thing so I could finish writing my dissertation.  Everybody loves what I have to say.  Hence, my elite social media status, so all of my social media friends just die whevever I write a review becuz I'm so funny!  I'm even LOL'ing right now as I write this shizz.

I am giving Yelp 2 stars because most of it sucks except for the fact that my review is now on it.  (That's worth 5 stars alone!  HELLO?)  Now that Ithink about it, I am going to move it up to 3.5 stars.  So half of it sucks, and the half that my review is on is great.  So that means that my review is "funny," "useful," and "cool."

And along with the bad color scheme, they have a tasteless exclamation point after the Yelp logo that has a Daisy for the dot on the bottom of the mark.  First of all, I'm allergic to flowers.  So just seeing a Daisy makes my eyes water.  NOT COOL YELP.  By the way, you owe me an Allegra.

I won't be "Yelping" again anytime soon.  BTW... you should totally follow me on instagram.  I'm @itsallaboutme.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Dine LA Syndrome

Everybody wants a deal these days!  Well Dine LA is back, and the deals are-a-flowing, and the cheap customers be-a-coming.  Dine LA should be better known as the "I can't afford to eat at your place, but now I can... but I still can't afford to tip.

Or maybe it's the, "I don't know how to tip," syndrome.  Whatever the 'drome, these people need to realize that just because they already paid for their deal, they are still receiving great service, and therefore, they should show their appreciation.  And not by just saying that the service was wonderful.  Hello?  "Servers don't pay their rent with compliments," anyone?

And to make things even worse, we are also offering a Groupon deal as well.  Dine LA plus Groupon is a recipe for tip disaster.  The disaster being no tip, and customers still wanting exceptional service.  Even though most of them have never dined in a nice restaurant before.  But they probably have watched "Top Chef," so that makes them an expert.

Whether it's Groupon, Dine LA, or the "I hate full price" coupon, please take care of your server.  After all, we are introducing you to our restaurant that you normally would not be eating at.

And for the professional Dine LA'ers, stay off of Yelp!  All of the Yelp reviews for Dine LA always state that the portions are small, and there aren't many options.  No shit!  It's a prefix menu, you dildos.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Golden Duds

I would be happy to be nominated for a Golden Globe.  I would be even more happy to win one.  The red carpet looks fun, and I know that the show is long and drawn out, but at least I would get to kiss the ass of directors and actors I would want to work with, instead my usual ass kissing of my managers so I can get the days off that I need from the restaurant.

But the people who like to act like they are somebody, when I don't know who the hell they are, have got to go.  And go fast!

I waited on some people attending an after party for The Golden Globes and it was like having my gums scraped.  First of all, these people were at a Golden Globes *after party* while the Golden Globes was still on!  If you're anybody, you go to the after party, AFTER the show is over.

There were a bunch of punks acting like they owned the place as if they're the next boy-band-sensation; some weird-hippy twins who seemed like they played the "ghost twins" in the second Matrix movie, and a guy who came in twice and said that he wanted a table for seven and when he did finally sit down, he was the only one eating... BY HIMSELF!!!  Then he was joined by the bitchy girl who knew telepathy, because when I offered her something to drink, she kept looking at her phone, but then the guy answered for her.

To which I responded, "she looks too busy to order anything anyways."

Then there was an unprofessional looking, crappy step-and-repeat, followed by an interview with a poorly dressed host using what looked like a VHS camcorder with a microphone that looked like the one that hooked up to my old Apple IIE computer.

The only good part about all of this, was that my customers were extremely entertained by this whole debacle.  Especially the couple from Australia.  But the last thing America needs are the Aussies to go home and tell their friends and countrymen what a bunch of idiots we are.

Listen up wannabes:  You are all on the same train as the rest of us fools who moved to this town to "make it" in the entertainment biz.  And the train is going nowhere!  So you might as well sit back down in your seat, put your seatbelt back on, and just watch from the window like the rest of us.

Acting like you're somebody doesn't make you an actor, it makes you an asshole.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I Want You To Sit In My Section But Not When We R Closing

Nobody is in the restaurant.  The tables have been cleared off, or they have been set-up for breakfast/lunch service for the next day.  Even though the clock has not struck "closing time" yet, the fact that there haven't been any tables for almost an hour signals the staff to close.  Then they appear.

The customers who just want a quick bite to eat and then they say they'll leave.  These people make sure to point out that it's still a minute before you close, so they guilt trip their way to a table.  I clear away all of the set-up that I had done and re-set their table for dinner.

"Was it busy tonight?" the girl asks.

"We were earlier.  But then those people left," I reply.  Don't get me wrong:  Yes, I want to have customers, but not when we are about to close.  It's not worth the extra few dollars to stick around for another hour or so.

I explain to them that the kitchen is closing, so they are going to need to decide quickly.  They order some drinks and say they'll be ready by the time I return.

I return.  The man gestures for the girl to order first.  She's still undecided.  (Shocker!)  I can feel the kitchen staff burning holes into my skull with the stares they are giving me to get the order in.  But I get it, they want to go home too.  Finally the man chimes in and orders a steak.  Then I turn my attention back to the woman.

"Nothing really is jumping out at me... do you think they can make me some type of pasta with chicken, vegetables, and some type of sauce?" the woman demands.

"Actually the Penne Pasta on the menu has all of those things," I explain.

"I don't see that."

I point it out to her.  What is the deal with people having to see exactly where things are on the damn menu?  I'm not making it up.  If I say it's on the menu, then it's on the menu.  Regardless, she orders the pasta after carefully reading it over... a couple of times... out loud.

I finally put their order in, and it's already 20 minutes past the time that they sat down and were told that we are closing.  A restaurant is the ONLY place that things like this happen.  If you're at the bank, and it's closing time, you had better believe that one of the out-of-shape armed guards is going to be bullying you out the door.  Just because your money is there doesn't mean that you own the place.

My manager comes back to check on me and the table.  This is always interesting to me because managers will ALWAYS seat a late table, so we have the business, but then they are the first ones to ask if they're finished yet.  They would've been finished by now if you had NEVER SAT THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!

The couple finishes their entrees and I use the old "bring them some chocolates on a plate" trick, so they think that this will be their dessert, so they won't stay and order dessert off the menu.  Fortunately, it worked.  I drop their check and was thinking that I was finally finished.  When I go to pick up their payment, I was lectured by the woman that she really didn't like her cocktail--even though she had decided to modify one of the specialty cocktails that we have on the menu.

At this point, it's better to take it off the bill rather than argue that she is an idiot.  They pay.  They leave.  For all of that, I made less than 10 percent.  The closing Gods were unkind to me this night.

When the restaurant is closed, that means that they are closed.  Jack-in-the-box has a 24 hour drive-thru.  Go there, and say hi to Jack for me.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."









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