Friday, March 29, 2013

Manager Sickness


I have dealt with many managers throughout my career.  The one thing that they all have in common is that none of them seem to believe me when I call in sick.  I've never worked a 9 to 5 job, so I don't know what it's like to call in sick to those, but with restaurant gigs, you'd better have a terminal illness, or use the "dead grandmother" line.  And even if you do, you're going to need a doctor's note just to prove it and to be able to come back to work.

"I'm sorry, but I'm not going to be able to work tonight.  I feel like crap," I told my manager over-the-phone one morning.

"Did you get someone to cover your shift?" he asked.

"Nobody can do it because everybody is working tonight."

"It's your responsibility to get your shift covered!"  He insisted.

"Right, but I'm sick.  But everybody is working tonight.  And I won't be much use tonight considering I can't get out of bed."

"Well, you still have a couple of hours before your shift starts.  Keep trying to get it covered, and in that time maybe you'll feel better so you can work.  It's going to be busy tonight."  (Which by-the-way, is the kiss of death when a manager says, "we're going to be busy."  It's a jinx, and we end up being slow.)

And of course, customers love a server who is struggling to talk due to a sore throat and chest congestion.

"Welcome everyone.  Tonight's specials include the (cough) Ribeye Steak with red wine and (snort) phlegm sauce."

As a server, it's often like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," but the contrary.  I'm really sick, but no manager believes it.


Only until I bear down and show up to work my shift and my manager looks at me and says, "You can go home.  You look awful."  WTF?!!  I tried to convince you of this over 4 hours ago!

I'm better off using the "grandmother" line.

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

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

The Bitter Bistro

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER CLICK HERE

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

You Got Yelped!!!


This edition of my "You Got Yelped!!!" series looks at how the business of a restaurant can affect the attitudes of customers and waiters alike.  More so on the customers side, because as far as I know, I am not responsible for bringing business into a restaurant.  I provide a valuable service once the customers are seated, but promotions and marketing are not part of the service that I provide.

Which brings me to "Ladytron K."  CLICK HERE for her Yelp profile.  She has high expectations, but is delusional about what good service is, and should seriously consider dousing herself in truffle oil and dressing her own salads with herself.  She writes on one particular experience:

My boyfriend bought  a $50 for $100 deal on http://Ladeals.com, a Groupon type site.   When we arrived at the place, we realized why they were on the Groupon circuit. The restaurant was an absolute ghost town. There were probably 5 people in the restaurant which was a relief to us because the goal was to be in and out. My birthday party was to start at 9:30ish and our reservation was at 8. This could work, right? WRONG. It could not work because the service at (restaurant) is beyond bad, even by LA standards.  I understand that coupons annoy the crap out of the every waiter on earth but COME ON. We were probably one of 3 tables he had that entire night. Unless there is a secret door that leads to a crazy packed restaurant, I really cannot imagine what the hell he was doing the entire time we were there. 

I'm actually am going to stop right here.  Ladytron K. admits out-the-gate that her boyfriend took her out for her birthday dinner using a coupon.  A coupon!  Her problems go far beyond her server not being around enough to satisfy her needs.  She needs to start with Yelping about her cheap boyfriend.  And needing to get to her "birthday party?"  Are you ten years old?  Sorry you were late for your Jolly Jump, pony rides, and face painting, but grow up you crackwhore!  If the server wasn't there enough for you, maybe you should take the hint.  You are NOT a likable person, and you need to rethink your values and place in this universe.

Ladytron K., YOU GOT YELPED!!!

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

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

The Bitter Bistro

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER CLICK HERE



Monday, March 11, 2013

The Woody Allen and Larry David Neurosis


I knew I was going to be in trouble the other night when my co-worker Michael motions to a customer and says to me, "I had that guy last night.  Good luck with him!"

My last table of the night, and I get the wild card.  I decide to do my best impression of "I care about the customers" and quickly greeted the table.  I was immediately blasted with,

"I can't have anything with black pepper, garlic, dairy, or butter.  But I was in here the other night, and the server was able to accommodate me.  I think his name was Michael.  Is he here tonight?  I like him."  I glance over at Michael, and he's enjoying not being in my place.

I go over the menu with the guy and his date, and I quickly recognize the condition he has, it's a neurosis of Woody Allen mixed with Larry David.  He likes pasta without sauce, but then he orders a sauce on the side so he can scoop it in himself.  He likes fish by itself, without sides, but then wants to order some vegetables with it.

"But remember, I can't have pepper, butter, garlic, or dairy," he insists on reminding me.

"I remember sir.  I even wrote it down," I say, just to reassure him.

"Now what kind of vegetables do you have for sides?" he asks.

"We can do asparagus, or spinach," I say.

"What about artichokes?"

"We have artichokes, but that was a special that we had last night."

"See if the chef can do that again for me.  Michael did that for me the other night," he insisted.

This is exactly why servers SHOULD NOT accommodate every customers requests.  If it's within reason, fine.  But little things that are annoying, absolutely not!  Because now it's going to be an issue for every server who has this guy.

I go into the kitchen and talk with the chef.  He says he can do a saute of mixed vegetables consisting of cauliflower  broccoli, zucchini, and asparagus.  He sets it up, and I head back to the table with the good news.

"The chef says he can fix you a nice assortment of vegetables that are within your dietary constrictions," I say.

"What vegetables?  Don't assume you know what I like!" Woody/Larry said.  And he was serious!

"Okay.  What do you like?"

"What vegetables do you have?" he inquired.

Damn't!  We have already been through this!  But I obliged.  "We have cauliflower..."

"No!"

"Broccoli..."

"No!"

"Zucchini..."

"No!"

"Asparagus..."

"What about broccoli?" trying to fool him.

"You already said that.  No!"

"Sorry, I forgot.  What about spinach?"

"No!"

"Then we're out of vegetables," I conceded.  It's fine if you have dietary limits, but don't make it my problem.  I'm Diabetic, but I don't want to put someone else in charge of my well-being.

"Can't you do that artichoke special?  I had it the other night."

"The artichokes are marinated in things you can't have.  Black pepper, butter, garlic, and dairy... remember?"

"But I had that the other night," he gasped.

"Well, then you had things that you should not of had."  I finished.

"I'll just have the fish and pasta."

And that's exactly what I gave him, and that's what he ate.  But to make things even stranger, at the end of the meal, he thanked me profusely for accommodating his requests and that he and his date had a great time.  And he tipped me over twenty percent!  Who the hell knows!

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

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

The Bitter Bistro

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER CLICK HERE





Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mr. Smith Goes to France--AND SHOULD STAY THERE!!!


Once again the soldiers of the service industry have been harpooned by an individual, who thinks that people who work in the service industry are those that should be looked down upon, mocked, and degraded all because he believes that karma won't find him and jam a pencil down his urethra and snap it in half.

Kyle Smith (above pic,) a writer for the NY Post and also my doppelganger and archenemy, wrote an article on March 2nd, [You Got Served] explaining his disdain for his server, and how he thinks that all "ex-darlings of their high school theater department," should in so many words, shut their mouths and jump off the Brooklyn bridge.  But don't dare jump until you've brought Kyle another cocktail for Christ's sake!  And all for telling him his name.  Which I am against in the first place.  I've never made more or less in tips by telling or not telling a customer my name.

Obviously the reaction from waiters and bartenders ranges from lynching him, putting Visine in his water, to demanding an apology.  Given that he writes for the NY Post, a would-be incestuous cousin of The National Enquirer, or Star Magazine, the apology won't happen as Kyle has been reveling in the fact that he has received so many hate emails, and accepts them as some sort of victory.  [Hate Emails]  The header on his blog even says, "there's little point in writing if you can't annoy somebody."  Kyle, not only have you annoyed the crap outta me and every other person who works in restaurants around the world, you have guaranteed yourself a lifetime supply of packages from the "Shit Surplus Store," but also your food will never taste quite right from any restaurant you go to from now on.

And of all places to compare service standards, Kyle chooses France.  A place that he frequents a week or two every year.  Where he says that the waiters, "don't work for tips (the customer is expected to leave a mere Euro or two) and yet they are so much less annoying."  Kyle, you dumb-dildo, that's because in France they automatically add 19 percent to every bill!  And they are much less annoying because the service in France is NOT as good as it is here in America!

Kyle also has the audacity to speak for all of America saying that we all have to be nice to servers because they hold everybody hostage with what they are doing to the food behind the scenes.  Actually Kyle, most people are nice because they are just nice people.  Why would I ever want to do something bad to a customer's food if they are nice and courteous?  Like I said before, Kyle doesn't have to worry about faking niceness anymore, his food will forever be glazed with some sort of anus ju.

We could all continue the barrage of emails to Kyle, kyle.smith@nypost.com, but that will do nothing more than give Kyle more satisfaction than he ever deserves.  As a server I want nothing more than for him to sustain permanent, but not life threatening injury from either a passing NY bus, or a trampling from a NY matinee theater crowd rushing to get discounted tickets in Times Square, but there is never a reason to NOT be nice to your server or bartender.  Just as much as you might be annoyed with them at that moment, keep in mind that WE certainly are just as annoyed with you.

I will conclude with one of my favorite emails to Kyle:

YOU were the abortion I was supposed to go through with that summer! I had a hunch you would grow up to be a half-assed sensationalist for the Post, and not a real human being with standards and a sense of decency. F**k. Please tell me more about your trip to France and how much your trout costs.
Love,
Ma
PS Thank you for being the only grown up in NYC who has the guts to tackle high school theater jokes. You make me so proud, little man.

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

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

The Bitter Bistro