Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bachelorette Party in April

This was surprisingly uneventful, but disturbing.
They arrived 30 minutes late in their party bus that took up the length of our small parking lot. I guess the mother was in charge because she walked in first.
"Where's the bathroom?" She demanded, plastic cup in hand, leaning a bit as she spoke.
"Around the bar." I told her trying to hide my amusement.
She stumbled outside to inform the rest of the group where the restroom was. When she returned she asked for a food menu and proceeded to order half the appetizers we offer along with 3 extra large pizzas. After entering the order, I show her to the party room and help my busboy clear a space in the middle for the dancer. After discovering that they want nothing more than pitchers of water, I set up plates and napkins for the food and leave the lady and the girls to their giggling drunkeness. Shortly after this I hear the woman telling my boss that she does not appreciate his employees intruding on her party. I wonder why they ordered food if they didn't want service and how I can possibly bring it to them without entering the room.
I hang out at the bar with the bartender and an off-duty employee until their food is ready. I have no other tables and the bar is dead. I end up giving one girl from the party three martinis and offer to bring them out for her as I am their waitress.
"Uh no. I'm a bartender. I know how to carry drinks."
So sorry I offered. I forgot I should have known. How silly of me.
When it is time to deliver their food, the dancer is doing his thing. My busboy and I take the food in to the room as quietly as possible and I catch a glimpse of the stripper in his bright red thong bikini and unbuttoned cop shirt giving who I believe is the bride-to-be a lap dance.
The only other time I returned to the room was after hearing glass break. I slipped in and swept up the shards while getting death looks from the mother. The stripper was now on his back on the ground doing I have no idea what. Possibly humping the air? One of the women asked me to get them some lotion and hand sanitizer.

They spent about $80 and tipped $20. Great considering I did next-to-nothing, but I still hope I don't have to work too many of these parties.

Manager T is the Bane of my Existance!

Remember the manager that didn't care when I fell at work? The manager that believed drunken customers that I was rude over his own experience with my professionalism (see January)? Here we go again...

It was a slow Friday night at The Bar. I have one table on the patio, a strange man that comes in several times a week and his date whom I've never seen before. As I wander in after checking on them, I see the boys filing in one by one. "The boys" are a softball team, only one of which is old enough to drink. Not all of them order food, and they will drink about 7 pitchers of water while they are here. Tonight there are 12 of them. They begin to seat themselves, walking right past the "Please Wait to be Seated" sign and me as I say "How many tonight?" I shrug and continue to the bar for the beer my patio table needed as my boss, T, goes to see the new table.
When I return inside I see T getting several pitchers of water so I ask him what else is needed and get it. While dropping off the table's drinks they ask T if they canhave separate checks. I am standing right there, server book in hand, pen poised to take their order. Are they unsure I can answer such a complex question? Maybe they have forgotten that for the previous two weeks I have complied with this same request?
"For all of you?" T asks.
"Yeah." one of the boys says.
"Uh, no, we can't do that. We can give you two checks, but not twelve. We have an ATM in the front you can use." T says with authority and walks away, leaving me standing there smirking on the inside. Serves you right for ignoring me and asking T. I would have said yes.
I give the boy an innocent look as he says, "But you did it for us last week."
"Yes, I did, but now my boss said no and I have to go by his decision. Sorry. I would have done it for you."
I take their order, which ends up being 2 appetizers and 4 sandwiches. I refill their water 3 times before their food comes out.
Shortly after delivering the boys their food, 3 people walk in and begin sliding tables together that run the length of that section of the dining room. Not only does this set up block my path to the patio door, it also sits close to 4 other tables rendering them "unseatable." Within minutes, the whole group has arrived, 35 in all. I am familiar with this group as well; separate checks by family (there are more kids than adults). Thankfully they are ready to order their food as well as their drinks, so after checking on my other tables (the boys and 2 others on the patio), I begin.
As I open my mouth to ask who is starting, a woman from this group turns to T, who has walked up beside me, and asks for separate checks. I am dumbfounded. Seriously, what is going on?
He begins to ask how many, but I interrupt him, as politely as possible, and say "I know how they want this split. It's OK."
After taking their food and drink order, I ask T to help me fill several pitchers of water while I put the order in the POS. He does, and I get the remaining drinks when I have finished. Have I mentioned that I pour my own drinks from the bar?
As we are waiting for the order to come up, I get sat again, and then again. Both are two-tops. I cheerfully deliver their drinks, gather their orders, and enter them in the POS.
Here's where things get messy. One after the other, 2 four-tops come in. After I get their drinks delivered, one is ready to order. They want dinners that come with salads I have to make myself. I make the salads quickly and deliver them, get refills for the boys on their water, the large party on their water and sodas, as well as another bucket of beer and cocktails (all while searching for the right check to enter these on). After delivering the drinks, I take the orders for the other four-top and am entering it in the POS when T comes up behind me.
"We still need an order for those people and the other table right." This is not a question.
"Nope. All the order are in. Just help me run food when it comes up and I'll be fine." I reply.
"Really? Oh, OK." T says with a surprised look on his face.
When the food begins to come up my bartender and busboy (who has been helping the cook) help me run the order to the large party out. T takes a round of plates (i.e. two) out to the table and then disappears. After all the food is out I make sure it is satisfactory and refill drinks yet again. I run food to the other tables, refill their drinks as well, and wait for my turn at the POS as T cashes out the boys. Several minutes later T tells me the table on the patio wants to order. I get their order immediately and apologize that they had to alert my manager.
"It's OK. We only told him because he was out here. We could have waited just the same. We aren't in any hurry at all." I thank them and scoot inside to enter their order.

All in all, the night went off well. I was able to handle all the chaos without issue and was compensated with good tips for the night. The major accomplishment was the large party's 8 separate checks were all correct despite that they were spread all over the table and were not sitting together. I felt good. I did well and I knew it. No complaints, no mistakes, no unhappy customers.

The next night, T told Laura that he wants another server on Friday nights because he has to help me run food and asks her to work. She can't that Friday and it's two weeks before I find out about the request.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I had to discontinue my internet for a while due to the economy's toll on my income. I have finally been able to reconnect it, although I am worried this will not last long.

Several updates...Katie the waitress is gone, Nina the waitress is in. I have been successfully working open to close on Friday and opening on Saturday morning for 8 months now. I have not taken any days off in that time.

This year has been slower than last. Usually over the summer I am able to make enough to supplement the slower winter months. This year I am just breaking even.

Last Friday we were closed due to storms, and next Saturday we are closed for the holiday. Ugh.

To all my friends here, I am sorry I have been missing and hope this doesn't happen again. I do need to ask for your help. Being in the same industry, your advice and input is greatly needed:
Last night I found out that another waitress has been asked to work with me on Friday nights. The manager that asked her said that they want another server because they "have to help [me] run food." They do not have to help take orders, get drinks, prebus, get refills, take carryout orders, or take payments. They only have to help run food when I have large parties because all the food is ready at once and we do not have food trays to take the food out. The waitress they asked to work is the one who told me, no one else has spoken to me about this. I am hurt by this, and angry. They are taking away half of my income!
I need help figuring out how to bring this up to management. The other waitress has agreed to work the shifts. Our hope is that after a few weeks of working together we can sit down and tell the manager that it isn't necessary to have both of us there.

Please help! Any and all responses will be greatly appreciated.