Tuesday, June 30, 2009

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.

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