Saturday, January 30, 2010

The party that made me cry last year

Remember this? This group scheduled another event for a recent Friday night. I found out when I came in for the first half of my double that day.

This year, there was no second server asked to come in, no second bartender, and almost no manager. The day manager had to leave early and the night manager had to come in late so the third manager came for the interim. Since he is also an owner, and was not "really" working, and the party consisted of several of his friends, he sipped coctails the entire time, never forgetting to ask me from time to time if I needed anything.

I did my best to keep up with the party, but since it was an open bar many of them simply walked up there. I caught them sometimes, sometimes I didn't. No one really cared either way which was wonderful.

Near the end of the open bar I was making my round back to the dining room when I saw two guys rush in to my path. My path happened to be through the employee area containing the pass through for the kitchen. Before I could say anything, the host of the party, and friend of our owners, said loudly "Can we help you guys?"
One of the two said aggressively that they wanted to order food and they had been waiting 15 minutes for service. I knew this was bull but politely told them I would be more than happy to take their order. They walked back to a table and I followed with two menus. There was a third person sitting at the table and I apologized for not bringing enough menus but was told it was OK. I proceeded to take their drink order; two long islands, no ice (as I was told 4 times), and a water for the one with no ID (no I can not accept a traffic ticket. I need a photo ID). While I was carding the guy who wanted the second long island the first started ordering their food. It wasn't a complicated order, but with two different food items and one drink order being told to me at once I decided to write it down. I asked them to please wait a second and pulled out some paper and a pen. While I'm doing this they repeat their order. As I am writing the drink orders I again ask them to wait a minute. They repeat their order again. Annoying and rude since this is all being done with an attitude on their part. I begin to write slowly. After a second I repeat part of the order to prompt them to continue from there. They speak slowly like I am not intelligent enough to understand normal speech.

I make their long islands, which look like diarrhea in a glass since it is mostly mix rather than liquor. Upon bringing the drinks and set ups to the table the most obnoxious of the three begins to ask me "Hey girl, what time you get off baby?" and "Damn, you sure are fine from behind." I ignore the second comment and, to the first, respond that last call is at 1:30. "You got a man baby girl?" "What his name?" I smile and walk away without answering.

Every time I walk past the table the obnoxious one asks where their food is. The first three times I tell him it is still cooking and I wil bring it out as soon as it is ready. After that I ignore the question.
Finally their food is ready. When I deliver it the obnoxious one asks for more ranch. I run something to another table and then proceed to get the ranch. As I am at the condiment station (sad ranch is considered a condiment now) I overhear a confrontation between the host of the party and the obnoxious guy at the table. I quickly get my manager and a verbal confrontation between the two men and the obnoxious guy ensues. After about a minute, my manager gets fed up and kicks them out. He delivers their bill himself and makes sure they pay it. Do I even need to say he's my favorite of the three to work with?

So I don't think I will be crying over a talk with management this year. As annoying and uncomfortable as the situation with the three guys was, I'd prefer that to getting a lecture from management that makes me tear up and fear for my job.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Is this exceptionally difficult?

I had two different tables the other day confused over what starting a tab means and what paying as you go means. I didn't think it was a complex concept.

I brought one girl her beer and asked if she wanted to pay as she went or start a tab. She asked if she could just pay after she had her beer. Umm, yes. That is running a tab. I told her sure and asked for a card or an ID to keep the tab open. She gave me a credit card and told me she wanted to pay cash at the end. I assured her that was fine, but she continued telling me she didn't want to see any charges on her card and why do I need a card anyway? I again told her I could hold an ID instead of a card, but she said it was OK.

The other table ordered a round that totaled over $20. When I brought the round I posed the same question. One of the men at the table gave me a very confused look and said "I guess we'll figure it out on the next round." Seriously?
I politely told him that unfortunately I needed to either give my bar money for the round or a credit card or ID to keep the tab open. Again I get a confused look, but he hands me money for the round.

It seems these things happen in groups. I won't get attitudes about holding cards for tabs for months and then suddenly everyone takes issue with it. For two years I have been posing the "pay as you go or start a tab" question in the same way without any confusion and suddenly no one gets it.

On another note, I had the most annoying child in my section the other day. The parents allowed the kid to unroll all the silverware on my newly-set tables while I was checking with the kitchen on their food. 40 sets of silverware that needed to be rewashed and rolled because parents couldn't be bothered to watch their own children in public. The same child was also stopped from pushing open the front door and leaving the restaurant by a customer drinking at the bar.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I am tired of not being able to eat the meal I order (and have to pay for) while I am working. That is all.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Annoying People Come in Groups

It was a Friday night and I was almost ready to be cut. There were 2 hours til close, but I had only had 2 tables for the last few hours and they were getting ready to close out. Being at the bar for 13 hours without a chance to sit for even a minute had made me tired and my feet hurt. As I was bringing the check to the first of the two tables ready to close out a couple of girls walked in the front door. They stood by the bar for a few minutes before turning and walking to the dining room and seating themselves. With an internal sigh I walked over to greet them. After taking their drink order the second of my tables asked for their check.

I quickly ran the check out to the appropriate table and went back to the POS. As I was ringing the drink order in, 2 young guys walked in the door and up to the register. They needed a table. With another internal sigh and an outward smile I grabbed menus and sat them at a booth, taking their drink order immediately. When I returned with their drinks, the taller of the two said they were ready to order. His friend looked at him and said he needed more time. I told them I would return shortly.

After dropping off the drinks for the two women, another table walked in. I seated them and asked for their drink order. They spent 5 minutes asking me the prices for various drinks and beer, as well as our drink specials for the day. In an attempt to speed up the process I told them our specials were listed on an insert on the table. One of the kids (they were all between 22 and 24 but acted like kids) told me, as a joke, he couldn't read. After finally extracting an order for food from one of the four and drink order from another I told them I would return. On my way to enter their order, I gathered the check from the earlier table and went to the register to close it out. As I was doing this, the tall guy came to the register and started telling me his order. I smiled and entered the order before scooting off to the bar to gather the drink for the kid's table.

The kids had a few more questions and the proceeded to play argue with me standing there. After a minute of this I asked if they would like me to return. The illiterate guy ordered a drink. Back up to the POS. The tall guy was there waiting for me. I told him I would come to his table in a second, thinking he would sit back down. Nope. He waited at the register for me as I dropped off the drink that had been ordered. Smiling, I told him I would have come to his table to get his order. Keep in mind, tall guy and his friend were not waiting long, and I was visible to them the entire time, so they knew I was occupied. Maybe they aren't used to going out to restaurants? He seemed to prefer to order at a counter.

Eventually tall guy's table and the kids were fed and happy. The kids split their check and one paid while the other joked he was going to walk out on his as he sauntered over to the bar. I told him he would need to close out with me if he were sitting there and promptly got his check, which went unpaid for another 30 minutes though he ordered nothing. Seems he preferred to lean against the bar making out with his girlfriend. Tall guy and his friend paid and left.

Throughout all this, the two women had issues with their drinks. First, the mai-tai had too much juice so I added more grenadine making it a sickly bright pink. The the long island had too much sour so I added more coke, making it look dark brown. Their waters also tasted "wrong".

I practically ran out the door as soon as all my tables were closed out at last call.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I Was Right

Last night there were 16 people in the bar when I arrived. Between 5 and 9, only 8 new people arrived, and most of the people already there left.

The bartender called in sick and since I am also a bartender there, they decided that I could work the bar. They felt they didn't need a waitress after all. I was a bit upset about this at first. I had tried to get that night off a month ago but was unable to find someone to work the shift. In the end, they decided they didn't need a waitress so I should have been sent home.

All in all, I had a fun night. It was all regulars there and they were playing music all night. One of them offered to play any songs I wanted to cheer me up. When my songs came on, some of the regulars asked who played the songs and I admitted it was me. They cheered. I guess they liked my taste in music.

We ended up closing at 10. I doubt they will try to be open next year.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Open New Year's Day

My bar has decided that we will be open today. Not just during the day, but at night as well. I am not hopeful for the evening. Even the clubs and college bars are closed today. If anyone is going out drinking tonight, it's going to be the college kids.

Management thinks that we will be busy because it is a Friday. I think it will not be busy because it is New Year's Day. Let's see who's right.