The Insane Waiter

Running wild on customers, chefs, owners and managers since 1997. I bring to you, The Insane Waiter. What do bring to your table? A crisp bottle of San Pellegrino ? Perhaps a lovely seared Sashimi Tuna? Start off with a wonderful bottle from Tuscany perhaps? Why I'll be more than happy to bring you your White Zinfandel and Chicken Caesar. No you can't order the mac and cheese off the kids menu and sorry no, we don't serve cheese sticks....

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Welcome to Corporate Hell

Welcome to a server's hell!

Cookie Cutter stores designed for mediocrity.

Just so you can walk into any TGI Fridays from Des Moines to Outer Mongolia and get the exact same server drone 12 steps of service spiel.

The exact same Jack Daniels Ribs...

The exact same Extreme Fajitas...

And the exact same Jalapeno Shooters...

My personal favorite is highlighting something that's been on the menu since 1869 as a special!
(Consumer Warning: The special is always something on the verge of spoiling, they are just trying to get rid of the overstock, in other words that Ribeye you ordered probably was turning green before it hit the grill)

Now corporate managers are something else all together.

You think servers are greedy, they put us to shame.

See their pay is based on a bonus system that gets chipped away at by falling short of goals.

Too many customer complaints?? Knock of $100

Overtime being paid out? Another Fifty...

Labor, food and liquor costs up??

Well by then they're making less than us server if you catch my drift.

They are so frightened by their bosses and willing to bow down to any customer just so the shit won't roll down on them from the office.

So I'm just amazed at the actions corporate managers take to protect their bonus system.

The greed that pumps throughout their veins is sickening.

I've worked at a few corporate places when I started out, ie: LoneStar, Famous Dave's & Heart of America. (Ya I'll name drop)

Never have I found a manager to back up, or at least in private agree with one of the lowly staff.

To them we all are liars and thieves, all working to undermine their corporate structure, hypocrisy!

We are as replaceable as forks and plates to them, and probably matter less because they actually cost money.

They offer nearly no benefits, minimum wage for paid vacation, and no sick days. Don't even think about calling in without ten people already vouching to work for you, no doctor's note, no job.

Want your federally mandated thirty minute break on twelve hour double?

Good luck!

The last hole I worked in took away all smoking "privileges" and no eating until you're clocked out for the nite.

Too bad I never got breaks under this policy.

When I complained they said all I had to do was ask for my break, most places insure you your right to a break.

Every time I asked for it the answer was sure, right after you polish the bar, or straighten your section (not for the current shift but the next one), stock beer or cover for someone.

By the time that was up five o'clock had rolled around and as I was ready to walk out the door I was told I had been sat my first table for the night shift.

No time for a break now, another six hours to go.

But I guess since they pay us a whopping 3.09/hour here making sure someone gets their break will surely kill their labor.

It would be so terrible if they have to pay us or lose productivity in the five minutes it takes to wolf down a burger or burn a square.

Watch out for your pay stubs also, they have been know to "trim" down your hours for both unemployment insurance purposes, or God forbid they actually have to pay someone overtime! (4.50/hour in server speak)

At Lonestar the bar drawer would always be mysteriously under 20-40 bucks (with honest bartenders that were friends) So they dock our tip out.

Wonder where that money went?

Assistant manager's beer fund, or to cover their theft from petty cash.

And I have personally seen two servers fired at two different establishments for refusing to pay a table's bill after a walk out on the tab.

The managers blamed them and didn't even call the police. Figuring the servers were the real thieves and trying to keep a cash ticket for themselves.

Customer's always watch your tabs!!!

Chains have also been know to charge you for the large sizes when you ordered a regular!

Have fun with that $10 Margarita and $5 Millet Lite!

That's fraud...

My personal favorite is when a General Manager had everyone ring in ORANGE JUICE instead of sodas on tickets, bumping his bar percentage down that pesky 3% so he'd get his extra $1000 dollars that month.

Pretty much 95% of corporate are scum who can't even handle waiting tables or are "kitchen managers" that couldn't cut it at culinary school to become a real chef.

My advise to servers/bartenders is find a nice bistro, pub or locally owned joint and see if you are treated like a human being, not a number.

My advice to customers??

Live a little, don't settle for mediocre food and service, support your local restaurants!


At 6:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have the most negative blog I've read recently.

Why don't you fuckin' quit and find a job you like??? Why would anyone work at a job they hate?

At 1:17 AM , Anonymous TheInsaneWaiter said...

Because it pays the bills while I work on my future.

Besides, what kind of blog would be fun to read if it wasn't for rants!

And I did quit the job I hated, and work for a much better place.

At 6:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are absolutly right, support your local restaurants!

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At 7:34 AM , Blogger Kathleen said...

When I worked at BK we would count our drawers ourselves and then had to stay in the office while the manager counted it to avoid such discrepancies. It's definitely the smart way to cash out.

At 3:26 PM , Blogger Ceetar said...

while your points about working conditions at these chains are valid, I disagree about dining there. I do try to support my local restaurants, I do go to non-franchised places, but sometimes a chain is the best option.
You're right that you get the same meal, and the same steak, cooked the same way, but at least you know that going in. I could pop in to a local restaurant, and end up with a horrible meal, or horrible service, for whatever reason.

These restaurants come and go all the time, even the good ones. And in recent studies, these chains are the cleaner, more sanitary ones. It's the high-end 4-star restaurants that have health code violations all over the place.

While you'll rarely get excellent food at a chain, you'll also rarely get bad food. maybe the quality of service is a little lower, but there are good people working here too, for whatever reasons; should I not support them too?

At 8:13 PM , Anonymous Pizzaboy said...

While it's a really old post, allow me to say that Local places are the way to go, word of mouth spreads that they don't treat employees well and suddenly they have none. They treat you well at locally owned places, I wouldn't work anywhere else.

At 9:48 PM , Anonymous Aria said...

I wish I had read this before I went to Chili's. You've just explained so much. It was my first time there and I ordered the lunch special. I figured it had to be good, why else would they make it a special? It was the WORST food I've ever had. So salty and incredibly tough steak. Now I know why! I'm sure your right, it must have been close to spoiling, seared and salted to disguise it. Well, I sucked it up and left an okay tip but I'll never go THERE again.


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