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....

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Selling Out

So in an earlier post I stated that our restaurant was taking the comment card opinions, particularly the negative ones, very seriously.

Well I made it pretty clear that I didn't.

They are grossly unscientific and even though positive cards are outnumbering the negatives no attention is being paid to that fact.

Management has cracked down on all aspects of the restaurant due to the owner's new totalitarian regime.

Write ups were threatened and management warned us that they were keeping a secret police type log on any rule infractions and that they may write us up without us signing the documents or being aware we are being disciplined.

Well about a week ago one of my coworkers that I am friendly with was called back into the office to discuss a card that was filled out with him as the waiter.

Apparently a table had come in later in the night when we ran out of the fish entree, being that it is the lent season we have been running friday features as an alternative to our red meat dishes.

"Ron" as we will call him, informed the table and went on to the other features and such.

The table made a comment about us running out of the dish, but if we don't have it there's not much we can do, there are other seafood entrees on the menu as it were.

Around that time Ron was seated another party, this time of eight.

Once again they were not able to order the features, no big deal this time around.

So Ron received a comment card from the first and smaller party.

Apparently their side of the story was Ron told them we were out and then went on to sell the other party the fish feature.

They said Ron lied to them and gave poor service and yada yada.

Rick relayed his side of the story and that no, the party of eight did not receive any fish features as we were out.

Why would he lie?

A party of eight is automatic gratuity so he wouldn't have held out for a larger tip from them.

Maybe if he didn't like the table he would lie, but that would be rather petty and since the feature spiel is at the beginning of a dinner he would have no motivation to lie for that reason as he wouldn'y know anything about them.

Well the manager heard him out, and pushed the write up towards him.

When you sign a write up it pretty much means you admit to the actions described, which means he would have to admit to lying to his table while serving the dish to the other party.

Apparently Ron tried reasoning a bit further, but they made him sign it anyways.

Once again way to back up your staff.

You take a very honest and hard working guy like Ron and call him a liar.

Management is so afraid that the almighty customer might call the owner, hell they probably sent the assclown that wrote that letter a free gift certificate as a reward for being a lying piece of crap.

Way to sell out your staff once again restaurant industry, and yes this type of behavior is the rule for these middle managers, not the exception, unfortunately.


At 1:32 PM , Anonymous RubyGlass said...

Dude, Rick? or Ron? Love your stories! I am so happy that I dont work as a waiter anymore!

At 2:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree.

That stuff really sucks.

I had to quit my job at a corporate place because, the people in the area--who are compulsive complainers (Beverly Hills) were sending in negative comment cards. So the offices sent in scads of these corporate trainer types...who refused to believe that we were doing our jobs.

Whenever there was a mod on a ticket we'd be greeted with a stern, "DID YOU SUGGEST THAT!?!"

We never did, the trainers never listened so I had to call it quits.

At 5:12 PM , Blogger caramaena said...

Oh that's ridiculous. Unfortunately it happens all over. I work at a call centre and similar sorts of stuff happens there. It's pathetic and then tptb wonder why staff turnover is so high.

At 8:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haven't you posted htis before?

At 2:27 AM , Anonymous pistol said...

As a restaurant manager I have experienced similar situations. The owners received a negative e-mail and forced my GM to suspend one of my best servers w/out asking me (the MOD) what happened. What Horseshit. I minimized the suspension to one day and the owner apologized to the server eventually, but I saw the handwriting on the wall and quit soon after.

At 5:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When forced to sign something like that, above the signature, write, "This did not happen this way." or "This is not true."

At 9:29 AM , Anonymous berfish said...

you either already used this story or you 'borrowed' it as I have already read it, word for word. what gives? the moral of it still sucks, comments cards are destructive not constructive. although the great unwashed public do pay our wages, they are generally petty and ignorant. comment cards are only used upon receiving perceived 'bad' or perceived 'outstanding' dining experiences.

At 9:52 AM , Anonymous kwamedaddy said...

Yeah, I read pretty much the same story before too. Is is so dull waiting tables that you have to repeat things? Anyway, I'm glad I have a real job and don't need to grovel for tips.

You're all on double secret probation.

At 10:43 AM , Anonymous Suz said...

I'm putting kwamedaddy on notice. :flashing neon sign: Waiting is a REAL job.:flashing neon sign:


The world must be a rosy pink color from where you sit atop your perch, huh?

Two things: Waiting tables is not dull. And I've never "groveled" for tips.

I have, however, networked in ways you might never imagine, met wonderful people, learned about human nature, eaten very well for very little, stayed a size 5 for 20 years, and paid all of my bills with my fake job.

At 10:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a gay, biracial friend that was written us for being both racist and homophobic due to customer commplaints. You just can't win!!!

At 1:15 PM , Blogger Lee said...

"Ron" should have signed the write up:

"I do not agree with this assessment of the event. - Ron Badass"

At 7:20 PM , Anonymous Phil said...

There is a phenomenally successful restaurateur in Columbus, Ohio. Some years ago I listened to an interview he gave on the radio. It's been several years, but one of the points he made has stuck with me. I wish I could remember his exact words. In essence, he said that at his restaurants, it's not his customers who come first, but his employees.

I would bet that this dedication to staff has contributed mightily to his success.

At 10:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a manager at a small restaurant, and our GM put one of these suggestion boxes out. They piss me off. The GM came up to me one day, becuase there was a comment made by a group of 20 that had to wait cause I couldn't seat them, and no they didn't want to split. What was I supposed to do, if I have a full restaurant and no tables, seat them on the stairs.

Those boxes should be destroyed.

I would hope that any manager should be able to pick out 95% of the customer who complain, and observe the interaction with those tables. Then they whould know where the problem lies.

At 12:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

people, do not work in corporate restaurants! this is how they will always be! i've worked in a nice, privately owned restaurant for 7 years! The owners and managers are hands on and always back us up (unless there is good reason not to). the red robins and chili's of the world are always going to pick the client (no matter how wrong they are) over the server. My owner simply agrees that we don't need that kind of business. Working for them is why i have stayed too long in this biz, i make a great living and meet cool epople. But sigh, i will be starting real estate soon, wonder what kind of people I'll meet there! haha

At 10:52 PM , Blogger Meredith said...

That's ridiculous. If the powers that be make me write up someone (and I think write ups are beyond stupid) I encourage my staff not to sign if they feel they weren't wrong. What shit.

At 11:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm really sorry you guys have to go through that. I own my business, and if anyone complains about my help, the first thing I do is *consider the source. Then *I ask the complained-about party what happened. Then *we usually have a good chuckle, I tell him/her not to worry about it, and I'll smooth it all over or let the customer go. Not everybody likes everybody. And if my help were really that horrible, they wouldn't have put up with ME for more than a month!

At 4:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron, you are the man...
the man that lies and is a horrible doody head to your customers. See the patrons pull your strings and see them wail when the fish is bland. blah blah.
all work and no play makes ron a sarcastic, undeniably rosy rash on the ass of the owner. oh and don't forget to offer toothpicks at the end of the meal as they can be used to jab into the eye socket of the blue haired old fart who just left a mucho generous tip of a whole quarter.

At 4:14 PM , Anonymous Nate said...

So just out of curiosity, why recycle a story that Google Blogsearch says you already posted five months ago? And how odd that the previous version is no longer included in your own archives . . .


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