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 31, 2006

Napoleon, Not so Dynamite

So that is one of the many colorful names we have dubbed the new General Manager.

Day after day of him quoting, "Well that's how we did it at my old place," is having a very telling effect on the staff.

Even the resident "management can do no wrong" server is having problems defending his actions.

Here's a bit of an expansion of the last post. Since then at a shift meeting the other day he went over the following.

"You're responable for covering your shifts, blah, blah, blah."

"What if we call everyone on the list and there is no one who can pick it up?" A bold server said.

"Well you need to be here then, your shift has to be covered," said the GM.

He then went on this diatribe, "Our customers expect excellent service, if the shift isn't covered they might not receive it due to us being under-staffed. If the kitchen is short a guy he needs his shift covered too, it the food doesn't come up in a timely manner then the guest might not come back. Guess what happens then, they'll tell ten of their friends and they won't come in either, and then you won't make as much money will you? You do want to make money, right?"

Ah, so he tries to legitimize us coming in while ill by hearkening to our inner greed.

His cause and effect is so out of wack he must read "Minute Manager" every day while sitting on his porcelain throne.

Then the GM came up with this brilliant rational, "Now I realize this is the service industry. I know that after your shifts you all go out to the bar and drink it up. Then on your day off you all go out and party. So pretty much we assume that if you call in you are just hung-over or sick from drinking so it isn't legitimate."

So speaks up I, "I feel that is an unfair assumption, who are you to assume that's the reason we call in sick?"

I only got a dirty look.

Of course this is all coming from the man that disappeared for four hours on a Friday night shift because he had too much to drink before his shift.

He's just another one of those managers who tries to do as little as possible as far as actual on the floor work.

Of course there are some employees that abuse the system, they are the ones managers favor and they can get away with it. If they call in they are given no hassle, but if management doesn't like you, how dare you get sick!

How dare you put out our precious customer.

How dare you make us do our jobs and go the extra mile.

How dare you think that a sick kid, the flu, vomiting, what have you effect the ticket time of some yuppie.

How dare them.

I came here to escape this sort of shoddy management.

So my application is in to the other place and I have an interview next week.

I wonder what kind of service the customers get when all of the professional waitstaff get other jobs and are replaced with the type of idiots they've been hiring.

They say we're expendable, but I've seen what happens to restaurants that act like this toward their staff.

They fall from grace.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Douchebaggery and an Anniversary


That's all I can think right now as my restaurant takes leaps and bounds down the corporate path.

The gang and I were discussing how we all went to work for our place partially out of disgust for the corporate restaurant atmosphere.

Unfortunately it has caught up with us in the end.

Our owners are starting other ventures and to make our store self reliant has brought on a new General Manager.

He comes to us after 15 years working for a large nationally known chain.

Without any training, understanding of our clientele, our professional staff or business culture, he has been given carte blanche as our overseer.

I have with held judgment on our management staff on this blog partially as respect to the hard working and intelligent ones and partially out of concern for my employment.

But our management staff no longer exist, ever single one is either gone or on their way out, and good for them.

I suppose the last straw for us was our new absence "policy"

A friend of mine called in ill the other morning, he had to call every employee on the phone list as the new manager wanted him to find a replacement.

After doing so to no avail, and really there isn't a single server about to pick up a Tuesday lunch, my friend was given a giant guilt trip over him daring to not show up while sick.

My friend had to play phone tag all day with the management and our new GM called him wanting him to come in for his afternoon shift.

That in itself would look like my friend just wanted the morning off or was hungover, but still wanting to make the night shift money after he recovered.

This led to a new announcement.

We are responsible for covering our shifts, and if we can't, we are expected to come in.

I know way back in the archives I've covered this before, I just was sure I've seen the last of this.

I don't think I have a giant problem with us trying to cover our shifts, I just think it is horseshit that we would be threatened with penalties including termination if we can't get someone to come in.

I can't think of any other business that would do this. If I sell insurance and fall sick do I have to get another agent to come in for me?

If I make tires at Firestone is someone expected to come in and cover?


What should happen is the management steps up and gets it done, it is their responsibility to make sure the shift runs, short or no.

Our old management understood this and were willing to throw on the apron and pick up a wine key.

And we respected them for this.

Of course since we have all new management, and they aren't trained at all, they don't even know the menu and while many of us could do their jobs, they sure couldn't handle ours.

It just seems that we are treated as disposable employees, that is until we are actually needed, then we become important.

I guess its just hard to take orders from the people we view as our lessers, that won't take care of their employees.

I'm sure everyone in some capacity has had to deal with this.

Hell most jobs pay you if you call in sick, because they are there for their employees and may actually care.

But I'm tired of it, tired of this business.

I know that this isn't exactly brain surgery, but why can't we be treated in this industry as actual long term employees?

So here I am, I might be moving on from this job and the type of environment that has grown around me.

When I can't even call in sick without being threatened or made to feel like I should feel guilt it is ridiculous.

This is just a small example of what changes have been on my plate at work, I might have another offer at a smaller, locally owned restaurant and if it goes though I'm there.

It sucks to leave behind so many people I like working with and care about, but shit, if I can make more money working a part time schedule than I am now I'm all about it...

And the best thing, no managers!!!

Apparently the owners trust their staff to take care of management duties and they apparently take the staffs opinion to heart and make changes based on us, not comment cards from asshole customers.

But that is neither here nor there.

Classes start in the morning and I'm actually excited. I'm going full time now, as I have said, and ready to continue taking steps to improve myself and to get the hell out of this business as well.

Also I'd like to add this, its been just over a year since I started this blog. I'd like to thank all of my readers for hanging around and adding to this forum of mine. I'd also like to congratulate the Waiter of Waiter Rant on his book deal and offer encouragement to our little gang of wait-staff and bar bloggers.

Restaurant Gal, Bueno Appetito, Red Lobster, Strip Club Server, Server Stories and the gang at Bitterwaitress...

If we can't change the way things are done in our industry, at least we are here for each other, maybe be can both rant and laugh at our shared experiences...

And for you customers, we are here for you as well...

Only hopefully we are dishing up entertainment instead of fois grass...

Except in Chicago, they'll just have to deal with pate...

Peace and thank you!~

Saturday, August 12, 2006


The first wave of a killer lunch has hit the host desk, and while I would normally run away and hide, an evil grin spreads acrossed my face as I see the next table in line.

They are four of the oldest people I've ever seen, and they look more than crabby.

"Folks, four this afternoon?" I asked.

"Well what's it look like to you?" One of the ladies snapped in a very un-grandmotherly way.

I smile and nod.

I've got the perfect table for them, and the perfect server that deserves them.

"Lil bastard" screwed up my Silver Strike run last night, resulting in a round of Jaeger-bombs that out of my pocket.

As I walked towards his section I see my little buddy, his eyes meet mine and he shakes his head in a panic.

He starts mouthing "no, no."

Once again, I smile and nod.

He throws his hands in the air in a "why God, why?!?" gesture.

Damn, it feels good to be a gangster.

I run up and slap him on the ass, "Good game brother!"

"Payback's a bitch, isn't it?" I said.

He gives me the fuck off look, which I probably deserve.

Of course, a seven top of seniors about five years older than the evil grannies were being seated in my section during this, unbeknownst to me. No grat either, shit.

My friend came up to me and said, "Karma's a...."

"Bitch," I finished.

I'll show him karma.

I grabbed a bottle of serache pepper sauce and went looking for his water glass. I pulled out his straw and cinched it in the middle, filling the bottom half with pepper. One of the waitresses walked by as I accomplished my task.

"Say anything and you're next!" I threatened.

I then went around and told all my buddies about the prank.

"That's just wrong," one of them exclaimed.

"That's why I did it." I said with a nasty smirk.

The next wave of the rush hit and dammit, I actually had work to do. After getting seven orders of soup and salad for my geriatrics, I had another four tables go down. The A/C can't keep up with all the bodies packed in the room and the sweat is starting to run down my face and back.

Thank God for the "Gold Bond Powder"

I think I need an endorsement deal.

My friend Derek bursts into the kitchen, beet red, he looks like he just dunked his head in a tub of water.

"Bastards put me on the patio," he cried.

"Its a hundred fucking degrees out, we close out there when its too cold, why can't we when its too hot." I said.

"Because our manager won't say no to someone, they should know I sweat to damn much to be out there in this heat anyways." He said.

I nodded in agreement as I took a swig out of my iced-t.

Immediately I started spitting and cursing all over the kitchen.

As I wretched into the trash can, "lil bastard" walks in and just loses it.

He's laughing so hard he's crying, so are the rest of the servers in the room.

"How do you like a little bit of vinegar and A-1 there pal?" He managed through his laughing fit.

"Who fucking narced me off?" I yelled with rage, vinegar burning in my sinuses.

"Lindsay did, she thought what you did was too mean." Bastard said.

The room cleared out, and I spied Lindsay's cup.

I grabbed the salt and poured an entire shaker into it.

That'll teach her, but on to "lil bastard"

Escalation, is the key word here...

To be continued...