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....

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

You Must Be In Proper Uniform

Every restaurant has a uniform, at some establishments the dress requirements are far from uniform.

For instance one may only be required to wear a certain color, the make of the dress can vary.
Other places have silly t-shirts, logo polo’s or even pit crew button ups, Hooters has, well hooters, TGI’s had the silly flair, then there is the standard white Oxford that seems to be prevalent among Italian, French and Moldavian restaurants.

Other standards of the uniform can include a lighter, wine key and a smile.

Yes, our written uniform code requires us to have a smile for work.

I wonder if they’ll threaten me with a write-up if I forget mine at home.

But I digress.

The purpose of a uniform is so one can physically represent the restaurant as an employee, be easily identifiable to the guest as well as look professional.

The uniform inherently strives to take away one’s individuality, this is one of its latent functions.
Now I am not a conformist, I was brought up to question everything, just ask my present and former managers.

If you can imagine I may have been a slight irritation on one or two occasions,.

But I digress again…

The uniform can take away one’s individuality, now I have worked in a few places that actually seem to encourage an employee expressing themselves with hair style, dress, facial hair, ear-rings and so on.

At my current gig it seemed to be sort of in the middle, true, we had to wear the ever famous Oxford and bistro apron, but that was about it.

That and a smile.

Well as we have gone to the dark side of corporate management we now how the aforementioned written uniform “code”

We have to receive management approval if we change our hair cut, with what ear-rings we can wear, no more fun hair styles, no more individuality.

We are uniform.

Gone are the days of the quirky memorable waiter, corperate wants everything to be the exact same every time you come in, and that includes vanilla, bland drone waiters.

So when the new management came along they decreed as well that we would be required to purchase our shirts from them and from no other location.

So we turned in our shirts that dared have buttons on the collar.

No more pockets either. Turns out that those two little shirt details were mocking the code of uniformity. So we bought the shirts.

Except since they come from a cheap uniform company they aren’t sized like a regular Oxford would be.

They don’t fit.

The women’s sizes tended to unstuck anytime they reach for something or bend over.

The men’s are far too big in the body, but so tight around the neck they can’t be buttoned. And they are a polyester blend, goodbye comfortable cotton.

Hello sweltering heat.

Whoever came up with this line of shirts obviously has no idea of a functional, comfortable restaurant uniform. I literally gag when I button up my top button, so do several other employees.

One of my friend’s neck is of the size that he literally chokes when buttoning his up.

So we pull up our ties, leave the top unbuttoned and make the best of it.

It went ok for a bit, then management started harping, threatening write-ups and such for us flaunting the uniform code by refusing to choke ourselves out or vomit.

My friend Derek came in and was threatened with a write up for violation of the uniform code.

He even buttoned his top button to show that he could not breath.

He literaly turned purple and started choking, he had to un-button his shirt.

“Derek, that doesn’t look professional, if you don’t button it up I’ll write you up.” The manager said

He took the write up.

“It isn’t our responsibility to make sure you guys have shirts that fit.” One of the managers proclaimed.

“Actually when you tell us we must buy our shirts from the restaurant, it DOES mean its your responsibility.” I replied candidly.

I noticed the manager’s shirt was unbuttoned at the top, hypocrite.

Well with the Derek situation the manager decided to be pro-active.

He decided to make a trip to K-Mart and buy Derek a shirt that fit, without telling him.
The manager returned with a shirt that was two sizes too big and he said that Derek either had to wear the shirt or go home.

So it was considered more professional to wear a puffy shirt of Seinfeld like proportions rather than simply pull the tie up. Even more than that the shirts violated the uniform code by offering such features as a pocket.

Then the management gave Derek the bill for the two shirts.

$95, at K-Mart.

I didn’t even know they had shirts that cost over twenty bucks.

The shirts we are to be provided with by management cost $17 (no wonder they suck)

I can go down to Yonkers and buy one for $20.

But Derek’ cost $45, so far he has refused to pay for them, so would I.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Oh Joy

Well I made it through the holiday season suitably scarred as usual. I have a couple good yarns but those will have to wait a week or so.

Although a few good things did happen along the way.

Not with tables, of course silly.

The serving gods had seen fit to reward me with my self flagellation with not only Christmas Eve off but New Years Eve as well, too bad the only kiss I received was off my buddies drunk girlfriend, but there's always next year.

But yes, I made it through the first "amateur night" of the year without having to work and I can only hope my sacrifices to the gods will allow me Valentine's Day off as well.

Hope furry white bunnies will quench the gods' bloodthirsty appetites.

Juuuuuuuuust kidding.


Well class started yesterday and I decided to celebrate by skipping the first week and going on vacation.

No books for now, just the beach and looooooooooooooootsa booze.

So take care all and will catch you all next time!