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.

23 Comments:

At 3:55 PM , Blogger Hoodlum said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my God.
what's next.
idiots.
cathleen

 
At 10:33 PM , Blogger briliantdonkey said...

$45 dollars a pop I would tell them to shove it up their arse and at least deserve the write up.

BD

 
At 12:16 AM , Blogger Trish said...

that is some serious bullshit right there.

I could stab a bitch everytime i hear someone say "hey, whats wrong? smile!" Jesus christ, just cuz i'm not sporting a big idiotic grin every moment of my life, doesn't mean something is wrong. Jeeeeeeeeez.

But again, that is some serious, heinous bullshit. Demand a receipt, for sure.

 
At 12:34 AM , Anonymous Azizeh said...

Your friend should contact a labor attorney immediately. They are requiring him to wear something that is dangerous to his health. He should not have to choke because they struck a deal with the uniform supply company. Also, he shouldn't risk his job and work history by getting written up, and subsequently fired over such write ups.
Also, there is no way 2 K-mart shirts cost $95. They would cost about $80 if purchased from The Gap. Why would anyone shop at K-mart if it were so costly?
Corporations hate lawsuits. If your friend can't afford an attorney, have him contact Legal-Aid.

 
At 1:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Demand a receipt for the shirt.. if thats what its for.......... suck it up or quit

 
At 10:07 AM , Anonymous Masie said...

In my state, if you are required to wear a uniform the employer must provide the uniform.

I have never had to pay for a uniform.

If you are only required to wear a certain style then you are free to buy it wherever you want, the employer does not have to pay for it unless they have a specific style request, and want the uniforms to be well, "uniform"

Maybe you should look up state law in your area.

 
At 1:03 PM , Anonymous katelyn said...

Why is it always a *white* shirt? They get filthy within the 1st 10 minutes of the shift. They turn yellow after 3 washes.
Black is the new white, people.

And 'tres, I couldn't agree with you more about the damn smiling. When someone tells me to smile it makes me want to not only punch them in the face, but also frown for the remainder of the day.

 
At 1:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Masie. My husband works for a nation wide auto parts chain and since the empolyees are required to wear a uniform, the company has to provide them.

Definitely look up the state law. You shouldn't be paying for uniforms yourselves.

 
At 1:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Derek is my hero ... he's got a neck like a 100 year old oak tree. What and how is the uniform policy written ? That is the question and how they get by with it.


Good to see you came back from vacation all rested. You still need a good slap.

Still your friend

 
At 12:06 AM , Blogger Suz said...

Major bullshit! Rally around each other and shove it up the company's ass.

Whoops! Did I say that out loud? ;)

We are currently breaking in some pretty crappy uniforms that we had to pay for too.

 
At 5:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since these shirts are meant to be worn with a tie, I assume they're regular men's dress shirt. You'd think they'd size them like dress shirts, which include a neck measurement. Geez.

 
At 10:14 AM , Blogger jali said...

Next...Pieces of flair!

 
At 3:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Down to two posts in a month. Bummer.

 
At 10:11 PM , Blogger Khan said...

I have to purchase my shirt and apron from my restaurant, tho the pants are our own business, as long as they fall within the stylistic limits. Personal jewelry is largely left up to the employee, too. But that's the first thing you get ripped on if mgmt decides to ride you.

"Aren't those earrings a little bit big?"
"But...you complimented them last week..."

And our uniforms are t-shirts, which I pay $12 a piece for. I don't know cost on them, but I know enough to say that a company with several hundred employees is buying en masse, and that a bulk t-shirt don't cost 12. I have to buy the more expensive long sleeved shirts, mind you, because I have (small) tattoos on my arms. Of course, I can wear the sleeves UP, I don't actually have to cover my ink, but I'm simply required to buy the more expensive shirts. A shirt becomes damaged in any way? I have to buy another one.

 
At 6:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Making a single sentence a paragraph is effective if you do it once in a while. But when every single sentence is its own paragraph, then it's just fucking annoying! You have 47 different paragraphs in this post, only 7 of which have more then one sentence (6 have two sentences). Your writing has gotten very lazy, and it takes away from the story. I couldn't even read all the way through this one, because your stylistic tic is so off-putting.

 
At 4:14 PM , Blogger Secret said...

Whine whine whine, go back to my first few months, same style, crappy as it may be.

 
At 3:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must still be on vacation again

 
At 10:40 PM , Anonymous Ax said...

How many pieces of flair do you have to wear?

:))

 
At 12:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing i like about my current job is the ony dress code is the logo on the shirt, other then that i can still look like my ridiculaous self

 
At 4:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The restaurant uniforms are better to acknowledge their customers their waiters/waitresses and The AutoParts Warehouse Coupon are best to get their foods and services.

 
At 1:31 AM , Anonymous Waivestar said...

. Really useful stuff .Never had an idea about this, will look for more of such informative posts from your side.. Good job...Keep it up

 
At 10:52 AM , Anonymous konveksi seragam kudus said...

Hi.
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.

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