Place: The server line, random corporate steakhouse.
Time: 7:35 p.m.
“Ok guys, we need all of you to do a birthday roundup on table 65!” Shouted out the floor-dick GM.
Response: Groans of frustration and disgust.
“Come on guys, they’re here to celebrate with us!” GM quotes the handbook, which he erroneously believes in.
Really, celebrate with us? I'm in the mood for a celebration
Everybody starts to line up to go shout a bastardized version of “Happy Birthday” to some frightened six year-old who probably will start crying due to all the noise.
“Hey Server, get in line!” GM shouted to me.
“Fuck that, I just got triple sat!” I shouted back as I loaded up my drink tray.
“Maybe your section is too big for proper service then?” GM threatened.
Now this is corporate management threat # 27, immediately threaten the server’s section size and thus income with the excuse that we’re not providing good service.
If we argue against this threat we are a threat to the drone-like employee model that they point out that we don’t care about the service a customer receives.
“No its not too big, I’m just to fucking busy and don’t have time for this stupid birthday deal.” I grumbled.
“What’s with the attitude, do you want me to send you home?” GM threatened.
Corporate management threat #132, immediately threaten a server with either being sent home, termination or suspension if they show any sign of stubbornness or will.
Of course in my mind I do want to go home, a three table section is nothing that I can’t easily handle, and I remembered my old job when I was given five to six tables on a consistent basis.
Taking this job was obviously a mistake, one that I would correct in a few weeks.
So I put my drink tray down and followed the group of unenthused servers to the table. We had to clap the entire way and put on a big spectacle for the entire restaurant to see, pretty embarrassing for everyone involved.
So after the public humiliation I ran back to the kitchen for my drinks, of course someone had thrown them all out. I started over with new glasses and the assistant floor-dick came up to me.
“Haven’t you been to your tables, they don’t have drinks on them and we have a thirty second greet time around here if you haven’t figured it out.” He said.
“You know I’m pretty fucking busy right now, why don’t you just let me do my job.” I snarled back, after all it was management that hindered my ability to get to my tables in the first place.
“What, do you want to fucking go home?” Assistant floor-dick snarled back.
Yes, yes I do…
Fast foreword five years:
“Sir, do you do anything for birthdays?” A customer asked.
“Sure, any desert is on us tonight.” I replied.
“I mean can you get everyone to sing for us?” He asked.
I looked around, it was about 7:30 and we were getting creamed, a flashback of the night at random corporate steakhouse went through my mind.
“Sorry sir, we don’t sing here, and if I did it I’d probably lose my tip.” I said.
The customer chuckled.
“I’ll be right back with the desert menu.” I said.
So much simpler than, “Happy happy birthday, we’re so glad you came, happy happy birthday, on your special day!”
Damn, I still remember the lyrics