The Unholy Day
So I almost escaped unscathed for the four “unholy” waiter holidays of the year.
I switched out for New Year’s Eve, skipped out of Valentine’s Day and had family plans on Easter.
I knew it would catch up with me, my karma might be getting better, but it isn’t perfect.
I was scheduled for Mother’s Day, the most feared amateur, evil day of the year when the entitlement pricks show up for their “special day”. It has been three years since I’ve worked one and I can’t say I missed it much, sure there is money to be made, but it is hard money and I really don’t need to put myself through that kind of hell to make it.
At first I protested, Sunday is my day off after all and I had a date that night (yes it went well) and beyond all of that I detest Mother’s Day.
Not because I hate my Mother or hate the idea of a day to honor mothers, its how they honor them that sometimes bugs me.
I suppose I could point out a few years ago when a table refused to pay the gratuity on their bill, that was a nice one for sure.
Being inundated with angry people trying to make last minute reservations wasn’t too fun either. If it is such a special day perhaps you should take the time to call in advance like considerate people do.
Its not our fault we don't have a table for you, its your fault for not calling ahead.
Well this year was no different, it didn’t help that I was scheduled lead server the night before and had a table camp out until about 12:15 A.M. or so. Waking up less than eight hours later for my next shift didn’t seem like such a good idea either, the fact that I was so wound up from my shift and couldn’t fall asleep until 4:00 A.M. didn’t help matters much either.
I crawled out of bed like a good subservient worker after four hours of sleep and made sure I was at least on time for this unholy day.
The shift didn’t start out so well either, the floor chart was plotted and full, the plan made and double checked. Of course in the restaurant business the plan is the first thing to go out the window when the shit hits the fan.
The first kink in the plan, for me at least, was I wasn’t to get a party until 11:15, that’s pad because I get to sit around for two and a half hours before I can get a table. Kink two was my second party in the other half of my section was in at 11:30. Murphy’s law of restaurants states that either the first party will show up late or the second party would show up early thus double seating me with two ten tops.
Murphy is a bastard because he was right, me on those tables was the equivalent of a Delta ‘88 being expected to go from 0-60 in 4.1 seconds, it wasn’t going to happen in other words.
Kink three was my fault, due to the sections being split up for parties the normal sections went out the window and many stations had tables that were off to the side or tables that were usually in other sections. In addition to my two parties I also had one two-top table, a table I didn’t notice on the floor plan and therefore didn’t notice when it was seated.
Due to their unusually long wait before I got there we wound up comping their bill, so there you have it folks, I fucked up and was a bad waiter, I’m sure some of you are loving that. Of course the table was a friend of the owner and a well known name around town, at least they were understanding and left a good tip, I just hope they don't leave a complaint as well.
Kink four was your fault, yes you, the customer.
It seemed that several reservations decided to cancel or change their dinner plans without telling the restaurant.
I don’t know what kind of bullshit goes through peoples minds when they do this. One thing I have noticed is that many people make reservations at multiple restaurants and when their party gets together they chose whatever restaurant suits their fancy, then they never call to cancel their other reservation.
Fuck that, is all I have to say.
Here’s how it works out for the server and the restaurant. Holding tables like this screws other people who want to reserve also, as well walk-in groups are turned away. Those tables sit empty leading up to the time of the reservation and we hold the table usually 15-20 minutes just in case the party is running late, that screws the restaurant. Empty tables means empty pockets for all those involved, we had 46 covers no-show their reservation. Ten in my section alone, that cost me between 40-60 dollars when my afternoon reservation didn’t bother to call in, I hope they get the trots from wherever they wound up going.
After all of that some snatch went up to our hostess, bitched her out and reduced her to tears.
“You know, I just want to tell you’re not doing a very good job.” The lady snapped. “Look at all these empty tables and you just turned those people away.
“Well those tables are reserved for other parties.” The hostess stated.
“I’ve been watching you and its apparent that you have no idea how to do your job.” The lady snapped again.
I was furious, I don’t know what I would have said to that bitch, but I hardly think that she would get away with that talking to a grown man rather than a mere child. Its also too bad the manager wasn’t up there, we had the one manager on that actually backs up the staff, he was probably more pissed than I was at the situation.
Naturally the other managers didn’t help out much, after drafting several servers that have Sundays off due to their availability, the General Manager and the other assistants didn’t even make an appearance, they left one of the most difficult shifts of the year to one front of the house manager. Maybe in retrospect it was a good decision as he’s the only competent one of the lot and I’m sure the GM would just have fucked shit up more than it already was.
Then there was the kitchen, I had a table order medium well beef tenderloins that came out looking like a plate that a massacre had taken place on, side dishes were missing, items not fired and various other calamities.
It was just poor caddying all around and the lamest Mother’s Day I’ve ever had. Not the worst mind you, but instead of an ass raping it was like getting it one inch at a time instead.
The cherry on top was this situation. A group called in and were told that we were booked for the afternoon. Then they became a name dropper, "We're such and such's cousin and he told us we could have a table."
So we grabbed a few tables and threw them together. Naturally the party didn't show up, at first.
Then they walked in the door, an hour and a half late and fifteen minutes after we stopped serving.
Luckily my karma isn't too poor, the group wasn't in my section.
I did feel bad for the server that did have them, not only did half her section sit empty for an hour and a half, only six of the group showed up. That meant no automatic gratuity and name droppers are notorious for their shitty tips. As well that also meant no lunch break for her and the equally grueling night shift fast approaching.
On my way out the door one of the Sous Chef's stopped me.
"Where are you headed?" He asked with a sly grin.
"Out the door, what does it look like?" I said.
"I was wondering if you want to work expo for me tonight, I'll buy you dinner and pay you hourly." He said.
"No chance, I have plans." I responded.
"Well I'm short a guy, I need you to stay." He said.
"Sounds shitty, but I have plans." I said.
"What kind?" He asked, as if they weren't legitimate.
"I plan to sit on my couch and drink beer while watching The Sopranos." I responded, knowing full well I was going out for dinner.
"But we need you!" He pleaded.
"Too bad hotshot, see you in a week." I said. And with that I was out the door to get ready for my date and my well earned week of fishing up North.
See you in a week friends!