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Manager vs. Manager

July 12, 2008

I hate Fridays… I love the money but I hate only having three server for 126 seats, no host and the closing server is required to do the take out and delivery service. That equals one hell of a headache for me being the closer. Plus the fact that I am the closer and am working with not only people who have never served before in their life, but with managers who really just don’t give a fuck.

The management team where I work is as follows.

GM – Have a great interim gm right now, from our sister store. She is great at what she does and very by the book.

“Hottie” AGM – Really cares for her staff and guests, probably the best person I have ever worked for. She actually puts on the uniform and serves if the need arises. No one else will do that.

Manager J – Wants to be the lounge only manager and is pissed that he has to do the dinning room as well, therefore doesn’t give a rats ass about us dinning room servers.

Manager W – Head in the clouds and eyes on Facebook. Enough said.

Those as well as myself and another supervisor are our management team at the moment. Now to the story of last night.

It was Manager J running the restaurant and someone had fucked up the schedule so only 3 of us were on past 8 o’clock with no host, when we should be keeping 4 servers till 10 pm and the host on till 11. However we were short as I said above and when the hit came again at around 9 o’clock  there was just the three servers on the floor. Myself, Pickle (only been serving 3 weeks) and Lazy Bitch (serving for a month and a half) Guess where Manager J was, yep up there sitting in the office because he doesn’t care.

I have managed I know what it’s like to be frustrated with you position, I left because I wasn’t being valued. That is what you have to do, don’t sit their and be a burden to your staff. You can’t do that, you have to either be out there helping your teamn out or just not their at all, it does no one any good for you to be up in the office when the dinning room just filled in ten minutes.

Man I hate people sometimes.

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Update on myself

July 11, 2008

Just an update on myself, nothing really to note about my guests because I have been off and at the stampede. However I have taken a promotion with my restaurant so that I am now a supervisor and service leader.

Yay!

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Sidework

July 8, 2008

I know that most of my posts so far have been about staff, but that is because I have just transfered restaurants coming from Managing one, and now back to serving in one. So the things I see are the things that a manager sees and my management does not. But here it goes another great day at the joint.

I have no idea how any person can be so bloody lazy in no less than the three weeks I have worked their I have been doing sidework for everyone, not quite true but pretty close. The fact that I can count on one hand the amount of servers who are doing sidework, on a crew of 18. Is pretty pathetic and the host team is no better. Really, how hard is it to bus and set your two dirty tables before going out for a smoke or grabbing a bite to eat. How hard is it to make sure the section is set for us evening servers? I don’t want to come on the floor at five and have to spend till 5:30 making sure my section is ready for guests! I have just lost a half hour of tips, over the course of a week that is two and a half hours, pretty well two turns in the section.

Not to mention filling shit up, sometimes I wish this was the old west and the cowboy code still applied. If you empty it, you fill it. If you dirty it you clean it. Simple shit right, apparently not to these clowns, the bottom of the socialite pool shall we say. These are the same people who get drunk off shift and than come walking on the service line, a story for another day.

I need some help people, I need some tricks to get these people to start doing sidework, I have a couple people doing it but those are the people I have trained and the closing servers do it, but we need to get the others on board too. I have tried being nice, I have tried being mean, and now I am trying being a complete DICK, but somethings gotta give so give me some ideas, the more creative the more it might work.

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Server Errors

July 5, 2008

This one didn’t happen to me but from one of the other service leaders at the restaurant, however it has inspired me just to talk about the happenings and what servers are.

So one of the server’s is bringing drinks for her eight top and as tends to happen either she was bumped just slightly or the tray became unbalanced when she took one off but needless to say one of the guests got a nice shower of water all down her back. Now this lady went off the handle at the server, cussing her out and just generally losing her shit. Now we all know that this is an accident and she did not mean to drop water down this ladies back, however this woman took it personal. She called over the manager and cussed him out for the poor service and for the restaurant allowing this to happen.

Now at this point “Bar Manager” was at the table calming the situation down, and I can assure you that the server felt horrible because she was useless to us for the next 15 minutes, and on a busy Friday night, when we were already down two servers, from having to fire one and the other going home at the beginning of the shift because she was sick and started to cry, it was crazy so now we have 2 servers for a full dining room of 100+ guests, not good. However the server did come around and she got back in stride with things but she passed the table off to “Hammer”.

Now just to add a true story about myself, when I was working for the Ramada, I used to work in the catering department. We were doing a wedding party and I spilled red win all over one of the brides maids. She was pissed, and I was sent home for the night. Funny to me now, but I didn’t think so at the time, I was just glad all the brides maids were from out of town.

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Table Manners

July 3, 2008

So this is something that has annoyed me for a number of years now but after seeing a couple of kids at my table and than serving a whole mess of adults last night I was amazed by the number of people, especially men, who have no idea how to eat. These people that I talk about are not the average person, lets take me for example I am not the pillar of table manners as to which everyone should wish to be. I put my elbows on the table, sometimes I will drop my cutlery on the plate and yes I even drink my soup from the bowl rather than painstakingly using the spoon. The people that I am talking about are the people that order 3 different plates and than pick over all three, like they have just gotten out of jail, and haven’t eaten in 5 years, so they slurp and snarl to get the food in their mouth, and so help me god if I go in their reaching to drop off another glass of Diet Pepsi, I lose a finger…

But lets get to the story that brought on this topic. I had a family of three come in last night, from what I gathered it was an Aunt with her niece and nephew. Now the children were quite well behaved as far as children go I had no problem with them. Used their please and thank you, asked me questions about their selections, used napkins etc. However the young nephew had the annoying habit of either asking me questions while I was at another table or asking me questions trying to get alcohol or using alcohol lingo. Now the first one, I can understand if you haven’t been to too many restaurants and your a kid, you get excited so it happens. I take it in stride and move on. It also helps that the hot aunt was apologizing to me every step of the way because she knew what it was to me, slightly annoying. However the alcohol thing pisses me off, its the same type of thing that I wrote my horror story on over at ragingserver.com, these kids that think it is funny to hold me up so that they can get alcohol. First your fucking like 10 years old and second I have the right to refuse alcohol service to anyone in this province so if you asked me for a drink like that if you were 18 I would still say no. So to parents and kids who read this blog, don’t let your kids ask for drinks, it is not funny or cute to the server, it just pisses me off and wants me to get you out of their faster than letting me dazzle you all night long.

Now to the adults of the post…

I still have no idea how people get to the age of 30 and above and still have no clue about table manners. To be honest my parents taught them to me before I ever went out to eat in a restaurant. If I didn’t use a fork I was rapped across the knuckles with a knife. Yeah it hurt and yeah it is child abuse now, but it sure as hell did the trick I tell ya. When I went out to eat I was a perfect gentleman and server’s always commented to my parents how well behaved me and my brother were. So for those of you people who come out and cut the server off when they are trying to tell you something, or if we are asking you how you are doing today, “Coffee” is not an acceptable answer to “Hi, how are you folks doing today.” Table manners are not a lost art, and being polite is something which we should all do while we are out eating.

Stay tuned this week guys, Stampede starts tomorrow and the city comes alive with the spirit of the old west. You know what that means, rednecks descend upon the city like a cloud of locusts.

As well if any of you would like to pick up a book on manners, this is just one of the books which I have read, you can find it on Chapters.com for the price of $12.54

How to be a Gentleman.

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If you can afford to Eat, you can afford to TIP

July 2, 2008

Picture this scene, you are out with your family for a great meal. There is great food, great atmosphere and your always satisfied with what you want and need. This is in part to your family, but more often than not the person that pulls this great evening together is your server. We are not just there for the money, rather those of us who are career servers are not just in it for the money. As I said yesterday the majority of server’s in this cities industry are in it for the money. But overall those of us who make your experience a night to remember are there for you, of course expecting the tip but we enjoy our jobs.

However I digress, as I usually do. So the magical scene above was brought to you by your server. We are the ones who suggest appetizers, help you with your entree selections and answer any questions anyone has, about the restaurant, menu and even the city. So after all is said and done when we bring that bill and you tell us that we made you night great. That is what we are there for. However if I go to the table to grab your payment and/or run your credit/debit cards I am also expecting a tip.

For those that are out of the loop, the old standard for tipping in Canada was 10% however due to the high cost of living in most major cities here in Canada and especially Calgary. The new standard of tipping is 15%. Also one of the reasons for this is that most restaurants have an automatic tip out to the kitchen and support team. Which is around 4%. Therefore if you leave me 10% I only make 6%. So if I make 500$ for the restaurant and my 10% should make me 50$. So if I am only making 6% after my tip out I make 30$, not really what I am there for eh.

So in the end if you tell me how great my service was and how much you enjoyed the food, if you come up and leave me 10% or for those of you assholes that leave nothing even after you tell me my service is great. I could almost care less, because my tips are my paycheque.

So for everyone that goes out, if you can afford to eat, you can afford to tip. So don’t screw your server and if you do screw you.

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Explanation of the Blog

July 2, 2008

Ok so here it is my very first blog entry about my life as a server, and really to be honest about it my life here in Calgary. This city is a tepid sewer for those people who know from friends or family members that this is a great industry to make money in. However about 95% of the people are in this industry for the wrong reasons and quiet frankly the suck.

However I digress, so I was told by a couple of friends after they started to read the Waiter’s Rant (found here http://waiterrant.net/) that I read, that they thought my stories were better and that I should start to post my stories and insight into the industry. So after a couple of weeks of consideration and telling them that I was going to do it I found the media to do it with and here I am.

A little history or clearing up for those of you who are in different parts of the world than in this crazy job shorted city that we call Calgary. In the past few years this city has had a boom of people leaving it starving for people to staff all sectors of industry, from retail, business, drilling and restaurants. Therefore the people that do get the jobs in said industries are really just warm bodies to fill the position.

Let us take a look at the restaurant industry, seeing as how this is where I focus. As I was saying above 95% of the people that are in this industry, in this city, should not be in it. I have trained countless people over the last year and a half in this city and wanted to kill damn near everyone of them. The quality of people ranges from the people who ate paste in school, to those who are quiet frankly some of the best servers I have ever worked with and a few of them have taught me some things. Not to say that I am all knowing, but I am pretty good.

With the lackluster crew of real life winners that we have walking through the door every day, it is hard to still continuing working in the industry when every day the locations that I work at get a poorer and poorer reputation for service because some idiot doesn’t know he has a table because he is talking on the service line to the other staff, telling them how wasted he got last night or who is sticking it to who. Guests don’t care about that shit and neither do it, but here we are day in and day out…