"Sunday, Bloody Sunday…"

January 26, 2011

Well, hello.  It’s been a while; how’ve y’all been?  Me?  Oh, fine, just fine.  Why yes, I have been working a lot…

After coming to the realization (duh!) that I make my own schedule, and that I really need to take two entire days off each week, my work routine has settled down a bit.  I still have split days off as the restaurant is closed on Mondays, and the other manager has a commitment that makes Tuesdays off impossible for me; but I’ve kind of gotten used to it.  It’s almost like a 3-day weekend every week, if you don’t count the 10 hours of work right smack in the middle of it.  Such a rude interruption…

Really, though, the only aspect of my job that I even mildly dislike is the schedule;  and that only because it involves working Sundays.  No, not the dreaded brunch as I would have opened an artery long ago if Sunday Brunch were required.  Just like Jeff Golblum’s line in Jurassic Park, that “life finds a way…”, brunch also finds a way, every week, to suck.  We are open for brunch and dinner on Sundays, the only day we open the doors during daylight hours; but my “keyholder” manager is there on Sunday mornings, and God bless her for it.   That, and HBO On Demand are the only things that make working on Sundays tolerable, barely.   I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the bosses at my two previous jobs for giving me almost four years of Sunday-free work schedules.  As Joni Mitchell sang, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone…”

Sundays, and the people who dine out on the 7th Day, are a different breed of cat altogether.  You see people out to dinner on Sunday nights that you never, ever see any other night of the week.  They say in the Bible that God rested on the 7th day, and the leper colony we get in each Sunday is your proof.  My theory is that all the people who dine on Sunday nights crawled out of the primordial ooze when God took His one day off because He, too, just couldn’t deal.  God was at home, in His sweats and wife-beater with His feet up and Sports Center on the tube when these people snuck their way into the evolutionary cycle.

And just to add salt to the gaping wound of working Sunday nights, and simultaneously drive a dagger into the heart of our check average, we offer a three-course “supper” for $20.  This is just to make sure that we not only get the weirdos, but also the cheap weirdos.  We have people who ask if they can split the $20 meal.  Really?  Look, if you don’t have enough money to eat out, just stay home…

Last Sunday night was a classic.  Knowing the check average is always down, and often cover counts as well, I was sympathetic to my staff’s need to make a little coin even on Sundays; so I went with a lean crew.  Three waiters, one bartender, one food runner, one hostess and I did over 120 people; and all of them came in at once.  The parties of 8 and 9 started coming in around 7:15, so we were all sufficiently lulled into complacency by then.  And they kept coming through the door, like extras from The Walking Dead.  We have an alarm system that makes a “beep-beep” in the back kitchen when the front door opens and, as I am back there madly buffing glassware and silver to keep us afloat, it was going off to the beat of Funkytown.  Let me take you down, beep-buh-beep, to Funkytown, beep-buh-beep… as more and more piled in.

In the midst of all this fun and good times, my bartender decided now would be a grand time to cut his hand, taking me off the floor and him out of a very busy bar while I triaged his wound.  I found our sparsely stocked First Aid Kit, (and someone please tell me why it is that restaurant First Aid Kits are either stocked to the hilt with eye cups, defibrillators, and enough stuff to treat the victims of the Haiti earthquake, or they have just three band-aids and some dull scissors?) and got his hand wrapped; but the bleeding just wouldn’t stop and the kitchen had run out of latex gloves.  Perfect.  Now wouldn’t this be an excellent time for the Health Department to stop in?  I got on my cell, called in a “Stunt Bartender” who, thankfully, was both nearby and willing to come in: go figure.  She arrived about 20 minutes later and jumped into the fray.

I had just barely hung up the phone when my hostess, who was still doing restroom checks despite being drafted into service running food and bussing tables, informed me that the toilet in the Men’s Room had backed up.  Dealing with the shitty situation in the bathroom brought new meaning to the term “Manager’s Log”.

As I was pushing the mop bucket from the restroom back into the scullery, I noticed that there was no one on the Sautee Station in the kitchen.  The sous-chef informed me that he’d had to send one of the cooks home because he had been caught drinking the cooking wine in the back, and was drunk.  Perfect.  He told me this as I was helping one of my weeded servers process the nine separate checks from a party of really snotty Nelly Queens who had decided they needed to leave, now.  All I needed was a good, old-fashioned computer crash to really make my night complete.

So then, another server comes up to tell me that the four-top on 72 wants to “speak to The Manager.”  All restaurant mangers know that these are words that are generally never followed by anything good; and a big Shit Sandwich is most likely coming your way.  As a manager, I like to remain in the background, offering support to the staff.  I am like an Offensive Lineman in the NFL.  The only time my number is called out over the PA system is when something bad has happened; but instead of “Holding, number 72, offense…” and the touchdown is called back, it’s “Overcooked Veal Chop, table 72…”

The tidal wave of business is beginning to withdraw from the beach, and the crew is starting to pick through the rubble, straightening out the beach chairs and umbrellas; so I cinch up my tie, shoot my cuffs, and head on over to 72.  The gent at Position 3 who, as I was seating them, had made an off-color joke about the “diverse” crew and the “war zone” of the neighborhood surrounding the restaurant, had appointed himself spokesperson. They are four very old, very Jewish people.  Oy.

“Lizzen, I just vant to tell you some-zing, here…”

Okay, here we go.  Open wide for the Shitburger, and make it a double.

“Our soiver, fen-tehs-tic!  And the Duck, to die for.  We loved it all.  Job vell done…”

I was speechless, as an ear-to-ear, decidedly non-shit eating grin had commandeered my face.  A perfectly mashugana end to Sunday, Bloody Sunday…

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"Night of The Living Applicants…"

November 17, 2010

I have noticed a tendency for my personal financial situation to closely parallel that of the rest of the country.  Whenever those “leading economists” make their statements about job loss or stock markets dropping, my income tends to fluctuate in kind.  Could be that, like many people, I tend to be frugal when times are tight, and then spend like a sailor when they get better.  Maybe I’m just more average than I like to admit and get easily swept up in economic waves.

But most of the time, I am slightly ahead of the curve and my personal finances tend to improve, with the rest of the country following shortly thereafter.  However, I am rarely, if ever, mentioned by those “leading economists” as one of their  “leading economic indicators”; but they’d have a much better grasp on the situation if I were.  “Leading economists are pointing to an increase in the GNP, a rise in housing starts, and Naptive Napkin’s newly-fattened checking account as signs of the beginning of a turnaround…”

And so it is that this month will truly be the beginning of the end for any recession, depression, or other blips on the radar of the country’s financial woes, as I finally have a job.  One hundred forty seven days of job searching, with almost as many interviews, has yielded results.  I found The One I’d been looking for and am planning to hold onto it like Grim Death.

Life is not without its little ironies, and my new position is certainly not lacking in that department:  after ending my longest stint on the unemployment role in my 40-plus years of working life, I am now in a hiring role. I inherited a somewhat understaffed restaurant crew, so I am now on the flip side of Craig’s List.  The downturn in the economy has produced a “seller’s market” for employers.  That, coupled with a somewhat poorly worded ad has flooded the Inbox on our Craig’s List account with an alarmingly large volume of applicants.  Every time I log on to see what the chum in the water has stirred up, there are two dozen or so more emails.  It’s like I’m the guy barricaded inside his house in Night of The Living Dead, with hordes of applicants scratching and clawing at my doors and windows. The Zombies have put on a tie, shuffled over to their computers and hit the Send button.

The unintentional humor in resumes is inescapable.  You’ve really got to wonder if these people seriously read these things before sending them.   Here’s a bit of advice from a guy who, until recently, was out there gnawing on the flesh of prospective employers with the rest of you: spell check, use the Shift button at the beginning of a sentence, and use the punctuation keys for something more than making a Smiley Face.

Here is an actual response I got.  Really.  This came in an email, with the caption:  “Where do I send my resume?”

She could've at least listed her relevant experience in the form of a Tramp Stamp...

A piece of another one, where using the pre-formatted Resume Wizard was a good start, but follow through and proof reading was a little lacking:

“Walter’s Clothing    01/2006 – 05/2006
Store Clerk   address 66 Decatur St.
Stock and inventory
Customer service
Cleaning and closing the store

Aramark    08/2006 – 09/2006
Cleaner
Trash detail
Cleaning  Aircrafts
Assisting the Supervisor

Company Name    Dates of Employment
Job Title
Responsibilities
Responsiblities
Responsibilities

After several days of sneaking silently out to look at the messages in our Inbox, being careful not to stir up the Geeks and Freaks lurking there, I now have a new clarity on why it took me so long to get hired.  I was literally lost in the shuffle. I should’ve been sending pictures of me in my Tidy Whiteys.

Now on the receiving end, I am buried in the corpses of the under-qualified and the just plain silly, trying to find the living amongst the living-dead, and I need to cut to the chase.  Skimming quickly through the cover letter, I open these people’s attachments, scroll down to the “Experience” section of the resume, and if they have misspelled “restaurant” or have listed five jobs with four month’s tenure each, they are toast.   Next!

So, a lesson for all of you still out there in Job-Seeker Zombieland:  there’s about a 30-second window of opportunity for you to make an impression with a resume.  At least try to make is a good one.

"We-are-self-start-ing-people-per-sons-who-think-out-side-the-box..."


"Red Carpet For A Green Can…"

August 4, 2010

I’ve been busy, alright?  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Just got back from a week up North in New England, working for a restaurant group that’s about to open an outpost here in Atlanta.  They flew me up there and had me in as a Celebrity Guest Manager for a week at two of their restaurants.  Their Director of Operations said we needed to date a little before moving in together in Atlanta.

It was a little different running a place with much higher cover counts, lower check averages, and a much more causal style of dining than I was used to in my most recent jobs.   But after running some very serious dining rooms, running a place where you have to drop a check because your waiter is Salsa dancing with the guests is kind of refreshing.  Great food; needless to say, a lively atmosphere, and excellent wine and beverage programs.  A fun bunch of people and a very competent and well run company.  Can you tell I’m sucking up in hopeful anticipation of the GM job at the new place?

So I arrived back home on Monday night to the nice surprise of my wife and daughter meeting me at the gate.  It was so great to see their happy faces in the crowd, until they told me about the failure of the AC unit at the house (again) on the brink of what is supposed to be the hottest week of an already very hot summer.  Got home to a house that was like a sauna; but as the old saying goes, “Home is where the humidity is…”

My next “surprise” was not really a surprise at all: a bill waiting for me from AT&T.  Many of you might already have read about my trials and tribulations involving our relocation to Atlanta and the subsequent struggles with establishing utility service.  Short version is that we tried to go with AT&T, decided to switch to Comcast for our phone, internet, and TV, and canceled AT&T back in June.  Three phone calls and two bills later we were finally credited for charges on a service that was never connected, installed, and for equipment we returned having never removed from the box.  Each time we got a bill, I had to call and explain the whole situation to people in two different departments, one for internet and one for home phone; I had to wait on hold in two different cues listening to two different yet equally cheesy elevator musak recordings.  I had to listen to them each ask me how they could make me a “very satisfied AT&T  customer?”  Well, you’ve fucked up so bad that you can’t make me either satisfied or a customer.  At this point, you couldn’t get me to use an AT&T payphone if my house was on fire.

It had really become comical after the string of encounters I’d had over the last few weeks, and the continuing ineptitude of every person I spoke with, all of whom had promised me that my account had been credited and there would be no more nonsense.  And then I’d get another bill in the mail with no credit on the account and more charges for a phone that had never been used and an internet connection I don’t have.  The truly maddening, yet humorous thing here is that each time I explained the situation to a new person who promised to take care of my problem, they were increasingly incensed and apologetic at the incompetence of the one previous, yet they proceeded to fuck things up even worse than the last guy.  This last woman told me I would receive one final bill on the 25th of this month that she promised would show a zero balance and effectively end the romance.  I just know that, come the 27th or so, I will receive that bill, and there will be new charges, probably billing me for the Space Shuttle disaster in 1986 and for plugging the spill in The Gulf of Mexico.

And lastly, on a note of not-so-small-triumph over mindless bureaucracies, we finally received our garbage can this past week.  While this may not send you into rapturous celebration as it did us, it is still a big deal.  We have been in our house since mid-June and have gone back and forth between smuggling our bags of garbage into our neighbor’s cans after nightfall, and putting the tied-up bags of trash at the curb where they needed to be vigilantly guarded from marauding animals lest they be torn open in pursuit of tasty rib bones and fish skin from our dinners that week.  I can now retire my ski mask and gloves, as the night missions of sneaking into other driveways on the block are now behind me.  The three of us were debating who would get the great honor of rolling our shiny new green bin out to the curb in the morning, probably having to run the gauntlet of paparazzi along the Red Carpet asking us “How does it feel to finally get your can?” or “Were you surprised at how long it took?”

Actually, I was so used to depending on the tender mercies of our neighbors that I forgot to even roll the damn thing out until I was coming back from walking the dog and saw the truck coming up the street.  Maya and I raced them home, I rolled the can out past Joan Rivers sticking a mike in my face and asking “Who are you wearing?” to get it to the curb just before they arrived at the house.  It was a madhouse, and the scene looked something like this:

Can't wait to see who'll show up for Recyling Day...


"That Really Takes The Cake…"

June 30, 2010

Last Saturday was one of our best friend’s birthday, and we were invited along to celebrate at one of our new favorite restaurants.  I already have a general unease dining out on a Saturday night; plus we had a cake to commemorate the auspicious occasion of her 2nd, 30th birthday, and a nice bottle of New Zealand Pinot Noir.  So, corkage and a cake plating fee which means, essentially, little or no alcohol sales and no dessert sales on our table of six.  It wasn’t a conscious conspiracy but we had become a Waiter’s Nightmare before we even walked in.  Fortunately, we got our favorite server at the restaurant; and, like a pro should, she didn’t bat an eye at either concession.

The alcohol sales part didn’t concern me much.  I knew the personalities at the table; and I knew there would be at least some cocktail sales, if not a bottle of white to go with the apps.  So our server wouldn’t be completely shut out.  It was the cake that I was just a tad uncomfortable with, and it wasn’t simply because it would negate any possible dessert sales for the server.  Desserts at this place were only $6, so how much could they really be out in sales?  But, bringing in a cake, or flowers, or an engagement ring, and leaving the item with the host or manager at the front door to be presented later on is much more of a leap of faith than most people realize.

As a manager, I was confident that I could handle any and all special arrangements needed for such items; it was what happened to said items after they left my sight that always worried me.  If you had a hidden camera, and followed your cake into the dessert station and/or walk-in box at many restaurants, you would probably see things like a Pastry Chef or Sous Chef pimping on your cake (even if it was the most beautiful cake ever made by the hands of man, they didn’t make it; and so ridiculing it is required); you may see it taken out of the box, and stored near buckets of cooling Lobster Stock, or some other pungent product, allowing your Red Velvet beauty to fully absorb the garlic, onions, or fish smell in the walk-in.  You may see a dishwasher or busboy removing a frosting rosette or chocolate cigarette, and smoothing over the evidence with their fingers.  And, as it goes from host to manager to Chef to Pastry Chef to walk-in, the potential for someone dropping or losing it, and effectively taking a dump all over your special occasion, is huge.

We arrived, they took the cake, and we watched as it disappeared behind the kitchen doors.  We thought nothing more of it until dessert time arrived and, as our server was putting dessert menus down, I reminded her we had a cake.  Well, not so much reminded, as obviously no one had told her word one about it.  It had gone from our hands to the fridge without anyone opening the box or even mentioning it any further.

After being informed by us that we had brought the cake in, our server went off to investigate.   I watched as she disappeared into the kitchen and came back out a few moments later, beckoning to the Chef.  Chef disappears into the back kitchen, and soon after returns to the hot line.  I can see him gesturing wildly and ranting on and on about something, getting the full attention of everyone on the kitchen staff.  They are all shaking their heads and looking very worried as the Chef goes off on them.   Next, the Chef summons the floor manager and our server for a serious-looking discussion.  They look like a pitcher, catcher and third baseman deciding how to pitch around a bases loaded, one-out situation; and discussing all the possibilities for disaster.  They are talking, arms folded, glancing furtively over at our table, then back to each other.  I can see our server shaking her head, Chef shaking his head; and the manager with that “I’m about to eat a big Shit Sandwich” look on his face.  Now what can be going on here?

The manager sheepishly approaches our table and, kneeling down next to the hostess for our group, asks “Uh, excuse me, but was that cake untouched when you brought it in?”

Up until that moment it never occurred to us that telling them the birthday girl had taken a two-fingered dip out of the cake earlier in the day might have been a good idea.  They hadn’t opened the box until it was time to present it to us;  and I can only imagine the terror our server must have felt when she opened it and found it looking like Homer Simpson had gotten to it first.


“M-m-m-m-m-m…cake…”

We explained our guest of honor’s pre-dipping to the manager, and his head drops in a silent prayer of thanks, looking like a guy who was already strapped into the electric chair, rubber thingy between his teeth, and the guard’s finger on the button as the phone from the Governor’s office rings.

They presented the cake, having nicely shaved off the finger-craters and smoothed them over with the cream cheese frosting.  The lesson here:  Always check, as you just never know when someone might want to have their cake and eat it too…


A New Link, and A "New" Redux

June 2, 2010

Trolling the links on other restaurant business blogs, I recently came upon “Tips For Tips”, an excellent site by a server who’s obviously been around the block a time or two.  The author has a fairly magnanimous philosophy when it comes to dealing with guests and doing our jobs; also, some truly useful facts and advice, which is rare in a lot of posts about hospitality.  Click here, or on the links section in my sidebar, to check it out…

The most recent post from TFT, “The Rules For Serving: Rule Four:  Guests Don’t Care How Much You Know, Until They Know How Much You Care” might sound a little “Mr. Rogers” at first glance, but it has some very true and pertinent advice on establishing a rapport with people on a personal, caring level before trying to establish yourself as Super Waiter.  Guests truly do respond to sincerity, and it’s something that cannot be faked.

A genuine attitude of caring for guests’ welfare and their experience at the table was the inspiration for my own diatribe, back in October of ’09.  So if you haven’t already seen it (or even if you have), I give you a Wednesday Redux:

“I’m Rubber, You’re Glue…”

Some lessons in life we learn immediately, from a single experience; catching your penis in your zipper comes to mind. Others take a little more of the trial and error method, like loaning money to your Crankster buddy from High School; or trying, yet again, to make a go of a relationship with that “free spirit” Hippie chick you met at Reggae on the River back in ’87. Being able to learn and grow from mistakes, and developing the wisdom to avoid them once learned is a real barometer of maturity.

One of the life lessons I have learned very well is how to deal with the bitter, cranky people that cross my path as guests in restaurants. We had a classic example on Table 34 last night: a couple of people who would not be completely satisfied with their day until they had sufficiently ruined someone else’s. Married so long they ran out of things to talk about years ago, they most likely have enough money to make divorce impractical, each of them unwilling to part with, or even risk slightly diminishing, their lifestyle. So, in order to keep the His and Hers E-Class Benzs in the driveway, they have settled for tolerating each other’s presence. These were seriously old, cranky people and they were not afraid to demonstrate it to their waiter. Their server last night, however, was a seasoned pro who wouldn’t let them get over on him. Right off they challenged his knowledge of our menu, our wine list, and his career choice in such a way as to justify dismemberment and burial in a shallow grave; and no sane judge would have convicted. But the waiter didn’t take the bait. He used a technique I employed many times when I was waiting tables: he “niced them to death”.

This exercise in psychology was possible only because their waiter had ridden to Church on tougher mounts than them. He had enough life/restaurant experience to know that leaving this type alone until he could get some food and wine into them in order to raise their blood sugar and alcohol levels until they transformed into some semblance of an actual human being was the only way to go. He turned them around to the point where he could actually have a civil conversation with them, and they left happy. Well, as happy as possible.

When I waited tables I used to consider people like this a personal challenge. I was not going to let them defeat me. When they left my station, they might still be unhappy with each other, maybe complain about a dish or their wine but, God damn it, they were going to like me. I turned into a mirror of pure accommodation, reflecting their shitty attitudes and bitterness back at them until they either:

A) Came around and started being civil for the first time that day, perhaps in years

Or,

B) Clammed up when they realized I wasn’t playing and gave up on their Holy Quest to piss me off.

“A” was always preferable to “B” in these cases, but either way I won the battle.

Except in the most extreme of cases (and I’ve had one or two), this technique is more than effective on a deuce; but having one stubbed toe on a large party requires a different approach.

Most people that act like assholes when dining with a group have most likely done so before; and chances are that someone at tonight’s table has seen their Dog and Pony Show already, and will empathize with the waiter who’s on the receiving end this time. My method with the “one loudmouth on the 6-top” scenario is, again, “nice-ing” the offender to death. Then, at some point in the exchange, I will look around the table and find that person or persons who have tolerated the behavior before, make eye contact with them, and usually get the look that says “She does this every time. We are so sorry it’s you that has to get it tonight.” And more often than not they will be the one paying the check. Game over. I win.

The Young Gun Server, cocky and secure in his wine and food knowledge, but without the twin six-shooters of patience and experience tucked into his belt, will take to this challenge in a different way. He will get all puffed up with the “I’m not going to take shit from this bitch” attitude, and decide right off that it is not worth his time or effort. He is “better than that” and “no one is going to talk to me that way.” He will challenge the guests, further alienating the rude; and more importantly, he will lose his possible alliance with the sensible and polite people at the table by being a dick right back. This attitude only makes recovery more difficult and unlikely; and as the alcohol flows and attitudes get more strained on both sides, the situation escalates.

I used to be a fairly decent basketball player and I learned early if you don’t celebrate the three-pointers too much, you won’t get so pissed at the occasional air-ball. My philosophy on service and difficult guests is the same. Don’t crow so loudly about selling the $300 bottles of Bordeaux and getting the 25% tips and you won’t get as upset at the 10-percenter and rude people. And don’t feel you deserve better when you get occasionally get them. A server’s job is just that: to serve; and if you remember it’s not who you are, it’s only what you do, you will be able to rise above even the most difficult situation.

Despite what the Navy recruiting ads used to say, “It’s not an adventure, it’s just a job.”


"A Chronic Case of Waiter-itis…"

May 31, 2010

Three of us went out after work the other night to a local spot for drinks and a late night snack. We were, of course, sitting at the bar, right next to the waiters’ service station.

My friend commented on how much he liked his drink, a “specialty cocktail”, and that we should taste it. The other two of us simultaneously reached for straws, stuck them in his drink, put our fingers over the end, and tasted his drink.  It occurred to me that “normal” people, with “real jobs”, would probably just pick up his glass and take a sip.  They would have no knowledge of the “straw-siphon” tasting method; it’s a technique only people in “The Biz” would know.

That got me thinking, and I started to notice a kind of sick pattern of behavior, due to my many years in hospitality and the restaurant business.  So feel free, if you are so inclined, to add to my list of the times that

“You know you’re REALLY in the Restaurant Business when…”

  • You’re at the gas station, or the dry cleaners, and you are handed your credit card slip, and you have a pen out of your pocket before the clerk can find one…

Or…

  • You reach for the pen and you pull a out a crumber …
  • You feel naked without a corkscrew in your pocket…
  • You straighten the barstools at places even though you don’t work there…
  • You find yourself stepping aside to “yield to the guests” but you’re not at work, you’re at the grocery store…
  • You are at lunch or dinner somewhere, and one of your tablemates puts an empty Sweet-Low packet on the table.  It totally breaks your concentration and you find yourself fixated on this little piece of garbage on the tabletop, and how can they just leave it there like that?  Isn’t someone going to pick it up??!!

Or…

  • You actually know that it’s “Sweet-Low”, not “Sweet AND Low”…

And…

  • …at the same lunch, you are completely distracted by the fact that your friend’s Ice Tea or water glass is over half empty, and you begin looking around to see if someone ‘s “on it.”
  • You re-fold the napkins at your dinner table at home when someone gets up during dinner…

Or…

  • You re-fold your own napkin as you get up to use the bathroom…
  • You are always wondering if you should tip someone like the UPS Man or the guy at the Dry Cleaners…
  • You are out to dinner and, after you order your appetizer, you look at your watch and begin timing your order …
  • You carry a Bic lighter in your pocket at all times, and you don’t even smoke…

And…

  • Wherever you are, you have said lighter out and ready if someone pulls out a cigarette, or there are candles to be lit at a birthday party…
  • You recognize bottles of wine in movies or TV shows, even if they are shown for just a few seconds in the background:  “Hey, that’s Charles Krug Chenin” that Kelly McGillis is drinking with Tom Cruise in Top Gun; or that Carmela Soprano seems to drink a lot of Clos du Val Chardonnay…
  • You can figure out immediately what 20% is when you are filling your gas tank…
  • You feel uneasy when you are away from your table in the restroom, wondering if they are holding your order until you get back…

Or…

  • …you’re on your way back to your table and, as you stand aside to let a departing group go past on their way to the front door, you stop yourself just before you say “Thank you, and Good Night”
  • You squirm, either mentally or literally, when you are out to eat, and another party leaves and no one comes to clear the dirty table…

Or…

  • You squirm, either mentally or literally, when your party has paid, there are people waiting, and no one is making a move to get up and go…
  • You know everything that’s happening on “The Soaps”, or who was on Oprah yesterday…
  • You snicker, thinking about all the white shirts and black pants and/or skirts in your closet, when someone invites you to a “Black And White” party…

"Oh yes I did, girl…"

April 21, 2010

Here’s a link to one of my favorite blogs about the restaurant business, “In The Weeds”.  Although the author now has a “real job” and doesn’t post as often as I or the thousands of her other readers would like, she can still sling it with the best of us….

“In The Weeds” is on the Froth Girlz site…

In her latest post, CJ talks about a recent dinner out, on a Saturday night, no less.  Like most of us in “The Biz”, she is a little on edge to start with (looking at the picture of the table they tried to foist on her party will help you understand why).

Going out to dinner on a Saturday makes most of us a little more than uptight, especially if we are dining somewhere “foreign”, where we are not assured of comped wine, appetizers and/or dessert because we know the Chef, the owner, the Manager, used to work there, whatever.  No, when we are plunking down real dough, it’s a rare comfort to discover that your server is as good or better than you are.  Being able to relax and get out of that “If I Were Waiting on Us, Here’s What I’d Be Doing” mode is a pleasure not experienced often enough.

Anyway, read her post, and then I’d encourage you to delve into her archives (ooh, that sounds kinda dirty) for more…