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It’s been a pretty crazy week at BC, so I haven’t had a chance to update. Please excuse the nonsensical rambling; I’m trying to remember exactly what happened.

Saturday: Started out normally enough. Old folks, regulars, and families. Should have known that the evening was going to be nuts. We open at 11am. By 12:30, management was going around trying to bribe people to work the evening. Wish I could have taken them up on their offer, but I was already scheduled to work that night :( Strangely, it was one of those days where everybody said no. So they pull a seasoned bartender off the bar to serve, and brought in a rookie bartender (who I’ll call Peep)  to pinch hit.  Not the greatest idea on a Saturday night. Our one remaining good bartender (Kitty)  nearly shit herself. Instead of washing dishes and taking orders for waiting customers, Peep disappears, leaving our good bartender to make our drinks, drinks for waiting guests, and do takeout orders.

About 7:30, we ran out of every single kind of glass (except pint glasses) because Peep thought she’d go around bussing tables. Hey, asshole! We have bussers to do that! My customers don’t want their martinis in pint glasses! Get your ass back on the bar! Anyhoo, Kitty freaks out and storms off to the break room. Servers are left to make their own drinks.

I decided to stay on the bar for a bit to do some damage control. I had gotten triple sat, so my tables were all in a good place, eating their dinners and not needing me. Peep decides to make an appearance, and calmly informs me that the Molson Canadian keg is empty. Really?! Go change it then! She has no idea how to. So I drop everything to change it. Peep then comes over, saying “oh nevermind, I remember this”, rips the tap outta my had and I get covered in a beer shower. Head to toe. My underwear is soaked for crying out loud! Peep just stares at me. “Are you just gonna stare at me? Get me a fucking towel!” I yell. After another moment of gawking, Peep hands me one. paper. towel. Fuck you! I’m outta here!

Fast forward an hour: No longer soaked, but unpleasantly moist and sticky, my GM asks me to help her sort and take out the empty beer bottles from the bar. She knows I need a smoke, and this is her way of telling me,  “just a few minutes, you’ll get one”. So, we’re on our knees in the bar, furiously sorting the brown bottles from the clear and the green, when we hear a loud CRACK!

What’s another broken glass, at this point? Me and GM shrug at each other and continue sorting bottles. A moment later, we hear “Oh shit!” What now? Another server coming into the bar had slipped on a puddle of red wine and nearly bashed her head in the cupboard. Except it wasn’t red wine. It was a pool of blood, coming from my hand! Turns out, that shattered glass had flown through the air and embedded itself in several capillaries in my hand. They bleed like motherfuckers! Fuck me!

You know what, I feel bad for not posting anything in awhile, so I’ll leave this as is and continue it later:P

Multitasking

I thought I had seen the last of Old Man Winter. I was wrong. We got hit with about 10 inches of snow today. Normally, I’d wait by my phone for the inevitable “It’s okay, we’re not busy so you can stay home” call. But I had the last four days off… and my wallet is gathering dust, so I went in for my 5:45pm shift at Blue Crustacean.

To say that the restaurant was dead was an understatement. Rolling tumbleweeds is more like it. My boss had told me that we had less than 50 guests between 11am and 5pm. Needless to say, our labor hours sucked balls. My boss (thankfully) called off half the floor. She wanted to send the hostess home too, but she’s a panicky sort, so it took some cajoling on my part to convince her to do it.

I really didn’t want to go home, so I agreed to host for the night AND serve tables as a favor to her. We were slow, and I was feeling generous. Hey, I’m not above scoring brownie points! (I squirrel them away for when I need them).

I gave myself a section close to the host stand, so things weren’t too bad. And on the plus side, the dinner crowd did pick up a little bit, because the next closest Blue Crustacean closed their doors at 6pm because it was losing money today. About half of our traffic came via that location.

Still, seven tables is better than none. Six tables were dueces and they all left me $10 each, and the one 3top I had left me $15. After giving the bartender $5 (1% of my sales) I walked out with $70. Not bad for a slow night.

Even nicer: my boss changed my time card for me. My shift tonight was officially recorded as “Trainer”. So my wages for the night were $10.35/hour. I’m a happy panda :)

Friday Night

This was March Break in a nutshell:

fuck.you.with.something.hard.and.sandpapery.

And my coworkers wonder why I took the next 4 days off.

I was in no mood to go to work last night.  I was tired, cranky, and really annoyed that I has only made $75 on Saturday after working ALL DAY. 

I didn’t think that last night would be any better. I was, what we call Circle of Death. Let me explain this: our floor plan is called the Dining Room Assignment, or DRA for short. In order to avoid mixups with closing the wrong server, our host will circle the names of our two closers and the names of the latest three start times on the DRA. Translation: Don’t even bother asking when you’re getting cut, because you’re there ’til the end, sucker.

Next to the closers, I was the latest start time, meaning I get stuck with a crappy section out in the badlands (the back of the restaurant, far away from the bar and the kitchen).

So I walk into the restaurant, and the lobby is FULL to bursting with waiting guests at 5:15pm. There are hordes of children running around and screaming. (Well, it is March Break)  Then, the host walks up to me and says to put tables 96 and 97 together because me and another server are getting a party of 11. All I can see is a classroom’s-worth of the diaper crowd. I’m doomed. Then the host looks at my crestfallen face, puts her arm around me and says: “I have a gift for you, Candice. Your party… well, it’s 11 ADULTS.”  SCORE! Even though one of the guys in the party had to wait an extra 15 minutes for his food after the rest of his family had already received theirs, he still left $52 for me and the other server to share!

I also served two guys. One, who was the spitting image of Santa Claus, and his younger son. They ate, and drank beer after beer after beer. When it came time for dessert, they had shots of Baileys and Cointreau. I really didn’t want to cut these guys off… after all, they were polite and they behaved themselves. But, hey, I have to be responsible, right? I could see my tip going down the toilet. He asked for the check right then and there. I went to get it, and when I came back, there was a third man sitting there. “Would you like something to drink, sir?” I asked the newcomer. Santa chuckles, ” You see how skinny he is?  He can’t drink like we can. Candice, meet our designated driver, Skippy!” Santa pays the bill and leaves me a $25 tip and a wink.

Table number three was a party of 5. Mom and Dad and their 3 adult(!) children. It’s mom and dad’s birthday(on the same day, how cool is that?) They asked me if we do anything goofy for birthdays like sticking moose antlers on your head or get the whole restaurant to sing. I told them the standard “No, but if you’d like to buy a dessert, we’ll stick a  candle in it and sing for you” response. “That’s okay, we’re pretty low-key people anyway”. Niiiiiice. So, son and daughter decide to split the check between them. Daughter leaves me $3 on $87. Son leaves me $36 on $87!

The whole night was freaking amazing! Karma was really smiling on me at this point. My smallest tip of the evening was ten bucks. And my last table of the night, I finally did get some young children who made a big mess. But their parents were really sweet people. All I could do was wave goodbye to them while rolling cutlery and counting my money.

Grand total after tip-out: $302

Kinda makes me want to go in tonight. And its my day off.

Lord, Give Me Strength…

Dumb Ass Customer: Gimme a Pepsi.

Me: I’m sorry, we don’t have Pepsi. Would Coke be alright?

DAS: Okay, whatever. *takes a sip* This Pepsi tastes awful! It tastes like Coke! I hate Coke! You gave me Coke and I asked for Pepsi!

Me: My apologies, I thought you told me that Coke would be fine.

DAS: Well, it would have been alright if you poured it properly!

Me: Beg your pardon?

DAS: Nevermind. I want the surf and turf, well-done with fries. And I want mayo on the side!

Me: We don’t have mayo.

DAS: Sweet Jesus! Can’t you do anything right?! Gimme a baked potato instead. Can you handle that?

Me: Sure thing. Butter and sour cream?

DAS: I want it fully loaded. Butter, sour cream, cheese, chives and bacon!

Me: We only have butter and sour cream.

DAS:  Sweet Jesus! Gimme fries ! And I want mayo on the side!

Me: *rolls eyes*

Pobody’s Nerfect

Even infallible me is subject to bouts of dumbassed-ness (who knew?)

This past Sunday was a complete clusterfuck. From the time I walked in at 11:30am, I had nothing but party after party after party. It wouldn’t have been so bad if we had enough staff. Being triple sat is no problem for me. My restaurant has  a three table max policy, so I’ve long gotten used to it.

But somewhere down the line it was forgotten that merely having a skeleton crew on a Sunday just won’t cut it. We’re busy. With a lobby full of 7 and 8-tops waiting, even a floor of awesome servers isn’t enough. Our poor hostess was running around bussing tables and carrying trays laden with dishes that easily weighed as much as she did. We had one expo, and one guy that was supposed to wash dishes, work in the alley dressing food, and somehow keep us servers supplied with enough cheese biscuits to feed the insatiable angry horde i.e. the guests.

Needless to say, it was nothing short of controlled chaos. We somehow managed to keep it together.  Thankfully, our new promo is bringing in people who aren’t afraid to spend some money. With $30 and $40 tips rolling in like crazy, it was easy to keep my mouth shut and just focus on getting the people in and out.

I ended up working straight through my split shift. I was starving, but at the point where I was too exhausted to eat. In the midst of working two sixtops and a lowly single, at 9:30pm the clouds parted and the sun came out:  I was cut!!!

My euphoria was short-lived. Both sixtops wanted hot tea (motherfuckers!) I was halfway through getting the tea set up when another server told me that my single needed his bill and a debit machine cuz he was late for a flight. Yeah, sure pal. I ran out to find one of our portable debit machines, and brought it back to the kitchen, thinking I’ll run the tea and the card at the same time. I ran a little too fast. The debit maching slipped out of my hand,

AND LANDED IN ANOTHER TABLE’S BIRTHDAY CAKE.

Go me.

So I’ve finally decided to join the ranks of Restaurant Bloggers.  I can feel this is going to become a habit, albeit a good one.

After spending the better part of a year reading (and sympathizing) with other server blogs, I felt it was time to contribute to the marketplace of ideas i.e. rants.

A little about myself: I’ve been working for a corporately-run seafood restaurant for nearly 5 years, during which I’ve divvied my time between two locations. I’m happily married with three kids. And I love coffee.

:)

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