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Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Most Boring Night at Work Ever

First off, if you are here because of CBS Sunday Morning, welcome to you. And what took you so long to get here? If you are in the food service industry, then you might enjoy my tales of woe and wonder. You should join my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and learn how to Bitch Proud because I try to keep it interesting but more importantly, I am a greedy attention whore who craves your approval.

When it's a slow shift in a restaurant it's a double header of crappy. Not only is it boring and time moves like molasses in December, we also leave without any money in our pocket. It's one of the things that makes serving so difficult, this whole "depending on others for our income" thing. If the weather is bad or there's something big on television like the Grammy Awards, then the restaurant ends up looking like a ghost town with tumbleweeds blowing through it. Such was the case last week.

I was at work from 4:00 until close which is 11:00 PM. During the course of those seven glorious hours, a total of 23 people came in to eat. The weather outside was crap and here in New York City, the weather is the driving force of our activities. Unlike other cities, we do not drive to get where we are going. We either walk or take the subway which also involves walking. Since all New Yorkers are made of sugar and if we are touched by rain we will dissolve quicker than a box of strawberry Jello in hot water, if it rains, a restaurant shift can turn out pretty deadly. I spent that night at work struggling to stay awake and trying to keep myself entertained. There were plenty of things I could have done to help pass the time, but most of them involved productivity. If you know me, you'll know that productivity is not something I aspire to when it comes to restaurant work.

What I could have done: organized the sugar caddies and wiped them all down after making sure that all the sugar packets were facing the same way.
What I did instead: ignored the sugar caddies and played Words With Friends on my phone.

What I could have done: taken all the candle holders and cleaned them getting the dried wax off of the outside and replacing the candles with new votives.
What I did instead: took a candle into the sidestand with me so I had better light to play Words With Friends on my phone.

What I could have done: swept under all the booths getting the last bit of bread crumbs out from the far corners.
What I did instead: turned the lights down lower so any crumbs on the floor were now unnoticeable. This also forced me to take an additional candle to the sidestand so I had better light to play Words With Friends on my phone.

What I could have done: practiced my Spanish with the dishwasher, Victor.
What I did instead: asked Victor to ask the cook to get me some french fries.

What I could have done: given special attention to the few tables that I had since I had time to give them the utmost service.
What I did instead: gave them the same service I always do because I figured it's not like those 23 people were going to be able to tip like 60 people so it was a lost cause anyway so why freakin' bother?

What I could have done: studied the wine list to get myself more familiar with our offerings.
What I did instead: Drank some wine in a coffee cup that was next to the candle that was illuminating my Words With Friends games.

What I could have done: taken the time to fill the paper towel dispenser in the restroom.
What I did instead: went into the restroom and called some friends and then tried to Skype but my signal in the restroom sucked so I just texted for a while.

What I could have done: spent some time to get to know the bus boy since we never really have a chance to get to know each other and he seems like such a sweet kid.
What I did instead: told my manager that it was too slow to have a bus boy and had the sweet kid sent home so id didn't have to tip his ass out.

What I could have done: gone to the walk-in and organized the shelves.
What I did instead: laughed at myself for even considering such a ridiculous idea. The walk-in is all the way downstairs for crying out loud.

What I could have done: been thankful that at least I have a job.
What I did instead: bitched about how this job was wasting my precious time and I could be home watching Top Chef.

Finally, 11:00 rolled around and I busted out of there at 11:05. Luckily, no one came in at 10:58 to order two well-done steaks. It would not have been pretty had that happened. Like I seriously may have accidentally cut them in their face with a steak knife if that had happened. I survived the most boring night and left with very little money in my pocket. I did, however, leave with a nice buzz from my Chardonnay and three wins under my belt from Words With Friends. I also learned that I need to bring my phone charger to work with me because my battery almost died before the end of the shift and that would have been downright dangerous. Without my phone, I may have been forced to do something like clean the bread area or polish silverware.

So, what do you do when it's boring at your job?

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SkippyMom said...

Nicely done on CBS This Morning Bitchy - we just watched it. You covered just about all of it -but my favorite was the 2.13!!!! Way to go!

And yes, we still love the hair. :)

Andrea said...

Hey that was pretty cool seeing you on tv. I dragged my happy ass out of bed just in time :)

I would have been nervous as hell! Great job :)

jnana said...

We don't have CBS in my country :( Is there a link?

Eleanor said...

When it's quiet in the foodcourt where I work, we play ping pong through the window between the kitchen and front of house. It was the assistant manager's idea, and the manager reckons it's hilarious. Only risk is having the owner come in and spot us.

Practical Parsimony said...

Do you have a link to this morning's CBS? Has your number of viewers risen?

Not just a waitress said...

Great job, BW! I found a link for those who, like me, couldn't watch:;contentBody

Anonymous said...

I like your eyelashes...did you curl them?
Very proud darling...very proud indeed. Mom didn't recognize you but when I told her it was you she was so happy...she liked the part about the tips!

KY said...

Hahaha!! I totally hear ya on stealing some vino (or vodka) and hiding it in a cup to help me get through waitressing shifts. This is the first time I've commented on your blog, but I have been an avid reader for some time now. I love and appreciate how you are able to open up and blast the way that I wish I could on my blog.

Love your writing, never stop!

Have a great week,
Kym said...

Great job on CBS! You're a television star!

Some Sort of Fairy said...

What do I do when work is slow? I read BW, of course! (Like right now. I could be metering mail but I don't wanna.)

Anonymous said...

Damn, but CBS sanitized you. You are an amazing raconteur, good in writing but even better in person. However, it's kind of boring when it's as cleaned up and rehearsed as the CBS segment was (I'm assuming that this was required by the whole 'mainstream media' thing).

Hope you do more video/tv blogs and find a way to get onto mainstream without having your personality censored into oblivion.

[That was sort of intended to be a compliment...]

Joe Sixtop said...

sometimes I'll try to find something to improve, like filling o/v cruets, but usually I try to get out of there. If I'm closing I'm not above offering an early cut $5 or something to stay for me, sometimes it works

Anonymous said...

my kindle cover makes it look just like a black pleather server book. (;

Cool Beans said...

We play the two letter game on the specials board... pick two letters and come up with as many word combos with those two letters as possible. Example: FJ...
Frugal Jews (most of our customers)
Fruity John (a waiter)

This keeps us occupied for HOURS. Pretty sad, actually.

stockguy said...

Congrats on the piece.
I'll be checking in often.

teleburst said...

Congratulations! We're all so proud of you!

Now get a haircut

So You Want To Be A Waiter

PS, it's not your fault, of course, but Tennessee is also one of those 2.13/hr states. Those researchers/graphic designers need to get their shit together!

teleburst said...

there was supposed to be a chuckle after haircut. But I used an html tag. So here ya go - :chuckle:

Sarah said...

South carolina is also a 2.13 state.

When it is slow at work we play a type of bingo, we make a bingo board on the board in the service station and fill it with things like "mullet, socks with sandals, jorts (jean shorts), visor, ect" it is just as fun to come up with the spots as it is to play. If you have someone in your section that is on the spot you write your initials in the spot, and the first person to get bingo wins, and we all put in $1. It keeps us very occupied! I work in a tourist town in the south, so all ours are redneck things, but you would have different types of squares for different places.

thecubiclerebel said...

Funny, funny blog so far. I've actually thought of returning to waitressing lately but just as you stated here, Decembers (and winters) are tricky. Oy.