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Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Newly Trained Waiter Who Is No Longer Bitchy But is Wonderfully Proficient

I did it. I went through training with a 22 year-old and survived even though she was about the same age as the underwear I had one. You can click here to read yesterday's post about how I felt about having to go in to work early for some training. It turns out that those 22 year-olds really know what they're talking about. I mean, did you know that when taking a drink off a tray with one hand you should move your other one that you are holding the tray with ever so slightly to maintain the balance of the tray? Alert the news media! Tweet it! Tell the new Pope to send out another smoke signal because this is big news.

Another piece of vital information that was passed on to me were these words: "Never argue with a guest and give up the need to be right." This is a very simple rule for me to follow because in order to argue with a guest, it would mean I have to give a shit and I have absolutely no shit left to give. The last time I gave a shit, it was in a paper bag that I set on fire on the porch of my high school drama teacher, Mrs. Deheul. I don't argue with customers. I smile at them and then walk to the side stand and tell one of my co-workers how stupid the bitch at Table 27 is. I then jot down a few notes so that when I blog about the dumb bitch, I will have some every specific details. And what point is there to disagree with a customer? I gave up the need to be right the day I put on my first pair of slip-resistant shoes because there is nothing right about those ugly fucks. One time someone ordered the New York Stripe Steak. I could have told them it was a strip steak, but that would have meant that I cared and I didn't. "One New York Stripe Steak, comin' right up!" I said.

Another point that came down from management was this pearl of wisdom that fell out of an oyster's ass" "Make all guests feel like they are the only one." Okay, sure. If that means I can ignore the other people in my station, then I am all for it. Say I am taking an order at Table 4 and as I am talking to them, the asshole at Table 5 is snapping his fingers at me.  I will just ignore Table 5 because I want to give Table 4 the impression that they are the only ones in the restaurant.

Me: Our special tonight is pan-seared cod that we will put extra sauce on to disguise the fact that the fish is past its peak and-
Table 5: Hey, waiter!
Me: is served with haricot verte and garlic mashed potatoes...
Table 5: Hey, waiter!  (snap, snap)
Table 4: I think that man is trying to get your attention.
Me: What man?
Table 4: The man at the next table who is waving his arms and snapping his fingers at you.
Me: I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about. Are you having hallucinations, because you are the only customer I see here. I know this to be true, because management told me so. If you are seeing someone else in this restaurant you must be high on drugs and I will have to call the police. You're the only one here. You are the only one here.

We also have a new rule that tells us we should check back to our table a minimum of six times to make sure they have everything they need. I think that's a great idea because everyone wants a waiter to be at their table every three minutes to hover around like a fruit fly on an old banana. Maybe we should just suspend ourselves on wires so we can drop down from the ceiling every thirty seconds to  let them know we're watching them. If I was in a restaurant and my server asked me if I needed anything on six different occasions, I would want to punch him in his nut sack. I'd still leave him a 20% tip, but he'd also get a cunt punch.

After training ended, I started my shift and gave the same level of service I have always given which is somewhere between adequate and half-assed. My tips were great so I felt that all was fine in my station. Did the additional "training" help me earn those tips? Who knows? All I know for certain is that somewhere in this world, a baby was born today that in twenty-two years is going to be training me on how to be a better waiter. I can't wait to meet that person.

After the shift, the bartender created a special shift-drink just for me. It had Absolute Hibiscus vodka, pineapple juice and cranberry. He named it Hi-bitch-cus Martini. All in all, a good night at work.

(Thanks, JC, for being such a good sport.)

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Practical Parsimony said...

Shift your hand under the tray? You mean someone has carried a tray without this skill before? Did she tell you how to put one foot in front of the other in order to get from the bar to the table? If not, how will you function? I hope you were paid for being at training?

Christine said...

Holy crap I love your snarkiness! You remind me of a waiter I worked with years ago in NYC.
How did you ever serve drinks before without dumping your tray all over? said...

Hellz yeah! Any day you get a martini named after you is a good day!

Rogue Wino said...

Maybe for the first time in 10 years I can finally not dump drinks on myself tonight! Who knew there was a trick to avoiding that?

JoeinVegas said...

Was this one on one training, or did she present this information to a group?
Yes, if a waiter came back to my table six times I think I'd throw something at him. Or ask the manager (that is demanding this) to come over and throw something at him. Then tip the waiter big for having to put up with this bull.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you need a spirit level for your tray so you can keep the bubble in between the lines when removing drinks from it.

It may be easier also to leave surveillance cameras and a speaker on a tripod at the table, that way you can ask every 4 minutes if everything is okay.

Anonymous said...

The wire suspension comment was hilarious! I laughed really loudly at work and everyone looked at me.

sally said...

Hilarious post Bitchy!!

anne marie in philly said...

OMB! I don't like servers hovering constantly. what the 20-something tried to "teach" you is total bullshit!

perhaps she will quit soon.

maxi said...

So as well as the normal check back you do when they have their mains, and the times you go to the table to clear plates etc, you should also be going past 6 additional times to make sure they're ok??? Fuck no!

Confessions from the Hairdresser said...

Give up the notion that you're right, HA! That's good. It's better to let people remain ignorant and continue believing that the service they're receiving is poor because someone won't run out and buy them fresh organic lemons from the farmstand to make their lemon water.

The Bride said...

Hang from the ceiling by a wire? Why not just shoot sticky goo from your wrists and swing around the room in a fabulous display of scheduled 3 minute table lurking?

Bitchy- man. Bitchy- man, goes wherever a server can,
See him swing on a thread
Wishing his customers all were dead

Watch out here comes out Bitchy -Maaaaan
Look out here comes Bitchy- man!!!

The Bride said...

BTW Now I'm hungry for a stripe steak.

shanti said...

thankyou to The Bride ....I will be singing that litle ditty all night well as the visuals of bitchy in a leotard...fabulous darl...

Jenny said...

HA, this made me laugh for several different reasons, since I also have a job as a waitress and I'm 22 years old. However it is normally several 16-year-olds who "give me tips" on how to be a better waitress (even though sometimes they overlook the more important things and get them wrong).
I have a love-hate relationship with waiting. Customers, management, long hours and cleaning up after children all on minimum wage can be hard but if I've had a really good day I want to go back for more. Perhaps I'll move to Paris or something and become Head Waitress for Michelle Roux Jr where waiting skills are actually appreciated. Over here in the UK it's pretty bleak as a "class" system IMO still lingers in the catering society, and most up-and-coming servers these days don't even know basic etiquette or professionalism.
Keep on writing dude. You were the icing on the cake of an already awesome work-day yesterday. :D

Anonymous said...

Completely off topic, but I just visited Stuck Serving, and guess who is trolling away there? yup, hasn't had ranch infused brain banned there yet. So, if you're bored and feeling like pulling the cat's tail, there ya go :) <3 Serenity

Anonymous said...

oops, here's this. duh.

oh see, it wasn't even stuck serving. Smoke another one Serenity, lol ;)

Anonymous said...

I'd been serving 4 years when I started training new hires (I was 22 actually!) and I always made sure to ask that person if they'd served before, so I knew if I needed to given them info specific to our restaurant, or general serving advice, too, and even then I felt the person out first (some newcomers did need tray-handling pointers, haha. I did! No shame).

I also shared my tips voluntarily if the trainee was shadowing and helped me out during the shift. Not 50/50 (our restaurant gave trainees 7.25/hr for shadow shifts versus 2.13), but a fair cut, in my opinion, for giving me a hand. Then I'd tell them, "Welcome to the family." Sounds cheesy, but that's how our staff felt. My trainer, who'd worked there 20-something years, did that with me and as a brand-new server it left a huge impression. I've yet to find coworkers I felt as close to as when I worked there, even now, after 5 years of having my dream career.

Anyway. It sounds like your trainer was the complete opposite of my shmultzy experience. but at least you got a martini named after you, if only for the night. :)

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