Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day shift

This morning, I show up, at work, and the new girl is supposed to train with the girl that I am working for. Crap---why did I pick up this shift?
I loathe training. It is boring, trivial and a necessary evil when beginning a new job. I mean, you aren't learning how to serve...you already know that. Mostly, it is designed to teach you the computer system and food identification.
It seems simple, but is chaotic, especially, at lunch. For example, most diners at lunch are on a set schedule. They are in a hurry. They want to be greeted, order, eat, and then leave. They want to achieve this in an hour and if they must wait, they are testy about it.
Training, to me, increases the amount of time that people are going to be waiting around. I suggested that Mel--the all day girl--train the new girl. And it was her last training shift. For us, this means, that you shadow them. They do everything for the table. You oversee it. You answer questions and translate the computer if necessary. It is the best training shift to be put on. It feels like a holiday from some of the regulars that are seated in your section since you have someone else to wait on them, while reaping the rewards.
We were not that busy, but I was super irritated with my co-workers and my customers. I am of the belief that if you empty the pitcher, you should refill it. Lately, the last two days, I have worked with lazy, unaccountable people. It is not fun to feel like you are playing catch up during a shift. I despise finding a wait station without water pitchers or ice. It is easy to keep up if everyone helps.
My first table was fine---single guy, knew what he wanted, kind and generous.
Then, I was seated three older gentleman. I told them the specials and walked away. I had a few tables in the back section and was splitting up my time, between sections.
I watched Mel continue to greet and take orders at her tables. I was confused since she was supposed to be training. I even commented on it to the bartender. It just seemed like such a waste of time to have the new girl follow Mel around on her last training shift. Sure, I appreciated her running my food, but she is going to be on her own on Thursday. And, I know, that I can be super impatient with questions that people should know, from training.
So, back to my table of 3 men. This one guy goes--what is the one sandwich with turkey.
Yes, he has a menu in front of him. He is capable of reading, I assume.
I point out the brewhouse turkey sandwich. First question--is it real turkey?
What? Of course it is...we serve a deli style sandwich.
Well, you need to check and make sure that it isn't processed. If it is processed, I will send it back.
I tell him that it isn't processed, but if he is so concerned about the turkey, than maybe he should order something else.
I knew that it was bitchy, but I was annoyed with him at this point. I just wanted them to order so that I would be able to walk away from the table.
Then, there were the sides...we have five options for no charge. They are listed on the menu. Somehow, he was unable to find them. I ramble them off.
He stops me to repeat them.
Slowly, and yes, I was exaggerating due to annoyance, I repeated the sides.
Finally, I was able to walk away and am fairly certain that I muttered something about the guy being an idiot.
I refill their beverages and manage to acquire more tables. I have three women that were seated in my section. Got up to be moved to a different location. I watched them move to the front section, the back section and then back to the original table. I knew they would be annoying.
Well, they ordered beer and so I forgave them for the unnecessary tour of the restaurant. They wanted separate checks and so I obliged. I wasn't busy and they were drinking.
The three men ask for their check and they surprised me with their generosity. They told me that I had been kind. Wow, their definition of kind does not match up to mine. I know that I was short and standoffish with them.
Ironically, they compensated me for the service.
The beer drinking, separate check women, completely screwed me over. This is why servers do not like to split checks. It is a waste of time and how difficult is it to calculate what you owe when you know what you ordered?
These women, who each had two adult beverages tipped me ten percent. After saying that they would take care of me....how is that being generous? They were so thankful that I would split the check and told me that they would return. Please don't! 10% is insulting and completely rude. I might have deserved a bad tip from the three guys for my attitude, but even they respected the prompt, efficient service.
My mood became more hostile and unfriendly. I wanted to choke the women. My level of irritation was spiking and I knew that I needed to leave. Vacation is around the corner and I think that also increases my irritation. I am ready. I want it to be NOW!!! I am dreaming of a beach, a pina colada, and diving. I can make it til the Bahamas--I swear!
Of course, I have been hard on my body, lately---multiple nights out with friends, too much wine, and not enough sleep. I missed my morning run because of said habits and must go this evening. It is freaking hot and so a run in the afternoon is unlikely.
Yes, had I went running this morning, I think my mood wouldn't have been so negative. I felt ready to blow up after the subpar tip. I just don't understand how people can justify that--being cheap--and expect extras from servers?
Than, I remind myself, that I am blessed. I am fortunate to have a job, to be healthy, to travel, to have support and to have the opportunity to meet more people. And, I am going to Las Vegas in December to run the Marathon. Yes, it is official. I signed up for the Rock and Roll Marathon on Saturday. Yes, I am blessed!
Tonight, I plan on running, meeting my friend, Jen, for wine----when will I learn to not schedule back to back nights out with friends? Someday. Running....must do...

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