Monthly Archives: July 2012

Fired? What?

Oh, late post Fridays.

Most of you readers are probably working hard to get some shit done tonight. Friday and Saturday are our money making nights, I know. I don’t know if I’m just getting tired of the industry or the long hours but I have a story to share with everyone today.

I got fired for the very first time today.

I’ve “officially” worked in four restaurants/bars. I recently acquired a job back in February of this year that I’ve been a regular at for a few years. The general manager who hired me was a bartender I had wooed with big tips and frequented for about two years. Over time, like any other regular, we became friends and chit chatted for a long while.

A couple years passed before I eventually became a regular/bartender at said establishment. It is located in midtown, the heart of where I wanted to be. I’ve craved a job in midtown for the few years I’ve been old enough to work there. I love the atmosphere, the people and the energy that is surrounded by it.

When I got the job, I was beyond excited. I was only granted a couple of shifts, but didn’t really feel upset. I was excited to have a job in the midtown area, period. Let alone at my favorite bar.

So a couple months went by and I still loved it. I love people (I know it doesn’t seem like it sometimes according to this blog) and midtown brought on an array of interesting people. From bad to good, I met them all. We’ll call them characters, but they’re really just some of the best and worst people I’ve ever met.

It had recently come about that a couple of our employees had been let go and (of course) we needed some extra shifts covered. Of course, I jumped on this opportunity. I quit my one of my jobs (I have recently had three jobs) just to jump on it. Extra money is never something to complain about.

I covered a couple of needed shifts feeling on fire about it. I took my “main” job down to just a couple days. This was my chance to “get in.”

And then I got fired.

The reason is still kind of fuzzy. I work my ass off to make money and I know I do a good job. I have a multiple jobs because I love a full agenda.

But I’m still flabbergasted, readers.

What do I do?

Etiquette Lesson: Servers Tipping Other Servers

Nothing pisses me off more than receiving service that is intentionally careless. Those “co-workers” don’t just exist in my place of establishment, they exist everywhere. These people in the service industry truly make me want to set faces on fire (I’m still seeing a counselor about this one). 

Last week’s story is a prime example of people I believe to be “co-workers.” Getting a bunch of free food and then tipping less than 10% is beyond unacceptable in our industry. 

So here’s my belief system that might help you guide you in your near-future of tipping.

Bad service is bad service, but we are in the industry. I expect to tip well to every server, simply because I believe in tipping karma. 

You know you’ve been there: problems with the significant other bleeding into your work life, end of the night rush that just won’t go away, the 80-questions about the motherfucking-menu guest, etc. You’ve been to that point where you could just care less how much the table leaves you or if they complain, you just don’t want to be there anymore. 

Imagine when that table tips you well, how it makes you feel. That table understood that you’re human and the bad attitude and shitty service are really because there’s something greater going on. And if you ever see that person again, you bet they’re going to treat you a lot differently.

You’re giving that same honor to another table when you tip them through bad service.

I will say that if you return to this establishment and the awful service continues, discontinue visiting and tipping well after that. Because then you’re only encouraging bad behavior. 

I know that there are going to be strong oppositions to what I’ve said, and I don’t fucking care. We’re all only human. Don’t encourage the bad behavior, but certainly don’t act like you’re one to treat every guest perfectly.

That’s it for this week, kids.

TSD

Gotta Love Less Than 15%, …right? – Part 1

It’s a slow Monday evening; I’ve got a couple of tables. I’m meandering through my section, only walking to keep my eyes open. I’m on my second sixteen hour double after closing the night before and opening  the bar this morning. I’m going to be the closing cocktailer again tonight.

Happy hour is starting, though, so the rush is about to happen. Right on cue, two tables sit down. I bring them menus, run through my greet and collect the menus again to put in drinks and food. While I was taking orders, I noticed a few girls had sat down and were animatedly speaking with one of my managers and they already had menus on the table.

With quick skills of common sense, I figure they must know him. I dole out drinks and pre-sets for the tables before they are finished talking to him. At this point, a pitcher of beer and three glasses has appeared on the table. I love when managers do the work for me.

They all look in their very early twenties, sipping on the Hefenweizen I assume came from my manager. I go up to ask how they’re doing, one of the girls once more talking with them manager. I get the “once-over” and a glare from both girls who aren’t occupied by the conversation before one of them says, “Can we just get a minute?”

I just figure they’re young, annoyed and hungry. I brush off their attitude and check on the rest of my tables. I give them a good ten minutes before I check back, as they talked with my manager for a little longer and perused through the menu for a couple more. When I came back, the same “you’re really inconveniencing me by asking if I’m ready to order” looks stayed on their faces. They voices, though, dripped with faux kindness.

I put in their order and curious how my manager knows these young women so I ask him; my assumption that they worked for him turns out to be correct.

The rest of the meal goes smoothly, once they have a few bites of their food they are much easier to cope with. They need very little and seem to be in good spirits.

As I expected, the manager takes care of their food. Their original bill as $60, but once the food was removed only the pitcher was left at $16.75 +tax. They split it three ways on their card, leaving them with an average bill of $5.50 each. They each left me a dollar.

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Before I launch into a long rant about how much steam came out of my ears after seeing this, I want to know what you guys think. Would you be angry if you knew other servers tipped you bad? How much would you have tipped? If you receive bad service, do you still tip your server? If so, how much do you tip?

Leave comments on the Facebook post of the “How I Survived Serving” page.

Being a Grown-Up is Hard, so instead…

I’m an awkward person for serving. I don’t practice personal filtering or fake enthusiasm. I’m immature and have a passion for inappropriate banter. For the most part, my sarcasm and sick sense of humor have worked to my advantage.

My biggest weakness is idiots, and if you serve you know this is part of the job. Just nod and smile, right?

For me, it’s never been that simple. How do they get off tipping me bad, talking down to me, or making impossible demands of me as if I’m their personal slave? I’ve had a few nasty exchanges and the lectures that follow, I have learned to run through a few questions before I decide on my reaction:

  • How badly do I want to ruin my shift/day because of one idiot?
  • Do I want to listen to the lecture about being the bigger person?
  • Do I want to be written up?
  • How badly do I want to keep my job?
  • How much do I like the shifts I’m getting now?
  • How bad of a tip do I want from said idiot and the surrounding tables?

In an attempt to avoid lectures and job preservation, I develop a passing moment of maturity and force myself to look at the big picture. Fear not, though, I don’t take their criticism lying down.

I have learned to satisfy my inner 15-year-old male by developing an elaborate story line that emphasizes on their stupidity. Here’s a story from last week about a fresh 21-year-old douchebag who left a sour taste in my mouth.
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You just turned 21 a few months ago, so that means you’re in now. You’ve had a few months to explore all the coolest bars and nightclubs, know all hotspots and places you wouldn’t be caught dead at, and you can finally go out on all the cool after-work field trips with the older crowd. Man, you sure have it good. Finally feels good to be treated like an adult, sipping your Greygoose & Cranberry juice. You don’t drink the cheap stuff.

It was kind of annoying earlier, though, when the waitress chirped a Happy Birthday! at you after she looked at your ID. I mean, c’mon. That was four months ago, it’s almost June. This same pretentious waitress had listed off all the mixers that would go with Greygoose when you asked earlier, and she had seemed so cool then. She must be bipolar.

In fact, what she did was so ridiculous you think, I’ll go ahead and have an intellectual discussion about it with my new grown-up friends while I sip my expensive Greygoose & Cranberry.

“Can you fucking believe that?” you ask as intellectually as possible, “My birthday was four months ago and she said Happy Birthday. Who the fuck does that?”

Your friends are so astounded by how astute you are, they can literally not fucking believe that she would be so pretentious as to wish you Happy Birthday just because you recently turned 21. They are staring at you, dumbfounded; you are sure there must be a light shining down on you in this rare moment where you provide a fountain of knowledgeable discussion.

But your dreams are soon shattered when you come to realize their blank looks are not at you, but past you to the waitress behind you. The bipolar bitch seems to be wearing some sort of smirk on her face, probably the voices in her head telling her a joke.

You pretend not to be embarrassed and quickly reassure her, “I… I’ll tip you really big?” You give her a what can you do? shrug, only stuttering to make her feel like you really care that you just got caught talking shit about her. Your friends admire how cool you are after your quick recovery and they return to whatever conversation they were having about the bipolar server.

Man, you think, sometimes its hard being so fucking grown-up and cool.