Monday, March 27, 2006

NCAA Tourney and Everything Else

Sorry all. Not able to do a post this week due to the NCAA tourney.

Most folks love a little bit of drama. Almost everyone likes it when the Little Guy wins. Personally, I can't think of a sweeter sight than watching George Mason topple UConn in OT.

I wasn't able to tear myself away from the couch this weekend. Since my computer is nowhere near my couch, it was impossible to post a story.

However, next weekend I will be posting. I have two good stories in mind. I'm not sure which I'm going with yet. They're both entertaining.

I do want to talk about one little side bit that happened this weekend. The Woman and I went out to meet my parents for dinner on Sunday night. We went to an Italian chain restaurant. This place is a 30-second walk from The Restaurant.

All the servers from this joint used to come over and booze it up when I was the bartender at The Restaurant. They probably made a house payment or two for me.

Looking around, I only recognize one waiter. The rest of the staff had completely turned over in less than two years. Sad.

Our waiter isn't very good. He has little personality, does't know that refills are a good thing, and takes too long in between visits. He only has a three-table section. Inexcusable.

He spends a good portion of his time at the host stand bitching about something to his manager. Maybe he wanted to watch the tourney. Maybe he was pissed that he got a bad shopper report (although if he did, it was deserved). Who knows?

I turn to the woman at one point during dinner and ask her if she missed serving.

"I do." I can see the memories streaming behind slightly glazed eyes. "I don't miss having to rely on other people for my money, but I miss everything else."

She didn't elaborate on "everything else," but I knew what she meant. The other servers. The nights out after a rough shift. The little internal battles between the incompetent managers on power trips and the ingenious servers who were always one step away from their big break. Laughing with the fun tables. The excitement and non-stop madness of a busy weekend night. Putting a bad customer in their place (this doesn't happen often, but when it does, there's nothing sweeter). Seeing a regular walk in and wave to you. And much, much more.

Servers often say, "Everyone should have to wait tables for a month, just so they know how it is." I agree, but not for the same reasons. (Servers usually say this after they get a bad tip, or because they have just waited on one of the hefty number of folks believe that serving is a "low" lot in life.)

I believe that everyone should serve because they too should get to experience "everything else."

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

HI, I found your blog linked from the Waiter Rant..I think your writing is brilliant and funny and I'm definitely going to be a regular reader now!

keep it up :0)

Anonymous said...

Oh please.

Serving is just like any other shit job.

You might as well say everyone should be a fucking maid or butler for a week, so they can see how it is.

Waiting is just a job. Nothing more. It isn't some secret society where only the worthy gain entrance.

Anyone who has an IQ higher then a brick and control of their limbs can be a waiter.

Let's no get carried away with the occupation. You aren't doctors, lawyers, or scientists.

Anonymous said...

nobody is claiming theyre doctors, lawyers, or scientists. theyre just saying there's more to the job than meets the eye. and if you read more than one post, you should be able to see that it's not as easy as you seem to think.

have you ever been a waiter, mr IQ?

youre exactly the egomaniac that treats servers like shit, the kind of person these bloggers rant about. theyre not below you, theyre just kind enough to treat your lazy patronizing behind.

maybe not everyone needs to be a butler or maid for a week....just you, so that ego can be deflated a bit.

stove said...

I'll bet a lot of doctors, lawyers, and scientists worked their way through college waiting tables - which one of those are you Mr. Sunshine?

Brad #1 said...

You know, I've never thought about it that way, but I guess, way back in my mind, that it exactly the reason that I'm still here doing what I do. There are so many good things that happen while we're in our respective restaurants, but it seems that most of what we dwell on is the bad. Thanks for shining a light on what good I have to look for in the coming shifts.

Kiasyn Kelle said...

I may read your blog today or tomorrow... but either way I'm going to enjoy it? (Sorry, was reading old posts :P)

Anonymous said...

Stove-

Wrong. Student loans are more then enough to cover the debt for a profession that has a decent outlook in terms of job prospects.

If I said English majors or philosophy majors, then you could point to being a waiter as a viable career choice.

Anonymous said...

In response to the second anon:

All I read from waiter based blogs is how hard it is and how only the select few can hack it at the job.

I'm just pointing out the truth. Any retard can do the job. It isn't a calling. It's a job, not a career.

Besides, I hide my jerkiness quite well.

Brad #1 said...

No, not any retard can do the job. In my 15 years in the business, I've seen many a "retard" come and go, just because they couldn't handle the stress, or "get" it (meaning they couldn't handle doing more than one task at a time). In this profession, you have remember up to a hundred things that you need to be doing, at the same time that you're doing something else. It does take a lot of brain, a lot of task management, a good deal of physical labor and some psychology at the same time. I think that somebody's just a little jealous that we make the easy cash, while they think it's easy work.

Do you have benefits where you work?? I'd guess that the answer is yes, but we have to pay 100% for ours. Restaurants don't hand that shit out, so there's part of our wages. It kinda' makes that percentage of tips that we make disappear suddenly.

Seriously, try it out for a couple of months, and then get back to us feeling so refreshed with that sense of ease in your job.

stove said...

To anon #4:
Unless I'm mistaken, student loans do not put cash in your pocket, or pay for recreational stuff.

But you're right about English majors.

Eustacia Vye said...

Anon #4-- So, wait, it's better to take out massive student loans, thus ensuring debt after college graduation, than to work one's way through college waiting tables?

Uh-huhhh... I'm sure this will make sense if I think about it long enough...

a customer said...

Waiting must be a terribly difficult job to "get", if the percentage of totally incompetent servers out there is any indication. With the exception of private clubs and very high end restaurants, the service I experience invariably sucks.

I'm not a difficult customer, I order from the menu, am very happy if I'm just left alone to eat the food, I don't go to restaurants to camp out and I leave 15-20% because that's how I was raised, but almost any waitstaff that I encounter should be in any other profession but serving.

karilyn said...

I used to wait on tables and still do occasionally to pay my way through university and grad school (and because of that i graduated with no debt so far). It is mean to think that the person serving you in a restaurant or a supermarket is less intelligent than you. Many a grad student will bring drinks to your tablet tonight and will possibly bring someone vital medical care tomorrow.

I used to love the last hour after closing where we would crack open a bottle and just laugh over what happened in the day after a hard shift. best bit of the work.

monson99 said...

a guy i used to serve with paid his way all through law school serving tables with out going in any debt

Anonymous said...

It's hard to take the silver spoon out of your mouth when your head is stuck up your ass!

Anonymous said...

These aren't haters, they're trolls. They're more interested in provoking a reaction than adding to the discussion.

I'd like to know what they do for a living!

superchick106 said...

I believe "everything else" can also be experienced in almost any other job to some capacity or another, but "The Woman" is right- people in normal jobs don't have to rely on other people for thier money. I think this is the big difference here and that's why servers say people should wait tables for a month after they receive a bad tip or are treated badly.

jin said...

A lot of people who are already out of college like to tell you that it's just a job, it'll be over soon, stop complaining, etc.

But I find their take on things a little sickening. They tend to view us as a lower form of life just because we're working in a service job, as if it's a career choice. Some people actually do respect that we're working through college, probably because they've been there. On a busy night, those people are saints.

I like your blog, by the way.

maneesh said...
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