Friday, February 24, 2006

The sound of one hand clapping

It's been dead in our restaurant far too frequently lately. Tonight there was a period where we had 5 wait staff and only 4 tables in the restaurant. More and more we are having nobody come in after about 8:30 PM. We waste our time doing menial cleaning tasks for minimum wage. In our store, this will only likely get worse following out next promotion. We have Lobsterfest coming up, which is always our best promotion of the year. But that means following that will be some crappy under priced promotion to ring in the Summer. With Summer comes slower business in our store, and that is complicated with lower priced promotions bringing in nothing but the bottom of the barrel as far as customers.

Had a new trainee tonight. Always interesting how they react to being on the floor with customers while learning the job. Some are like deer in head lights, others catch on pretty quickly. The one tonight was somewhere in the middle. She's good with guests as far as personality goes, but her technique is such that unless she learns to walk away from tables, she'll never get everything done. I suspect she was that girl in high school who always had a group of other girls around her, and the only voice you could hear was her's. She's really plesant, so I'm not talking about that other girl, the one who bossed all the girls around her around and was mean to everyone behind their backs.

I haven't counted, but I would guess I'm at something like 100+ servers trained at Red Lobster(s), and I've trained more people in other jobs than I care to recount. The common thing is that within an hour I can tell you (for the most part) if the person has what it takes or not to be good at what we are doing. Many other trainers also have this ability. I always find it interesting at how different approaches to the same task can get similar results.

And just so you know, that monkey pictured above is stalking you. Just thought I should warn you.

Related Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Anonymous said...

ahhhhh yes a blog about the tortures of Darden corporate BS!!! I've been working for the RL for about 3 years and i have seen it all. bout six months ago, two huge signs show up outside our restaurant indicating that there is an "outlet for lease"...of course our brains start working, and we automatically begin to worry that we are out of a job. So, what do we do? We ask the regional director big-wig who randomly stopped by the restaurant about the signs. He responds with..."Nope, that's not you guys that is another outlet. Don't worry about it! you guys have a job!" So, do we believe him? Heck no!! we called up the number on the sign and ask about the property that they were trying to lease. Yup, you guessed it...our restaurant. Our company is supposed to have an open-door policy, and "trust" and "respect" are terms that get thrown out pretty regularly during every meeting and training seminar. This bald district corporate chump didnt have enough respect to tell us that our jobs were at stake. To this day he cannot look me in the face. Fortunately (or unfortunately) because of my "over the top" performance reviews i was able to transfer along with a few of my other co-workers to a brand new restaurant. Most of my co-workers (some who had been working at the same restaurant for 6 years) werent allowed to transfer and were subsequently left in the crapper. So, for the past month I have spent 60 hours per week working in an environment that is the complete opposite of efficient under the direct supervision of over 20 corporate butt kissers who have never waited on a single table in their lives. oh, and did i mention that i am a lead server in a restaurant full of newbies!!! I know what its like to size certain people up within the first hour! I now work in a restaurant that at any point in the day has 20 idiots with the deer-in-the-head-lights look. The worst part is being forced to share those incredibly difficult (ha) parties of 8 with a rookie who does absolutely nothing but look at me with a blank stare...and then at the end of the night they actually have the balls to accept half the tip for doing nothing...I think it is safe to say that i hate my job right now...i hate where this company has gone...I don't trust anyone...and i am adding my name to the list of quality servers who feel disrespected by 3 table sections...I am also adding my name to any application that i can get into my hands!!!
Best of luck lobsterboy...ahhh a union would be fantastic...but there is a long list of people perfectly willing to whore themselves out to the entity that is Darden. its too bad really!
thanks for letting me vent!
-I understand that you are seventy and have arthritus, but did you really have to order the 2 pounds of snow crab for me to crack?
-i remember when closing shifts were a sign of they seem to be a sentence to a slow and very painful death.

Lobster Boy said...

Sounds like you are a staff member of a new store I'm familiar with. Email me at rlserver AT gmail DOT com if you'd like to converse. I'm pretty sure I know which store you refer to, and totally feel for you. Closing is basically punishment now, and I'm punished 3-4 times a week.

Lobster Boy