Sunday, June 17, 2007

Grinding it out

Sometimes as a server you hit a stretch, often of days, but not uncommon to be weeks where we are completely uninspired by our jobs. I'm not talking about our general server angst and apathy towards the industry. I'm talking about basically sleep walking through our jobs. Nothing there to drive us to want to be there other than the money, and often that isn't much for motivation. If you wait tables long enough, this grind starts to wear on you. You feel like a hamster on a wheel. It is the same thing, over, and over and over. Sure a good regular can perk up your shift, but they are often few and far between. The same type of person asks the same stupid question.

The past few weeks have been this sort of uninspiring grind. Walking through shifts like a zombie. I know I don't make as much money as I possibly could during these stretches, but sometimes survival is really all that a person cares about. So you keep on keeping on, taking your beatings and returning for more, all the while hoping something happens to shake things up, to give you a ray of hope into this bleak and miserable existence.


Yanarchy said...

so, so true. these past few weeks the store i work at has held an "add-ons" contest, pitting server against server (the managers each picked team...) which has only led to bitter resentment and shear annoyance. After the announcement of the week's winning team, a member of said team went around screaming "GO TEAEAAAAMMM!!! TEAM BUTTWIPES ARE THE BEST! WE ARE THE BEST!" .... and the next day one server i work with kept walking around referring to any add-on item (a glass of wine, an app, etc.) as her "add on" - I.E. she was getting a glass of wine from the bar and said "excuse me i have to get to the bar to get my ADD ON i just sold to this table" - it was fucking absurd, and i was just about to strangle her. Basically, 3 people give a fuck about the contest, and the rest of us are so completely put off by the contest we give even less of a shit about our sales than normal.

i can't tell you how many thousands of times i've ripped off a description of all 3 of our soups for someone, even tho they are WRITTEN ON THE MENU in plain fuckin' view.

i think my favorite was the guests last night they kept asking me what i recommended, and when they finally settled on their selections (chicken parm and a tour of italy... how fucking original) asked me "is this [dish] good?" - so i gave the same reply i would have given if we had a dogshit sandwhich item listed on the menu... "yes, it's a very nice dish." to which they stared at me blankly, expecting me to give them more. I wanted to say...

"The chicken parm is overcooked and the marinara they'll put on the parm and side of spaghetti will soak into the breading and make it overdone -and- soggy. The fett alf will be overcooked and undersauced, and the lasagna will taste like cardboard. Would you like a boat of alfredo dipping sauce for the breadsticks tonight?"

*sigh* definitely time for a change of pace.

6th Floor blog said...

I think that grind can probably be associated with most jobs. A lot of it is just a repetitive grind. Especially if you work a job where interaction isn't part of it, and the only variety you've got is in what order those lines of code are displayed on the soft glow of the computer screen.

Steve said...

Yanarchy, I put Olive Garden on my shit list recently. We went there last week, and my fiancee had the crappiest Tour of Italy in the history of the world. The portions were pathetic for a $15 meal. The only thing that tasted decent was the chicken parmesan, and even that I could have made just as well at home.

The rising prices and declining quality of Darden restaurants are really starting to put me off. Lobster Boy, have you noticed this trend at Red Lobster, too?

Liquor Store Stories

Yarnarchist said...

fuck the blog comment thingy ate my post.

to recap (in much shorter terms because i'm sick of typing) - it's all about the bottom line at OG. I think i saw your post about the crappy Tour over at Insane Waiter's blog, but i'll reiterate - if they had to throw the tour out because it looked like crap, they'd lose money out of their bonus for having low wastage. They'd rather have to buy you a desert later than have to throw it in the garbage, that is, -if- you complain about it. The kitchen guys just care about getting tickets out of the window, and the managers just dont give a shit about how it looks when it goes out. Every now and again they'll have something redone, but you bet your ass they'll have the guys in the kitchen wash off and re-heat a mixed grill-no-sauce that got sauce rather than having them make a new one. As much as i hate hells kitchen's attitude of screaming at the chefs, at least the food that goes out will look good and taste good.

and next time you get shitty food, get a manager. they'll comp your entire check to keep you coming back. yesterday i hate a biatch get an app for her meal but she ordered salad for the table (about 3 seconds after they sat down, mind you. the salad normally doesn't come out till you've ordered...) and so i charged her the 2.95 add salad charge. She got pissy and shitty about it, saying she'd never been charged before and that she "thought that if one person got an entree then salad just came for the whole table" - um, YEA. right. i'm going to give a 20 top free salad because one guy gets a spag and meatballs...- and i got a manager over there. the one manager would've told her sorry hunny but she should have been charged in the past, but the one that was available comped not only her add salad but her APP WITH MEAL as well! i was so pissed. doing that to a server is telling them that they did something wrong. this particular manager never has any balls when it comes to customers trying to get free shit, he normally gives it to him and tries to tell himself it was the right thing to do because he doesn't want them callling corporate.

aight well i'll stop there before i go into a full on rant about americans taking personal responsibility for themselves... suffice it to say, OG sucks, it doesn't care about its staff or its food as long as people keep coming back to shove it down their throats.

Manuel said...

Sometimes you just have to get your head down and get through the shit days. There are good days to come.

And many many bad ones too......

Jonathan said...

thank you again man i feel so much better after reading all the shit you guys put here ive been working for red lobdter for a little bit more than 6 months i really really hate that place we gat all sorts of people cuz of the location its a shitty job man i fucking hate ir there im so taired of it i feel like i cant take it anymore today they by they i mean the managers wrote me of or out or something i dont know they call it i really dont care do they really think i give a crap if they write me of or on they can write what ever they want i dont give a shit as long as i still have my job i make around 400 a week when i aplied the stuped general manager said i could make 800 a week which is a load of shit cuz nobody makes that much at that location today he sayed that a server that works there makes sometimes 1000 a week i had to contain myself from laffing my ass of is he fucking retarded or something how can they lie like that do they not have any fucking shame

i can go on for ever abouy the reasons i hate my job
I hate so many company policies that stupid policy about the 3 tables doesnt exist at my red lobster cuz sometimes ill have to take 5 or 6 tables and hey what can i do
i have most of all a problem with the relief sistem cuz nobody is ever on time over there and the managers couldnt give less of a shit about it man i hate that place ill let you know when i quit
try to do the same thing find something that makes you happy

spodeholio said...

you spelled stupid wrong.

Ex-restaurant manager said...

Ya'll will never get decent managers until managers are paid by the hour and not salary. If you calculate it to, say, 60 hours a week, even the lowly dishwasher would make more than the manager. Now you know.

Anonymous said...

I've just now hit the burnout stage at my job, hit my year mark this past tuesday. I'm about to take a month off work, having some dental work done over the course of 2 weeks, a week of recovery and a week of getting off pain pills. When I go back to work, I haven't decided if I'm going to be a cocktail still or if I'm going to be a bartender, but at least I'll be fresh and new.

I walk around every night thinking the same thing "When can I go home? Why can't someone else close?" It never changes. But it's nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks about it.