Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy Waitress: This required no effort. I just twinkled my nose.

In the restaurant I work in, we offer a to-go's become more and more popular with actual food places so you aren't restricted to McD's, White Castle (though OMG their pulled pork=heaven), and Burger King. There is a very large difference between restaurants and fast food places...and that difference is?

I get $2.13 an hour whether you get to-go or sit down at my bar or at a table...while their more. Which means, the proper thing to do, is tip. If you don't tip, I essentially worked for free. Let me break it down for you.

You probably think I had nothing to do with this order. After all, all you do is call up, place your order, and then when you show up it's there for you to pay for and take it home. Would you like to know what happens in between all of that? Awesome, because I'm going to tell you.

You call up and I answer the phone. I take your order which is very difficult. Why? Because while you're sitting on your ass at home trying to figure out what to order, I'm trying to manage my actual customers at the bar that will indeed tip me. Unlike customers at a table, I can't say to you: "are you ready or do you need a few minutes to decide?" how about this. Decide and then call. Don't give me "um" this and "hm" that...and please don't have a conversation with your friends about what they want while I'm on the phone. I don't have time for that. The menu is online and you know if you pulled this shit with a Chinese restaurant they would go moo-goo-gai pan on your ass and hang up the phone. Get it together and then call.

So while everyone at my bar is on hold, as well as all of the girls on the floor who need drinks for their tables, I'm waiting on you to decide what you want and then tell me so I can place your order. Once that is done, I have taken your order and told you my name so you know who to ask for when you come in.

When your order comes out of the kitchen, I double check it and I put it in bags. I print out the checks- draw little hearts on it and staple it together. When you come in, I have to ignore everyone at the bar (again) and all of the girls who need drinks (again) to get you your order.

So...when I hand you your order, with your check, why don't you tip me? I took your order as if you were here eating...I got it from the if you were here eating....I put it together and got you your if you were here eating...and I took your money for the if you were here eating. I do the same amount of work and ignore other people for you (other people that tip me) so where the fuck do you get off racking up a $75.00 bill and not tipping me. I didn't just twinkle my nose and have everything appear.

I understand that people don't get it...which is why I put this here...I admit that I was stupid like this too once...but I'll take it further...

This past Sunday the Jets lost...I mean played a super great game (and lost- oh well they suck anyway and Sanchez can bite me) and the restaurant was packed. OMG packed. I've never been so swamped ever...thankfully I was being the bar with another competent bartender...however, we received at least $1,000 of to-go orders with no tips. NONE. There was a line out the door of to-go orders and I could barely walk away from the phone for more than two seconds (because more orders were coming in) to deal with any of them. So, between me and the other girl behind the bar, we were running around like crazy.

Let me tell you what is the most annoying thing in the world...when people CHARGE a to-go order and then put a BIG line through the "tip" line. That's a conscious decision to NOT tip. You are TELLING me that we did nothing.

It got to the point where people were cutting in line and I finally had to put someone in their place and use them to make a point to everyone else....I said..

"Go to the back of the line"...and he said he was in a rush...and I lost it went a little something like this:

"I do not care that you are in a rush. We are dealing with over a thousand dollars of to-go orders and yet no one feels it necessary to tip either of us and we're splitting tips as we are now working for the girls on the floor because they tip us out at the end of the night. If you want my attention, start throwing down money.Otherwise, walk your ass to the back of the line and wait for your turn to pick up a hundred dollars worth of food that just magically appeared so you can justify not tipping me!"

Here's the deal: when you pick up to-go orders, the same exact work that goes into taking care of you while you're there, goes on when you are not. Tip at LEAST 10%. MINIMUM....especially if we're crazy busy. We make less than $3 an hour. So keep that in mind next time you call me for something to-go.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Happy Waitress: What the $#^% is wrong with you?!

There really is no better subject line for this week's "Happy Waitress" column, and after you're done reading this, I'm sure you will agree.
I've been through this before: I can spot a bad tipper/group of bad tippers when they walk in the door. So can any other waitress with 1 day on the floor. Yes they have a certain "way" about them and most times they fall into certain categories. This category would be "high school kids who have parents that didn't teach them manners and now it's too late because they are 17 and know absolutely everything..there um...ever was to know. Ever."
I made the mistake of taking this table (I had the chance to pass, but thought I didn't know my own intuition as well as I really absolutely do) of 13 high school brats last week. This blog is long overdue, so my apologies. They came in, loud, obnoxious, high on "OMG it's Christmas/New Year's Break and even though we can't drink, we probably do but it's OK cause we're like sooo cool and acting like jackasses makes!!!" Yeah!! Dance of coolness ensues.
Cut to drink order: water, water, water, water, water, water......water. So, as if their actions already as they entered the restaurant didn't scream "you ain't gettin' NO tip from us!", this just hammered in the last nail to the coffin. I bring over 3-4 pitches of water, glasses and straws. I already have plenty of tables and another party of 15, so I won't have time to go to the table, get a refill for someone and then bring it back only to hear that two more people want refills. There's no possible way to do it. None.
Before I even take their dinner order (extremely difficult because they are having a full blown conversation over the you shut up please?) they are asking if we're having that special we typically have that night.
Of course we are. Otherwise, your cheap asses probably wouldn't be here. Can I get you another water with that?
They all order the special. The special is an all you can eat special, which I translate to "all I can run back and forth from their table to the kitchen all night". Every single order that comes out I make sure the table, which they have now expanded to THREE tables, is clear so they have room to eat. They always have enough water and they always have enough clean plates. In fact, they never have to ask for anything. I'm good like that. I don't want my customers to have to ask, I can read their minds, and I'm happy to do it...not for free...but I'm happy to do it.
As the evening progresses (you know they were there for close to four hours, taking up all of my time and most of my tables) I see that their cups are red. Water, as we all know is um...clear. So eventually they come clean that they've been daring each other to "drink that"...some mix of water, hot sauce, pepper, salt and whatever else they could find on the table. So I get the lovely task of clearing all of the cups (reminder: that's 13) and bringing out all new cups as well as new pitchers (4) of.....WATER. As I'm listening to them tell me that "he started it", and ask for more water (WHAT THE $#*@ DO YOU THINK I'M DOING AT YOUR TABLE GENIUS?!) I stop them all and tell them that no, I am not their mother. I am their waitress. I do not have time to babysit them and they are making my job way harder than it actually has to be. Furthermore, now the people in the back have to take time to wash all of these cups that were perfectly fine to begin with because they decided to play a game of "let's see who will drink this." They "apologize" and I tell them to put all of the cups to the table behind them and I will bring out new everything. Before I can even walk away they are already ordering their next round of "all they can possibly eat ever"...Dude- REALLY?! I'm trying to clean up your &*%&ing mess- you can wait a hot second.
So I bring back everything I said I would and then ask them for their next order. In the midst of this I hear the following, "HE WON'T SHARE THE WATER WITH ME!" Damn, your parents must be proud. I look over there, exclaim that they must be kidding me and that, again, I'm not their mother so this is not my problem. Four or five courses later, and after the floor is COVERED with chicken bones, wrappers, straws, and the contents of a pinata, they want the check.
I can't wait to see how right I am.
The bill: $237.00...once the discount for these punk ass bitches is applied, the bill is under $200. I'm handed a wad of cash and asked to count it to make sure it's right.
Half the group walks out the door and I then point out to them that they handed me the right amount assuming they only wanted to tip me $3.
I no longer care and walk up to the remaining group of pointless losers that will depend on their parents until they are 40, and contribute to this crap ass New Jersey/American soceity that we already live in and hear them ask if a tip was left. I explain to them that yes, I was tipped $3. That they each couldn't even have left a DOLLAR for me to come CLOSE to 10%. I then tell them that they never needed anything, were rude, that I have to clean up after their mess and that their crap kept me from other tables during the evening which didn't help my tips with others. They got the best they could have gotten and for what? Why on Earth do worthless children with parents that obviously sucked at raising them deserve such good service?
One guy hands me $5, says he's really sorry and that's all that he can afford.
Nice gesture but McDonald's is across the street. No tipping necessary there. Oh, and there are wings in the convenience store next to us for the future. Go there.
Then, yes, it keeps going, one of them has the audacity to ask for another round of all he can eat and I tell him that the offer is over at 11pm. It's 11:07. He asks if there's anything I can possibly which I say...depends how much you possibly tipped. Oh wait, nothing? So no, I can't help you. Get out and never come back.
Where on Earth do you get off asking a favor after tipped $3 on a $181 bill that was originally $237? Where? Let me guess, when you're in a bind, mommy and daddy swoop in with credit cards don't they? There's a reality show waiting for you somewhere I'm sure.
They leave, I have $8 from that bill. I guarantee they will never come back.
Although, they are that stupid so they just might. I hope they sit with me....