Thursday, July 17, 2003

BLAH, I say!


I have to say, first of all, that it cracks me up when people misspell the word 'grammer'. Especially in message board posts where the person is smacking someone else down for bad spelling and/or grammar. I rather dig the irony of it.

Work is really getting me down. I don't seem to be having very many good days these days, and my crappy days just have continually gotten worse. It's like I can guarantee that every other shift or so, someone will complain, either about me or about something else, and get their bill comped. This is not cool by me. It first of all pisses me off that these stupid fucking people are not above resorting to bald-faced lying in order to embellish their complaint, making me look really bad, at least until the manager can come talk to me.

I'm tired of this. I'm so fucking tired of dealing with this endless bullshit. The people I wait on are generally a very miserable bunch to deal with. The only thing I can think is that this job is meant to teach me humility and how not to treat people. I certainly have learned a lot about how I feel about basic human respect.

Today was another exceptionally bad day. And yeah, I did almost cry. I came on at 11, and there were 3 tables pushed together in our room, awaiting a party of 17 that was supposed to arrive at 11:30 (nevermind the party of 33 that walked in AT 11, and Rose and Jessica got slammed with first thing). No biggie, until the hosts filled up the rest of our room. We hadn't figured out yet who was going to be taking the party, and since the restaurant wasn't busy, we were going to go in order.

My first table sat down at probably 11:15, my second table sat down at about 11:40. At 11:45, the entire party of 17 rolls in. Mike and I get stuck with it, and I then tried to juggle both two tables, as well as a party of 9. At restaurants like Applebee's, you can run five tables at once pretty easily. My record there was 11 tables, so I'm no slouch. Olive Garden is different because there are all these various steps, the salad and breadsticks, dealing with bread/salad refills on top of refills of everything else. So it is different, more involved and time-consuming, and can be challenging to run even four tables at once, much less two and a party.

I was running my ass off trying to get things for all my tables. My first table finished up and cashed out with no issue, but the second table insisted on being demanding the entire time, even though they could plainly see that I was incredibly busy and not intending to ignore them. Every visit to the table, they had at least one demand. It's the kind of table I usually avoid visiting because I get tired of hearing "Can we have this?" "We need this." "I need a refill." "Can we have more this, this, and this?" But honestly, I had no time to avoid anything, I was seriously just too busy.

And they didn't go totally ignored. They had drinks on the table, though I just remembered I forgot the kid's water when she finished her shake, they always had bread and salad.. they got their food hot and fresh. I don't get the deal.

Now, at the beginning of their meal, we ran out of breadsticks because Rose and Jessica had to use them all for their party. I guess the guy who was working on bread/appetizers/pizza was really swamped, because everything was taking forever. One of the managers finally had to throw bread in the oven because the app guy was too busy. The table waited a long time for bread, but that's not my fault, and there's nothing I can do about it except nag the app guy.

So this table of mine ordered two pizzas, and yeah, the guy was slammed, so it might have taken a bit longer than normal. But it didn't seem to me like it had taken an inordinately long time to get there. They'd been eating their salad and bread pretty much the whole time, so it didn't seem like they could be too starving or anything, and it wasn't like they'd been sitting there unoccupied.

They finished, ordered a piece of black tie mousse cake for the kid, and at the same time they were eating the cake, the party of 17 was finishing up, cashing out, getting ready to go. My other table at some point just got up and went to the front. I had way too much to deal with already to deal with this fucking other table, I just couldn't believe it. One of the hosts helped me out and got the lady's credit card, I ran it and took it up to the front.

Next thing I know, Doug the manager is up front talking to her, she's going on about how bad the service was -- right in front of me. I handed her the credit card, shrugged, and said, "Sorry."

Bitch.

Doug comes into the side station all rared up and asking me all sorts of questions. Apparently the woman had flat-out lied to him and told him they got there at 11:00, and since it was about 12:30 or 12:45 at that point, that made me look REALLY bad. Then I stopped and thought about it for a second. I knew what time the big party got there because I was pissed that they were 15 minutes late, as it had totally screwed us. My other table sat down right before that, so they hadn't been there any earlier than 11:30.

Doug comped the whole damn thing.

I told him that there was no way in hell any of my tables was going to sit there as long as the lady said she did. If I know something is taking a really long time, even if it's because I screwed up, I will get a manager and see how they want me to handle it (even if it means sucking it up and going out there and admitting I've fucked up).

And I look back on the ladies' behavior and it was almost like they were being purposefully demanding, like they got some sort of glee from it. I don't know if this is because they knew how busy I was and were determined to be as demanding as possible anyway, or if they just delighted in piling on more crap for me to do and watching me sweat.

What bitches. How can I possibly give you good service when I'm slammed and you just keep adding to the pile?

Add that in with the table a month or so ago that told me I have a bad attitude. Actually, I believe the exact quote is, "You know, I don't like your attitude." The funny thing is, I really was not giving them attitude; I was actually trying very hard, and being very good in minding my tone and my tongue. I was being pleasant and civil, and trying to turn the focus from the man's rudeness and aggression to something else.

And I do find it funny that whenever someone doesn't like my attitude, which thankfully I hear less of these days, it's usually when I'm making an effort to not be rude. So it makes me want to reply, "Ha! You think this is attitude? Honey, I can show you attitude."

Then add in party-of-9 asshole. And several other dickhead people I've waited on recently. I'm basically asking myself at this point if it's me. Are these people reacting to something I'm doing, that I'm not even aware of? Or are they just assholes? Am I really an awful server? Or are these people just bitchy?

I wish I knew. That's part of what's getting me down. I used to think I was a pretty good server, but I don't know anymore. Maybe I really suck. Maybe I am rude. I know I feel like being condescending most of the time.

And you know, I often find myself thinking, "Oh.. That's why I've felt so weird and out-of-sorts lately" whenever my period starts. I don't know whether all this weirdness and rollercoastering I've felt lately has been a product of being infused in hormones. I sure as hell hope so, because I'd like to get back to normal, thanks.

And lastly, I'm exchanging the CD burner. Of course, I have to ship the one I have back to Polaroid, and they won't send me a new one until they get it. I was hoping they'd do what Kensington did: just ship me a new mouse and tell me to put the old one in the box and send it back. Ah well.. I have to wrap the damn box in brown paper and all that, and who knows how much it'll cost to ship. F$%king Polaroid.

If I felt confident that replacing the drive would work, I probably would be all about it. But since I have no faith anymore, I think I'll just bang my head on my keyboard for a while.

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