Saturday, October 15, 2011
One of My Better Performances
Tonight was a whole different ball game. I went in at four and it started almost immediately. By five I had already made almost forty bucks and thanks to us being short a server on the floor I had extra tables in my section. I was in the kitchen by the front where you can look into the lobby and saw some of my blog readers standing in the lobby waiting to be seated. Twin sisters that went to high school with MY sister and they had in tow, two more people and their brother who went to our high school as well. I absolutely love this family. The girls were great basketball players and have always been wonderful people to be around. Their brother was in the band with my sister and went on to become a band director for a new high school and implemented a very successful program.
I love me a band program! Nerds, fat ones skinny ones handicapped ones jocks and cheerleaders...popular and unpopular all having the same love of music and all having each other's back. There is a bond in a "good" band program and I was fortunate enough to be part of one , Massey as well.
They ordered a free appetizer (mention my blog at the restaurant and the owners buy you a free appetizer or dessert.) The brother had brought his wife (it was her birthday) and the sister's brought a bag of tricks! The had a crown, a HIGHLY decorated hat and slotted glasses for her to wear for her birthday picture. I have never met his wife but I believe she was relieved to have been seated at a table in our back dining room as opposed to by the huge plate glass window in the front of the store.
After taking pictures of her (future FB posts I'm sure) They had a meal of all excellent choices from our huge and varied menu.
Shortly after they were seated I got another five top, a two top, a three top and a party of four within the span of five minutes.
I began to go into cartoon mode (where I feel like I am in a cartoon and when I walk fast I hear the bongos in my head that used to make the sound for Fred Flintstone when he ran real fast.)
I had a couple seated at my table that make reservations just to sit with me, seated next to my friends. They are a precious pair...just dating and both well in their eighties. They have one cocktail and split a dinner. She orders a Kir Royale which I haven't served to anyone but her in my thirty some odd years of being a server. They never mind or mention the $1.99 split meal charge on their check. The kitchen does a great job of splitting the meal and presenting it on two separate dishes evenly divided and looking great.
I don't blame the owners for a split meal charge...especially in this tough rough economy. They serve a high quality product that isn't brought in on a truck frozen and slapped into a microwave. Everything is made from scratch even the stock used to create dishes. The pasta is made from scratch for our Manicotti and Lasagna. We make our own Crepes, soups and salad dressings. The Veal and Chicken are pounded daily like a gang beat down and the Eggplant is sliced fresh every morning. I am pretty proud of the place where I work. I have never sold a more terrific product...no wonder I have had such great success doing it!
They got to meet Barb...our Mama Lucia icon. I told Barb they read my blog so they already KNEW her!
When I took the three different checks to my friends one of the sisters handed me a twenty dollar bill. I thought she was tipping for the entire table and was happy to see a big Phat tip! I thanked her and ran the two credit cards and the brother paying the third tab handed me cash and said he didn't need change. I hugged all their necks as they left and thanked them for coming to see me. I was busier than a beaver and didn't look at the checks til they had left. After all was said and done they had left me an almost fifty percent tip. I checked on my other tables and ran out the front door to try and catch them.
Thank the Lord for former athletes! They hobble slow in their fifties. I caught them out front of the store and told them they didn't have to leave me that much. They said it was no problem and that they had really enjoyed the meal. I replied "That's great...can you come back tomorrow?'
Ran back into my cartoon world with my other six tables and plodded along.
Who am I to judge? They could be in the same boat I have been in, down on their luck and counting pennies just as I have.
I never mind meeting customers demands when they are within reason.
The cartoon part of the evening passed and I had time to crank up my routine!
My little friend "Frenchy" was working tonight. I always tease her and tell her "You're cut." That means you are off the floor for the evening and won't be seated anymore. After the big rush the manager told me to find Frenchy and tell her she was cut. I did just that. She looked at me with that sweet little face and said "This is real, yes?"
We have another new girl who has just recently started but has picked up quicker than most any of our latest hires...she's lasted longer and puts up with my routine and actually encourages me.
Massey says that's my problem... "I" think I am TOO funny!
She was looking at her slip of paper the manager hands out when you are cut telling you what you need to do before you can check out and go home. She is cute as a button and I have really bonded with her. She is divorced and left her home in another state up for sale since her daughter left for college and temporarily living with her parents til her house sells.
She asked me what "Empty ice bin pan" meant? I told her we had a slow drip under the ice machine and she had to get on her hands and knees and pull the pan out from underneath , empty and replace it.
She quipped it had been a while since she had been on her knees ... at the same exact time, one of the cooks (Mitch) came up to the ice machine to get a pan of ice to cool down food products.
I told her " Mitch says as long as you're down there..."
She started giggling so I added "Just keep your eyes shut!"
We laughed for ten minutes...Mitch just walked away with his pan of ice and said nothing. (He's the silent type)
I said to everyone in the kitchen "You guys are going to have to hire a clown when I leave to keep up morale." Another server said "I don't think a clown would be as funny!"
Jeez I love this job. I love the people I work for and with. I love the people I wait on and I love coming into work every day...It makes a huge difference when you work fourteen days in a row. Heck it makes a difference when you work part time.
To have a job (especially in these lean mean times) is great. To have a job that you love and loves you back makes life FANTASTIC!
"Don't get any ideas, Mitch...I don't love the job THAT much!"
Til next time... COTTON
Wait til I post about the woman who brought live entertainment with her for her birthday par-Tay. It was a hoot !