Friday, April 11, 2014

Back to Work!

Had a wonderful  forty eight hour vacation from work. I got lots done around the house and even managed to get the front yard cut. I got all the laundry caught up and even got caught up on my latest obsession, "Breaking Bad."

The show is as addicting as the meth they cook on the series. My younger son bought a Netflix subscription and unfortunately turned me on to the show. After watching it until three this morning I'm up to season four. It's great and can fold laundry while watching. I even managed to match an entire basket of socks I've been avoiding like the plague.

My vacation was over at three thirty today so I showered and pulled back on my uniform.

It was slow as Christmas at work which turned out to be a good thing. My current ailment is a kink in my left butt cheek. I'm not sure if it's from working in the yard for the first time this spring or from sitting on the sofa for hours on end watching "Breaking Bad."

Here's the thing about a slow night at work. The only thing that saves you is having regulars who come in and ask for your section. I had three different ones tonight and made my night worthwhile and profitable. The owner told me this was the slowest week of the year in restaurants except for the week of July fourth...and I believe him.

I did have one strange table. (There's ALWAYS one)

The couple sat down and the woman asked if our water was filtered or just tap water? I told her we offered Saratoga or Pelligrino but nixed the two which cost money. I took the high road and said we get our customers water from the soda machine which in fact has a filter so she went with it. We were running a great dinner special on the special's menu: All natural chicken with jerk seasoning, pan seared, served with fried bananas and roasted red bliss potatoes. She said they were both gluten free and asked if the special could be prepared gluten free? I told them of course, every dish is individuallty prepared and can be modified any way you want. They, of course turned down the offer of bread with the meal and once again reiterated the fried bananas needed to be gluten free as well.

I went back to the cook line and made sure it was all doable. The owner's son, the sous chef was the one cooking at the time and I dreaded asking him once again about the bananas. He's a great cook but his temper can be shorter than his dad's hair. Let me insert here that his dad is totally bald.

Then the couple wanted to know if the jerk seasoning was wet or dry?


Once again I went back to the cook's line to get yelled at but learned they used both wet AND dry. I relayed the message to the couple, leaving out the four letter words.

When the two dishes came out,  they DID look amazing and proudly sat them down in front of the couple. The woman immediately asked if the fried bananas were gluten free? I told her the owner's son had cooked both dinners and had asked him about the fried bananas before I even picked up their plates and had assured me both dinner plates were gluten free.

The woman asked me what the bananas were battered in and if could I go ask?

Once again I was forced to go back and talk to the cooks. Cooks are temperamental A-holes, every server knows that.

I went back and said "My customer wants to know what the bananas are battered in?"

He peered at me from under the heat lamp, tongs in hand and said "It's F****** cornmeal!"

I smiled and asked if he would like me to quote him? As a matter of fact he did, with a shake of his head and huge eye roll. (actually for once I was on the cook's side)

Message relayed (minus the "F" bomb) and both seemed to enjoy the chicken.

Here's the thing about serving. Even when people tend to wear you out, question you and RE question you, it's your job to do just as they ask. After all , it's THEIR dime, THEIR dinner and THEIR decision to dine in your establishment.

All ended well and when I took their check the husband asked me if I was a manager? I told him no but if he needed to see a manager could certainly get one for him. He replied he didn't need one but thought I WAS one.

BAM!!  That's what you call going the extra mile. That's what you call "Doing your freakin' job right!"

They weren't the friendliest peeps in the world but weren't the meanest either. They were simply people who wanted to not just be waited on, but served and served well.

If you are  professional server which consider myself to be, you have to be accommodating and go the extra mile for EVERY table whether you feel like it or not. It's your job and if done consistently and correct will more times than not, be justly rewarded. And I was.

Got off early because it was slow. The Masters in Augusta, opening weekend of major league baseball and NHL playoffs made sure of that, not to mention the weather was beautiful outside.

I came home, put an Icy Hot patch on my sore butt cheek and cracked a cold one.

Both boys and Tim are still at work. Got the house to myself and one more season of Breaking Bad to watch.

Life's what you make it. Make someone else's night and you're good. Take a demanding table with a bad attitude and you're sure to get screwed if not complained about.

This is why I chose serving as a profession, I GET it. The one's who don't are nothing more than order takers and will never reap the rewards of a job well done.

Til next time...COTTON

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