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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Well SOMEone Has to be Last!

A re-post, following last night's serving gig, wherein we reminisce about an earlier serving gig...

I worked a buffet in a church great room yesterday, one attended by 500 people.

Have you considered serving? Are you wondering whether or not you have an aptitude for this kind of work? Just answer the following questions!

Does working for cash make you happy?
Do you have a pair of black pants?
Are you familiar with the differences between plates, bowls, forks and spoons?

If so, let me know if you and your black pants are available. We’re always looking for new blood.

Or perhaps you prefer to utilize servers, rather than become one?

Do you believe that the coffee could be hotter, the ice water icier?
Does making demands of people in black pants make you happy?
Perhaps most importantly, would you rather enjoy a meal with friends and family than work an additional job?

Simple, iddin it?

If you’re already a server, let me say that you have both my admiration and condolences.

But if you’re not, and have no plans to become one, may I offer some advice, on behalf of servers everywhere?

If you’ve been told that the tables will be released four at a time following the presentation, then that’s what is meant. When whole tables get up, on their own, jumping ahead of the tables that really should be next, it’s an invitation to anarchy.

As one of two people “releasing” tables to go to the buffet line next, some of those line-jumping made their excuses as they passed me.

“The Vikings game is on in 30. We need to go next.”

“Two of the women at our table are handicapped and we need to go next.”

“I’m hypoglycemic. Our table has to go next.”

Some of them said nothing, just walking past me to the buffet, averting their eyes.

They knew they were wrong.

I spit in their desserts, but it lacked the subtlety I prefer.

And no, of course I didn’t spit in their desserts.

I spit in their drinks.

No, no, no; I didn’t do that, either. There’s nothing you can do, is there, but smile? It’s a church function, they’ve paid good money for this, and I can’t very well send them back to their tables, can I? Not to mention that it’s Minnesota, and even while they were making it harder on the people who were playing by the rules it was all I could do, after they offered their excuses, to keep from saying, “Oh, that’s okay.”

We say that a lot around here, even when it’s not okay.

So there you have it: My thoughts on line-jumping in a buffet situation. There will be further instructions on what not to do where servers are concerned, but I think we’ve covered enough for one day, don’t you?

Questions? Suggestions? Dirty jokes? We’ll can discuss them over Bloody Marys and buffalo wings – and if the server treats us right, we’ll tip 20%.


Camille said...

So, an exhausted server (in black pants) walks into a bar and sezs to the barkeep - "I'll have a Slippery Nipple, and make it a double"...Wait a second - that's no dirty joke, it's a flashback. Go spend that tip money Pearl, you've certainly earned it. ;-)

Oilfield Trash said...

I am sure you have heard every excuse under the sun for that.

Eva Gallant said...

I have a brother who is probably guilty! I think he's afraid they'll run out of food if he doesn't crash the line! It's both embarrassing and annoying!

jabblog said...

Guests often seem to forget that servers are human too and a smile and a 'thank you' won't kill them.

R. Jacob said...

too pooped to post? I worked tables, I was a bartender for many years and I always tip 20% or more, because I understand how it is. I work in retail because I have a high pain threshold and short term memory loss!

who said...

I guess my question has more to do with definitions than anything else. So I feel inclined to ask (from an X-mas tree's point of view) How many inches of the tip doe it take for a court of law to consider it being beyond any reasonable doubt, flocked?

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I detest line jumpers. Last week a lady jumped in front of me in the lineup at Williams.. I tapped her on the shoulder and when she turned around I just said "really?". We are somewhat militant at Williams. Everyone else who was behind said "yeah.....really?" I think she got the point.

Bouncin' Barb said...

One of my biggest peeves when I was working banquets. Rudeness. Totally agree on the table jumping out of order thing. They're like animals.

alwaysinthebackrow said...

20% doesn't begin to cover what you must go through. "She works hard for her money"
I am disappointed that Minnesotans would jump the line. I'll bet that they were transplants, not natives.

Douglas said...

I was a busboy in a nice restaurant for 3 weeks once... longest ten years of my life. Does that count?

I am not cut out to be a server, I learned that.

My mother was a great over-tipper. That's because she worked a half day as a waitress back in the 40's. She got fired.

I don't need a part-time (or full time) job. Well, I probably do need it but I won't get one. It would interfere with my lack of scheduling.

jenny_o said...

I actually haven't seen this happen here, although I can imagine how exasperating it would be, seeing as everyone paid and there's enough to go around. Sheesh. And real diabetics? They're smart enough to take a snack in case of delay.

I live in a small town and grew up in a smaller village. The church suppers there can't seat everyone at once, so people have to line up for a number and be called to the tables as others finish. The last time I went, the lineup for numbers went out the church door, across the driveway, around a couple of trees and over the lawn toward the woods. Everyone used the wait time to chat, even strangers. I think the only way that could be improved on is to do as our First Nations people do - let pregnant women and the elderly go first, no matter when they arrive.

Macy said...

In an ideal world everyone would have to spend some time working in a restaurant.
Just because that way we would all end up being nicer people....
Just a thought.

Belle said...

I worked as a waitress once. One day, and I quit. People were so rude I couldn't bear it. The only customer who was nice to me was a Hell's Angel who asked me to run away with him. I should have done it.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I never ever ever miss tending bar or waiting tables. And to compensate for the general rudeness of the general public, I'm always super nice to waitstaff and leave HUGE tips. I just hope it takes the edge off a tough job.

Leenie said...

Hubby and I lived in a house that ran on static electricity... If you wanted to run the blender, you had to rub balloons on your head. If you wanted to cook, you had to pull off a sweater real quick.

Well, it's not dirty, but it's a joke.

Vapid Vixen said...

Utah may be one of the worst states in the country for tipping. Not only are we conservative politically, but with our money as well. It's really not that hard to figure out what 20% of your bill is. Yes. I made $2.15/hour, was a good server and relied on that 20%. Some nights it just wasn't worth it.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Line jumpers incite my inner New Yorker to rise up and speak truth.

Cloudia said...

Hey! No line jumping!

Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral


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WrathofDawn said...

As a Canadian, I am constitutionally incapable of jumping a line. I support the use of cattle prods for such clods. Wouldn't that improve the fun factor of serving?

"Excuse me, 'sir.' It is not yet your turn."


You know you'd love it.

Joshua said...

I've worked as a server before. I know people can get demanding, and so do I when I go to a restaurant. But the thing that really annoys me is when servers get an attitude about my requests. It's not that they're out of left field or anything, but the server has to realize that I'm placing an order for food. Instead of making it at home, I'm asking you (the Royal "you") to make my food the way I want it. And I'm paying you for it.

Then there's Mom. I've been in restaurants with her when she tipped someone 25 cents. And then told her boss that if she complained about it, here's why she only left the quarter.