Tuesday, August 29, 2006 by Ospite.
9 notations

We've picked up a few new waiters recently. Turn-over rate is high in this business. One of the more recent aquisitions is a 20-thing guy who's pretty decent looking, who works out and tends to be rather intelligent. The problem is, he thinks he is the hot catch on the floor. I think he's set the record for having hit on every waitress we've got. With no tact.

"You've got killer eyes."
or
"You could be the hottest girl working here."
or
"No, seriously, let me take you out sometime. Believe me I know how to have a good time."
or
"Tell you what. If you want to party all night long, just come back to my place."

It's a confidence thing...meaning he's been endowed with entirely too much of it.

"I'm the best waiter here because I move the fastest."
or
"I'm the best waiter here. Don't believe me? Look at my alcohol sales."

We don't care. And we never will.

Enter Waitress Gwen. She's close to the same age, beautiful, and going through a not-so-fun divorce. She's quite possibly the sweetest person I've met. This means she is beyond diplomatic to the point that she sends the wrong signals. She doesn't want to be mean, or hurt anyone. What she doesn't understand is that guys need to be hurt from time to time. Taken down a knotch. Or three. I'm encouraging blatant confrontation on her part.

It's only a matter of time before inter-waitstaff relationships take place, but just like in any other job, it's not a sexfest. And despite the fact there are many parties, and drunken nights spent chilling at one particular waiter's pad, not every waitress, hostess, or bartender is fair game for lewdities.

Enter Waitress Kimberli. Small. Boisterous. Classy. Lovely. But to her misfortune has a rather nice bit of cleavage no matter what she's wearing. She's not of the "if you've got it, flaunt it" school, but some shirts leave less to the imagination than others. So attending a birthday party at said waiter's pad, the afformentioned arrogant "best waiter here" guy walks over to her, reaches out and shoves his bottle of Bud Lite between her breasts.

"Here, hold this...hahahaHAHAhahaha."

What kept her from kneeing him firmly in the groin is beyond me. What makes him think women enjoy this treatment: also beyond me.
Saturday, August 26, 2006 by Ospite.
3 notations

Don't worry. Things have been a bit busy recently. I'll have several posts next week.

- Ospite
Monday, August 21, 2006 by Ospite.
3 notations

I had the luck to open and close lunch today. Monday lunches aren't worth working unless you've guaranteed a decent number of tables. The beauty of opening and closing is, that for a stretch of time at both ends, there are only a couple waiters on. Thus all the tables go to only a select few.

My first table of the day was a group of what appeared to be what I call the "casual gaggle." A group of several 60-ish women who chat more than they eat. Obviously there for the company, they tend to ignore service, good or bad. I love waiting on women, especially older. Their tip is directly related to waiter charm.

Me: "Good afternoon ladies." (ignoring the fact it was technically 11:45am) "I'll be taking care of you today. Have you all been here before?"
Woman 1: "Oh yes, regularly."
Me: "Well I shall save you the spiel. Would anyone care for a drink while perusing the menu?"
Woman 2: "Wine. Deffinitely wine."
Me: "Ma'am, my thoughts exactly. Perhaps a house white?"
Women 3: "mmm. Yes please."
Me: "A bottle and 3 glasses coming up."

I dropped it off and gave them some time to decide on their order. They were extremely pleasant, patient, and actually a joy to serve. Which I have to admit surprised me a bit. Normally three American women in their late fifties to early seventies tend to be demanding and ultra-high maintenance.

These particulars ended up ordering only soup and salad...but kept drinking. Glass after glass, they wandered through the equivalent of two bottles. They informed me they'd be around long enough to be sober by the time they left. They were old enough to know how to be responsible. But as time went on, I noticed something particular with woman number 2. Her speeh was weird, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Finally after about 90 minutes at the table it clicks. Her accent is changing.

Her Northeast American accent slowly faded into a British accent.

This didn't seem to phase her companions at all and it didn't diminish. The next 90 minutes of sobering up were filled with giddy laughter and much story-telling. As the alcohol wore down, so did the accent. By the time I left (and they were still there) the dialect fell back to a Northeast hyperactive tone. I hope to wait on them again. Enjoyable, good tippers, with virtually no maintenance.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 by Ospite.
3 notations

Ungodly slow. Today was horrific. There's nothing quite as unbearable as sitting around for an hour waiting for your first table. I'd rather deal with pissy customers that sit there doing nothing.

Finally 59 minutes pass and I await the :59-:00 count to an even hour. My first table walks in. Middle age couple. Well, first they stood at the door for about 4 minutes chatting. I know this because Tyler knows this. And because I'm near the clock. And I think the lack of patience is making me lose my mind.

Finally they sit. I approach and they ignore me completely. Still chatting.

Me, chipper as always. "How are you folks doing today?"
Him, visibly annoyed. "Uh..we're good."
Me, ignoring his attitude. "Clearly you seem familiar with our restaurant so I'll save you the spiel."
Her, unpleasantly cold. "Yeah, that'd be good."

I skip it and move on, get their diets and bread and the usual.

"Have we made any headway on the menu?"
Her, light-hearted, almost giddy. "Ha! No. God no."
Me, trying to shy away from bi-polar comments. "Tell you what, I'm here for awhile. Just flag me down when you're ready to order."
Both nodded and resumed their conversation. Lovely. Back to boredom.

I go back to my perch and zone out completely. To that point where my internal soundtrack kicks in and I look at life like a movie. "Life in slow motion, somehow it don't feel real..." Waiters moping about. Chefs barely paying attention to what ingredients go in. Customers talking with their hands.

I get smacked on the head.
"What?!"
"You were humming again. And singing some 'da da daa daa dah...' thing. ...and swaying."
"Sorry."
"Table 70 wants you."
"Nice. Maybe they'll just sit there and talk while I stand next to them for company."

I ooze off the stool and crawl over to the table. Waiter grin.

"All set?"
Her, slightly grumpy now. "I just want something like pasta. Rigatoni. Can you do that?"
Me, wondering what this guy put in her drink. "Would you like anything on it?"
"Red sauce or something. I'm not really here to eat. I'm here to talk."
"No worries ma'am. Take your time and I'll leave you be."

At this point I was actually glad to simply sit. I'd lost the will to stand, much less wait tables. For the following hour and twenty minutes, I visited the table twice. To drop the food, and to quality check. Then, I left them be until they flagged me over for the check. The tip: 25% even. The internal soundtrack kicked back in ...

"While I was watchin,' you did a slow dissolve..."
Saturday, August 12, 2006 by Ospite.
6 notations

We, like most restaurants out there, have a pager system for when our wait gets excessive. Name on the list, pager in hand.

Contrary to popular patron opinion, they do not work outside. So on a gorgeous night like tonight, when the hostess has handed out 50 of these, you better be prepared to answer that page within seconds. Sitting on the benches outside, sadly, is out of pager reach. Now, we don't simply make people learn by experience alone, we make the pager range quite clear.

"So, do these work outside?"
"No, they don't work any further than the front doors."
"Ok."

They immediately proceed to exit the building. about 15 minutes after their quote time, they wander back in, a little past being perturbed.

"Yeah, so we were quoted a half-hour wait. We've been here for about 45 minutes now. Clearly you don't understand how to tell time. Either that or you need to fix the system."

"Sir, I informed you that they work only as far as the doors. You asked me. We rang up your pager, you didn't show, so we moved on the list. You'll have to wait for another available table."

"That's ridiculous" As he storms off to the right, all of five feet, making sure he doesn't miss the page again.

Now, some people feel a certain attachment to these pagers. As if it is their chosen time. Or as if they've won the lottery. Still others get too personal.

I approached my 5top this evening. Five lovely ladies all around 25-30 years old. After running through the speech, I noticed they still had yet to return the pager.

"Miss, I'm sorry, you can't take that home." I say with a jestful tone. She replied with a wink and a smirk.
"But I like it. ...It vibrates."
"Ah..true. But you need the base station to transmit and set it off."
"Well, that's why you're here..."
Thursday, August 10, 2006 by Ospite.
4 notations

It has come into question whether or not Waiterrant and I are the same blogger. Here's a little background and clarification.

The Great Waiter and I are not the same person. I started reading Waiterrant back when it was on blogger.com and decided to start my own. In a sense, you could say I was inspired. There is a large underground of waiters/restaurant employees who tell the behind-the-scenes tales of the dining industry. The events are 100% real. (You seriously couldn't make some of this stuff up. The Crutchmaster, for instance. Completely legit.) The names, however, are changed, to protect the innocent, and keep our actual locations, thus occupations, safe.

I would also like to mention that I have great respect for Waiter, being a pioneer of sorts in this small cult we call the Anonymous Guild of Restauranteurs.

I offer my thanks to the loyal readers. Ciao tutti.
Sunday, August 06, 2006 by Ospite.
8 notations

That's right. She's back. I was so happy we weren't on a wait, lest I be forced to use physical force upon her children.

She fumbled into the trattoria, led by those fabulous wee annoyances of hers and immediately demanded a table large enough for her to spread out. Naturally I obliged and appoligized to her waitress for having to take her.

In the kitchen I bumped into the waitress who waited on her the other night.

"She's back?! Please tell me not in my section. Please tell me you sat her elsewhere."
"Don't worry, I passed her to someone else. I'm not that malicious."
"Thank God."

It was as usual that the Crutchmaster be the malicious one, having the waitress do her bidding simply so she felt she had some control. At the end of the meal, I was standing with Dre who had had her previously. We watched a birthday dessert wander by and over to the Crutchmaster's table. The waitress bid her a happy birthday. Dre looked a little confused.

"Wait. She said that it was her birthday when I waited on her the other day."
"Come to think of it, last time she was in here, sans the crutches, it was also her birthday."
"How long ago was that?"
"About two months ago."
"She had the crutches then, remember? She pissed off some other woman because her crutch fell into her chair, almost making her drop her drink."
"I was definitely not here for that."
"She seems to have a birthday every time she's here."
"Wait, you're saying last time you saw her before last week she was on crutches?"
"Yeah....wait..."
"I'm thinking the birthday isn't the only con she's pulling."
"I'm gonna do a fly-by and check out that ankle."

She walks near the Crutchmaster and pretends to ready a nearby table for guests. She walked back hurredly.

"It's neither a cast or a bandage on her foot. It's one of those easy-on/easy-off immobilizers. I bet you $100 she puts it on when she goes out to eat on busy nights trying to get special treatment!"
"That's ridiculous."
"Think about it! If people are scared of her, I bet she gets free stuff all the time. Who's going to question the injured woman with a big mouth who likes to make a scene?"
"True. Well, next time she's in here on her 'birthday,' I'm checking ID. And screw the waiting in line thing...from now on, she has to wait twice as long as everyone else. See if she comes back after that!"

A slightly maniacal grin spread across my face.

"My. Now isn't that the evil look of the day."
"That's it. The Crutchmaster has met her match. She is my nemesis."
"Oh god... please don't get all 'superhero,' 'out to save the world from powerful maniacs' on us."

The grin simply grew.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006 by Ospite.
5 notations

68F target goal. Actual temperature: 81F.

"Why is it so hot in here? Don't you guys have air conditioning?"
"Yes sir we do, but between the kitchen and the actual bodies in the restaurant, we can't seem to keep the heat down."
"Why is it so busy?"
"Do you have air conditioning at home?"
"You better believe it."
"Would you want to cook in your house if you didn't?"
"Good point."

If I can say one thing for the heat, it's driving customers in the door. I suppose they all want to stay out of the cancer-causing rays and don't want to sweat while standing still. The main issue here is that our air conditioners are working overtime trying to cool down the dining room which is a difficult task considering that half our kitchen is external. The heat put out by a sardine-esque filled floor tends to raise temps a bit too.

Caitlin wandered over to me wiping her forehead after taking care of a particularly demanding table, "You know it's far too hot when you break a sweat grating cheese."

It's times like these I'm particularly glad we don't have an out-door dining service.

At your service, Ospite

I am not in the restaurant business, I am in the people business. I use every opportunity to people watch, because to me, even the most mundane is fascinating.

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