Yesterday took my name and kicked my ass. I slept for fourteen hours when I got home. When I got to work today, my legs still felt rubbery. Basically, we got hit super hard before we had a full staff. At 11:30 we had a waitlist (we had a server come on at 11:45 and two more at noon), and we'd gotten a bunch of big tables: a 15, a 9, an 8, several tables of five and six, etc. At one point I had a nine, a four, a seven, another seven, a two, a four, and another two on the other side of the restaurant. Normally, seven tables wouldn't be too hard for me to handle ... if they were small. As it was, I handled them alright, and nobody had to wait too long for anything, but it wasn't spectacular service. I'll be honest, I was sort of panicked a couple of times. Remembering the drinks and orders and special requests of 35 people was a bit of a challenge. It slowed down after that intial explosion, but I had at least 3 tables all day until the very end of the night--even during the Broncos game, when we're usually totally dead.
Luckily, the guys in the kitchen won at life yesterday. I forgot to look at my end number of tables, but from my sales I'd guess I had at least 100 meals go out yesterday, and only one problem--and that was a very little problem, and not caused by the cooks (expo sent out the wrong sandwich, but the right one was ready so it was an instant fix). Also, the servers who came in later were able to run food for those of us dying earlier on.
I was also very lucky in my customers (with two cheap, less than 10% exceptions, but fuck them, right?): even the ones who got bare-bones service due to the explosion were good to me. My very best tip was from the parents of a coworker: $17! I even double-checked that they really meant to give me the balance on the gift card--they were very nice. More than I deserved, probably, considering I kept making sarcastic comments to their son!
At any rate, yesterday is why I waitress: for those rare days when the stars align, and the food comes out right, the customers are friendly, the place is never empty ... those rare days, when after tipping out $17 and spending $10 on food, I leave with $220.
Hot damn, I might actually have a chance at making rent this month.