Last night was actually quite decent overall. I didn't run into any of the problems from the night before with my tables being occupied forever, people being cheap fucks, etc. I was also out of there twenty minutes after closing, thanks to nobody coming in during out last half hour. I made good money, and that erases all the things I was going to bitch about.
Well, almost all.
We had someone call and say they'd have 12 people at 6, and they did not want to wait, and by the way we have a birthday! So at 5:30, the manager pulls together my two tables and one of Perpetua's. The tables sit there, empty, for the next forty minutes, and then finally a couple of people show up. Since I was stealing one of Perpetua's tables for this, I let her take one of my booths when it was sat next. Two minutes later, my table tells me they'll only have eight, so they don't need that extra table. And then only seven showed up.
They were a pain in the ass to wait on, mostly because they wouldn't shut the fuck up and read their menus--the man whose 65th birthday it was and his wife told me they weren't having anything the first time I tried to take their order, just because they hadn't read their menus yet but didn't want to say so. After another ten minutes I finally got their order; then started the "oh, can I have a water?" crap from each person who'd ordered a beer. Naturally they couldn't ask at once or respond when I asked if anyone else wanted water--they had to wait until I came back with a single water for the one person who answered.
At the end of their meal, they wanted the whole dessert-and-singing routine. Lapdog had just cut the floor--and for some reason had flip-flopped me and Perpetua into opposite stations. I had gotten the table's dessert ready, but when I looked out to the table two of them had gone to the bathroom. But I'd gotten another table in my new section, so I figured that was fine. I set the dessert on the counter and headed out to greet the new table.
And there was another new one right next to it. And as I was walking up, the host was seating another table in my section. By the time I'd scooted around getting those three drinks orders and sending them to the bar, I had two more new tables. Suddenly I had five new tables, a table waiting for me to waste my breath singing to them, and another table waiting on refills. I was ready to tear my fucking hair out.
Somehow I got it all juggled, even though two of my new tables had to be complicated--"how much is a hurricane? how much is a double hurricane? how much is a mudslide? how much is this, that, and the gross national product of Bolivia?" and then "what's that new beer taste like? can I try it? no, just bring it to me, it'll be fine. no, I'd better taste it first."
After dessert was served, another little piece of my soul was sacrificed to the Corporate Birthday Song gods, and all drinks were delivered, I started taking food orders on my five tables. That went fairly quickly; nothing too complicated. All of these tables were right next to the birthday table, so it's not like I had vanished, but out of the corner of my eye I saw someone from the birthday table go to the bar with their ticket book. It was the bitchiest bitch at the tabe, naturally, so of course I only got 10%. This is why I fucking hate big parties.
Once everything had calmed down, I went to have a little chat with the hosts--Dumb and the new guy, Pennsyltucky. Dumb was off doing something, so I started with Pennsyltucky. I told him very nicely that seating somebody five tables in a row was very difficult, and for some people would've caused a total meltdown. I suggested that next time he ask people to wait just a minute or two, to space it out a bit. His response? "I only sat three of them, she must have done the other two."
"This is why you two need to communicate," I was saying as Dumb walked up. I then had the exact same conversation with her--and got the same response. "I only sat two of them, I didn't know he'd sat three!" Because I know it's very difficult to notice that every table around you is full and holding menus when you seat someone in the only empty table left in that section!
It worked out alright, I was able to handle it and everybody was happy, but the sheer stupid factor just amazed me. I guess it shouldn't, after all this time, but I suppose I'm just an optimist and like to think that people can do their jobs properly.