Monday, March 22, 2010

Of all the people to lie to, and disproportionate responses.

I'll never understand people who think that lying to try to cover their ass is a good strategy. Isn't it better to just say, "Yeah, I fucked up" and then deal with it? We weren't even terribly busy the night this happened. Wide-eyes, who I apparently went to high school with but don't remember, has worked there for going on a month. She supposedly has served before, but you couldn't tell it by how often she screws up. This particular screw-up was on a table of six. She forgot to ring their food in for ten or fifteen minutes, including their app. Hey, it happens sometimes, I certainly can't criticize based just on that. Oh wait, except she's done it every shift I've worked with her for the past two weeks.

Anyway, she finally rang it in, but ordered their appetizer at the same time and didn't hit the handy little "first out" button so they'd at least get something to eat. Then she didn't tell Lapdog about it at all. So when he was making rounds talking to tables, he got totally blindsided. That always pisses him off, but worse was when she first tried to say it hadn't been that long, then said she'd ordered their appetizer at the same time as their drinks and she didn't know why the kitchen didn't have it done yet.

Of course, Lapdog went right to the computer to pull up the ticket and look at the times. Then he motioned her over and held the print-out out to her. "You know I can check that, right?" Wide-eyes immediately tried to sink through the floor, then started stammering about she thought she had, she didn't mean, she didn't say ..... oh. I'm sure you all have read enough about Lapdog to imagine how he took that. For the rest of the night he ignored her unless directly spoke to, and then nit-picked every last little thing she did when it came time for her to check out. The rest of us thought that was pretty amusing, honestly, considering she acts like she's incredibly special.

It was just my bad luck that I had a table of complainers while Lapdog was still fuming over Wide-eyes' bullshit. I wasn't completely blameless on this one. I had only one table, and while the wife seemed a little uptight I didn't anticipate any problems. When I delivered their food they asked for ranch. I was on my way back to the kitchen when another coworker asked me something about the trivia we were doing that night, and I talked to her for a minute. Then she asked if I'd make an announcement about it, but when I got to the little microphone set-up I discovered it wasn't hooked up. So I plugged it in and fiddled with the dials got about two minutes before realizing .... shit, I forgot their ranch!

I dropped what I was doing and scurried to the kitchen, knowing I'd been in full view of them the last 3-4 minutes they were waiting. As I was pouring their ranch, Pennsyltucky came to the kitchen, talking on his headset to tell Lapdog my table wanted to talk to him. Fuck, fuck, fuck. I thought I could get the ranch to them and get back before Lapdog came out, so I could give him a run-down; so I scurried to the table. "I'm sorry I forgot that for a few minutes! How is your dinner?"

The wife stabbed her steak and shrugged, so I asked if it was cooked properly. Yes. I asked if they wanted anything else. They said no, and I turned to go find Lapdog--only to see him three steps away. There was nothing I could do except leave the table and let them talk. I waited in the kitchen; he came back and, without explaining what they'd said, told me to take them to-go boxes, then turned around and went back out. He was still licking their boots, practically begging them to come back another time, when I dropped off the boxes and walked away to wait for my lecture.

The woman told him that I "didn't seem happy" to be waiting on them, that they felt like they were an "inconvenience", that my focus was "everywhere else" but on them. For about five minutes they told him how much I sucked, and so he bought all their food. Never mind that I was cheerful and happy and friendly--I was in a great mood! I was glad to have someone to wait on. Obviously I shouldn't have gotten side-tracked on the way to get the ranch, but how does that translate in to the rest of it?

Since he hadn't gone off on Wide-eyes, because he thinks she's useless, I got the brunt of it for my screw-up. Of course, I didn't think it through that clearly at the time, and I got a little aggravated. After hearing about how we have to be better than everyone else to keep people coming in, he doesn't like being the bad guy but he'll have to write me up, and I forget what else, I got aggravated. I told him, "If you want to write me up because that woman's a bitch, then whatever."

Maybe not the best thing to say. "I don't care what she is, she's not happy!" More lecture. Then he said he didn't want to write me up, but if he didn't it wouldn't be fair to other servers when he had to write them up. Following what I said at the beginning of this post about owning up, I looked him right in the face and said, "You know me well enough to know I admit when I screw up. I forgot their ranch for about four minutes, but that's it, everything else was fine. Her reaction is totally out of proportion to what happened."

By the end of the night he'd calmed down and he agreed with me. It still took the shine off my night though--people exaggerating to get things at my expense has that effect on me. Call me crazy, I just don't think a delay on a side of ranch should equate to $30 of food!


Aunty Pol said...

That's bullshit....they most likely had an attitude before they even got there.

I left something for you on my blog...the post right before the usual John Barrowman Monday one.



SkippyMom said...

I swear I just looked at my husband and said "The next time we are broke let's go out to dinner, complain about everything and eat free." [He knows better than I would do that..but....]

I am shocked at how many people do it over nominal things - effing SALAD DRESSING? That woman was ridiculous and your manager needs to grow a pair - which you have pretty well described already.

I feel for you sweetie. Like the post, just not the outcome.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I've missed you but I can see that both the customers and the management has ramped up the torture in the few weeks I've been away.
Debit cards for paychecks?
And those trashy customers who think they should get a free meal because of that little salad dressing detour?
And the worst of it all is how the managers there "comp" the customers food over these ridiculous complaints. If they ate the food or took it with them, they need to pay for it. Period.

♥ Caz said...

It amuses me how people assume that when one thing is wrong, EVERYTHING that maybe slightly related is wrong as well.

I can see how annoyed you would when you believe that you did not do ANY of the things that she said. Did she even complain about the ranch dressing at all?

I'm glad Wide-Eye got what she deserved.

Missy said...

Even worse is when the customers straight out lie to try and get free food - and the managers still comp them. I know "the customer is always right", but come on...

Love reading your blog, btw, I can totally relate to everything you write from my own experience.

purplegirl said...

AP, I love the ocmic but I'm so confused! Did I hurt my foot? :)

SkippyMom, I'm glad my comment box isn't annoying you anymore! ;) That's hilarious, what you told your husband, I don't think I'd've kept a straight face!

Mary, good to "see" you again! I agree that in most cases if they eat it, they ought to pay for it!

Caz, I don't think they mentioned the dressing at all, isn't that nuts?

Hi Missy! I've added you to my blogroll. Have you ever seen the site "The Customer is NOT Always Right"? You should google it if not, you'll love it!

Masquerade said...

I hate people so hard, lol. What gets me is when you KNOW you're right but people bitch about you anyway and you have to smile and take it.