Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Snugglebunny walkout.

Last night just wasn't very busy. After we cut to closers I think I got two tables. One was a family; the other was a younger couple who sat four tables down from the family. They were sitting on the same side of the booth, and she was leaning against him; the entire time they were there they were touching. He ordered a house salad and a burger; she ordered nothing. Someone else took out the salad while I was eating; but I knew that my table could see me while I was eating, so I made a special point of not sitting down for more than a minute or so at a time. I admit, I didn't talk to them again--they didn't seem like they wanted to be bothered.

I was in the area several times, and I made sure to look in their direction and make eye contact when I visited the table with the family (who were running my ass off). Maybe I should have actually gone and addressed them about .. well, nothing, really; but I didn't want to heir their couple-talk or see if they'd graduated to an under-the-table-handjob or something. Wouldn't be the first time.

I kept checking on their burger, which was taking a little longer than was normal--but like I said, they had their salad, they didn't seem to want to be bothered, and their water glasses were never below half empty. But I came out of the kitchen from checking on their burger, which had been rung in for twelve minutes at that point, and saw them leaving! I couldn't catch them, so I went to get Lapdog so he could handle it--I'm not chasing people in to the parking lot, but if he wants to that's his business.

Of course, Lapdog got irritated with me. Especially when the cook lied and said the burger had been up for a long time! That window was empty when I went back to the manager's office; it was empty when we came back through the kitchen to the front. I told him that in no uncertain terms--I'll take the blame for mis-reading my customers, but not for the newbie cook forgetting to start their burger or whatever.

Then Lapdog started griping about the "convention" around the employee meal table, and maybe that's what set them off. He has this idea that if customers see a bunch of employees clustered around a table they'll think we're all being lazy. Maybe that's true, if you assume that people even pay enough attention to realize it's a bunch of employees. It was a moot point in this instance, though, as I was sitting there and one other person. Cali Girl and Dumb were both up front, and everyone else was doing sidework. So I let him know that, too.

He didn't quite listen though, because then he tried to get angry at Dumb and say if she'd been up front, they'd've told her what was wrong. Too bad for him there were two people up there. Next he tried to blame it on employees playing on the Wii (one of our last-night things). I pointed out that we weren't, only a bunch of kids whose parents were ignoring them. I think he ran out of his go-to, default things to bitch about at that point, because he shut up and then he even started laughing and talking and joking. He was overall very pleasant, which kind of threw me!

I was still stressed out--customers walking out will do that to you. The thing is, these people didn't display any signs of frustration. Their wait wasn't very long, when you consider they had a salad; it's not like I just left them sitting there isolated, I was in the area; they seemed quite absorbed in each other. They didn't even say anything to Cali or Dumb when they left, and Cali gave them the usual "thank you, have a good night" stuff.

So I don't know what their deal was. Maybe they just had to go get naked or something.


Steven Nicolle said...

Sounds like they couldn't wait to get it on.

Anonymous said...

Why is it always the customer's fault with you? I have a growing feeling that you keep exaggerating your customer's actions/intentions/mannerisms while downplaying your own. I've never eaten while on the job and if I was dining and saw my server eating, I'd walk out too, especially if he/she didn't come around to at least ask how they're doing. Waters being more than half-full doesn't mean you just ignore the table, but you knew that. Oh well, I guess there are so many blogs out there these days that you have to sensationalize things to get readers.

purplegirl said...

WE, I think you're probably right. :)

Anonymous ... it's not always the customer's fault. There are plenty of entries where I've blatantly said "I fucked up x, y, and z."

If I were downplaying what I did, I wouldn't have mentioned the fact that I was eating, and I wouldn't have mentioned the fact that I did "drive-bys" instead of talking to them. Nor do I have to exaggerate customers' mannerisms; they're generally ridiculous enough on their own.

I mentioned their waters being full to demonstrate that, along with not responding to my eye contact, etc., they were displaying no signs of being bothered.

It's great for you that you don't have to eat on the job. I have to; I don't get a scheduled break. I get to cram food in my mouth when I have a few minutes. If it's too busy and I don't get those few minutes, sometimes I spend eight or nine hours on my feet without eating. So yeah, I'm gonna eat when I can, like every other server in the world who doesn't get a break.

I invite you to stop reading such "sensationalized" stories if that's your opinion of them.

megaphon said...

Dear Only-Slightly-Cranky,

don't let them get to you!! Not those customers, and especially not those supposed blog-readers who post anonymously. You've got a great writing style and are fighting hard enough to live your life, you don't need crap like that. Shrug it off.

Anonymous: At least make yourself recognizable! Critisizing other people anonymously is one of the most ugly things I know.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Always, always the snarky comments are by Anonymous who has obviously never worked in a restaurant.
We used to order something to eat on a dead night because it would automatically bring in customers and we'd never get to eat the food anyway.
One job, I had in a local seafood joint with a tiny dining room and bar was jamming from the time we set foot in the dining room at 5PM and never stopped until well after the last food was served upon the 9PM closing of the kitchen. THEN the waitresses had to pull out the booths and vacuum the rugs and fill the salt shakers, etc, etc, etc. On that job there was NO food served to the waitresses at all, You had to stuff down a piece of bread, on the run.
Used to fry my butt when after the shift, the kitchen help (dishwashers,etc.) would come out and sit down to burgers and onion rings and more while we worked.
I know that was long winded but ANON set me off :D