Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shut up and cook.

“I need a southwestern roll-up on the fly please, no pico!” I called over my shoulder, as I rung said item in.
“What happened to the one I made you?” was fired back at me by Alex, the mid cook.
“It had pico on it, I need it with no pico.”
“No it didn't.” Alex snarled at me.
“Yes, it did, can you please start another one?”
“It didn't have pico in it.” He stood there, looking at me.
“It did, would you like me to dig it out of the trash to show you?”
“Whatever, you can if you want to.” He finally started making it at this point.

Every day, I and every other server in the places goes through this kind of thing at least once.
Now I know the cooks have a rough job, in a cramped alley with sizzling fryers and grills radiating heat all over them, managers interfering helping, servers yelling, etc. But seriously, do they think we just make this shit up to irritate them? I'm just relaying what some bitchy-ass customer wants, why do they have to argue with me?

The attitude just gets tiring. Mostly in comes out in the form of interrogating servers when we need something fixed or changed. The ticket says no fries, sub veggie. I asked Mario for vegetables and get “for what?” in return. I tell him table 22, and he says it doesn't say sub veggie. I tell him it does, and the first three plates to the table already went out, can I please get vegetables.

Instead of just believing me, he has to page through screens of orders until he finds it. Then he'll start getting them ready. In the time he spent arguing with me, it would've been done already! Then there's John and the steaks, I ring one in medium and it goes to the table well and instead of just throwing one on the grill and moving along, he goes off on a goddamn tirade about how it was medium when he put it up, it sat in the window forever, maybe if the servers would run their fucking food the steaks wouldn't end up overcooked, blah blah blah. Could be true in the right circumstance—oh wait, except in this circumstance the steak sat there because he was fucking around instead of putting together the accompanying burger!

The bottom line is that I don't give a flying rat's ass why the mistake was made—I just need it fixed. I'm asking because my customer is waiting, not just to jerk someone around. I don't understand what's so difficult about this concept.


David said...

I feel ya on this one. Sometimes I wish I could just have the guests try and tell the cooks what they tell us and see what comes out. I try to remind my cooks that what they get is a translated and negotiated version of what I got asked for.

I've also spent some time on the other side while managing. The thing that used to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up was the phrase "I need a..." The sheer repetition of those three words over and over. They were also always followed by something that makes me have to reorder everything I am doing which breaks my rhythm. I swear this will sound stupid, but try any wording other than "I need a..." Try, "can you help me out with a..." or even when applicable "I screwed up can you get me a..." It won't make them friendly, but you won't put them on the defensive before you even ask.

Anonymous said...

The ability to communicate made us waiters... and the lack of it... made them cooks

Missy said...

I'm lucky to work with a GREAT expo, which cuts down on this crap, but know where you are comming from. Customers drive me nuts, change their mind after they order and say I got it wrong, forget to mention an exclusion, ect. I know the chefs hate it, but seriously, I don't want to bring food bck to the kitchen anymore than they want me to.

purplegirl said...

David, you're right; I do try to watch what I say, but I admit sometimes I fall into the "I need" pattern!

So true Anonymous! :) They're not so great at conversing, but I couldn't reliably grill a steak to medium ... oh wait, half of them can't either!

Missy, some days we have a good expo, but most days we have Idiot Expo's replacement, who's only marginally better!

yellowcat said...

Wow! I didn't realize I worked with you.

Our cooks are equally as bad except our food window is out in the open where the customers can hear the cooks being jackasses. Then the customers are mad at the servers because everything that happens in a restaurant is the servers' fault.

The Bartender said...

This one cook at my restaurant ( who has subsequently been shitcanned) once put avocado on a sandwich when the customer had requested no avocado because they were ALLERGIC. I asked him to remake it and he actually said, "Jut take it. They won't notice." I think when they stop breathing and break out in hives they'll notice.