I'm getting really tired of CL's threats about adding more people to the floor. Every goddamn shift I work with her, I hear her bitching: “Come on, ten servers on the floor! This food (that's been up for five seconds) needs to be ran! Do we need to have more people on the floor? Come on!” and she throws her hands in the air and stomps away … rather than running the food she's soooooo worried about.
We'll be out of silverware after three extremely hectic hours, and she'll start screaming. “Come on guys! We need silverware! Come on ten servers on the floor! Why don't we have silverware!” Um, maybe because we've had a wait for two hours, everybody's section is packed, the kitchen in going down in flames so we're all running damage control, and if we were rolling silverware she'd be screaming about running food or refilling drinks or cleaning tables or any of the other million things that need to be done!
Because here's the thing she doesn't get: No matter how many servers are on, there are always going to be problems. She has this idea that the more people are on the floor (and so the fewer tables we all have), the better our customer service will be and the better we'll be about running food etc. Yeah, not so much. Here's what actually happens.
Everyone comes in to work and is immediately pissed off at their miniature sections. Because we have so few tables, we all spend more time trying to suck up to them, meaning more time at the table so less time doing all the other shit she's so freaked out about (well, except me and a few others who get our tips by doing our jobs well, rather than by trying to flirt with the middle-aged dads who come in with their families). So then we're still out of silverware after heavy rushes, food isn't always run the exact fucking instant it's ready, etc.
And then there's the fact that it doesn't matter how many servers are on, we can't change the laws of physics. Neither can the cooks. Food comes out at a certain rate, and when the food isn't coming out of the kitchen because the cooks are fucking up, or because it's just one of those periods where things are bottlenecked in back of house, pissy customers look around wondering where their food is. And what do they see? A freaking flood of people in restaurant uniforms, standing around talking to tables, or talking to each other, or walking in circles around the restaurant trying to find something to do. And since the average customer doesn't understand that we don't have futuristic replicators in the back to immediately create their food, they assume the delay is because the servers aren't doing their jobs. So much for the idea that more servers means better customer perception of service.
And then there's the fact that we all come in and know we're not going to make shit. Why should any of us hustle and bust our asses, why should we have any sense of urgency about filling ice or getting more creamer, when our income has been halved (if not more) by CL's stupid policies? If I were still making a hundred-plus bucks on a first cut Friday, I'd be a hell of a lot happier and a hell of a lot more likely to create that sense of “urgency” CL wants. But when I know I'll be lucky to make $80 on a second-cut shift, why should I do anything extra? Why should I roll silverware snappily? Why should I pace with energy around the restaurant, rather than listlessly wandering because there's nothing to do? Sure, sometimes there is, but the most commonly heard sentiment among the staff the last few months is “I'm so bored!”
I keep hoping the pendulum will swing back the other way. I keep hoping the labor costs will be too high and so they'll go back to scheduling in a sane way. I keep hoping …. but my hope is running out, and I don't think I can take it much longer. I should not be making a scant $300 a week working 40 fucking hours. Not while closing Sunday/Monday, working a second cut Thursday/Friday, and being a first cut on Saturday. Not in a restaurant as busy as mine usually is (the last month being an exception) – we're this chain's busiest restaurant in the fucking state! And we're in a town with a population of only about sixty thousand. This is fucking ridiculous.