John Mc

This is a collection of my thoughts. Some of the thoughts that I once had, I no longer do. Some thoughts I have now I have never had. Yet none shal be discounted. This blog is soley for the enjoyment of the author and the readers. On occasion the views expressed are overly exagerated in order to prove a point. Also there may be a dirty word or thought in some of the posts. Grow up and take this for what it's worth - a blog that barely anyone will ever see.


A LONG Rant For Your Amusement

I know that the last time I posted I said that I would give you some "Random Thoughts." I will get to that soon. I can't believe how busy I am right now that I can't find time to write. I work all day and just don't feel motivated to write when I get home. I need to detox with some mindless TV or something in order to get my mind off of work.
But, I thought I would share my restaurant experience with you so far.
I should have known what I was getting into when I had to go through three interviews in order to get this job. Three. The last one was with the store manager because she "just wanted to see what I was like before offering me the job." That lack of faith in the interviewers (your assistant managers) before you says a lot.
But, as we all know, I was accepted. Great. I am going to have some income, finally. The first day was training. Or lack-there-of. We mainly got in one big group (me and about 6 other hires - I'm pretty sure two of them don't work there anymore) and we discussed store policy. We can't drink there. If we do, we have to be out of the bar. We are only allowed two drinks and it has to be at least two hours after our shift and ordered with an enter. God forbid one of our "guests" see us with a beer. Apparently we are all Mormans or something. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)
And the customers are called "guests." That is one of the mind-games that they try to play with the weak-minded. "Treat them like guests. Like a guest in your home." How about I treat them like a couple of jack-asses that I'm being nice to in order to get a good tip from them when they leave? And I hope that they leave soon so that I can get a new table in there soon to do it all over again.
The next five days I worked I followed someone around. FIVE DAYS. I got no tips. I filled out a "work book" while I did it. Each day they checked to be sure that I was wearing the standard issue "uniform" and that I was greeting guests with the drink specials. That I was putting napkins down after I took their drink orders. That I was asking if they wanted soup or salad with EACH enter in order to "make more money for the company and more money for me." I really don't give a rats-ass if they order a $1.25 cup of soup. That's an additional .18 for me. You can keep that and I won't bother you by asking if you want the soup of the day.
The first day, during the training, we were read the menu. Yes. We all sat in a big circle and were READ the menu. This was our menu training. I couldn't believe it. We went through the appetizers, the chicken dishes, the steaks, the deserts and the drinks. We went through each ingredient in each of them. It was the biggest waste of time. No one cared or learned a damn thing. We were told that "the menu test" was going to be the most difficult of the tests.
Yes, we had tests. I was going out of my mind already. I am done with school so I never have to take tests again, unless they are drug, blood or cholesterol. That is all that I'm studying for from now on. Not what goes in a grilled cheese sandwich.
So, they gave us the menu test on our third day of training. This was to gauge where we were. I failed it miserably. I found out later that the manager was very concerned about my employment there. She was concerned about the 2 questions I got right out of about 200 and she also felt that I didn't have enough personality. Those first few days I was continually told "smile." For what? Someone taking a picture? I'll smile when I'm happy with my job. If you don't mind, I have to get an appetizer out to table 956.
So, I studied my ass of for that test. I studied more for that test than any other that I had taken in college, and perhaps even high school. All I did was memorize what the previous answers were, but I was set. They gave it to me again. I aced it. The manager looked at it as if I had written down the secret to life. She couldn't believe it. Yes, my IQ is over 100. I think that I can figure out how to win in this environment even more than the potheads that surround me.
So, I was finally on my own. Able to make tips and didn't have anyone looking over my shoulder. I have never introduced myself with the drink specials or offered a soup and or salad since then. I instead treat "guests" the way that I want to be treated. Get the order right, refill the glasses when they are empty and be there if they need anything, but don't be invasive. Some of these waiters feel the need to have conversations with these people. Become their friends. I would rather make sure that they get their food as soon as possible.
The first day that I worked - they assigned me a double. Isn't that nice? I'm barely used to the computer system, constantly forgetting to ask people what kind of sauce they want on their steak and I have to manually count the tables to figure out which one I'm going to. So, I work from 10:30am until 9ish. Not once did I stand around. I can't see how the rest of the staff has the luxury of standing in a big circle and yap about God-knows-what. I am constantly running. Getting food, getting orders, getting re-fills, getting deserts and getting leg cramps.
So, I'm getting ready to leave and I walk by the hooks that we hang our stuff on. Remember in kindergarten when you had "cubbies?" This is pretty much the same principal. I walk past my favorite blue hooded sweatshirt on the way to the manager's office to "close out" for the day. Essentially, they count the charge slips and factor my tips. This shouldn't take long, but it always does. I walk back out and my sweatshirt is gone. I was so pissed. But, I was new and didn't want to show that. I told the manager and said "Well, maybe someone accidentally took it home." She said that was probably the case and it will show up again soon. GREAT. I really needed a beer after that.
A week of this stuff goes on. I'm scheduled on days that I asked off. I'm working the worst hours possible. I am working through really great tippers and the ones who just don't get it. I once had a huge woman from the South come in and ask if we served Crab Tips. I have no idea what the hell she was talking about. Crab Tips? No. I'm positive we don't. So, instead she ordered a full slab of ribs and a shrimp dinner. Yes, for herself. Her bill came out to be $38.20. After my tip, $40.20. This is what I deal with.
Two days ago I was getting ready to leave and the "shift lead" (That's one of the servers that they put in charge of making sure that your booths and tables are top-notch before you can go home) had something up her ass that day. She had me dust the crap on the wall. She pulled out the sugar containers and said that there wasn't the proper amount in 8 out of the 10 tables that I had. In the back of my mind I thought - if you noticed that there wasn't the right amount when you counted them - why not save the company the time and me the headache and FILL THEM YOURSELF?! So, I'm counting out 20 white packets and 10 pink packets per table. (White on the left. Pink on the right.) And it is moments of silence like this that I have revelations. I thought "I'm 27. I have a college degree. A year ago I was the manager of two radio stations (before a lying bitch sent me out of there). Now I'm working for a corporate restaurant counting sugar packets. I've done something wrong. Somewhere along the line I messed up." I then went to roll the silverware up in the napkins and got the hell out of there as soon as possible.

The shift lead stopped me again and said "Did you roll silverware?"
"How much?"
"A few more than a lot."
"You are supposed to roll ten more than the number of guests that you served today."
"I did. And then some."
"I didn't see it, so it didn't happen."
"You were RIGHT THERE! You saw me."
"But, you didn't show it to me. So, it doesn't count. Other shift leads may get on you for stuff like this. Show us from now on."

I couldn't take it. I nearly blew up there. If I wasn't on my way out the door at the time, I would have. It was my worst day working there. I brought three pens to work so that I would be set. Two out of the three didn't work and some woman who just wanted a salad and a diet coke took my other one. So, I asked to see if anyone had an extra pen. This is like asking for a kidney in the serving industry, apparently. So, for a few tables I scratched their orders into the pad with a dry pen and held them to the light to read what they were. This is what my day has become.
Yesterday I came in earlier than expected and got stuff ready. Got the cleaning supplies out (because who knows what weird crap we are going to have to clean today!) got the Iced Tea made and all sorts of other stuff like that. I then went to talk to the kid working the door. As we were talking, one of the new hires walked in WEARING my freakin' sweatshirt. I took one look at her and realized the type of day that I was in for. What do you do in a situation like that? I chose to snap.

"Hey, how you doin'?"
"I'm fine."
"That's my sweatshirt you are wearing."
"You sure?"
"Yes, someone accidentally walked off with it last week and I haven't seen it since."
"I have several of these."
"You positive that you didn't accidentally take it?" I was trying to be as calm and diplomatic as possible here. A crowd had formed around us just waiting for me to make a scene.
"Yeah, I think so. You want it back?"
This question was obvious to me. "Hell yes, I want it back. It's mine and you took it!" But, instead I said "no." I couldn't believe that I said that. But, I was going to have to work with this woman and this was a situation that I hadn't accounted for at work. There was nothing in the welcome manual that described this scenario.

So, I worked the entire day thinking about my sweatshirt sitting on the kindergarten hooks. I was so tempted to just take it and run. But, I didn't. Instead, as she was leaving I asked her to look around her home and see if there was an extra one there by accident.
I am never going to see that sweatshirt again.

I have bitched long enough. It is time for me to get online and start looking for another job. ANYTHING else. Because this company ain't cuttin' it. Oh, and so I don't get sued if anyone I work with comes across this - this entire thing was made up. I don't even work for a restaurant and I never existed.


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