18 October 2010

Sauce takes a Trainee on an Adventure at Table 31

Yesterday I trained a new girl.  It was her third day of training and basically what this means is I get to follow her around, make sure she doesn't forget anything and make her money.  Ok, that sounds wrong.  I actually do a lot a of work, but the trainee is expected to do most of the "server stuff" with the tables.  It's her job to introduce us and take drink orders and take food orders.  It's my job to make sure she's doing all of the above right.  I make sure she remembers all the questions to ask when a guy orders wings or that she lets people know the specials.  Basically I make sure she doesn't forget crap.

The girl I trained yesterday was doing a pretty good job taking tables and remembering all the big things she had to be doing.  While Hooters might seem like an easy job, there really are a lot of little things to remember when people are ordering.  I was doing an awful lot of reminding of these things.  That's normal enough though.  What wasn't so normal were the two guys we had to deal with at table 31.  I should be more specific, the one really nice bodybuilder and the old guy we had to deal with at table 31.

When we approached the table the old man was mad that we didn't have breakfast.  This happens at Hooters more than you might realize.  Maybe it has something to do with us being right behind an IHOP, but people - especially older people - always seem to want pancakes or a scramble or maybe even a frittata.   We open at eleven we, don't have breakfast.  Deal with it.

As I was saying, approaching the table there was some typical breakfast complaining.  The usual "where's the eggs" quickly progressed into a not so typical "I bet the girls aren't so ugly at IHOP either."  I quickly and thankfully decided to take over the table from my trainee.  She was exhibiting all the classic signs of "help me."

Now usually - meaning had I not had a trainee - I would have taken the time to write down all the little gems this old man decided to tell us.  But I didn't write anything down so we'll have to rely on my brain.  Sorry for all the things you're going to miss.
  • "You (meaning me) look forty-eight and she (meaning my trainee) looks ten."
  • "Why are you all so ugly here?!"
  • "Did you just forget to wax your mustache today?"
  • "The only thing good here is my sandwich."
  • "Give me more beer, I'm trying to make you pretty."
  • "Of course you should take my plate, I'm trying to get you to do your job."
  • "You seem awful good at standing around."
  • "Of course I don't love my wife."
  • "I'd put you right to work if you know what I mean."
  • "I'd ask for your phone number, but I'd never call you."
  • "Well my wife only hit me with the frying pan twice."  (It was confirmed by the nicer, younger guest that this was in fact true)
  • "I don't want to know a darn thing about you thinking."
And unfortunately that's all I can remember.  I'm forgetting at least 50-75% of what he said.  The memory loss of a 25-year-old is a real bitch.  Oh and he did snap at me to get my attention which is quite possibly one of my biggest pet peeves ever.  Luckily I work at Hooters.  This means I can throw shit back at people - who don't seem to mind and are generally cool of course.  This means that in response to said snapping I got to say, "I have a name you know and though I'm sure you can't read, I did write it on the napkin in front of you."  This is why I love Hooters. 

Now before you get all defensive and say I should never talk to a customer like that, I let you know that both young, nice guy and old, not-so-nice guy ate that shit right up.  Old guy and I exchanged insults with the greatest of ease.  You see, even with his very serious demeanor it became obvious fairly quickly that, most of the time, old guy was joking.  It also became obvious that old guy appreciated a woman who could dish it right back.  I had read my table like a true pro.  My trainee was in awe.

Finally, after many a cut had been delivered, the gentlemen were ready to leave and young guy decided to pay, leaving exact cash for the ticket.  He then gave us each a twenty-dollar bill.

Young Guy:  "Thanks for being such good sports.  Most waitresses would have ignored us completely with most of his remarks.  It's his first time here and he loved it.  I really appreciate it."

Old Guy:  "Yeah, I like a little frisk to my ladies.  Wanna come home and meet my wife?"

I love my job.

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  1. Awesome!


  2. Old people really do provide the best stories!

  3. Hmm.....I could have a lot to say about this post, I will try to summarize. For one thing, most restaurants do not allow their servers to talk back to customers as you so luckily are allowed to. As it turns out, he came in to the right restaurant and got the right server so that this was allowed to be played out in a funny manner rather than a terrible one.

    But (you knew that was coming!), Im worried about the reinforcement that this guy is getting. As noted by his dinner partner, he apparently does this quite often. There is a good chance that this is in other restaurants where servers are either a) not allowed to talk back for fear of being reprimanded and punished in all the subtle ways that FOH managers can do (bad tables, shifts, etc...) or b) not as experienced and therefore overwhelmed by their job already, let alone some jerk trying to be funny!

    I guess my point is that I have seen this sort of behavior many times in my past years as a server. I can think of times when I was comfortable with my job and able to have fun with it. In these instances I was able to brush it off with a witty retort and move on to the next table like nothing happened. But, there have also been times both at the beginning of my serving years (when I was nervous and uncomfortable) as well as at the end (when I was overwhelmed, stressed, and depressed in my job) where I was unequipped to deal with chauvinistic asshole remarks.

    I would venture to say that most servers fall into the second category. In my opinion, it is the the job of servers in the first category to handle these situations in a manner that does not perpetuate the behavior so that we can "protect" the server who will likely have a ruined night and go home feeling poorly about themselves.

    I don't mean any disrespect, this is just my opinion. Im open to debate!!

  4. I agree that I am lucky to be able to have fun with my tables when it is appropriate. First I'd like to note that I think I made it quite clear that my response was based on an observation that they were comfortable with me acting as such. Had he simply been rude - and not somewhat joking - I would have never responded as I did.

    But I guess all I really want to say in response to your comment though is that yourself said "he apparently does this quite often." I highly doubt that my ability - both from myself and from my job - to respond as I did will perpetuate his attitudes. More probably he will perpetuate his own attitudes.

    I think it's a little much to say that a server that has a little fun with a customer is going to make anyone continue to act in a certain way. The way people act is exclusively on them and not caused by a half hour encounter with a Hooters Girl.

    It seems a little far fetched and extreme to say that I will be the cause of future negative or positive experiences with this individual. That is on him, not me.

  5. I went to high school with this hot girl that everybody thought was stuck up. I thought so, too--she had a way of making this biting remarks. Then I sat behind her in class for one quarter and we got to be friends. I finally figured out she was joking--something most of our classmates never figured out. We grew to be pretty close for a while. She was *really* funny. So, glad you figured out the old guy's vibe and made sure his Hooter's experience was memoriable.

  6. I love that your job allows you to respond in kind. It turned out okay - funny even. Nice job.

    [Can we really vote everyday? I thought it was a one shot deal? I have voted once. So have a couple of my friends on FB]

  7. YES! You really can vote EVERYDAY!



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