29 January 2011

NASCAR Almost Got Me Fired

Once upon a time in the infancy of my Hooters career, I actually thought I was going to get fired.  Yes, the amazing Sauce left her job one fatefully day nearly crapping her pants that her next shift would bring nothing more than a pink slip of doom.  I really was that scared that I'd messed up.  I think I even might have cried.

Did I drop a plate of nachos on someone?  Did I scream at a guest?  Did I just all around suck at my job?  No, I did something much worse.  Something nearly unthinkable in its awfulness.  I changed the channel off NASCAR.  Yeah, you read that right.  I thought I was going to be fired for changing NASCAR to some other sporting event I can't even recall.  That's probably a cardinal sin.

After seating a family at a round high table, they nicely asked for me to change the channel.  It might have been to football or basketball or curling, but they definitely wanted anything other than the NASCAR on the screen above them.  I cordially said I would, running to grab the remote after I noted that no one seemed to be watching the current channel.

No sooner had the TV flickered from one channel to another than I heard a grumbling behind me.  It didn't take long for that low grumble to grow into full-fledged yelling from a table of men a few feet away.  I nearly immediately registered that all the screaming had to do with me changing the channel.  So, as I figured the dude yelling at me laid claim to the TV first, I kindly explained to the family that I'd have to change the channel back.

Of course this wasn't good enough.  The twenty or so seconds the TV had been off NASCAR were apparently the end of the world and even though the cars were once again zipping around the track the yelling didn't stop.  And then I heard it.

"I can't WAIT to tell (owner's name) about how awful it's been at Hooters today."

I whipped around quickly and the yeller immediately registered the pang of worry strike my face.

"That's right, I know (owner's name) really well and he'll be hearing all about this.  I'm sure he won't be happy."

I was almost instantly afraid.  While getting fired over something so ridiculous seemed insane, I was new.  And no one really cares that much about a new girl.  As the rant continued to grow more angry and more specific, my fear turned into shear panic.  I was sure I was going to be fired right then and there.  It suddenly seemed a certainty.

But of course I wasn't fired.  Or even talked to.  Turns out it didn't matter at all.  And my guitar probably saved me from - at least - a write up.  Yes, I'd brought my guitar that day and, even though I was upset and worried, I had promised to play.  So I played and that's right about when the crazy yeller fell in love.  Seriously.  In.  Love.

So not only did my guitar save my ass, it created my biggest Hooters fan.  Yes, it's time to be introduced to a new character.  He shall be called Talladega and though we didn't start well AT ALL I totally love him.  Funny how that happens.

Talladega is now one of my favorite regulars.  He's fun, nice, down to earth and head over heels in love with his wife in the cutest way ever.  He's the only customer who has a CD of my music and I hear he's worn it out.  He's more than forgiven me for changing the channel.  I'm good like that.

26 January 2011

The Great Tip Dilemma

As a waitress it can be really hard to go out to eat.  While it's nice to be on the other side of the table for a while, a server being served can be incredibly hypersensitive.  This could now progress into a post about how consistently horrible the service at our local Red Robin is, but instead I'll skip all that.  This post is about how much it sucks going out to eat with crappy tippers.

Recently I was with a small group of people at Hooters.  Yes, you read that right.  I work at Hooters and I went there to eat.  Of my own accord.  I actually went to my place of employment when I wasn't forced to be there by the scheduling manager.  This probably makes me insane.  Or at least a glutton for punishment.  Or more probably an insane glutton for punishment.  Yeah, that sounds about right.

So there I was at Hooters indulging in beer and fried delicacies like everyone I serve day in and day out.  After several pitchers and plates of wings and marginally entertaining conversation, it was that time when you figure out how a big group of people is going to pay.  Of course I made this easy by letting our Hooters Girl know beforehand who would be paying and how to split the ticket.  I'm just considerate like that. 

Carefully split tickets were handed out and cards and cash were placed on the table.  Payments were quickly run.  My bill - paid with credit card - was just under $50 and I wrote in a ten-dollar tip with little deliberation.  Twenty percent.  Done and done.  It was then that I slowly beginning noticing the tipping that was going around me.  By tipping I mean people being totally cheapasses.  I sat in disbelief as not one person left a tip greater than ten percent.

Our service had been impeccable, but the tips all said, "YOU SUCK."  So I was left with a dilemma.  Do I say something?  Normally the answer would be yes, but on this particular evening I was surrounded not by friendly tightwads, but tightwads I hardly knew.  Yes, I was with my boyfriend's friends.  And I didn't know what to say.

I ended up leaving more tip in a vain attempt to make up for the snub; I didn't feel it was my place to say things to people I didn't really know.  I'm talking "couldn't even tell you one of their names" barely knew.  But looking back I probably should have said something regardless of my relationship to everyone at the table.  Even if they thought I was a total bitch.  At least I'd be a total bitch who stood up to people and brought the knowledge of proper tipping to the world.  I totally missed my chance to be a modern day Robin Hood.

So what are your thoughts on sitting with a table of bad tippers?  Do you say something?  Do you make up for their inadequacies?  Do you ignore it and pretend you can't perform simple math functions? 

25 January 2011

Hooters of America Belongs to Someone Else Now

Hooters of America was sold yesterday for $19 bagillion.  That sum approximately equates to "the cost of sale wasn't released."  Chanticleer Holdings Inc. now owns a controlling interest in Hooters after purchasing Hooters of America which held 120 corporately owned stores.  Because owning things is fun, Chanticleer also purchased Hooters largest franchisee, Texas Wings.  This means they own nearly half of all domestic Hooters.  Clearly this is a sign that they have decided to take over the world.

So what does this mean for Sauce?  Evidentially nothing I am told.  But with buying not just HOA but also Texas Wings, I have a feeling Chanticleer plans on trying to buy more people out so they can own a most epic Hooters empire.  Then they'll put a Hooters in space.

But that's just my thoughts.

24 January 2011

"No Social Media"

A few weeks ago I got an email from a fellow Hooters Girl.  She began by saying that she had come across my blog while looking for tips on applying at Hooters.  Evidentially, I am a most superior job coach because she went in knowing to expect and got the job.  I'm currently accepting more clients if you're interested.  Anyway, after letting me know I'm pretty much amazing, the Hooters Girl went on to say that she is currently a first year law student at University of Oklahoma.  I was immediately intrigued.

"When I decided to go to law school, everyone had advice on how to take tests, which supplements to read, but no one reminded me to always stay true to myself and be proud of who I am. I took and still take a lot of heat from classmates because not everyone appreciates that I enjoy getting dressed up for class and that I'm not ashamed of my side job. But I am proud of it and have learned how important it is to hold my head high!"

Guest post!  Guest post!  GUEST POST!!!  Epic, sweet content opportunity!  So I did what any good blogger would do and invited her to write a guest post about her experiences as a law school student and a Hooters Girl.  And then I got this:

"I apologize that it took me so long to reply, but I really have been thinking about the opportunity you suggested. The problem is that the store I work at has a pretty strict "NO SOCIAL MEDIA" policy. I also think that if someone I went to school with ever somehow found it, it would make my life at school more awful then it currently is."

Apparently it's a no social media
social media strategy...
The school part I totally understand, but I was actually a lot more interested in the "NO SOCIAL MEDIA" part.  It is fairly common in a lot of restaurants (and pretty much any type of business) to have similar policies that restrict employees’ use of social media.  Out here in the vicious wilderness that is the Internet you never know what anyone is really saying about you.  Of course that's only until some major media outlet or Tosh.0 gets a hold of it.  Then the whole world knows whether what you're saying is flattering or not.

And that the real reason for these types of rules; employers are worried about the negative things they imagine their workers would say about them if they were given the chance.  What better place to get your word out about how much your boss sucks than the Internet?  Here everyone will listen to you and ruin your asshat boss's sorry little life.  Of course it's rarely really like that.

What all these "no social media" people don't realize is that while anyone can say those things, not everyone is going to read them.  But of course they could - isn't that effing scary.  Let's be honest though, when your neighbor is complaining yet again about his awful job at your barbeque you're probably drowning him out.  So why is the Internet any different?  I suppose the only difference is that said boss can finally find out about everything you're saying.  And isn't that just embarrassing.

But lets put all that aside and look at the bigger picture.  Social media IS one of the best ways to reach your customers.  And even better than the vast reach is the fact that social media is free.  So why all those employers are worried about Bobby call them a "stupid douche," they're actually missing out on one of their best opportunities to connect with their client base. 

This very blog is a prime example of social media.  Yeah, I've said a few negative things, but overall this is hardly the tone of my blog.  I responsibly write about my experiences and what's it like to actually live the life that I live and amazingly people appreciate it.  People read it and respond.  They write comments and send emails.  And guess what, they even get off the couch, drive to Hooters and spend their money there.  Yes, Hooters makes money because I decided to write this blog.  And they don't have to pay a dime for it.

That's the thing, social media works.  It makes people money and it does so because it's personal and dynamic and timely.  It's a message that comes from real people, having real experiences, in real time rather than something glossy and perfect from the screen of a TV or the pages of a magazine.  Social media isn't advertising, it's real life, word of mouth.  And if all those marketing classes taught me one thing it's that word of mouth is the best form of advertising there is.  The fact is, people believe other people and social media is an amazing way of making that connection happen.

Obviously, I don't believe in "no social media" policies.  While I understand that idea is to protect business, I firmly believe that it hurts it much more.  Yes, if you leave people to say what they want you will encounter negative comments.  But what about all the good things?  In fearing the negative you are also forced to forgo the vast positive.  And if we're really going to get down it, if you have a positive environment and treat your employees well aren't they going to be saying good things anyway?

I firmly believe in social media.  I believe that it's where every business should be if they really want to make an immediate mark on their customers.  After all you, dear reader, found your way here.  Isn't social media beautiful?

22 January 2011

Happy Birthday, Ariel

It's my darling Ariel's birthday today.  She's turning 24, and as any girl does, she's being marginally depressed about her age.  This fit of depression has lead her to not request her birthday off and as such we are both scheduled to open the store this morning.  So I did what any good friend would do and hauled my ass out of bed at the crack of dawn to decorate her bar today.  It turned out something like this, only way more awesome because life isn't taken by a shitty cellphone camera.

Streamers, balloons, cliche happy birthday sign, party blowers.  I have successfully achieved birthday overload.  It's sort of like when people used to decorate your locker in junior high.  Only now I get to decorate a whole freaking bar that involves alcohol.  This must be what being a grown up is like.  Two thumbs up.

Oh and to WalMart, your birthday selection seriously BLOWS.  This is why I'm now waiting for Target to open so I can get a sash, crown, birthday card that doesn't suck and random other shit I chance accross at the best store in the world.  I love you, Target.

19 January 2011

Sure I'll Split Your Ticket

I've made it clear before, that I am very opinionated on the subject of split tickets.  Now it might seem stupid to be worried about a little thing like people needing separate tabs but they never make the process convenient.  In fact, they prefer to make the process as close to mimicking Chinese water torture as humanly possible.  I'm not really sure why this is, but people seem to have this innate need to make my life a living hell.   They prefer to do this at extremely convenient times.  Like lunch rushes.

It's never a good sign when a table of nine comes in and six of them are middle-aged woman who clearly don't want to be lunching at Hooters.  This is made readily apparent by all six women being entirely nonresponsive as I cordially greet them at the door.  It is also made apparently by their looks of general disdain for my overall existence.  When they precede to order water and salad or water and soup or water and more water I decide it's in my best interest to place each person on their own seat so that the inevitable splitting of tickets will be a (relative) breeze later.  This was a good decision.

I split the tickets - as I assumed I would have to - quickly because each person's order was separated by seat.  And then I saw it.  Nine stacks of cash.  Why in the world do you need split tickets when everyone is paying cash?  Split tickets make absolutely NO sense when everyone has a wad of bills of various denomination at their disposal.  What, you say you don't have the appropriate change?  Give me that damn twenty and I'll gladly give you a couple fives and some ones.  Then freaking round.  What, you don't know the exact cost of what you ordered?  You ordered soup and water.  I'm sure you can calculate the cost of one thing.  It's written in the goddamn menu after all.  Or, if you ordered *gasp* two things get out that cellphone and add it up.  Or exercise that mental math you clearly no longer use.

Why must you torture me by making me count change ten times?  I don't carry endless amounts of money in the stupid little pouch.  This means I have to take all your cash to the bar and get change.  After I change your money out I have to count out the correct change nine separate times.  Not only does it make me want to gouge my eyes out, it takes an awful lot of time.  An awful lot of time that makes you pissed off because you have a business meeting to get to so you can discuss topics of importance.  Can anyone think of an easy way to remedy this time consuming and annoying situation?  Oh yeah, you can be a normal person and all "throw in" on one tab.

Instead, you have to wait while your impatience grows.  Naturally, this waiting is my fault and though I've given you impeccable service for the last forty-five minutes I am suddenly horrible at my job.  This obviously gives you the right to leave me a dollar.  Or less.

And for the record, table 16, I can technically refuse to split a ticket for a party larger than eight.  My menu says so.  I can also add an 18% gratuity.  In case you were wondering nine is bigger than eight.  But we all know math isn't your thing. You're welcome for the favor.

18 January 2011

It's Good to be Back

When I got back to work this weekend I was in the best sort of mood.  The type of mood that can only be achieved after three weeks on a fabulous European vacation where you almost totally forget the meaning of the word "responsibility."  It is a well-documented phenomenon at Hooters that one of the best ways to be a better Hooters Girl is to not be a Hooters Girl for a while.  It's a foolproof method of improving one's ability to be Hooterific.

Yes, I was happy to be at work.  It was probably halfway through my Saturday shift that I realized how incredibly lucky that makes me.  I mean how many people go on vacation, come home and actually look forward to going to work?  I have an inkling that doesn't happen to everyone.  Actually I think most people go into a fit of depression on returning to their desk or cash register or heavy machinery.  Don't get me wrong, there are days I hate my job after dealing with yet another snobby douche that believes my whole purpose is to shower them with ranch dressing and endless refills for a fat 10% tip, but mostly I love what I do.  That shit even surprises me sometimes.

Realizing how much I liked being back at work led me to acknowledge that people WILL tip you better if you're genuinely in a good mood.  Believe it or not people can see through your "I'm at work and I'm going to force myself to be sugary sweet and peppy as eff" bullshit.  They will reward you being for genuine.  This was confirmed by two days of awesome tips.  Of course my good mood had little to no effect on those people who suck in general.  Nothing can increase tips from those yahoos.  Not even me serving their food on solid gold dishes and shitting diamonds.  I've come to accept that fact.

But the best part?  People actually missed me.  Managers wanted to schedule me.  Hooters Girls wanted to work with me.  And regulars wanted to be served by me.  Actually, regulars wanted to be served by me so badly some even stopped coming in until I came back to town.  My ability to be totally legit has officially been confirmed by compliments, hugs and cold hard cash.  I call that job security, my friends.

So welcome back.  This shit is on like that one Super Nintendo game with the big gorilla that wears a tie.

Welcome to AccordingtoSauce.com

Goodbye girlandguitar.blogspot.  You're now on the new and improved accordingtosauce.com!  While the old address will still bring you to the blog, this new address is just way cooler.  Humor me and use it so I can feel important.

If you're one of the totally wonderful people who links to my blog, please update your link (or at least change the name associated with the link).  Thanks again for spreading the Sauce.

Also, my contact email has changed along with the URL.  Please address all of you comments, questions and what not to Sauce@accordingtosauce.com.  

Now I'm going to bask in my officialness.  And my ability to make up words.

Yup, That Just Happened

Welcome to the the start of my changes.  Yeah, I'm excited too.

In addition to the background (which I spent entirely too much time on) and header change, I've also added several pages to better organize the blog.  This has allowed me to include a lot less crap in the right hand column.  Theoretically this should make life easier for all of you.  Or at least it'll look prettier.  Which makes me smile.

Feel free to leave any comments regarding the look and usability of my new setup.  They'd be greatly appreciated so I can make sure everything is working correctly.

Good news, Dreamy only called me a nerd seven to eight times during this - initial - reformatting.  It's only really true if he calls me that ten times.  Bullet dodged.

Oh and if you noted the the URL no longer matches the title, that will be changing too when I'm not sleep deprived.  I'm planning on a real, live, honest to goodness URL without all the blogspot stuff.

This shit is getting official.

17 January 2011

Change is Good

So I've decided to make some changes to the ol' blog that I think you'll love.  Of course if you don't love them you can go ahead and lie to me.  I hear white lies are totally acceptable and even preferred in situations such as this.  Or if your friend has suffered a really bad sunburn or bad haircut or just looks like hell one day.  But honesty is cool too.  Whatever.  You're gonna love it.

Get ready my friends for some epic awesomeness in the days to come.  Don't worry, the content won't be changing.  Unless you count it getting more awesome - which I have a few plans for.  Anyhooters, most of the changes will be cosmetic.  Cosmetic and  AWESOME.

So if I post a little less than normal in the next week it's because I'm preparing for blog domination.  And then world domination.  One step at a time.

12 January 2011

What Do You Want?

Recently, I've been doing a lot of thinking regarding how I can improve this blog.  It's not that I want to make vast changes, I just see the value in small - or not so small - changes that increase value.  Basically, I want to make this blog better for the people who read it.

So I've had all these ideas.  Layout changes.  Name changes.  Heading changes.  Just random crap.  And then I thought if I'm going to be making any changes I might as well ask my readers what they want.  After all I'm not the one who's looking subjectively at this blog every day.  I just write shit.

Now I open it up to you.  What change would you like to see on "Girl and Guitar?"  Seriously.  Give it to me straight.

Now lets make some presidential decisions and shit.

I did have a real reason for this picture once.

The Call Button of Duty

I have returned to the ol' U.S. of A.  My return was made most apparent in the following conversation I had in a bar bathroom:

Girl:  "Cute boots!  Where'd you get them?"

Sauce:  "Thanks!  Amsterdam, actually."

Girl:  "Hmmm.  Where's that store?"

Sauce:  "Um, it's a city.  In Europe."

Yup, I'm back in Montana for sure.  If the horse sculptures, cowboy art and single escalator at the airport didn't remind me, that conversation certainly did.  Let's have a geography lesson for my bathroom buddy.

Get some knowledge.  Credit.

Now you know.  Hopefully, somewhere out there, I've enlightened a bar patron or twelve.  I also hope I've shown that the Indian Ocean is full of old wooden ships and that Canada is populated by snowpeople (I have cousins that live there, I would know).

Now that we've had our daily dose of learning, I am ready to concentrate on going back to work on Saturday.  Of course I really mean that I am dreading putting on that uniform because I've been eating like Louis the freaking XVI for three weeks (and I haven't even been in France).  Ugh.  Other than the fear of all things nylon and Lycra, I'm actually looking forward to working.  I am obviously a glutton for punishment. 

I hope you're getting excited for my return to serving the good people of the world.  I know I'm getting excited to vent about it on the Internet.

I leave you now with proof that all service jobs are full of douches. 

Probably an accurate representation.  Credit.
There I was, enjoying the cramped comfort of seat 26A three hours into my nine-hour flight, when the lady in front of me hit the call button.  It wasn't so much that she gently pushed the button, but rather impatiently mashed the button as if the flight attendant could feel her extreme need for useless shit.  Down the aisle I noticed the nearest flight attendant filling the drink cart.  Clearly busy.  Naturally, this went unnoticed and - to get her point across - the lady decided it would be prudent to repeatedly turn the call light on and off.

After only a few moments, the flight attendant notice the flickering call light and makes her way down the isle.  She smiles down at the lady and begins to ask what she may need when she is rudely and promptly interrupted.

"Well if you're going to just STAND over there you might as well get me a Diet Coke."

Say what?!  I imagined with pleasure the dramatic eye roll I can only hope occurred as soon as that flight attendant turned her back to that bitch.  I noticed it took awhile for that Diet Coke to find it's way back to her seat.  Yes, douches are everywhere.  No orange shorts required.

02 January 2011

Random Photos to Prove I Still Exist

I now present you with a selection of photos from my current European adventures.  This serves to simultaneous prove my existence to the world and prove my high level of awesome.  Enjoying basking in my shitty photo skills.

I celebrated my Christmas by attending the symphony.  This was held in a gorgeous concert hall that made me feel as if I should be wearing some type of gown of fineish material.  Of course rather than wearing a fabulous gown I was nearly falling asleep because I was naughty and celebrated Christmas Eve by having a drink or ten.  But for the record I actually like the symphony.  I however do not like the Dutch custom of at least five ovations after each piece.  That's not an exaggeration.
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

Here I've thrown in a classic Dutch photo for you.  That's pretty much all I have to say.  Well besides the fact that I didn't notice how gross the water looked in real life.

This is the Rijksmuseum and it's home to lots of famous shit like Rembrandt's "Night Watch."  Of course it's actually closed for renovation so I paid €12 to see a small portion of artwork and wait in line for two hours.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

In addition to seeing the masters, I attended the Cobra museum which celebrates a modern art movement.  Cobra stands for Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam and was basically a clique for really cool artists.
Cobra Museum, Amstelveen

This is modern art.  Or something that would be really weird if you were drunk.
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 

This is also modern art.  It's a collection of people's heights marked on all four walls of a room.  Somewhere in this mumbo gumbo is my name.  Yup, just a face in the crowd.

This is my Dad's hometown, Utrecht.  I'll now be obvious and point out that it was foggy. 

In the Dom, we lit four candles for each of my grandparents.  I - and my family - am not particularly religious, but it was a peaceful, important and needed moment.
Dom, Utrecht

We also spent the foggy day visiting with my cousins who live in a windmill.  Seriously.  My cousins live in an effing windmill.

Then finally it was New Year's Eve.  I'd love to tell you all about that, but I don't quite have all the holes in the story sorted out.  I did spend the holiday in Amsterdam after all.  I will however provide you with one of three pictures I took during the festitivites.  I will also point out that I was not drunk at this point.

There you have it.  Photographic proof that somewhere in the world Sauce is still doing her thing.  One week left in Amsterdam.  Sigh.


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