When did America become so entitled? I remember when people used to be respectful and have some dignity in public.
Tonight was an eye opener for sure. I don't remember ever getting this worked up about a table- it has certainly been a while since I have even been this mad. Typically when someone insults you or starts to speak in a condescending manner it isn't that hard to get past. Now when that behavior persists and that person continues to abuse and attack you in any way possible then it gets to be ridiculous.
I just had the customer FROM HELL sit in my section and maybe it was for a reason. To be honest she left in (crocodile) tears tonight and I have no remorse for that- none whatsoever because she absolutely deserved it. She got smacked in the face with reality. Nobody else was strong enough to stand up to her in the past and I gave her a full dose of truth tonight.
I am completely used to high maintenance tables and have no problem with them. I love the challenge of a difficult table, in fact I do best when I have a very complicated table with certain needs. I am fantastic at providing for people with special needs and desires... but be SOMEWHAT reasonable please.
This lady tonight was none of the above. She is in a special class of her own- a conversational terrorist so to speak. She takes every opportunity to belittle and berate you as you perform flawlessly. Constantly nitpicking and backtracking the entire table whilst completely embarrassing her company (her husband and friend ) in the process. I did my best to completely ignore her behavior as long as possible until it was no longer an option.
This is the type of person to look for any reason to complain or get an edge on the establishment. First when she DEMANDED a certain table, after seeing it being cleared, and was told that it was reserved by another party she said that we were "discriminating against her because she is fat". The host responded by saying "I never said anything about your weight ma'am and they reserved that table before you came in."
She pulled the discrimination card again after my manager had already told her she wasn't welcome here anymore. This time it was us "discriminating against her food allergies" which seemed to pop out of nowhere. She told me she was allergic to "poppy seeds and alcohol".... when her husband's dish showed up with some balsamic glaze on it she immediately grabbed it and sniffed it for whatever reason. I assured her it had no alcohol or poppy seeds- yet after stealing a few bites from her mate she complained that she needed to see the ingredients in the balsamic glaze now. I brought her the bottle of balsamic glaze which says it was made with vinegar... she proceeds to tell me she is now allergic to vinegar which can make her sick. YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO TELL ME THIS SHIT BEFORE I PUT IN YOUR ORDER NOT AFTER!
At this point I was so frustrated with her attitude I took the bottle and walked away. Upon my next visit to the table she says "Why did you walk away in the middle of me talking to you?" and that is when I responded "Are you always rude to strangers or just the ones who are helping you?" and she was in absolute shock because nobody has ever stood up to her it seems.
Even her friend and husband we cowering in fear of her at this point- she tried to say "Now you are yelling at me?" yet I never raised my voice- I was just chastising her for her inappropriate behavior. I replied "I am not yelling. I'll have your check right out." At this point I told my manager and gave the check to another server to deliver. Of course they ask for the manager when the other server goes by the table and he was dreading every moment of it. I walked back to the table with him and didn't have to say a word. He had my back completely because he is very familiar with this lady and her shenanigans. In so many words he said "We would appreciate if you don't come back." and her immediate response was to act shocked and ask why- as if she didn't understand how her actions would cause this kind of reaction.
He had to explain how she has a literal rap-sheet of notes from us, ranging from how rude she was the hosts to her particular "allergies" and habits. She mistreated several of our members already and really didn't deserve a second chance but our manger is a very nice guy. When she disrespected me and both of the hosts repeatedly though it was the last straw. This lady even went so far as to lie and say she has never talked to this manager or seen him before when she has had several interactions with him and our staff... all of them very disrespectful.
This person likes to pull the Angry White Woman tirade that has worked so well for her in the past. All you have to do is exaggerate and lie and you can have anything you want in America (if you're a white woman that is). Most of the time it works, in fact most of the time especially where I live. Today I gave this woman a full dose of reality: You aren't special and you aren't going to walk all over me. I am a human being and I will be respected.
The most important lesson my father ever taught me wasn't with his words. It was with his actions... I saw him working himself thin, day in and day out at jobs he probably hated. Eventually he decided that enough was enough and that he would try to form his own companies. Through trial and error he inevitably found his niche and has been able to eek out some level of success without having a "boss". Through his experience I learned that you don't want to work hard in this world, you want to work smart!
Not to say that working hard won't get you anywhere because it certainly will, up to a point. After that you need to become more creative and inventive to really have an edge. Sure, working hard will help you to get by. But is simply getting by ENOUGH? As humans we always desire more- more comfort, more money, more happiness, more freedom. The list goes on and on. Working a 9-5 job simply wont cut it these days while most people are living paycheck to paycheck.
You need to be different, you need to think outside of the box to really have a competitive edge in today's economy. For most people, my co-workers included, this means getting a second job and working yourself into a lifeless zombie. It doesn't have to be that way anymore! In this day and age there are many things you can do to earn a second source of income rather than selling your time to your employer. That is just the "easy" way out (mentally not physically). Personally I invest, write and play poker on the side for supplemental income.
Part of the reason why I decided to stick with the serving industry for my profession is because of the freedom and flexibility it can offer. Short hours, daily cashflow, set schedule times with no graveyard shifts. Moving into fine dining was obviously a very huge jump from the casual dining jobs I was experienced with but the job is essentially the same at its core. The main difference being the cost per plate which equates to more dollars in your pocket. Attention to detail is a must at this level since people will be very critical of your performance.
The better you execute, the more highly you are paid. This is especially true at my job since people are already spending so much money they expect a certain standard of service. Not all customer service jobs are created equal- in retail you get ZERO reward for exceptional performance, other than a pat on the back. This puts fine dining at the top of the list for food service jobs by far! Most nights I only have to work 6 hours and get paid more than triple what I used to make at one of my old jobs.
Every decision you make can open or close a door in your path. Sometimes you make these decisions by accident and other times by choice. Every once in a while you get lucky and stumble into a fortune or a fantastic situation. Other times you may be destined for failure or defeat automatically from the start. We can only learn from our mistakes and move on...
There are often times when I look back and say " Why didn't I see the red flags?!" or "What in the hell was I thinking? Was I even thinking???" Being human we are all prone to mistakes and faults. We must own up to these mistakes and move forward- try to make amends. Pointing the finger of blame only creates more problems instead of solving them.
I became a server out of necessity for a better job- a different KIND of job. Something that wasn't nine to five or some sort of cubicle corporate bullshit. I was frankly tired of working retail and doing hourly work in general. I had even managed at a few places but the responsibility and bureaucracy eventually wore me thin. I was lucky enough to fall into the serving industry by chance... one of my exes was a server for YEARS and explained it all to me. I was sold after I learned I could make DOUBLE what I was making before in LESS HOURS.
Flash forward 5 years and here I am. Being a naturally observant person of course I would absorb and learn everything there is around me. I have learned the ins and outs of this job without a doubt. Sometimes it can be exhausting beyond belief, mentally, emotionally and physically. We are performers so to speak- presenting a fake version of our real personality. Be it friendlier, less timid, more exciting, or MORE REFINED. All the while executing your job perfectly.
If you aren't acting you aren't making the most you can while serving. This industry is about presentation not reality.
All the while I have to maintain my own sanity behind the scenes among a crowded, hot and often uncomfortable crew of servers, cooks, dishwashers, bussers, hosts and managers. The show MUST go on- we can't have it any other way! The stress is the first thing that gets to people. The constant emotional and mental drain will break you down must faster than the physical strain. It is a job for sadists in a way.
I have seen many people come and go and it doesn't even phase me anymore. I am used to the chaos, the panic, the drama and antics. In a sick way I enjoy the absolute anarchy that ensues while we are working- I thrive in this this environment.
The trade-off is clear. Money today for your soul tomorrow. Such is the way of life.
I guess I have no excuse other than I really didn't give a shit. I know I have a website, I know I'm supposed to update it and all. Hell I even pay for it every month and keep saying to myself- I'll do it later. Well I guess later is finally now.
It has been one hell of a year! SO many things have changed in my life yet surprisingly I am still at the same job. Still serving tables- but everything around me has evolved.
I spent much of time and energy over the past year studying, researching and investing into cryptocurrencies and I was rewarded greatly. I was lucky enough to be there before the big rush and be able to position myself to profit on the masses buying into this space. I took a few vacations and was even able to help out my friends and family with some of that money.
My obsession came at a cost however. I am no longer with the girlfriend that I was with for over 2 years. The one who was also a server at a local place- living the same daily struggle that I was, and still am. The one who saw me create ServerLyf and was there to support me all along. I became so intensely involved in my work and writing that I completely neglected my personal relationship with her and many of my other responsibilities.
I was not unproductive, in a literary sense, and continued to write throughout the entire year. I took things in a different direction and began to write about cryptocurrencies- Bitcoin specifically. While in the back of my mind I was continually thinking about topics I could write and post here, I focused mainly on my other passions. I just came back from my yearly Vegas trip and have been spending a tremendous amount of time and energy playing and studying the game as well.
As far as my restaurant is concerned it has been PURE CHAOS. Where I left off last I was describing how things were slowly falling apart. It has only gotten worse over the past year to the point where people are completely fed up with the situation and everyone is always casting the blame on other people. "It's the manager's fault" or "It's corporate's fault" or "It's so and so's fault". Nobody wants to step up and accept the blame in order to move on and create a more productive environment. The workplace has frankly become toxic...
At least several times a week I ask myself "WHY THE HELL DID I CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION?!" There are no real benefits other than the short term ones- short hours, getting paid daily, and (somewhat) flexible schedules. In the long term you get a worn out body, alcoholism and a general hatred for humanity. You would not believe how pretentious and entitled some people can be, and this includes the SERVERS.
The money is good- and I mean DAMN GOOD. So I keep my mouth shut, for the most part, and just do as good of a job as I can and get paid. It takes care of the ridiculous rent where I live and covers my car payment and student loans each month.
I intend on opening up a merch shop pretty soon so I can do shirts, pens, wine keys and other stuff for servers so stay tuned for an update (EVENTUALLY)!