June 23, 2010

The Bitchy Waitress (when no one's watching)

So another day at work. I have to admit waitressing is not the best job in the world, or rather it isn't at the place where I'm working. I'm not worrying of any one of them seeing this or reading it as, even if they did, they would probably not understand a word as it is a good enough thing they speak Italian and not just southern dialects! (uuuh harsh... yes I know, but I need to get my frustration out somewhere and... it's called HONESTY ;P )

I think the problem with this place is that it's not a normal bar/restaurant, no. It's a bar/restaurant inside a stupidly posh Tennis Club. That's where the problem starts.
One of the first rules for a waitress is surely to be polite, friendly and always smile but trust me when your serving a bunch of old club members who believe to be Kings and Queens of the world and forgot the meaning of the word "respect", and when they don't even go there to play tennis but sit around a table and play cards and think they can treat you like a meaningless object(because apparently we're not people, we're like robots to them), well... it's very hard to keep calm and still smile. Today for example I was taking out to the tables three plates of pasta (of course because of the awful organisation, when you get the dishes from the kitchen you have no idea who ordered them, unless it was someone who ordered the plate from you directly. Your colleagues of course don't remember, so you wonder around the tables like a desperate soul hoping for another desperately hungry soul to notice you with their order in your hands). So after my "wondering-aorund-the-tables-trying-not-to-drop-the-plates" I finally find who asked for them. I place the plates on the table and one of the "ehm-'gentle'men" asks for parmisan. I say "sure I'll bring it in just a second". I have to go to the kitchen and get it and I still have to hand out the other two dishes. As I do so, he goes "I need it NOW", especially emphasizing on the NOW. God gave me two hands dear, which a lot of times are not enough for a waitress but that's all I have unless you want me to start serving you with my feet. I say "Yes sir I'll get it now". Still handing out the plates because one apparently belonged to no one so I'm still looking for who asked for it, the man says, looking at me really pissed off "Do YOU understand me?" - Notice that in all of this, roughly a minute had passed (not even) from when he requested the parmisan to when he asked me if I understood what he said... I do not know what held me from taking the parmisan and throwing it all on his head finishing off with a nice "pasta-shampoo". Impatience. Typical characteristic off ALL the customers in that restaurant everything immediately. They don't care whether you're about to collpase, or have another 20 people asking you for 20 different things from 20 different places, you still have to do EVERYTHING all at once because people CAN'T WAIT. (When they have aall day free doing nothing as most are pensioners). Ah, so much patience for a bitchy waitress.

To some extent I'll admit I'm glad for this job because it's opening my eyes to a lot of things and considering I have my little dream of having my own little restaurant one day, this is helping me to see "How not to do things when you own a restaurant".

I honestly don't care much about working there and how things are done for now, if people want to be mean and arrogant just because they're members of a club, well let them be. I'm not planning my career on waitressing them rather maybe, having my own restaurant somewhere. But, I feel sorry for other people working there with me, who actually have no other options. (This is when I realised how lucky I am with all my education and all the opportunities I have had and still have, never have I appreciated my education more than now!)

There's a lady who works with me. She's really fantastic. But in her thirties with a little girl to take care of, and no fixed job. She works in 5 different places and runs from one to the other like a headless chicken, as she needs as much money as she can get. She works her *** off night and day plus she's got serious problems with her back as a few years ago she went to a so-called "massage-therapist" to reliev her back-acke...well turns out he broke her back for 'mishandling'the massage movements... Life is totally unfair to this wonderful woman. The place were we work, she works like crazy, she's got 10 years of experience in waitressing and they pay her less than what minimun wage in England would be.
For me, even if I'm underpaid I don't care at the moment, I'll work these last few days make a little bit of extra money for myself and next year I'll hopefully find a better job or internship and this is still all experience for me! But, for her... she doesn't have as much freedom as I do, she can't leave this job because she's underpaid, because finding another one is much harder and she'd risk having nothing. There is no appreciation at all for all the effort she puts in and I honestly think this is a disgusting behaviour on beside of the manager.

On a changing note of "how not to be a restaurant manager", if I was personally responsible of a restaurant I would not leave half way through the day, abandoning all my staff there, handing all the resposnsibility to the lady I mentioned earlier, when I know that later that afternoon the cleaning inspector will be there. No, I would WANT to be there. Not pass the responsibilty on to my employees (waiters and waitresses). It's my restaurant, I'm responsible for it not my employees! Well this is what happened today, both the managers left, as obviously they had a dirty conscience and facing the inspector would have been too much for them.
I have never seen a place so badly organised and managed (maybe I haven't seen enough places yet either... ) but for what I have seen now, I really don't think this place will last for long. Yes, tonight I've definetly been a bitchy waitress... but shhh, don't tell anyone (haha (the irony) =)), I'm still holding up my smile ;)

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