Why Didn’t You… Why Did You…

The good news is, I didn’t quit on Friday.

The bad news is, Friday was a pretty horrible day.

I can sum up the tone and malaise of the day by the following few examples of the too many “WHY” questions I was asked as I greeted and helped arrange seating for 450-plus:

“Why can’t I just make a reservation for an hour from now?” Because we have no room in the book, but feel free to walk in at any time. “Okay, but why can’t I just make a reservation?” Sigh.

“Why don’t you know the name of my group? It’s a big party–10 people, or maybe six, I don’t know. I don’t know if we have reservations.” If you don’t know, I don’t know. “Why can’t I just look on your computer screen for the name?” Because 10 other people are waiting behind you who do know the names of the people they are meeting, because I just read several names to you that might have been your group–and you just can’t come behind the podium, period.

“Why can’t I come in to use the bathroom?” Because I saw you panhandling outside our front door, because you are not a customer, and because I am taking a stand and saying no. “But why?” Because.

“Why did you call someone and ask them to watch me? You don’t like the way I look?” No, sir, I don’t. You looked heavily under the influence as you entered, and I was worried about what was actually in the water bottle you carried. “It’s a free country, right? It’s a bar open to the public in here, right?” he asked, getting closer to the podium, and to me. To which one of the managers replied, “I am sorry sir. I am sorry for the misunderstanding.” To which the guy said to me, “Why did you call a manager to ask them to watch me? Why didn’t you just let me alone? I can take this to the next level, ’cause it’s the way I look, isn’t it?” To which I replied–nothing. And I walked away from the podium while the manager continued to apologize, because I was doing my very best to keep control and not tell him to get the f— away from me.

“Why would you EVER seat a deuce at that big booth? Why? I mean, two in that booth? Why did you do that?” asked my immediate supervising supervisor, not once but several times, as customers crowded the foyer and stood three deep at my podium while I handed out pagers (and no, he was not the manager apologizing to the aggressive drunk guy). Because they wanted to watch soccer. Because no one else would sit in those particular bar booths. Because I figured you wanted people paying to eat lunch with us rather than walking out. “But why?” Oh, please.

“And now you are seating a single in a booth? Why are you doing THAT?” Somehow, I knew you’d ask me that, supervising manager. Because he had been waiting forever, and he was very nice about it, and I thought I’d seat him in a booth because I could. “But why one person in a booth? Come on!” Because you never work a shift when I am working, and I know you are feeling a need to do a “manager thing” with me, so I thought it would be fun to see if you were paying attention. Yeah, that’s it!

“Why won’t you let me go back and see your swimming pool?” You have to leave now, sir. Right now. Right out that door. “Aw, come on, I KNOW there’s a swimming pool in here! Right back there! Why won’t you let me see it? Now!” Because you are crazy and I just can’t deal with another crazy person today. And you, sir, are nuts.

“Why would you EVER book a 25-top tonight? Don’t you know how busy we are going to be? You actually did that?” Yes, supervising manager, I did. And I had the okay from our/your GM and his boss. “Great, they won’t be here when the party comes in. I”ll have to deal with it. Okay, whatever.” Yeah, whatever.

The good news is, Friday is long over.

The bad news is, I’m still fretting about it.






8 responses to “Why Didn’t You… Why Did You…”

  1. SkippyMom Avatar

    Sweetie….you yourself said this was a great job and a bonus was “You get to leave it at the door when you walk out.” Please let it go…..Your blog attests to how seriously you take doing things well and your being above reproach, but honestly….it is just a job and a job seating people [at that] for goodness sakes…you need to get over it and go back with a smile on your face. If you take this kind of day this hard you will never last in the business…..and we don’t want that, your blog is too cool ~ Take care and hang in there!!!

  2. sara Avatar

    Why would your supervising manager be pissed that you booked a 25 top? Uh, my managers like 25-tops. Um, money? And if they tip on top of the automatic gratuity, the servers really like me too when I seat a large party. My favorite was when someone yesterday was waiting for a six-top to open up, but there were only two of them, and I couldn’t seat them until they were all there. When the other six (yes, it turned into an eight top) showed up an hour later, they didn’t understand why there was still a wait. I’d managed to keep a six-top open but not an eight top. Why? Why do you keep your friends waiting for an hour, and then show up with more people than expected and then have the nerve to ask me why you can’t be seated right away?

  3. cheryl Avatar

    Your friday was my tonight (sunday)… worst night since I’ve been at my restaurant (six months) yet– we had a call-in, the worst possible staff on the fountain, we got slammed the whole night through and everyone was flipping out, one guy got sent home he was so bad (didn’t help matters). At one point I had a 13, a 15, a 2, and two 4 tops, all the while the fountain had a 15-minute ticket time and the kitchen wasn’t even doing some of the checks. I am considering handing in my resigation and looking for a restaurant that is run a little bit better… I don’t mind large parties, as long as they are paced correctly and the hostess is keen to what’s going on. Where I work is considered a fast-in-fast-out kind of place, and there’s no way to give that kind of service the way things are going… I just feel bad cos so many of the good staff is leaving all at once for various reasons, and they’re going to have to train new staff, during the summer of all times. yikes.

  4. Natalie Avatar

    Quit fretting. Friday is over. Take some time to pamper yourself and return to work with a smile. You’r the Gal for goodness sakes!! =)

  5. Lee Avatar

    I agree with all of the above folks. I don’t know you of course, but reading your thoughts makes me believe that you’re one of the Good People(tm). Let it go, do whatever you’ve got to, to let it go. A nice long hot bath with bubbles ‘n chocolate and good music and a book. There’s the ticket right there.

  6. Restaurant Gal Avatar

    Lee–Bubbles ‘n chocolate and great music and a book sound great. So does my vacation in Vegas a week from today!

    Am working on leaving the bad feelings behind and moving on to a busy week before my vacation.

    –The Gal

  7. Michele Avatar

    Honey, I completely feel ya. I’m new to the blog, but having done the service job industry nigh-on for six years now, I totally feel ya. And I’ve never even had the hellish experience that is hosting. You guys need way more respect than us servers do. Good job, I’ll be back to read more , I promise 🙂

  8. Bass Player Avatar

    As I read this entry, I kept thinking, “She just answered that question! Why are they repeating themselves?”

    And bosses who undermine your duty and intelligence–sheesh. I got no words for them. A few gestures, maybe.

    You got patience as well as class, RG>