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Server/ waiter/ restaurant spoilers alert!


Last night I had a server dream. Butt, it wasn’t the traditional server nightmare. Okay, if you’ve never served in a restaurant, I’m probably going to lose you. One of the last things I do is name the blog, so I can “overview” the whole episode before I post, so this will have to have something of a… warning?

I’ve been watching Nightmare on Elm Streets for Halloween. I don’t think it’s helped or hindered my sleep, that’s always been rough. Those of you that live alone can attest you can do whatever you want to, whenever you want. And this is compounded by being unemployed. I decided the middle of the night was the coolest temp of the day and the quietest from neighbor annoyances out front or banging shit around outside my window when I’m laying trying to sleep.

So, the dream: I was in a restaurant I hadn’t been in before and I usually sketch it out when I remember it. If you enter the 2 metal bar handled windowed doors, on the left are a couple of rows, the 30’s and 50’s, my station. Restaurants each have some numbering system for their tables that often don’t make sense. And they are often mixed when tables are added or a wall modification affects the table count, etc.

The 30’s are a long bench and 4 deuce tables that can be formed to 2 4-tops with 2 people at each having to use chairs. The 50’s are a row behind the chairs that are 2 4-top tables and 8 chairs. If you follow that left wall to the left, you’ll come to the dish washing area where there was no one present in the dream, of course. A server could triangulate this slump was between 2-4:00PM. I’ve worked in restaurants where shit is allowed to pile up til someone arrives 4:00-ish, which makes no sense. I’ve even worked places where I had to wash my own shit being a late lunch server. Doesn’t say much for the quality of this place in my dream.

There were things to learn on the menu and I didn’t notice any type of buffet or salad bar setup, but it “felt” very much buffet style. Water glasses were the yellow plastic tiny cobblestone patterned glasses, you know the ones. They retain the smell of bleach. The soda glasses were those curvy glasses, they have about 4 wavy “rings” around them. Very detailed dream.

I do know that I was out of server shape. One thing a server can rely on is that soreness during training. Tray or plate carrying builds those forearms. There is no sitting in a 6 some odd hour shift and you feel it in your calves. If you think you get a break, servers know you usually don’t. If you decide to sit at the small dumpy employee table that no one cleans (including cigarette smokers), you’ll be sitting for about 5 minutes because your food is being made 95% of the “break.”

The silverware was that cheap thin crap. And I’ve worked with wedding banquet utensils that have weight and heft to them, steak serrated dagger knives with big wood handles a baby can’t wrap their fingers around. THAT’s silverware.

The coworkers were- surprise- not much help. I think I have dreams like this to enhance my ability to adapt and do things on my own, but the reality is that real restaurants ARE like this. And that’s sad because these are the first people to ask you to cover their shift before you even get on the schedule.

I had a couple of tables. I did good on one table (2 guys, one had a kid) and on the second, it was 2 ladies who wanted 2 sprites and everyone and their fucking mothers got in my way to get back to them, especially people in other sections giving me their prebus shit before I could get the 2 sprites in my hands. I got the expected stiff, I was actually surprised I didn’t get the new penny- “the nickel of shame.”

There’s a video game that’s the closest to serving procedures. It’s any game with Flo. She started with a diner, but then got into games with weddings and cruise ships and resorts. The problem is you can get into a groove, but then shit speeds up a little. Remember that video game Tapper? You just sling beer, go to the next rows where people are coming in. Occasionally you run down the table to haul in tips. This is the mistake Flo games have. It gets faster and you wind up slinging shit for speed.

These games are totally unaware that as soon as you get in a groove, one customer will stop you with 4 plates of food to lecture you as long as they can about he straw paper bit that was at the bottom of their soda glass that they flagged some other server for.

As downer as this may read, I was happy to have this dream. I was serving again, at least. And shakedowns are always a hassle for a week, then you start pulling in the TIPS instead of making your trainer money. That’s actually time to try all the shit you wouldn’t do because they get stiffed.



2012/10/08 - Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , , , ,

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