Flipping Out

When I decide to flip out and have a meltdown, I tend to act a lot like Christian Bale.

From 4:30 until 9:30 tonight I did not have a break.  I did not have time to get a drink, go pee, eat anything or smoke a cigarette.  I did not get a break from country music, screaming kids, needy customers, or needier co-workers.  All I had to eat all day was a small bag of cashews and a yogurt bar.

Did I mention the buser quit?  Well, she did.  Today.  Right before her shift.

No buser in the summer means double duty for the servers.  I bust my ass and pre-bus my tables so I can get the tables cleared as quickly as possible when people leave.  Most servers don’t do this, which means my section is usually the only one with clean tables.  On one hand I get more tables which means I make more money, but on the other hand, seriously, screw you bitches for not pre-busing. 

At around 9:30 a wave of people left my section and I hauled ass to get the four tables cleaned so I could go outside and smoke.  It is against policy to go outside if you have dirty tables, but I seem to be the only one to follow that policy.  Just as I finished cleaning the fourth table, Angel sat some people in my section. 

Okay.  Not a big deal.  Water, drink order, food order and then I can go outside. 

When I walked out of the waitstaion with water I noticed I had 2 more tables. 

W.T.F.? !

Fine.  Whatever.  Water, 3 drink orders, 3 food orders, outside.

As I was getting water for all 3 tables, Goth Girl came in the waitstation and told me she seated me again because I was the only one with clean tables.

Seriously?  I feel a Christian Bale moment coming on.  No.  Shut up, shut up, don’t traumatize yet another hostess.

Goth Girl offered to get water for the new table and get their drinks, so I calmly explained how my plan to actually have a moment to myself before I went batshit insane and killed a whole bunch of people got jacked.  I told her I would NOT be cleaning off the two new empty tables anytime soon, so the other servers either needed to get their shit together and clean some tables or the hostesses needed to clean tables in someone’s section other than mine.

Communication is key or so they tell me.

At a little after 10:00 all of my tables had their food, some had their tickets, some were at the register paying, so I figured it was safe to order something small to eat.  I called back a side of hushpuppies and told the cooks not to burn them. 

When I went to the register to pay for them, which is about 5 feet away from the food window, Goth Girl had a question.  I was standing at the register, 5 feet away from the food window, when Hick Cook yelled my name.  I don’t mean he called it, I mean he bellowed like he was calling the cows home.  I ignored him since the only thing he could call me for was my food.

Before I could pay for the hushpuppies, Angel had a question.  As I helped her, 5 feet away from the food window, Hick Cook bellowed my name again.  Then LMKIA had a question and Hick Cook bellowed my name AGAIN.

I took about 3 steps to the food window and said, “I know you can see me standing right there.  Repeatedly bellowing my name is absurd.”

He asked, “Did you want a side of hushpuppies or hushpuppies to replace the ones on the catfish?” 

What catfish?  I didn’t have catfish.  What the hell is he talking about?

“What did I order?”

“Uh…a side of hushpuppies?”

“Then that’s what I want.”

I looked down and saw a basket of black marbley looking things.  “These better not be my hushpuppies.”

“They are.”

Just then Goth Girl hung the ticket for my hushpuppies with ‘Don’t burn them!’ written below and highlighted.  And I morphed into Christian Bale.

“I told you not to burn them!  What did I say?  Don’t burn them!”

“They aren’t burnt.”

“The fuck they aren’t!  They are black!  I told you I didn’t want them burnt!  How fucking hard is it?!”

“That’s just the way they look.”

“My ass it is!  They are burnt.  I don’t give a shit!  I told you not to burn them!  Don’t stand there and argue with me!  I know how I want my hushpuppies and this isn’t it!  I don’t care how you think they should look for the customers, this isn’t how they look for me!”

Then one of the other cooks stepped in to save Hick Cook and I gave him the crazy look so he pipsqueaked, “You can ask Chetto, that’s how they look.”

Chetto said, “I don’t want no part of this.”

Hick Cook said, “Maybe next time you should tell us you want them raw.”

“Maybe next time I won’t order them from someone who doesn’t know how to cook.”

I flailed around in the waitstation for a while, stomping my feet and pulling my hair before I took my burnt hushpuppies and pasta salad outside where no one could find me and I could huddle like Gollum and eat dinner and smoke.  After my meltdown, nobody wanted to find me anyway.

By the way, the hushpuppies were shit and went in the trash.


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. blogmella
    Jul 16, 2010 @ 02:18:56

    Oh my goodness, it seems like this is what you get for being on top of your work. I hope the extra money you earn eases the pain but I suspect you’d appreciate a little more balance in who does what.

    Most nights aren’t like last night. If they were, I’d lose my mind.

    That cook sounds like an idiot. I like how scared Chetto was though. Hushpuppies here are a brand of comfortable suede shoes.

    Chetto has worked with me for 3 years. He knows my temper. Hush puppies are shoes here, but they are also balls of seasoned and fried corn bread that I soak in malt vinegar and eat with fish.


  2. whatigotsofar
    Jul 16, 2010 @ 03:59:23

    Do you mean Christian Bale discussing Genesis in a calm manner before hitting a hooker in the back of the head with a axe flipping out? Or Christian Bale scrunching his face and growling “Hi’m Bhatmhan!” flipping out? Or yelling at the lighting boom guy flipping out?

    Pretty much the last one, but it could have evolved into the first one. I don’t think I’d be Bhatmhan under any circumstances.


  3. Zombieman
    Jul 16, 2010 @ 05:52:45

    It has been my experience that doing your job efficiently leads to more work for the same pay, and yet I cannot force myself to be inefficient… At least you see some returns for your effort, but still this is pretty ridiculous. Tonight may your hush puppies be brown and your breaks many and evenly spaced through out your shift.

    My son is busing tables tonight so I will be able to take a break. I only ask for one.


  4. Sherri
    Jul 16, 2010 @ 06:31:44

    Gosh, I hate workdays like that! Something I definitely need is regular food consumption. Thing is, I’m shooting myself now because I’ve never had a job where more work = more money. I’ve always been paid by the hour, not as bad as salary, but if I’d made tips for the work I did I’d be living in a bigger house right now.

    Waitressing is one job where more work does equal more pay. I’ve had others where more work just meant more work.


  5. Still Waiting
    Jul 16, 2010 @ 09:09:36

    I have a similar problem; our company got rid of bussers except for Friday/Saturday nights. I also seem to be the only person pre-bussing my tables, but I also pre-bus everyone else’s table since we’re supposed to have a “teamwork” attitude. Whatever.

    I used to pre-bus my co-workers tables until they started expecting it of me. Screw that. I will still help a couple of people, but for the most part they can go screw themselves.

    This usually means quadruple-seating for me, just around the time I need a snack or just a chance to get my head put on right again.

    (Most of) my coworkers suck.

    Mine too. It is the nature of food service. This same thing has happened in the past and my solution has been to grab a bus tub and sweep all the debris into it. I do this to about 4 tables and stack the filled bus tub on yet another dirty table. Suddenly, other servers have tables, and they still have their mess to clean up.


  6. DarcKnyt
    Jul 16, 2010 @ 09:53:10

    Wow. I’m going with Chris Bale going off on the lighting guy during Terminator: Salvation filming, right? The one which made him more famous than all of his filmography combined? That’s good to do once in a while.

    That’s the one.

    And isn’t it nice how your good work and efficiency are punished by the system? Yet you’re teased with the monetary gain. Interesting.

    I hope your days get better soon. This sounds like a hard one.

    The monetary gain is minimal when compared with food in my belly and nicotine in my system. I don’t smoke very much (4 a day) and when I want a cigarette, I WANT a cigarette.


  7. The Idiot Speaketh
    Jul 16, 2010 @ 11:09:29

    Nice time you get an order with a correctly cooked hushpuppie on it, sneak one into your apron and then throw it at hick cook next time you see him….

    I think Hick Cook will listen to me in the future.


  8. tipsfortips
    Jul 16, 2010 @ 11:57:17

    I got told by a trainee who was following me a couple weekends ago that I sound like Christian Bale’s character from American Psycho. I thought to myself, “if you only knew.”

    I think all long term servers start to sound/act like the American Psycho guy. There are so many urges we have to repress, it’s only natural to go a little bit crazy.

    He also told be that following me gave him a customer service boner. Not sure how I should take that, but if he invites me over for dinner I will probably politely decline.

    Uh… I think I would decline as well. Some of the male members of our staff have started inviting my son to do things. I’m hoping they don’t see him as a party favour.


  9. DarcsFalcon
    Jul 16, 2010 @ 16:20:23

    Sometimes, you just have to spew. Sure, some people find the least reasonable excuses to do it just because they like to do it. But for those for whom spewing is a rare event, people should sit up and take notice. What caused the spew? Don’t let it happen again. Simple.

    I hope your point got made. 🙂

    It’s doubtful. I swear these are the dumbest cooks I’ve ever seen.

    For the record, I’ve never seen black hushpuppies either. I’ve only ever seen them golden brown. I like them with tartar sauce.

    I like mine soggy with malt vinegar. Mmmm…


  10. morethananelectrician
    Jul 16, 2010 @ 17:05:26

    You should carry a digital recorder with you…I’d love to hear a rant or two!!!!

    I’d be embarrassed to hear myself.


  11. beckyb26
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 18:50:40

    I used to wish I could be a waitress. I am very impatient and hate people, so figured it was a bad job choice. I am very glad I was never a full-time waitress after reading your posts.

    I’m impatient and I hate people, but you don’t see it stopping me!

    Sorry about the off night. I’ll put you in my prayers tonight. 😉

    Thanks, some nights I need all the prayers I can get.


  12. Bob
    Jul 19, 2010 @ 11:42:56

    is the hushpuppies were shit and made wrong then you shouldn’t have paid for them.


  13. Mike Boozer
    Jul 23, 2010 @ 13:38:14

    Have you heard the Bale/Gibson mashup?

    -Mike Boozer, somebodyhadtosayit.com

    No, I haven’t. I would imagine it’s either funny as hell or scary as all get out.


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