Taking Responsibility

Passing the buck and shifting blame are more common activities in food service than spreading rumours and jumping to conclusions. 

My son and I discussed this on our way to work today.  It’s the cashier’s fault a table didn’t get served because she didn’t tell the waitress she had a table.  It’s the busser’s fault people aren’t getting seated because s/he didn’t tell the cashier the tables were clean.  It’s the servers’ fault the tables aren’t clean because they didn’t tell the busser when the people left.

I hear the blame game every day, and I wave the bullshit flag on it.  It is the server’s responsibility to know which section they are in and which tables are occupied.  It is the cashier’s responsibility to know when there are clean tables.  It is the busser’s responsibility to know when tables leave.

A large table came in at around 5:00 and were seated in The Talker’s section.  The Talker was sitting in the dining room talking to some friends.  At 5:07 I walked by the table and most of the people were looking around or bored to sleep, so I went to the waitstation and asked who’s table it was.  Four waitresses asked, in unison, “Which one?”

“The one that’s staring at the…me.”  Yeah, I’m a grammar master.

“Oh, that’s The Talker’s section.”

I went to where she was sitting and told her she had a table. 

She went ranting into the waitstation about how it was the cashier’s fault for not telling her she had a table, and it was ridiculous that the cashiers never tell someone when they have a table.

“You know, I have an issue with this,” I started.  “It is not their responsibility to tell you when you have a table.  It is a courtesy, but it is not a requirement of their job.”

“Well I didn’t even know I was in that section.”

“Again, it is your responsibility to know which section you are in and who is sitting in it.”

“I was sitting right there and nobody could even tell me I had a table.”

“I just told you.”

“I’m so glad I’m opening my daycare in a couple of weeks.  I’m so sick of the drama.”

As are we.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. blogmella
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 04:36:30

    I spent a year running a Playgroup… She’ll get plenty of drama with that.

    Oh no lie. She’s one of those people who is easily disappointed with everything. I give it 6 months.


  2. blunt delivery
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 05:46:53

    proactivity = does not exist in the restaurant biz (you not included)

    You’re right. It is a very reactive industry, from management down to the worker bees.


  3. Still Waiting
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 09:05:01

    I have a manager (the GM, unfortunately) who will try his darndest to find out who is to blame for anything that goes wrong INSTEAD OF JUST FIXING IT. It’s more important to fix it than find out who can be blamed for it. Ugh.

    My ex-husband was a blamer. Yet another reason he’s my ex and one of the reasons blaming gets so far under my skin.

    I feel you on this one — people always complain about how the hostess or busser does his/her job and I find myself snapping at them to shut up and do THEIR job.

    The only time I bitch at the cashiers is when they are over-seating me and I can’t keep up.


  4. DarcKnyt
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 11:26:28

    And WTF is she thinking that someone always has to TELL her she has a table? If she hadn’t had her face buried in the conversation with her friends, she might have looked to SEE she had a table, or that a table was waiting for a server, and then asked herself whose table it was.

    I hear it all the time from a couple of servers, but they don’t take any responsibility for any of their actions. I was surprised I had to give her the lecture because she’s usually pretty good about being on top of things.

    And she’s going to be in charge of a group of CHILDREN?! What sort of disaster or calamity can befall defenseless children while she can’t be bothered to watch them because she’s talking? And whose responsibility will it be to tell her when she has to do her job then?!

    I see the daycare lasting about 6 months because she’s thinking this is going to be some sort of utopia and she’s they type of person who is easily disappointed in everything. I’ve known her for about 2 years and she’s worked at a bank, at the restaurant, at Family Dollar, at the restaurant, at a different restaurant, at the restaurant. Six job changes in 2 years isn’t a great record.

    Wow. I hope there’s a licensing agency you can report this to to keep her from opening a daycare. This is not someone who should be left in charge of children. I’m a little afraid.

    She has gone through the licensing agency and has been approved. She’s not mean or totally irresponsible, but I don’t think she’s ready to deal with all the BS associated with a daycare…poop, puke, kids fighting, moms…I think it will be a rude awakening.

    The Talker. Heh. Have you written about her before? I need to do a search on your blog and see.

    I have written about her, but I haven’t called her The Talker. People get fake names when they irritate me.


  5. DarcKnyt
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 11:27:05

    PS – put a search widget on your blog, please!

    Will do!


  6. The Idiot Speaketh
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 12:16:06

    Give them fake names and then tell what celebrity you would say they closely resemble. Is “The Talker” a Kathy Griffin type? That’s who popped into my head as I was trying to picture the woman…..

    HAHA! No, not at all. She’s actually very nice, but when she starts to tell a story she starts with the dawn of man and gives every last detail. She’s also very precise and obsessive about things. I can’t think of any celebrity she resembles. I don’t dislike her at all, but we all get on one anothers nerves sooner or later.


  7. DarcsFalcon
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 14:11:17

    I kind of agree with Darc about putting this woman in charge of children. That’s pretty scary! If she can’t even notice when people are seated at a table in her section, how is she ever going to notice when kids are sneaking into the medicine cabinet and playing with her medications?

    Again, I give the daycare 6 months.

    Yeah, the blame game gets old. I think our ex’s are related.

    Rosanne Barr used to say we’ve all been married to the same man.


  8. Rachel
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 17:32:24

    Ugh, I realize that this is an old post, it was always a pet peeve of mine. I used to hostess before I graduated to server, and I absolutely HATED servers who didn’t greet and then blamed the hostess when the sh*t hit the fan. My rule was: if the server had no one in their section when they were sat, I would find them or send someone to inform them they were sat. If they had a single table, I would probably do it as a courtesy if they were not busy. If there were more than two tables in their section, I assumed that if they didn’t see their table before the people complained, they weren’t doing their damned job. At 2.13 an hour plus a lousy 3% tip out that I share with other hosts (ya, I worked for cheapskates), I certainly wasn’t paid enough to do their job for them. It never failed though–every night, there would be at least one person with about three tables in their section who had the nerve to explain to the manager that the hosts had not told them that they were sat. And the managers, dumb fucks, would yell at the host stand, instead of the server who had apparently not visited any of his three tables in the past five minutes.

    I didn’t get paid enough to do my job, or anyone else’s. I didn’t get paid enough to absorb the blame when the shit hit the fan. I still did the requirements of my job and more, due to personal ethics. If I screwed up, I owned up to it–but I finally had to cuss out a server who pulled that shit on me….it never happened again.

    I totally agree. It’s a little annoying to have a hostess tell me I have a table of 2 when I’m standing right there looking at them. Part of my job is being aware of what’s going on in the dining room.


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