Pre-Busing

Last night Trauma Queen flounced into work and the first words out of her mouth were, “Last night was an awful night.  I think I’m still drunk.”

Nothing pisses me off faster than a still drunk or currently hung over server.  It means I’m in for a night of working with someone who is worthless as shit and expects the rest of us to do their share.  It also means I’m going to listen to constant bitching and moaning about how horrible they feel.  I DON’T GIVE A SHIT!!  I think people should be fired for constantly coming to work drunk or hung over.

She knew I didn’t want to talk to her and the other servers shunned her as well, so she shut up. Seriously, no one had time to stand around and listen to her idiot escapades.  And no one cared. 

About midway through the early dinner rush, I walked by one of her tables and the people had stacked their dirty dishes into a Leaning Tower of Pisa in the center of their table.  It was about a foot high.  Talk about ridiculous.  People do not pay to come out and sit in their own filth.  They could stay home and do that.

As I passed her I said, “You really need to pre-bus your tables.  That is ridiculous.”  She said, “I’m trying.”

Funny, that’s her response every time I get after her about pre-busing.  She doesn’t want to do it because then the buser can clean her table faster and she will be reseated.  She wants to wait on one or two tables an hour, pick up her money and then sit outside and smoke and text her friends about the bar. 

Meanwhile, the rest of us don’t have a buser because he is tied up for 15 minutes cleaning off a table which should have taken less than 5 minutes.  Customers standing at the front see all the dirty tables and assume we are a bunch of lazy asses and either start bitching or leave.  Some servers rush to clean their own tables, because an empty table doesn’t make any money, while others stand in the waitstation and let the buser do it.  Then they bitch about not making any money. 

One server not pre-busing tables drags the entire restaurant down.  People watching think we are a low class joint and tip less or they leave and take all their money elsewhere.  Back in the days of The Manager, servers got fired on the spot for not pre-busing.  That sounds harsh, but cleaning tables while the guest is still there is a very important part of service, time management and guest flow.    

Pre-busing isn’t even that difficult.  The entire time a server is on the floor s/he should be taking plates off tables.  Never leave or return to the kitchen with empty hands.  It’s that simple.  At least it’s simple for servers who aren’t disorganized, drunk, hung over and dumb. 

Oh and even though Trauma Queen takes up the largest amount of the buser’s time and makes him do her job, she tips him the least amount possible.  If she is supposed to pay him $10.07, she pays him $10.07.  What a bitch.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. M.T.
    Aug 14, 2010 @ 15:40:46

    I’ve worked with a lot of drinkers. I tend to drink a bit myself. Amongst the professionals, being hung over is no excuse. We don’t even want to hear about it. Just do the job and pipe down. It isn’t my problem if some other cook doesn’t feel well. Too bad. We all have to suffer through some shit. I’ve worked through a kidney stone before, I have no tolerance for hangover whining…

    It all just pisses me off.

    Reply

    • M.T.
      Aug 15, 2010 @ 04:36:36

      Everything pisses me off. Everything. I’m pissed off constantly. I try to lead a life that is positive. But this endeavour has been a failure for thirty-some years now. I don’t want to become a bitter old bastard, and I’m trying my best. Yet for my age, I am bitter. And old. And a bastard.

      I just want people to act like humans. And based on my experiences in this industry, I’m losing faith in humanity….

      But I’m still trying… And it comforts me to read the blogs of other frustrated humans.

      Keep on writing Yellowcat. I need people like you.

      I realized lately just how pissed off I’ve been. I decided it’s less about my customers and more about my coworkers. I’m so sick of 95% of them I could scream. I did scream at them last night. I haven’t hated my coworkers this much since the first summer I worked at the restaurant when everyone was drunk and on meth.

      Reply

  2. whatigotsofar
    Aug 14, 2010 @ 17:14:21

    I hate when people come to work still reeling from the effects of drinking and partying. If I’m working tomorrow, then tonight I limit myself to one drink.

    I hate when they still smell like the bar. I hate working with irresponsible people.

    Reply

  3. morethananelectrician
    Aug 14, 2010 @ 18:18:49

    One person can really drag down a whole team…I never really considered the team aspect of this whole craft. I am going to pay a little more attention to the “team” the next time I am in a crowded restaurant. I guess it is tough for you to be a a place that isn’t where you work. Do you watch how they work together?

    Serving is a team effort, yet an individual job. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes and if someone is dead weight it drags everyone down. Then the bitching starts.

    When I go out to eat I can always spot the one person everyone hates to work with.

    Reply

  4. DarcKnyt
    Aug 14, 2010 @ 18:20:17

    I’ve never understood people who couldn’t be responsible about drinking before work. Even when I was young and stupid, I knew enough to control myself on work nights and during my work shift. Yeesh.

    Who’s teaching these people how to be grown-ups? (Nobody is probably the answer … and the problem.)

    Yep. No one. Trauma Queen thinks so much of herself she constantly threatens to quit. I don’t know how many times I’ve told her where the door is. Walk out. I don’t care. It’s easier for me to do it all than to expect help and get none.

    Reply

  5. Fuck My Table
    Aug 14, 2010 @ 22:29:47

    I hate drunk co-workers and agree that too many hungover or drunk shifts is cause for termination.

    When I go out to eat and a server fails to prebus my table, it pisses me off. I stack things neatly, in a logical order so nothing falls or is awkward to hold, and we keep it pretty clean. There is no reason not to take our shit off the table.

    If Trauma Queen had been my server I wouldn’t have tipped her at all, but I would have left a note as to why. Pre-busing is part of serving.

    When other servers run food and don’t prebus the dirty plates off the table for me, it pisses me off. No one wants to eat dessert while looking at their plate of ketchup and mushy fries. I always help prebus tables when I run food, and I expect my co-workers to do the same. It’s really not that hard, takes maybe 5-10 seconds longer than NOT doing it, and it makes the guests happy! It shows you’re on top of things and really taking care of them.

    I always pre-bus if I run someone’s food. It’s just common sense.

    Personally, I would also fire people for not prebussing. It’s such an easy thing to do. The way I see it, if anything but their glasses are on the table when they leave, I’ve failed to prebus adequately.

    It is far easier to clean a table little by little than facing one big horrible mess at the end. I had a table tonight that would not let me pre-bus. It made my hands itch and when they left the mess was embarrassing.

    Reply

    • Fuck My Table
      Aug 15, 2010 @ 02:54:37

      Ew, I’ve had those tables that want to keep everything on the table…like they’re starting a little collection or want a trophy proving how much they ate. I annoyed the shit out of one table about it and finally snatched a stack of plates when the guy went to the bathroom, before the woman could say anything. Jesus, do they WANT to sit in their own filth?
      I couldn’t figure out if they tipped badly because they were going to anyway, or because I took their plates when they didn’t want me to. I didn’t care either way, I just wanted those plates in the dish pit.

      I get at least one table a week like that. They are in such a hurry to eat, they won’t take a break to hand me a dirty dish. Meanwhile, the napkins, rib bones, chicken bones, wet naps, corn cobs, and slopped food just piles up. It nearly gives me an anxiety attack.

      Reply

  6. trailerparkbarbie
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 12:53:48

    TQ sounds like the real go-getter type. Somebody needs to go-get-her the hell away from there. Drunk bitches going to work….should be a law against it.

    I’m covering for my hurt coworker on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and I think I work with Trauma Queen at least one of those days. I just don’t think I can keep my mouth shut any longer.

    Reply

  7. DarcsFalcon
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 01:29:44

    She had a boating accident and is back at work the next day?!? Or is this someone else and a different kind of trauma?

    Different person. Trauma Queen has been in more accidents than I can remember and she really does have the scars to prove it, but she drinks like a fish and isn’t getting any smarter.

    Still, does she think you’re (all) so stupid that you don’t know her game? She so needs to be fired, too many people would do her job much better.

    3…2…1

    Reply

  8. Nycgirl
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 19:11:17

    I feel like so many of your co-workers have that “it’s not my job” mentality. I *HATE* “that’s not my job.” But I also hate the management that doesn’t discourage that attitude – and that seems pretty prevalent at your workplace too.

    HAHAHA! Yes, they do and they are almost ready to find out where that attitude gets them.

    Reply

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