Why Is It So Hard?

When I’m cooking I want the server, whether it is one of the bar people or Bagheera, to write the ticket correctly, hang it, and say “Order please.”  I will respond with “Thank you” and they can go about their business and I can go about mine.  This is Food Service 101.

I DO NOT want them to read the ticket to me.

  • I have to divert my attention from what I’m doing to listen to something that I’m not going to be able to start for several minutes.  This is a waste of time, plus I have a limited attention span and I don’t need unnecessary crap in my head.
  • Drizella can barely read and listening to her try to assemble words into sentences is just too painful to bear.  If she has more than one item on a ticket, I get a headache in my eye thinking about how much time I’m wasting.
  • Foghorn Leghorn (aka MDFR) is an idiot.  I make so many mistakes when I let him tell me what’s on a ticket rather than reading it.  He says, “16 inch combo”, I make a 16 inch combo, but it’s a 14 inch Islander on the ticket.  I don’t know if I just can’t listen to the sound of his voice, or if he’s functionally retarded, or if he’s doing it on purpose.  Maybe all of the above, but it is a waste of time and, usually, food.

Everyone gets it except Foghorn Leghorn.  I’ve had to repeat this simple request at least twice every shift we work together, which is 4 nights a week for the last two and a half months.  An ordinary person would just kick him in the balls and get over it.

For example, I’m standing at the grill, flipping burgers and he tries to hand me a ticket.  “I don’t know what you want me to do with this.”

Seriously??

(ACKkk!  The biggest fucking spider I’ve ever seen in my entire life just ran across my keyboard and disappeared.) 

Saturday night I was cooking and serving by myself.  I had 2 tables in the dining room, a pizza to go and Foghorn Leghorn handed me a ticket with another pizza and 4 chicken fried steaks with salads.  I put the pizza in the oven, plated his salads and turned on the pick-up light in the bar.

He ran into the kitchen in a panic, “Are you busy?” he asked while frantically spinning in circles in my way.

“Not really.”

“What should I do?”  Still running in circles, he opened the swinging doors into the dining room. 

“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!”  I shouted.

“You’re busy, what do you want me to do?”

“HOW ABOUT TAKING YOUR SALADS!”

“Oh.  That order is to go.”

“It isn’t on the ticket.”

“I put it on my copy.”

“How is that of any use to me?”

“I thought you’d know.”

“Yeah, cuz I’m a mind reader.  I guess you know where the boxes are.”

For the record, I’d never let him help me in the kitchen because I don’t think he ever washes his hands.

Plus, he’s an idiot.

Sunday, he again handed me a ticket while I was up to my ass in alligators.  I wanted to stab him, but I didn’t have time to find a knife.  When I got to the ticket, it was a chicken fried steak with a salad.  I plated the salad and turned on the pick-up light in the bar.  Sound familiar?

Foghorn Leghorn came in the kitchen, looking bewildered and asked why I turned the light on.

“Your salad is ready.”

“Oh, it’s to go.”

“IT ISN’T ON THE TICKET!”

“Well, it’s for Vic and I know it’s to go.”

“I guess you know how to box it up, too.”

About three minutes later, while I was struggling to take food out to a table of 10 wild animals people, Foghorn Leghorn came in the kitchen and said, “That chicken fried steak is to go.”

“Yeah, I got that.”

“I didn’t write it on the ticket.”

“I know,” I said through clenched teeth.

“I wanted to make sure you knew it was to go.”

“I KNOW IT’S TO GO!  I GOT IT WHEN YOU WERE IN HERE THE FIRST TIME.  STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING.  STOP IT NOW.  I’M NOT KIDDING.  I’VE HAD ENOUGH.”

Poking the lion is never a good idea.  Glory seriously wants to maul him.

Tonight I asked Bagheera to talk to him.  I’ve asked him enough times, and all he’s doing now is pissing me off.  This won’t end well.

Maybe I’m being petty, but I’m cooking his food, washing his dishes, putting his dishes away, and rolling his silverware.  He’s making tips on my labour.  He can damned well do it MY way.

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Let’s Just Cry About It

Sooner or later these people are going to realize that my kitchen is NOT Dr. Phil’s couch.

I was in the dining room, taking care of guests when I noticed someone’s bare feet in the kitchen.  I couldn’t see who the bare feet belonged to since the swinging doors obscured the body.  Once I got in the kitchen, I saw Eeyore, teary eyed, boozed up, barefoot and in her pajamas.

Just another night that ends in ‘Y’.

I asked, “Why are you barefoot and in your pajamas in the kitchen?”

She asked, “Is Bagheera here?”

“No, she went home.”

That should have been the end of it, but it never is.

She started to tell me why she was a hot mess and I held up my hands.  “If this is a problem to do with the business and I can help fix it, lay it on me.  If this is personal drama, keep it to yourself.”

She said her disarray had nothing to do with work.  I again said, “I don’t want to hear it.”

“But I want to tell you.”

“NO!  It isn’t any of my business and I don’t WANT it to be any of my business.”

“But I need to talk to someone.”

“Go talk to Bagheera.”

“I don’t have a cell phone.”

“Use the kitchen phone or walk yourself across the street and talk to Bagheera, but leave me out of it.”  I opened the swinging doors to the dining room and Eeyore tried to follow me.

Then I had to put my finger in her face.  “Do NOT pursue me.  I don’t want to hear your problems.  If you don’t get out of my kitchen, I’m going to start telling you things, and I can guarantee you won’t like me when I’m done.”

I took the order on the table and when I went back to the kitchen, she was gone.

Why do people insist on airing their dirty laundry?  Do they not have any sense of pride or an ounce of self respect?  I know she and Doc were fighting and she needed someone to take her side and tell her she is right and he is wrong.  If I wanted to listen to two people fight, I’d still be married. 

I work hard on having a peaceful life.  It’s all daffodils and puppies in my fantasy world and I’ll be damned if these boozy people are going to turn it into poison ivy and hell hounds.  I don’t care about their problems.  I don’t want to be part of their drama.  I don’t get paid enough to listen to their bullshit (which even if I did I still wouldn’t).

I figure if I tell enough of them to fuck off, they will get the hint and find someone who gives a rat’s ass.  If they don’t, I’ll go to Plan B.  Nobody likes Plan B.

Plan B

 

“I Know You!”

I had the most bizarre thing happen to me on Sunday.

We had a group of bikers in for their monthly meeting in the back of the bar and several tables in the dining room.  I had just finished taking orders for the bikers, and was in the process of getting all the burgers on the grill when Sharron said there was someone who wanted to talk to me.

“She says she knows you.”

I opened the swinging doors and there was a woman with a look of absolute joy on her face.

“I know you!  We used to work together!”

I had no idea who she was.

“You used to be a CNA and we worked together!”

“Uh…NO.  I’ve never been a CNA.”

“Yes you were, and we worked together!”

“No, sorry, but I’ve never worked at a hospital or in any medical capacity.”

“Well, where have you worked?”

“Uh…the Harribalsac and the Spaghetti Western.  That covers the last 5 years.”

“Where have you worked since then?”

“Here.”

“Oh!  I know!  You used to work at that little store on the hill.”

“No.  I’ve never worked in a little store anywhere.”

“Yes, you did!”

“No!  I DIDN’T”

“Your name is Holly, right?”

“Yes.”

“Well then, I know you.”

You got me there.  I know this woman’s name, so I guess we are friends.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t know who you are.”

“Are you from here?”

“Yes.  I’m sorry, but I’m very busy and I need to get back to work.”

“Well, where else have you worked.”

“LADY, I DON’T KNOW YOU.  I’M SORRY.”

I closed the swinging doors in her face and went back to work.

I felt Sharron eyeballing me from across the kitchen.

“I have no idea who she is.”

“Yeah, I got that.”

So last night while I was in bed reading ’50 Shades of Gr-Ahahaha’ I felt a faint memory trying to surface.  I remembered when I was cooking at the airport, that woman came in to talk to one of the servers.  I told the server I didn’t want to talk to her because she was the most painfully stupid woman I had ever met.  Worse still, she was an arguing stupid, as in you could tell her something, “The sky is blue” and she would argue about it endlessly.

Still, I have no memory of working with her, so it had to have been before I moved to Laramie in 1991.  After I moved back from Laramie in 1997, I had office jobs, where I was pretty much the only person, until I started cooking at the airport in 2003. 

As much as I rack my brain, I can’t place where I met her, but I obviously didn’t like her.  After yesterday’s encounter, I can see nothing has changed; she still argues, she’s still dumb and oblivious, and I still don’t like her.

Still.

More Drama

I swear the phrase, “Save the drama for your mama” was invented for the Cowboy.  Or it should have been.

One of the beer coolers died this week.  Doc worked on the compressor and got it running, but it died.  He worked on it again, it worked, then it died.  MDFR got to work on Friday, noticed the cooler wasn’t working, again, and pitched an enormous fit.

“All the beer is ruined, it’s cooked and we’ll have to throw it all away,” he ranted to Big Jim.

Jim called Sharron, ranted at her, Sharron came in the kitchen and ranted at me.

“Uh…why is the beer ruined?”

“Because it’s warm.”

“Why would that make any difference.  Put it in the walk-in.”

“MDFR says it’s ruined.”

“He’s full of shit.  Beer is delivered here warm.  It’s stored in warm warehouses, I know because I worked for Pepsi and they were also a beer distributor.  Our warehouse wasn’t air conditioned.  We stored the beer at the Harribalsac in the warm office.  Beer will go bad if it’s left out in the sun for days on end, but it doesn’t go bad just because it gets warm.  As if that little fucker has never drank a warm beer.”

Meanwhile, Jim called Doc, screamed at him, and maybe even fired him.

MDFR came in the kitchen and started ranting about the beer.

Sharron said, “Holly says you’re wrong.”  Awesome.  Like he’s never heard that before.  “She says you need to put the beer in the walk-in and get over it.”

He stared at me, completely dumbfounded then said, “I’ll have to rearrange stuff in the walk-in and I’ll have to trip over what’s already in there to do it.”

Bottom line:  He wanted to come to work and sit on his ass or play pool with his friends.  When faced with a problem he wanted to point fingers and cause a huge kerfluffle.  In the end, he looked like a dumbass.

Saturday when I got to work I noticed the hall light was out.  I asked Sharron about it and she said she couldn’t reach the pull chain and she didn’t feel like getting a chair to turn it on.  We adopted an ‘aw, fuck it’ approach since there was enough ambient light for people to find the restrooms.

Fast forward to the end of my shift.  I was cleaning a table in the dining room when I noticed MDFR and Davey with a flashlight in the hall.  WTF?  They pulled the ladder from behind the dining room door and I asked what they were doing.

“We are going to replace the light bulb.”

For the record, MDFR is about the most useless person I’ve ever met.  He has absolutely no mechanical or problem solving skills and changing a light bulb is possibly beyond his scope of expertise.

“Sharron didn’t turn the light on today.  You just need to pull the chain.”

“No, the bulb is out.”

“Okay.”

I took dishes back in the kitchen and returned to hear Davey say, “That’s not the problem.  I shook the bulb and it isn’t broken.  It’s probably an electrical problem.”

Again, “Sharron didn’t turn the light on today.  You just need to pull the chain.”

Davey yanked on the chain with no success.  Knowing those two brain surgeons, there wasn’t a light bulb in the socket.  MDFR yelled to Jim, “It’s probably the fuse or some other electrical problem.”

IDIOTS!

I ignored them and counted the register, then I heard Sharron’s voice, and I seethed that they called her over for something so asinine as a light fixture.

I went in the kitchen and slowly and calmly started eating my fish dinner.  Sharron came in and stared at me for a few seconds then asked, “Did you tell Jim about the light?”

“Nope.  Want some fish?”

We ate fish and I silently thought of ways to kill everyone on the bar side.

“Why didn’t they just pull the chain?  I was getting in the shower when Jim called in a big panic because the light was off.”

“The light’s been off all day.  Why didn’t they notice it before?  Why is it a big deal RIGHT NOW at closing time?  I told them they needed to pull the chain, but in typical drunk fashion, they had to make it a really big deal.  I get tired of telling them how wrong they are.”

And I do. 

We have issues on the restaurant side.  Things break, we have floods, pilot lights go out, shit happens.  But we fix them and shut up about it.  Every little thing doesn’t have to be an ‘end of the world’ situation.  I know the bar people think we work in a state of the art kitchen where everything is perfect, shiny and new, but guess what?  It isn’t.  We just don’t have time to bitch about it.

Playing Dumb

Okay…there is one person who does it better.

Playing dumb is MY thing.  No one else at work can do it and honestly, nobody does it better than I do.

So what is with my co-workers trying to horn in on my action?

I’m telling you now, there’s going to be hell to pay if they don’t back off and find their own gig.

Last week a customer wanted a shake.  Ding Dong played dumb and asked if I would make it since she didn’t know how.  “Uh…you put ice cream in the metal cup, you add milk, you put it on the shake machine and when it’s stirred, you pour it in a glass.”

“But I’ve never done it and I don’t know how,” she whined.

“There’s no time like the present to learn,” I told her.

I figured she would just float off somewhere and I would end up making it, but it turns out she DID know how to make a shake.

Last night as I was cleaning the kitchen MDFR asked where I put the table tents.  I told him they were in the cupboard under the shake machine.  He stared at the shake machine for about 2 minutes then whined, “I can’t find them.”

“Here’s the deal,” I shouted from the back of the kitchen, “I’ll find them, but then you will mop the kitchen, clean the dishwasher, and roll the silverware OR you can bend your knees and look where I told you to look.”

He constantly pulled that shit when we lived together and usually it was via phone while I was out with friends:

“Holleeeee…the TV remote isn’t working.”

“Holleeeee…I can’t find the knobs for the stove.”

“Holleeeee…Netflix says it’s experiencing technical difficulties.”

“Holleeeee…”

Not even my kids get to be that helpless.

It is possible that my co-workers aren’t PLAYING dumb.  I worked with Sharron on Mother’s Day and after an hour of her telling me every step I needed to take I finally asked if she thought I was incompetent.  “Ignore me.  I’ve been working with Ding Dong,” she said.

I nearly wept at the thought of Sharron having to explain every task in great detail to someone she has trained for 6 months.  She has so much patience, and she’s earning a special place in Heaven.  Or she hasn’t realized she’s beating a dead horse, and every day is Hell on earth.

“I Fell Down and Daddy Got Mad”

Longtime readers know I encounter some of the strangest people in the most bizarre situations.  New readers probably think I make this shit up or I exaggerate.  I don’t have that great of an imagination and I’m more of a “just the facts, ma’am” sort of gal.  Seriously, you can’t make this shit up.

Saturday night some people came in to eat right at close and as I stood at their table and took their order, a huge commotion broke out in the ladies’ room, which is about 2 steps out of the dining room.  One woman from the bar ran into the restroom, quickly followed by another.  A few minutes later Betty Boop, ran down the hall and started pounding on the restroom door.

Everyone at the table stopped talking and looked at me as if I had an answer for what was going on.  I shrugged and said, “Bar folk”.  The customers are locals so they know the bar gets a little wild sometimes.  They started ordering again, and we all heard the restroom door open and some “blah, blah, blah” then, “IT’S RUNNING DOWN HER LEG!”

WTF?!

That is just not a sentence you want to hear coming out of a restroom.

The woman in the restroom told Betty Boop to go away, I finished taking the order and went back in the kitchen.  I cooked the order, as well as a couple more from the bar, and forgot about the bathroom scene.  At around 9:10, I heard pounding on the kitchen wall, which is also the ladies’ restroom wall.  MDR (who is no longer my roommate so I guess he’s My Drunken Former Roommate–MDFR) was in the kitchen and I asked if somebody was fighting in the restroom.  He said, “The Dormouse busted her leg and she’s having a fit.” 

I walked towards the front of the kitchen and before I could get a deer-in-the-headlights look on my face, The Dormouse banged through the swinging doors from the dining room, yelled, “He’s going to call the cops on me!”, straight-armed me out of the way, hauled ass out the back door, and slammed through the patio gate.  (Good thing the gate wasn’t latched or she would have worn it as a hat.)

I stood there wondering what the hell was going on.  MDFR said The Dormouse “busted her leg” yet she certainly hauled ass through the kitchen.  I heard the swinging doors open and The Dormouse’s daughter appeared in the kitchen.

“Where is she?”

Mouth hanging open, I pointed towards the back door.  She went out to find her mother.

Then The Dormouse’s husband popped out of the secret hallway from the bar.  “Where is she?”

I again pointed toward the back door, but by then I had found my voice.  “You need to take this shit somewhere else!  My kitchen is not a short cut to the parking lot!”

I was working on a full on rage.  I don’t hang out in the bar, in fact, I avoid it as much as possible because it’s just drunken drama all night, every night, and it’s always the same people involved in the same ridiculous bullshit.  I find it tiresome.  The last thing I want is those assholes bringing their middle school antics into my peaceful kitchen. 

The phone started ringing and it was Big Jim, who was in the bar, yet totally unaware of what was going on in the kitchen. 

“Is the kitchen still open?” he asked.

“NO! AND PEOPLE NEED TO STAY THE FUCK OUT OF MY KITCHEN (and a whole bunch of other lunatic ranting that I don’t remember) because just then Betty Boop popped out of the hallway and asked where The Dormouse was.

“GETOUT!GETOUT!GETOUT!” I screamed at her and hung up on Big Jim.

I went over to the bar to tell Big Jim I had customers in the dining room who were getting a full on look at Crazy, but he was on the phone with Sharron asking her to come over because he suddenly had his hands full in the bar.  Betty Boop was in the middle of the screaming match between The Dormouse and her husband, and MDFR was trying to get her out of it before The Dormouse knocked her on her ass.  Big Jim is in a wheelchair, so unless he wants to start tasing people, he has to be an unwilling spectator.

I walked back to the dining room to see if my customers were okay or if they had fled.  “Do we pay extra for the dinner entertainment?” the young man asked.

“No, unfortunately it’s free.”

I started cleaning the kitchen while trying to ignore the screaming fight going on right outside the back door.  Finally Sharron arrived, bringing The Dormouse with her.  The Dormouse was a hot mess, crying, pissed off, drunk and injured.  She pulled up her pant legs and both her knees looked as if she had fallen on broken glass.  There were 3-5 crisscrossing gashes in each knee, and I advised her daughter to take her to the ER NOW to get them stitched.

“I have to sober up first,” The Dormouse slurred.

We finally got her calmed down and doctored her knees as best as we could.  Her son showed up and she started the hysterics all over again.  He asked what happened and she shrieked, “I fell down and Daddy got mad.”

I nearly pissed my pants laughing at the pathetic drama all around me.

Sharron and I finally got the kitchen cleaned and everyone out the back door with it locked behind them.  We have to exit from the bar, so when we got over there she offered to buy me a beer.  We sat down at the bar and asked each other what the fuck just happened.  Then the back door flew open and The Dormouse came in followed by her two adult children.  Let me say right now that my adult children would NOT put up with this kind of shit.  They wouldn’t allow me to embarrass myself or them for hours at a time.  My daughter would have given me a good shaking and forced me to go to the ER.  My son would have made me go home, puke it up, and sleep it off.  Neither would put up with drama-mama for more than an instant.

MDFR started yelling that he threw The Dormouse out once and she needed to get out again.  She ran to Big Jim and threw herself on his chest, sobbing, snotting and making a mess out of herself once more while her kids stood there at a loss and Jim looked around for rescue.

I finished my beer and went home.  Honestly, there is better drama on TV.

WTF? Makes Me Laugh

Yesterday I mentioned that googling WTF? will make a person laugh until they pee even after a miserable weekend.  Here are some of the pictures that sent me over the edge.  Obviously, I’m easily amused.

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