Thursday, August 28, 2008

I need to grow up....

I would like to place a personal disclaimer for this posting, but I have no idea where on earth I would start.

So, I have been working at Firebird's for nearly 4 weeks now, and am almost settled in affairs as far as knowing the menu, knowing who is who (mostly servers, managers, and 25% of the cooks)... For me, it doesn't take me long to figure out who is going to be a friend/teammate, who will not like me, whom I will not like, and who I need to make sure I stray away from.

So far, I have let someone make me cry. I am in the midst of a juvenile argument with one of the cooks, and I am also the instigator of a now embarrassing and slightly guilty feeling coup against a certain server.

Let me explain...

If you have never worked in a restaurant, or have been a server, I highly recommend the movie Waiting as a reference. To be honest, is is pretty much all true in every restaurant I have worked in. I will give examples here.

1)Yes, there is always the stud-like cute snarky guy who makes all the money by bullshitting people into better tips. Most people worship him because he's funny, he gets the girls, throws good parties, etc. There are 2 whom I work with, and luckily, they are both actually sweethearts, but again, they are cute and charming, therefore, ahead in the pecking order.

2)Cute underage hostesses that drink and hook up with older guys. Enough said, except, they are all sweet girls, and I shake my head frequently at the things teenagers do. It's hard to believe I was one once. I wasn't anything like these kids, and it freaks me out that if I have any of my own some day, they might end up like the ones I work with. Yikes.

3)The new guy that people pull pranks on/'forget' things essential of mentioning. IE- yes, I was this person, and thank God there are new people to have this honor. When there is a new person coming in to a eating establishment, the 'veterans' of said place tend to have an internal battle of why these people are invading their turf. I have been that veteran, but I am also the same person to introduce myself so they don;t feel like a total outcast. I have to admit, I am pretty much new to the area for a second time, and I don't really have any friends per se that I hang out with. I do have friends in the area, but I don't see them as often as I would like to.

4)The cooks with the bad attitudes, bad language, and stupid pranks they pull on everyone.

So let me begin with the gossip which I am shamefully a part of.

I started with 5 other servers, and out of the 5, I only like 4 and half. One has become my mature partner in crime and safety net. 2 guys have become sweet little friends whom I tell jokes with and conference with the bullshit that occurs daily in the biz. The 1/2 person I like is a girl that is very nice and sweet, and who is actually a good person. I only half like her because I know she is friends with one of the managers and she gets almost an unfair advantage and a few extra privileges and preferences that make a few of us new people uneasy. Other than that, she's cool. I guess I am a little resentful in the matter. But, hey, I'm human.

The other person in question that is pretty much on every one's shit list is a person whom I will call, "the Pilot". Mr Pilot seems to be what one would call, a "bullshit artist". He is cocky, arrogant, a brown nosing kiss-ass, and not to mention, he has stepped on one too many toes. He claims to be a pilot, which I believe to a degree. I believe he has a pilots license. I know for a fact through the findings of the 'small world' phenomenon that he actually is. Other than that, no one has a clue what truths after that have actually escaped his mouth. He owns a 4 bedroom house in Miami. He is going back to school, and he decided to come back to Memphis for such things, and he is now renting out said house to people who in turn, the payments are helping pay the mortgage. Ok, somewhat believable. He is an uber successful person. He can drink 2 pints of beer faster than a person can drink 2 shots of water. He can walk on water, etc.... He has ordered food and not paid for it, he has eaten on the clock without asking, he has skated out on doing side work, and admitted his ways about doing so. But...

He has actually been very nice to me, and I can see that he is an actually nice person, and actually may have good intentions. I also see these little gestures of his as a mask for some sort or sort of insecurity/ies he may have. But for what? Why do you boast about being a pilot and grand bartender if you are waiting tables at a chain restaurant. To me it sounds reminiscent of a waiter in Hollywood claiming, "no, but really I'm an actor"....

So let me tell you this. He desperately wants to be a bartender, since he claims that is his forte. After 2 weeks of boasting around about his greatness, he finally admits he has never been a server. Ok, admissions are good for the soul. Then he states to me that he can't wait to get behind the bar because there are 2 very weak bartenders that he needs to outshine. Wrong thing to do. Yesterday I have to say, my hope in him had all but diminished. He cock blocked 2 servers during lunch by stealing their tables without asking and essentially pissing them off. Me being one of them. And after I pull my phone out of my car last night, I find out from a coworker he did the same to her, via a very long message on my voicemail. Not cool.

Well, today he was not having a good day. He found himself in the weeds. (or actually, I noticed) I later heard him tell the GM that if it hadn't been for the soups of the day being messed up, things would have worked out better for him as far as getting better tips. Um, last time I checked, people don't expect waiters to be chefs and cook soup. The fault was your own, buddy, own up to it.

So, after being fed up with him, I decided to divulge my info that I had received earlier this week unto my friend whom I will call "L" who is a bartender, and a damn good one at that. Not to mention a nice person, and someone I see becoming a decent friend at the work place. Anyhow, I had noticed she was having a bad day today and that she needed something to be said to her about the remark by Mr. Pilot. So I told her and the flames flared up. After about a half an hour, a few people had come up to me wanting to know what Mr. Pilot had said about them. In all honesty, nothing. He made the comment, I made the choice to relay it.

Now this is where this gets a little bad for me. During all the hubbub of it all, I was chattering with coworkers, obviously in a notion of secrecy and such. In all of this, one of the tables in my section got sat, and I paid no attention, and they sat there for 10 minutes before they were greeted by the district manager of all people. Needless to say, my GM, Mike found me and told me of what happened. Needless to say he was pissed off to no end, and the only thing I could say to own up to it was that I had not an excuse nor apology great enough to remedy the situation.

So, after 10 minutes of beating myself up over the matter, I decided to discuss this occurrence with a fellow coworker. Of course, Mike over heard me and asked if I had a problem with his authority/management of the situation. Of course I didn't, and he was 110% right, I was just trying to get over how terrible I feel about the situation, because it had dropped my appearance of maturity down to a new all time low. Of course I apologized again to him. This is not getting any better at this point.

Tomorrow when I go in and if he is there, I will talk to him about the situation, and try to reassert that I am a mature individual, and that from now on, I will do the very best to be a star employee. Now, should I really care? Actually, yes. I know I am just waiting tables in a restaurant, but the fact is, I have no other job options at the moment, and I need to make sure that whatever job I do, I do it with pride, and do it to the best of my abilities, and for what best for the company.

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