Last week, I posted a list of “Dan’s Cardinal Sins” that someone had sent me. Being the bitch that I am, I took that list and responded to each and every point and gave it the ol’ Bitchy Waiter treatment. Lo and behold, the blog post made it back to Dan and he responded to it. I have been called out and rightly so. Of course I do not know the full story of the list and made up a bunch of shit in order to get a few laughs. In the spirit of “fair play” I have decided to re-post his reply so that everyone can see both sides of the story. It is very seldom that someone calls me out with such depth and I give major kudos to Dan for taking the time to respond. Believe it or not, Dan has my respect. His responses to my responses are below and highlighted in bold. Thanks, Dan. I believe we are now even, yes? the only thing I want to respond to is your crack about my crappy looking website: you’re totally right.
I’m actually the author of this list, and the owner of the restaurant in question. This is a tongue in cheek add on to your normal run of the mill server orientation packet that’s bored everyone that’s ever worked in a restaurant to tears. Ours is 40 pages and is a hugely in depth training manual. This is given to all staff members as we are a fun place and we like to keep it light. So… for all you assholes that just wanted to comment with out getting the full story I too will go point by point. I’d also like to give you a piece of advise as an owner of a thriving establishment. Serving 100% is a privilege, and can very easily be one of the most rewarding jobs out there. Don’t be so quick to be miserable, or you will be miserable at your job. I expect my staff to be fun, energetic, and positive always, with this I expect and will continue to expect greatness from them. Below are point by point responses to this dickbag author, who instead of making any real money, runs a website to continue the plague of miserable lived servers. A plague we simply do not tolerate in my restaurant. To the level of it say’s “Be Nice” on the back of our t-shirts.
Title – The man you never want to work for – I have people still working for me since the day we opened our doors, 6 years ago, I’ve also met my best friend, and longtime girlfriend as staffmembers. Clearly he’s offbase to begin with.
Maybe you will learn something when I explain this to you and be a better person / server (if you ever were one).
“What can I get you to drink?” I am assuming he wants servers to suggestively sell things and say shit like, “Can I get you a glass of orange juice or a fresh cup of coffee?” (Yes, and further more it’s rude, we have a fabulous cocktail list, made by professional mixologists. Not to mention its fucking dumb for a server not to offer a drink. Our per plate average is $6-$12 our cocktails run from $5-$9, this is basically like adding another person to your table in our cafe. And anybody that’s ever served before knows higher the check average higher the tips)>
Un-prebussed tables. I’m with Dan. This is a good thing. Maybe not a cardinal sin, but a good thing. (It is a cardinal sin – messy tables can flat out ruin the experience for the guest. There’s a reason why at 5star establishments they actually “decrumb” the table for you before presenting desert.)
Cell phones in the dining room. Again, not an uncommon rule, but that’s what aprons are for, right? (No – servers aren’t stupid, cell phone in apron means cell phone being checked in a corner / checked in the bathroom / checked in the waitstation. There’s a phone in the store, if there’s an emergency call the store. Phones are to be left in a bag or in your car. When you’re on my time, I don’t need you distracted by a fucking snapchat. That’s time that could be spent doing something for guest or co-worker)
Eating in the dining room. Pretty normal request. (No argument)
Horsing around in the dining room. I would ask for a definition of “horsing around.” Does he mean there is to be no galloping or eating of hay? Are servers allowed to have a good time while at work as long as they do not officially trot? (What synonym would you like me to use for “horsing” around, it’s an expression moron. We all know the crazy antics that go on in restaurants… these things are meant to be kept in the back where they are not seen by guests, again have you ever worked anywhere where people actually cared about the product they’re presenting?)
Being late and not calling the store. Yes, Dan, good point. (No arguement)
Texting/calling Dan’s personal cell phone for work related matters. This one confuses me. They cannot call about work related issues, but I guess they can call just to shoot the breeze and talk about life. If he truly does not want people to call his cell phone he should probably not give the number to his staff. Also, servers should remember that if they do want to call him about non-work related issues, to only do it when he is not in the ding room, otherwise he won’t get the message. (See cardinal sin #3.) (No dummy, there’s 3 other managers that work there – and believe it or not I’m not always there, thus, they need to call the store so that the Manager on Duty know what’s going on. Simple responsibility – which clearly you have none of).
Not cleaning up after yourself. Fine. I agree. (no arguement)
Bad attitudes. Uh oh, I might have a problem here. I think it should say no “outwardly” bad attitudes, because if my attitude is crap but I can manage to keep it inside where no one knows about it, then my attitude can be as bad as it fucking wants to be. (No bad attitudes are cancer, and are in direct conflict with our “be nice” motto. Bad attitudes spread like cancer, and rub off on one another. FOH people especially need to put on a show, so to speak, each and every time they walk in the building. Anything that is causing a “bad attitude” should be left at the door. And since you like to argue semantics so much throughout this – very clever and simple way of making an arguement – If you keep your bad attitude is kept inside at all times, how the fuck would anyone know you have a bad attitude, thereby you’d be abiding by my rule dummy).
Dropping menus off at a table and walking away. Dropping off menus and running away is perfectly acceptable. (Running out of ideas are we? Our whole staff gets this list – this is for hosts. One of the worst habits a host can have is to just drop menus off at a table and walk away. A simple “so and so will be right with you” goes an infinitely long way.)
Bitch faces. Okay, fire me now. (See two rules above – if you look miserable, and/or are perceived to be miserable, you must be miserable, nobody wants to be served by Grumpy Cat.)
Requesting off for the wrong year. The wrong year? Do people really have to put in their requests 12 months in advance? (No dumbass – we actually live in 2014 and do schedules digitally, so when you click the year some people will click the wrong year. Then you complain that you get scheduled. We are actually 1 of the few places I have ever seen that have never denied a request off. It’s one of the very few perks of working in a restaurant. So we as managers don’t ever even look at the dates, we just approve them, thus why it is critical that people request off correctly. And believe it or not it has happened enough times to make the list.)
Starting sidework when the dining room is messy (especially on weekends). What if your sidework is in the back of the house and you don’t know that the dining room is messy? (Semantics again – so clever, we’re one of the busiest places to work in our city, so it’s critical that we do as good a job keeping the place clean as we possibly can, which is a constant challenge. This simply means to clean your section before you go to the back to do the rest of your shit.)
“I have to go to my other job.” Okay, this is bullshit. If someone has to work two jobs to get though life, then both jobs need to understand that they are of equal importance. (no as a business owner, you have a duty to schedule yourself in a manner that works for both businesses. When someone tells me before their things are done, that they have to leave, it tells me the other job is more important. I worked 3 jobs for my first 10 years in the industry and was never late or left early at one of them. It’s called respecting your work and doing your job fully.)
Being more than 10 minutes late and not calling. Didn’t we already go through this with #6, Dan? You can eliminate one of them and shorten your list to 36. (Didn’t we discuss there’s a phone in the store? Do you even realize that there was a whole big huge world out there that functioned when there was no cellphones?, and to add on to #6 there’s also a thing called email nowadays. IF there is an work related issue that needs my attention, it’s better to be addressed in a more formal manner than a text message. And yes I welcome my staff to text me about things other than work. Most employees would love that – I think of them all as my children, delinquent as most of them are, I truly care for each and every one of them.)
Un-presentable food. That seems like it should be on the list for the kitchen crew. (No again, servers are responsible for delivering the food, and are the last line of defense before it hits the table, and they all have the right of refusal, how many of you actual servers have had that privilege before, or at least have been mortified by dropping off a charred steak that was supposed to be rare, only to get a 5% tip, hhmmmm?? Thought so)
Not talking about specials. If the restaurant is Denny’s or Cracker Barrel, how special can the special be? Is it really worth talking about? (You don’t have a clue pal, there’s tons of places that do amazing things with foods, Ok maybe you have worked in restaurants – but there’s a whole crazy world of food out there that doesn’t revolve around chains… well maybe not were you live… but I digress).
We are out of ______ when it’s in a box. I am assuming this means he wants people to go to the stock room to look for napkins before declaring that the restaurant is out of them. I agree. (no arguement)
We are out of ______ and not writing it on my list. Write it on the list but whatever you do do not text or call him about it. (This is just dumb, if we’re out of something shouldn’t the MOD (that’s Manager on Duty) know first. If i’m there, wouldn’t they tell me?)
Clutter. Examples of clutter would copies of this fucking list. (you’re just losing steam at this point aren’t you)
Crap from the bargain box. I have no idea what this means. (It’s the thriftstore that shares a back dock with us, people take stuff all the time then leave it in my restaurant, 1 it’s theft, to it just sits in my already too small kitchen – see clutter above)
Running biscuits before hot food. This is a travesty. Biscuits ARE hot food, Dan, and the biscuit is one of the most important foods of any breakfast establishment. Your comment leads me to believe that you have something against biscuits, and that sir, makes you a dick biscuit. (Dick Biscuit? Clever again, well you sir are just an asshole that probably lives in his mothers basement at 40. You don’t even have an original website – shiftgig or ifyoucan’tafford to tip destroys you. If you can’t beat em join em right? I’m pretty sure my old Prodigy internet could load this page – super fancy, you’ve found your calling. Anyways – The reason this is on here is because biscuits go to every table, they’re our signature item for fucks sake. But as we are so busy – a feeling you’ve clearly never experienced or you wouldn’t be such a miserable “bitchy waiter” we place a premium on getting people what they actually ordered. Biscuits are like bread sticks at olive garden to us – you get them for free and endlessly Difference is, our guests actually like our food.)
Complaining about tipping out. Feel free to complain about how little you make, how crappy the sidework is and what a dick Dan may be. (they’re actually free to complain about me all the time, I have a great life, successful business, and am proud of who I am, anybody in a position of power gets complained about, it’s natural. Why they can’t complain about tipping out is really quite simple. They’re tipping out their co-workers and that should never be an issue. They are 1 unit, and I expect them to take care of eachother at all times. More than that even.)
Smoking for more than 4 minutes. This is my favorite point, because he does not specify what you can or cannot smoke in those four minutes. Marijuana, crack or tobacco, it does not matter as long as you do it within four minutes. Enjoy your smoke breaks. (goes without saying moron, again that part is in our 40 page handbook, and is illegal… you’re just grasping at this point).
Unfilled drinks. However, unfulfilled dreams are fine. (re-read last sentence in above point).
Dirty silverware being rolled. I agree and according to point #24, dirty weed is fine for rolling. (Did you take a bong rip half way through this or something? Then nap? You’re barely making sense anymore.)
“That’s not my job.” Sorry, if some bitch throws up a Philly Cheesesteak Omelette all over the table and I see you walking towards me with a mop, those are the first four words that will come out of my mouth. The next two will be “I” and “quit. (this is probably the exact reason why you’ve never amounted to anything more than a pathetic blogger. Successful people don’t have a vocabulary of “that’s not my job” Successful people have ownership if any and all things that they do, and is a big reason why they are successful. I try to inspire all of my staff, who often have dreams of their own outside the hospitality industry to adopt such an attitude as it will take them infinitely further in life. We are all one, and no job is bigger or smaller than anyone, I was dishes and pickup puke with best of them, my first night as a barback ever, 15 years ago it was the first thing I ever had to do 5 minutes after walking in.)
“I’m on dish today.” Again, what the fuck does this mean? (Again, this goes to the whole staff, as it’s fun – so this is meant for kitchen, during slower periods we won’t schedule a dishwasher, and members of the cook team are responsible for dishes. They have a tendency to get lost over there and not help out on the line if needed. Again see “that’s not my job comment”)
Leaving ketchup, etc. on table. You can leave the bottles of ketchup but none of the ketchup itself. This will be awkward when a customer wants some for their fries and all you are allowed to give them is an empty bottle of ketchup. (again, we’re not a burger bar, ketchup isn’t part of our decor, it’s lazy serving, condiments are an accent to a meal, what if the next person at that table didn’t order anything that would even remotely require ketchup, what if they hate ketchup, what if they’re allergic to ketchup? It’s pure lazy serving and we don’t do lazy serving).
Properly wiping off tables so you get all excess food off of it! This is the only sin with an exclamation point, so Dan means business. He is going to be seriously pissed off if you properly wipe a table, so leave that food all over the damn place. But not ketchup. That would be wrong. (I gotta eat this one, I forgot the Not, this will be amended on future version(s) – joke and joke away, it’s deserved).
Not being proud of where you work. Wait, so no Bitch Face AND I have to be proud of where I work?? Oh, hell no. (Yes pure and simple, a company staff is and are it’s ambassadors, it’s the second question people ask after they meet someone, it is very important. I don’t want people that aren’t proud of what they do / where they work. Not just for me, but for their own fucking happiness as a person.)
Ringing in the wrong side. This is similar to waking up on the wrong side. Of the bed. (you hit a high note with killing me on wiping off tables – and you’ve lost steam again) we are a restaurant, not a buffet, or whatever the fuck kind of place you’ve worked because I honestly can’t figure it out at this point, anybody that has worked in a restaurant knows what a side is. Steak (Potatoe’s / Fries / Grits / Collards) our guests have choices, and it makes us all look stupid if we don’t get orders right)
Waiting on fries. Yeah, why bother waiting on fries since you aren’t allowed to leave any ketchup to go with them? (An issue in our restaurant that frankly you wouldn’t understand unless you worked there, fries are consistently forgotten to be dropped and thus the entree is sitting and waiting on french fries… )
Cold pancakes/eggs/french toast. In other words, stick your finger into every piece of food to make sure the temperature is correct. (i’m sorry, basic principle of food at work here hot food should be hot, cold food should be cold, for fucks sake man – I know you’re trying to be creative here… but jesus, that’s like food 101).
Microwaving anything. So why is there a microwave there, Dan? (it finally broke – and we haven’t replaced it I guess another edit is in order).
Spending too long at a table. You must inherently know the amount of time.
Spending too short at a table. Dan is not going to tell you details. You can have four minutes to smoke crack, but all other time limits must be instinctual. (yes dummy, we teach our servers to read a table, a single diner may want you to stay at a table to entertain them, some other diners may not, we unlike most places encourage individuality out of our serving staff. Again, not a privilege you’ve ever had and I’m sorry for you.)
All in all I know in today’s world it’s very easy to sit behind a computer and trash someone. But it’s important that we look at both sides of something before we destroy it. At the end of the day I’m sorry for you as I am sorry for all of the “bitchy servers” out there, that just can’t seem to not be miserable. Don’t get me wrong, there are some downright deplorable managers out there as well, and owners, but at the end of the day, the industry is by far one of the most rewarding, fun, and positive things you can do with your life. You have the ability to touch so many different people and genuinely better there life, even if it’s for a single moment. It’s people like you sir that ruin it for the rest of us that love what we do, love the people that work for us, and love the people who visit us. I’m sure you’ll have some witty retort after another rip.. but I will not. I have too much to do and too many great people to worry about.