Ahh, the mandatory meeting. In no other job outside of the restaurant industry have I been expected to attend a meeting that may or may not be on my day off. Of course, what other job have I had that is outside the restaurant, so how would I fucking know? The most recent one I was forced to attend was in fact on my day off. Sure, we may get paid for it, but like I need that extra $5.00 for an hour long meeting. I’d rather have my day off, thanks. The meetings are always the same. The owner or district manager or whoever the fuck else shows up to burp out some words of wisdom. This particular meeting was also attended by a silent partner who was anything but silent. Every time he piped in, I automatically dismissed his comments because he knows absolutely nothing about serving. Besides, his wardrobe looked like he raided the closet of Mr. Furley and how can anyone take him seriously? The meetings are meant to inspire, challenge, correct and educate but really all they do is create a big “shut the fuck up” moment that happens collectively among the employees. These people show up and act like they know what is best even though they only show their faces once every four or five months Their ideas may look good on paper, but they need a healthy dose of reality. Unless you are in the restaurant every day, you really don’t know how things work. Do I resent them? Oh hell yes.
At the most recent mandatory meeting, I took notes because I wanted to make sure that I got all of their points down on paper in order to memorize them and make our establishment a better place. No not really. I took the notes so I could put them on this blog and people could see how utterly lame and pointless the meeting was. These are a few of the things that were deemed important enough for me to forfeit my day off and drag my ass to work for an hour:
- Up sell. No shit. Anyone who has waited tables for more than a hot second knows this point. “A vodka/tonic, sir? Is there any vodka in particular you would like? Might I suggest Grey Goose, Kettle One or Any Other Way Expensive Brand?”
- No eating while on the clock. Yeah, right. Uh huh. Sure. You try working an eight hour shift with no break and see if you don’t grab a handful of whatever you can get.
- No drinking. Excuse me, how the hell do you expect me to deal with the bitch at table 18 if I don’t have a hidden glass of Pinot Grigio in a plastic cup?
- No cell phones at work. Now that is just dumb. Look, I’m not going to be answering my phone whilst taking an order but I will have my cell phone with me. I need it. It is very important that my phone is in my possession so when someone stiffs me I can take a picture of their credit card receipt and publish it to Facebook. It’s what I do. T-Mobile made me do it.
- Be friendly. Oh, really? I thought I was supposed to openly show my disdain for my guests. Thanks for pointing that one out.
- Be upbeat. That’s why I need the plastic cup of Pinto Grigio.
- Do your sidework. Again, this pearl of wisdom fell right off the Obvious Truck.
- Respect one another and respect your managers. Now that is just fucking hilarious.
Yes, that was the extent of the meeting. Why they didn’t simply send us an email or text message, I’ll never know. Perhaps our silent partner wanted to show off his latest pant and jacket combo and felt that a mandatory meeting was the best way to do that. As for the information we were given, file them all under “no, duh” and call it a day. Here are a few more nuggets of wisdom I am surprised they didn’t mention to us. All equally obvious but just as important:
- Wear your pants at work at all times.
- Do not floss your teeth while standing at a table. Do this in the sidestand or the service bar.
- Do not pour vodka on a guest and light them on fire no matter how tempting it is.
- No pets allowed.
- Be alive when you show up to work.
- Clock in and out so we can pay you even though you do this for the love of it and not the money.
- No smoking crack, shooting heroin or tripping on acid while on the clock.
- When someone orders something, ring it in, and then bring it to them when it’s ready because we owners think you are so stupid that you may not understand your function as a server and we feel better if we point out the obvious. It makes us feel superior to you because we all have small penises and have to exhibit or machismo and authority every chance we get.
I hate the obligatory mandatory meetings in the restaurant world. Only once has the meeting been worth attending. We had a pizza party at it. Next time I go, I’ll just have to make sure my plastic cup of Pinto Grigio is full.