The Mexican Rice Emergency


So how many times can I write about inept restaurant managers before I have told every store that needs to be told? Apparently, there is an never-ending supply of stupid ass restaurant managers so the stories are infinite. I was recently having a margarita in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park when I saw some total ineptitude happening right in my face. Thankfully, my face also had some salt on it from the rim of my glass so I was able to deal with what I witnessed. First off, I sat down at 3:45 and ordered my cocktail. Immediately afterwards, I saw the table tent that alerted me to the taco bar and drink special that started in a whopping fifteen minutes. At 4:00, margaritas would be two for one. Why oh why could I not have been told that had I waited a few minutes I could have double the pleasure of tequila? Whatever. I survived. I watched as the servers were setting up the buffet table with the big silver chafing dishes. And then the manager came out to make sure everything was going as planned. She just stood there with her hands on her hips scanning the action and struggling to look important. And then she uttered these immortal words of advice:

So if someone comes up to you and says something like, “uh, hey you’re outta rice”, then what you should do is…? Go tell someone that you need more rice. Okay?

Wow, someone needs to run out and get a stone tablet because it sounds like we now have eleven commandments.
We need a rewrite and reprint for the Bible.
Call Confucius and tell him he’s got a new saying for his next batch of fortune cookies.
Alert CNN that they have their latest news crawl for the bottom of the screen.
Send out a mass text.
Rosetta Stone is no longer the answer to the world of language.
Embroider that shit on a pillow.

Was she for real? Who the hell couldn’t figure that out on their own? I think if you threw an apron on a ten year old and told them to start waiting tables they would immediately start crying (that’s what I did on my first day of waiting tables) but they would know what to do if someone told them there was no more rice. But thank God Idiot Savant Manager was there that day. I can just imagine what could have happened if she had not passed on that vital piece of information.

Customer: Uh…hey you’re outta rice.

Waiter: What?

Customer: You’re outta rice, can you get some more?

Waiter: Gee, I dunno if I should. No one told me what to do if we ran out of rice. Maybe I should get more Jello.

Customer: But I want rice.

Waiter: Or pudding. Pudding’s good. Oh, or what if I got more hummus? Or french fries! Yeah, I’ll get more french fries, maybe. Oh God, I dunno what to do. Why didn’t someone train me for this situation?? This is horrible!

Customer: Maybe you can just go to the kitchen and get more rice?

Waiter: Lemme go ask my manager what to do. Hold on. (He goes to kitchen and then returns.) Okay, I’m back. She told me I should just go get more rice. So I’ll go get more rice.

Customer: Wow, that manager must really be a genius. She really averted a potential crisis.

Why must so many managers be oh so very very lame?



12 thoughts on “The Mexican Rice Emergency

  1. White Russian

    Agree for the most part. To her excuse – may be her employees are really, really dumb. I’ve had my share of working with idiots who’d ask if chili cheeseburger has chili on it, or wouldn’t know how to switch syrups for soda machine and tell customers we were out, or in any case – tell people we were out rather than let anybody know or simply go get more. Idk if those people are dumb or lazy or both, but there’re people like that. And sometimes you feel like a babysitter with them. You wish you could be a manager so you could fire their ass, or wonder why the hell manager keeps them even though has power and authority to fire them.

    Here is where that manager is moronically wrong then – if you have dumb employees, they’re nothing but a reflection of your hiring/training skills.

  2. Carolyn

    I am a manager who also serves where I work. I stepped into the manager spot because it seemed time to give it a whirl. It is a thankless position, even if I love the restaurant and truly care a great deal for my fellow employees. But, I assure you, I have had employees who have taught me sometimes you really do have to state the obvious. Often they are the green horns but even people who are usually very competent will ask a question or do something that just leaves one questioning their IQ. And I willingly confess I know they have seen me do the same. Some day we will all laught about it I’m sure! At any rate, I always do my best to be gracious and take it as a teaching moment because I stand by that classic old chestnut “There are no stupid questions and if the question seems stupid to someone else, trust me, they will come up with one of their own, by the by, so far better to ask then go ahead and do something stupid.”

  3. Vaanja

    Ok, I get that we’re all bagging on managers here and I’m cool with that, but I’m failing to see how this is a manager fail. It’s kind of fail that she has to explicitly tell a server that, but that’s the server’s fail.

  4. Two Flights Down

    My husband once had a manager like that. Right before lunch he'd send home all but one busboy because it was dead. Then he'd be all surprised when the rush came 15 minutes later during lunch time…on a Sunday, even. Everytime, he was shocked.There was also the instance when the same manager was to give a speech at a motivational meeting that went like this:"Busboys are a dime a dozen. I can replace you all like that (snaps fingers)."That was seriously his speech.

  5. The Ranters Box

    And the fact that so many managers are inept makes it all the more tragic that people like that have jobs.It is no wonder that so many businesses have struggled and continue to do so when there are morons like that overseeing business operations. Effing idiots!

  6. Manda

    For the most part, mgmt in the food service sucks. Take that back, most managers suck. However there a few exceptions. One of my managers where I work now is amazing. He makes working the shift so much easier. He watches expo and assures the orders are correct and ran ASAP. He balances time with greeting tables and makes sure front of the house is running smoothly. If you do make a mistake, he helps you correct it and doesnt get mad or huffy. Overall , working with him is a pleasure. He is passionate about the restraint and the people working there.

  7. Guy

    I'm stuck in the middle on this one because, while management is (I think) the only reason I've ever left a restaurant job (and I've left many) I have had waiters tell me (when I was a banquet captain) "There aren't any more rolls in the warmer.""Gosh. I guess we may as well go home then."

  8. Anonymous

    Having been a waiter, I hate to diss on my colleagues. However, I did once experience a waitress who would have fit right in with the manager you describe. There were ten of us at the table. She took down the orders for six of us then said we could not order any more since there was no more room on the order ticket for her to write.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *