Wednesday, June 4, 2008

necessary venting... good ol' red robin!

red robin has been my place of work for five years now. five years of bottomless fries and freckled lemonades. five years of birthday songs and smiling burgers. five years of kerry and melisa. i've been working at red robin for five years now, and tonight i need to vent. i apologize if i offend anybody with the things i am about to say, but i've officially decided that every single person should work in food service before they die. you just don't understand the things that servers go through until you've walked a shift in their non-slip shoes. tonight was a record breaking night in my book. i've never been treated as horribly as i was treated tonight. this is the reason i'm in dire need of some vent-age. (the "you" that i'm directing this vent at is no one in particular, so please don't feel attacked!!)

okay, so just for the record, i'm FORCED to say that stupid little greeting when i first walk up to your table. TRUST ME, it's even more annoying for me than for you. try saying it 30+ times a night! so when i'm in the middle of it, please please PLEASE don't look at me like i'm a total idot and blurt out "DIET COKE". not only is it rude, but you might actually learn something from what i'm trying to say (like say, for example, my name!!) i promise that if you were to wait for two seconds, i'd give you your opportunity to speak without cutting me off.
now, if you are nice enough to let me get through my AEA greet (yeah, that's what it's called... red robin likes acronyms) there's nothing worse than having the entire table IGNORE me, like i'm nothing more than background noise. HELP ME HELP YOU PEOPLE! if you aren't ready, just TELL ME THAT. ugg. now, another thing that is really REALLY frustrating to servers across the country is the common misconception that the servers are in control of everything going on in the restaurant. NEWS FLASH! i can't really help it if the cooks lose your ticket, or if there aren't any fries cooked and ready RIGHT when you want them, or if the Expo (the person who trays up your food) forgets that side of ranch you asked for, or if the cooks decide to put tomatoes on your burger even though you told me explicitly NO TOMATOES. i'm sincerely sorry, and i'll do everything i can to fix the problem, but it isn't always my fault! so please don't yell at me, or throw things at me (it's seriously happened!!), or freak out on me because something out of my control just happened. when i say i'm sorry, i'm seriously sorry!
okay, now the last thing that really gets under my skin- when i come back over to your table to check on things, and ask "how's everything tasting" or "everybody doing okay" i really get get frazzled when every single person at the table ignores me. all i ask for is a simple nod, or even just a thumbs up! i'm just trying to help you folks. that's it. plain and simple. if you don't tell me that your burger tastes like crap, i'll never know. they don't teach us to read minds during our training. sorry about that.
Now i know that some of your reading this might be guilty of one or more of the previous things, but not to worry. i know that you have good intentions! please don't be offended by my venting. i know that i've been guilty of giving less than satisfactory service more than once. at times i deserve the attitudes and tips that i've been given, but more often than not i do not deserve to be treated the way that 75% of my tables treat me. just smile at me, and acknowledge me when i'm asking you questions. that's all i ask!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

with all of that said, i do love my job. some days are better than others. i know that i choose to work in food service, so some of the repercussions are my own fault, but just because i'm serving tables does not give you permission to treat me like garbage.

OH I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER. And seriously, people have been pretty rotten to me just because of some goof up with their food. people are kinda crazy (like KOO KOO crazy) about their food. it's so strange!


Bethany Joy Hardy said...

Hey I am there with you! I only worked for 3 years, and at two different restaurants, but I totally understand....
I think it is healthy to vent even a little.

Annie said...

I feel your pain. I only worked it for two years - AND I WILL NEVER FORGET. The funny thing is that what used to get to me was AFTER the really, really rude table (which I could bite the inside of my cheek and walk away from), invariably the people at the table next to them would overhear and feel sorry for me and say really nice, wonderful things - AND THEN I WOULD START CRYING!

Emily Faulknor Photography said...

Emily, you are amazing. I have seen you in that restaurant and you are the epitome of a servant in God's kingdom. You live out his word there, even if you don't feel like it, you do more than I do every day just by being at work in your environment. Kudos to you my dear and all of my support and may God strengthen you in those times of extreme discouragement from mistreatment. You are loved my dear!

Alyssa said...

If we ever get to have you as our amazing waitress I promise not to throw anything at you, my kids might be another story! Sorry you had a rough day!

Anna said...

Oh my gosh I TOTALLY feel your pain! I have been a server in 4 different restaurants and they all had their moments. At Marie Calendars all the old dogs used to snap and whistle at me to get my attention--what do I look like a dog or something!?! Then at Outback I'd serve a party of 8 (you know how much work that is) and then at the end of the meal everyone would be so drunk that they'd forget to tip me! Oh and on that note I'd like to say that $2 is not a tip! It's a slap in the face! I think every American should be required to take a "how to tip your server" class. Somewhere along the line someone decided that $2 was a good tip and since then people will leave you 2 WHOLE dollars no matter how big the bill was! Okay that's enough venting for me. Sorry you had a bummer night, hope today is better!!! :)

Sean Gafner said...

WORD!!!Except you forgot to say..."Also, tips are NOT 'EXTRA' income...THEY ARE MY INCOME!"

Candace said...

I don't know what it is about food service (or any customer service for that matter) that makes people think they can treat the workers like they are less than human. It's like, come on. Just because you put on a Red Robin uniform it's like people think you are no longer a person with feelings and a mind. So weird. Someone should do some kind of social case study on this.

babblingbrooke said...

Yes!! this is so true. All of it. I worked at a store for one year, and I am going to my second store next week (I have been a server at Applebee's as well for over two years). And I MUST say it's the 20-something year old's that suck down freckled lemonade and ranch with their bottomless steak fries that get me the most. They aren't grateful one bit. And also, Mr Gafner, you are 100% correct. These tips aren't *extra* income. My paychecks are crap. One more thing: have you any clue how the horrible servers seem to make decent money? I work my butt off jumping through each and every seven-step-of-service hoop to make good money. Great post. :)

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