:: Life on Planet Dan-E ::

Thoughts, observations, and introspections from an art student waiter/bartender in South Beach. Arcane humor ensues.
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:: Wednesday, April 02, 2008 ::

:: Server Stories: April Fool's ::
I'm not a big prankster (though I do like a good Pranqster) so April Fool's is usually just another day. I get called into work to cover a no-show and I arrive to see Antonio still kinda on edge from last night.

Short version: Mondays are usually dead and there were only five waiters, three bussers, and one bartender scheduled. No hostess and no barback. It would have been okay but our reservation computer went from twelve reservations to seventy-nine and one waiter called in sick. I arrive to hear Jed yelling into his cell phone, "I know I'm managing right now but I'm still just a fucking waiter and it's not my job to bail out this fucking restaurant every time someone fucks up!... Look, there are seventy nine reservations and I only have (looks around) four of my five waiters here right now... no, this is not how you run a fucking restaurant!!!..." He goes on and on. He's high-strung as it is - probably from all the coke - but this is new.

Jed was supposed to manage but he changes into his waiter uniform. It's a disaster for many of us. The guys handling the private parties are okay until they're forced to take other tables. Others waiters are trying to juggle more tables than they're accustomed to. I'm actually doing okay since all my tables were friendly but at one point, I have a two tables in the patio, two inside on either side of the bar, and I'm still trying to help out Jed with his 18-top private party before he loses it stabs someone with a steak knife. I'm sweating hard trying to cover a lot of ground. Bussers are overtaxed. The lone bartender is bombarded with orders. Cora has to run the service bar on top of serving bar customers. She has no barback to help her get bottles of wine from the cellar. (And half of her staff got fired over the weekend.) Antonio is trying to manage, seat customers, and once in a while, grab wine from the cellar.

Drinks take a while. Food comes out late. Some customers are very unhappy. I'm trying to make jokes but no one is laughing.

The night ends, everyone is frazzled. But we close early and everyone relaxes after a while. I'm one of the last to leave and I'm allowed a shift drink. Cora pours me a large shot of bourbon and I sip it while doing my sidework.

Back to the story. April Fool's is my day off but I get called to fill in. Our hostess is there organizing the menus and I give her a big hug and sarcastically say "oh my gawd we have a hostess! Hey Antonio! Don't let her leave. Give her whatever she wants, okay?" Acouple of guys from last night hear this and laugh but Antonio just waves me off and says "alright, alright. No more jokes about last night. Geezus."

Cora sees this also and says to me later that we really need to pull a prank on him. We discuss ideas, and include Jean, one of the older waiters. He's been there for three years so if he's in on it it'll be that much better. Fight breaking out in the patio? Wouldn't fall for it. Sudden reservation for a party of 100? Nope. The stove and ovens are broken? The chef is a humorless prick and would never play along. What if one of the staff gets sick? Hmm. Maybe.

We get Dave, another waiter, to lie down in the hallway like he hit his head. I grab some ketchup from the kitchen and apply it under his nose and around his mouth to simulate blood. Jean runs to grab Antonio and brings him over. I'm kneeled over Dave with my hand under his head and I lean in like I'm checking to see if he's breathing. Antonio arrives. "Oh no no no what the fuck happened?

"I don't know man, I heard something in the hallway and I check it out and he's lying in the hallway bleeding!" It was masterful.

The other waiters gather around, in on the joke, and act concerned. "What happened?" "Is he okay?" "OH MY GAWD IS THAT BLOOD?"

He reaches for his cell phone and flips it open to dial 911. Jean then tells him, "oh and one other thing... April Fools!!!" Everyone starts laughing. Dave lifts his head and points and laughs. Antonio is PISSED.

"I'm trying to do some fucking inventory and you guys are doing this shit? What the fuck?! You're all fired!" And he storms off.

Needless to say, we all still have jobs and once he's done with liquor inventory, he's back to his normal, pre-Monday self. Everyone else has fun with it the rest of the night.

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:: Miscellaneous Ramblings by Dan-E at 2:24 AM [+] :: | 0 comments

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