:: 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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:: Saturday, June 28, 2008 ::

:: Server Stories: High Sales ::
I mentioned in the last post about how my job security has been threatened over stupid shit just because the GM was on a power trip. That was about two or three weeks ago since the last incident where he told me, "you have potential but you've had more than enough time to prove yourself and you're hanging by a very thin rope." And the only reason for this conversation was because I walked through the kitchen with my hair down and the salad cook, who's a major drama queen, complained about getting hair in her food. I never actually went into her station; all I was doing was getting plates to use as marking trays.

Since then? I've done nothing different other than show up at work with a ponytail. But I went through a three day stretch where I sold almost a grand in wine bottles and suddenly, the GM is "proud" of me. Whatever. As long as I'm making regular contributions to his wine commission, I'm not on his shit-list. And if I'm not on his shit-list, Antonio treats me like gold.

This is the only place I've worked where I could have net sales of $3000 on a Saturday night but the managers bitch at me because I only sold two $70 bottles of Pinot Grigio. Forget the high sales, or the $600 worth of liquors (Mojitos, vodkas, and gin drinks are huge in Miami, especially on weekends, and the average price of a drink is $12), the specials, or wines by the glass; I only sold two bottles of wine because by luck of the draw, I get seated the people who'd rather get drunk on Belvedere, Bombay Sapphire, or Bacardi.

One case that got me off the shit-list was where I somehow talked a table into buying a $500 bottle of Cristal. Once the table left I grabbed the cork, walked up to the GM and said "hey [GM], I have something for you." "What's that?" I hand him the cork, "this is from the bottle of Cristal that I just sold." His face lights up and he replies, "really? Way to go my man." Later that night, he tells me "you're doing an excellent job. Keep this up and I'm going to train you to be a Captain and take charge of private parties." I simply smiled, nodded and said "thank you, sir" but I felt a need to wash my hands before I went home. This occurred just three days after my last reprimand.

Whatever, I'm off the shit-list, Jed speaks highly of me because I show up on time everyday, and Antonio likes me because my mellow personality usually means I don't cause any drama with customers. (A co-worker from Brooklyn, who's a service lifer, is in most respects a better waiter than me, but he has some New York attitude that doesn't sit well with a few of our customers. From my perspective, his problems are customers that can be best described as human garbage, but all management sees is an unhappy table, and their opinion is all that matters.) Jed's another lifer that's worked at more restaurants than I've eaten at, and despite his drug habit, he's exceedingly competent at work. He's been working here for five seasons and he's unofficially our senior waiter, so for him to have my back is no small thing.

While I appreciate Jed's support, every time the GM or Antonio says something complimentary during my check-out, I can't help but feel like I'm just an indigested corn in a pile of shit. We have competent servers here but the nature South Beach being what it is, truly professional servers are hard to find it seems some of the other guys have faults more glaring than mine. And for no other reason that I show up on time every day, I'm one of two waiters that don't have a drug habit, and I have the occasionally ability to upsell a customer from a bottle of Clos du Bois to a Rubicon.

Manager's favor aside, i still feel drained working here. I haven't had a day off since last Wednesday, and trying to manage the managers in addition to just doing my job takes its toll. As much as I hated the environment at my last job, I miss just being able to show up, do my job, and go home. I didn't have to worry about meeting some invisible quota for wine sales, the managers where idiots but at least they were oblivious to everything except irrelevant details, no one care if I showed up at work with my hair down.

Even though it's not my future (I keep telling myself that), I do take pride in doing my job well. But I shouldn't have to meet quotas or brown-nose management to know that.

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:: Miscellaneous Ramblings by Dan-E at 1:12 AM [+] :: | 0 comments

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