Monday, October 30, 2006


It has been a fairly slow Saturday night. We have the usual array of regulars, but walk in traffic is relatively slow. I have only been working in the town of Biffy(aka B.F.E.) for almost two months so I am not totally used to the ‘when we will be busy and when we won’t” trends, but I am getting there. The 4 servers on the floor are understandably upset and already asking to be sent home.

“jeeeesh!!!! We’re not going to get busy, I don’t know why he won’t let someone leave” I hear “Judy” say in her raspy, 50 year old, two packs a day, biker chick voice.

The devil on my right shoulder quickly types up the following response and sends it to my brain.

Cause if I let someone go it will have to be one of my GOOD servers, leaving me not only short staffed for a rush, but short staffed AND handicapped since you get weeded with any more than two tables

The angel on my left considers this response, even laughs at it, but in the end pulls out a tennis racket and knocks it away. I hate the angel sometimes, even if I know he is right.

I have been in their shoes, so I simply let it go.

Biffy is a small town located not too far from the major college town of Gainseville, Florida, Home of the University of Florida Gators. One reason it is slow is the Gator football team is playing one of its biggest rivals this week. Gator games tend to be among our slower times. AFTER gator games we tend to get pretty busy. Since the game will end in about an hour, and we are still open for four I feel pretty safe in thinking we are going to be busy at some point. Therefore, I have to decline the requests to send someone home. Before long the requests turn to whining.

Four servers, none of them making money. All of them wants to be the one to go home, but barring that they just want SOMEONE to go home.

I get it, minimal tips split 4 ways is always less than minimal tips split 3 ways.

Before too long the whining turns to bitching.

I remind myself of my own serving days, bite my toungue, and hold my ground. It will get busier and until then the best I can do for them is NOT make them find some kind of busy work to do until then.

As I head back to the office, I hear.

“I have a term paper due tomorrow, that is really important! Why the hell won’t he let me leave!”

This comment gets my attention for a moment. I believe in education. I applaud the servers like Wendy and Kyla who are going to college and looking to better themselves in hopes of finding a ‘real job’. I even encourage it to the point of preaching it at times though I know my words usually go in one ear and out of the other. I know this because these same words went in one of MY ears a long time ago and out of the other. I hope they don’t get ‘stuck’ in a serving job for as long as I did and end up regretting it. Lord knows if I had a chance to go back in time and do it all over again I would NOT stay in the serving (or even bartending) end of the pool nearly as long as I did. And that is assuming I stayed in the restaurant business at all. That is not to say that serving is a bad thing, just me admitting that even to me the grass DOES seem to be greener on the other side.

I blew off more than my share of “enjoy your childhood while you can” and “don’t be in such a hurry to grow up” and “stay in school” advice back in my day. To me, it was simple ‘ramblings of an old coot’. It MUST be! Who wouldn’t WANT to grow up, be able to buy what you want, go where you want, do what you want, whenever you wanted to do it? Surely, THAT is what being a grown up was like after all!

Now EYE am the old coot, giving the same advice, knowing it will be ignored but trying none the less.

For these reasons and more, I consider letting “Wendy” go home. There is a knock on the door.

“come in”

“I have a term paper, due tomorrow, can I go home?”

“No, if it stays slow I will try to get you out of here a little bit early, but right now it is just too soon. I think we will be getting busy once the game is over and the Halloween fest in town is over.”

“It isn’t going to get busy anyways, we have only had 6 kids come in for trick or treats.”

“You may be right, but I don’t think so.”

(To be continued, sorry but 6 am and I am falling asleep at the keyboard) See? I AM an old coot!


fringes said...

I can't wait to hear the end of this story. I must know who was right, Wendy or the old coot.

You guys beat the Eagles yesterday? Gaw! Schizophrenia for everybody!

anne frasier said...

ooh, nice. :)

alyndabear said...

Agreed.. also want the ending!!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog. Really enjoying it. I'm about to hit the archives. This entry's title did make me wonder. BtVS fan, or coincidence?

briliantdonkey said...

thanks everyone that asked for the ending. Must be having a hard time sleeping or something lol.

Anonymous: Thanks and welcome. I am glad you stopped by and are enjoying it so far. As for the BTVS part I can only assume(yes yes mom I know ,,,,asses ,,,,ews,,,and meeees) you mean Buffy The vampire slayer. If that is the case then it is just a coincidence. I have seen the show a few times but never really got into it.