Week One at The Cookhouse is just about in the books and after my first night on my own - tonight - I have come to remember what I both love and hate about the restaurant business.
Guests are going to complain; it's a fact of life and there is absolutely nothing that we as servers can do about it. Going Waiting-style on the steaks just isn't possible, nor is pulling a Tyler Durden with the Lobster Bisque.
Here's the thing though, and I offer this as an advisement to those of you thinking of going out for dinner any time soon.
If you're going out on a Friday or Saturday night to a "family" chain establishment, you have no one to blame but yourself when it takes 45 minutes from seat to eat.
It's Friday or Saturday and you're one party out of 70 in the building, all sitting waiting on Apps, Entrees, refills and bills. Be happy that you're not having to sit at home and cook yourself, not to mention having dishes to worry about and understand that you're not the only one who is hungry.
Don't like waiting? Either show up before or after peak hours or stay home. It's as simple as that.
What kicks me in the crotch even more is listening to servers bitch and moan about slow kitchen service, poor tips and not having as many tables as they would like.
Listen gang, we'd all love to make $300 a night in tips, have 10 great tables and our food come out piping hot and perfectly on time every time we send an order.
I'd also like a publisher to call me, offer to publish every book idea I have, drafts unseen and Sarah to get to work 9-5 on her dream floor for $100K a year.
See where I'm going with this?
There are only ever two options: Shut up, suck it up and do your job or hand in your pouch, punch out and find another job. It's that easy.
Want more hours? Pick up shifts and change your availability.
Want to make more tips? Try smiling and taking care of the people at your tables.
In the mean time, do the things you're responsible for, like running your own food, helping others run theirs and even if the people at your tables are total jackasses, do your best and take whatever they give you, whether it's 5 cents or 50 bucks.
Or else you're just taking up shifts that I'd love to have, even if it's only 2 hours...