insiders guide to the fuck-ups serving your dinner.

24 Sep

Something really special about the restaurant business is the colorful nature of the people who inhabit it. As a girl who grew up in the restaurant business, (and stupidly stayed in it) I have had the pleasure of working with no less than 75,000 different people, most of whom were so fucking odd that I didn’t dare make eye contact with them just in case they were actually zombies or aliens who were going to take over my brain and make me behave like them.

No other industry in the world seems to appeal to such a huge collection of vagabond delinquents (other than reality TV and surfing). Staff at the restaurant is so transient that my mom, who literally does the payroll every single week, doesn’t know any of my employees. If I were her, I’d find that fact comforting, especially based on the history of people who have survived the elite hiring process in our places.

For example….

1. The Normal Person. I can literally count the number of normal people who have worked for my family on less than four fingers. Both of them are my Facebook friends and it probably isn’t you. Note: I’m not counting college kids because frankly they’re smart to learn something legitimately valuable like how to open a bottle of wine properly or how to cut lemons in a wheel and a wedge. Consider it continuing their education. Plus when they can’t get a “sociology” job upon graduation it won’t matter because they’ll already have a source of income and then they can eventually fall into one of these other categories.

2. The Theif. This employee comes so frequently, and in so many shapes and forms that it should be a multiple choice question on the job application. And it shouldn’t be “Do you steal?” it should be “What do you steal?” The Thief ranges from just your general salt and pepper shaker pilferer to your all out cash heisting crafty fucker. Then there are those in the middle. The cook who has stocked his entire house (and his cousins’ houses) with dinner service for 13, complete with every type of glassware, silverware and dishware that has ever been brought through the doors. There’s the tip adjuster who doctors inflated numbers at the expense of the customer (we’re unfortunately too good at catching those thieves at this point). There’s the busboy who steals a customer’s iPhone and the police come a few weeks later to arrest him because it turns out you can track that shit, ya damn moron. And who can forget the waitress who does her grocery shopping in the walk-in and smuggles it out in a duffel bag sized purse.

3. The False Identity. This chick can’t claim unemployment after you fire her because SHE DOESN’T EXIST. That being said, it doesn’t really matter because she’s already collecting unemployment under her real name. The job at your place was just a bonus income. Oh, and every Spanish speaking dude is not named Jose. Sorry Spanish guys, we’re beginning to catch on to that.

4. The Nazi. As a Jew, it’s difficult for me to relate to hating Jews (other than when I go to lunch at the Miracle Mile). But apparently this is the case for some people. Occasionally these some people get jobs at restaurants. And sometimes these restaurants are owned by Jews. Specifically me. It’s a funny thing, dealing with a prejudiced asswad who seems to truly believe that under my new bangs are a set of horns, or that I’m cheap by default and that’s why we have a policy where you can’t just bring home a gallon of milk or bottle of Goose from work whenever you feel like it. Oddly enough the Nazi never seems to stay long. His loss, the restaurant is fucking packed on Christmas Day.

5. The Felon. It wasn’t this guy’s fault. He swears. He was just holding those bags of weed for one of his friends, and he seriously thought it was dried oregano for a cooking thing. And it also wasn’t his fault that he failed his drug test seven times, it was his friend’s birthday one night and then he ate like a shit ton of poppyseed bagels and there’s something weird about his new toothpaste so seriously, it wasn’t his fault. One of the best qualities of the Felon is that he literally has to come to work, because the other option is jail, and he really doesn’t like going to jail for more than one night at a time. One Famous Felon from yesteryear got so many DWIs that he was on the front cover of the newspaper and is currently on the run from police in 3 states. It’s a shame, he was a fun guy to have at work. We’re still pen pals on email, his humor translates well when written.

6. The Alcoholic. Turns out the bar isn’t just for customers! Some restaurant employees are really just in it for the vino. At 11am. In a pint glass. Key characteristics of the alcoholic is that you run into them at 7-11 between shifts buying a 40 oz. beer and pouring it into a Big Gulp cup. Or that the taxi driver that picks her up at the end of her shift knows her name. Or that the nice police guy comes in for a coffee and whispers in your ear “That one is trouble. Picked her up last week for offering some guys blowjobs in the parking lot at the crack bar across the street,” and she stumbles over to him and asks him if she can play with his taser gun anyway.

7. The Heterophobe. I think I’ve made it abundantly clear over the past however many months that we’ve been getting to know me that I’m a lover of gays, specifically Charlie (formerly known as Gay Asian Waiter but now he’s all fancy and wears a tie and works 9-5 and shit) and my sister sister and this ginger I know and random other people who haven’t come out of the closet yet even though they SERIOUSLY NEED TO. But what’s interesting is that not all of the gays love the straights.  So many people have worked for my family who accuse everyone from us to the customers to the gay busboy that we dislike them because of their sexual persuasion. “Um, no, Dude,” we’ve been forced to say. “We hate you because you’re standing over the customer while you apply your chapstick in the mirror behind their table for like ten minutes.” The restaurant business is really quite conducive to many different sexual orientations. As long as you’re willing to strap one on (an apron, you perv! Get your head out of the gutter!) we’ll pretty much let you go to town on our customers. But sometimes I feel the same way about gay servers as I do about Harry (a Christmas) marrying me (a Hannukah) – Just in it for the jokes.

Anyway, we’re hiring if you’re interested. Heads up though, we check references.


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