Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Experience as a Server

I walked into Carino's, proud and gleaming to start my first day as an official server. My first guest, looking in his mid 40's sat down waiting for his wife to join him. As soon as I welcomed him to Carino's, he asked me about Pasta Points. On the front of the menu it says in bold letters "ask your server about Pasta Points." I'm sure my facial expression resembled that of a deer or elk in the dead of night when your car lights are blinding them as you screech to a halt. My immediate made-up response contemplated for my deer-eyes. After a brief false explanation, I told him I'd return after finding out more from my manager. My first fib, and I passed! He ended up signing up for Pasta Points, and he had no idea I was clueless.

As the night went on each table, I'm sure, saw the mistakes I made as I brought food out late, forgot to greet them in a timely manner, or checked on them too much. We can skip the majority of those table stories; however, there is one that iced the cake to finish off the night. At this moment I had three tables. These two ladies sat down, and I brought out their drinks as normal. I brought their salads ten minutes later. They were a little flustered, but they just ate their salads without saying anything. When they were finished, I told them, "I'm sure you're food is coming right out of the kitchen." When I checked, I realized I never put their order in. I scrambled to type it in to the computer and ran to the manager to get the cooks to fire the meals up. Finally, around 25 to 30 minutes after they had finished their salads, I dropped off their entre├ęs. They were not at all satisfied. One lady said, "we won't be mad as long as you get us two coffees and dessert... on the house of course" (with a smirk at the end). I replied promptly with an agreeing confirmation. Half way through their meal I asked the ladies what type of dessert they would like, and they said Tiramisu with both regular and decaf cups of coffee.

I ran to the bar to get the coffees just to be sent to the back of the restaurant. There was only one pot of coffee. I brewed the regular coffee, and waited for it to finish before I could brew the decaf. When I was just about to start on the decaf, another server came up to me. She said that the ladies wanted to know where I was and they want their coffee now that they had their Tiramisu. She said she had told them, we only have regular coffee right now. They ladies said they didn't care they just wanted it right then. I rushed to their table with the two cups, and the only reply, "well, can we get some creamer?!" In my frantic state, I just started crying and with a cracked voice I said, "yes, I'll be right back with your creammmmmerr."

A man from the table right beside the table with the two ladies motioned for me to come over to him. He grabbed my arm as I bent down and he whispered in my ear, "you are doing a fantastic job. The food is wonderful. The service has been excellent, and you have made my night more enjoyable." After I cleared up from my emotional break down, I finished up my tables to end my shift. The ladies left me three dollars, while the man left me a $20 dollar tip.

I just realized that I am not immediately amazing at everything. I had to work at this job, and it was going to take some practice.