So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

Daily Archives: January 22, 2010

New link added – “How not to do things”

I’m a pretty snarky guy. I show flashes of it here occasionally, but I play it fairly straight in general (if you actually think I’m pretty snarky based on what you read here, then I suspect that your tolerance for snark is pretty low).

So I appreciate someone who lets their snark flag fly free.

Van Der Vecken (or vandervecken as he or she bills themselves) is just that creature. Maybe it’s the Dutch or Belgian background. People who are forced to wear wooden shoes and lace can develop an acute sense of playful gruffness.

vandervecken (I’m going with this spelling because, first, it’s easier and I don’t have to press the shift key which will probably add minutes to my life when it’s all said and done, and second, it looks better, perhaps it’s a tropical finch or the Dutch word for the “pleasure of driving”) will make you chuckle through the blog “How not to do things”. The title is a giveaway that you’re in for some pleasant hectoring. Taking on neocons, craigslist and “Food Knowitalls” in equal measure, I suspect that this “nagelneu” (German for brand new, it literally means “new as a shiny nail”) blog is going to be a force to reckon with.  Adding to that, vandervecken isn’t afraid to comment on this very site and has had the good sense and impeccable taste to add me to the blogroll within mere months of the blog’s inception.

No, there’s no quid pro quo. I would have added it even if my own blog wasn’t linked. And, there’s the added fact that the blog has a similar look and feel to my original “Parchment” Word Press format. So it almost feels like home.

Alright everyone – vandervecken is our people. I hope that the new kid on the block continues striking back at life’s little idiocies. Time to raise a glass of brandy as Churchill would. After all, vandervecken is a kindred spirit. I suspect that vandervecken would salute the Churchill saying, “We occasionally stumble over the truth but most of us pick ourselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened”.

One way that you know that you’re working in a well-run restaurant

If you work in a corporate restaurant and there’s an upcoming visit by The -Powers-That-Be from higher up the food chain, you know that you’re working in a well-run and well-staffed restaurant if the management doesn’t get all freaky and scared-looking and start assigning a buttload of extra cleaning duties.

First of all, this indicates that the staff is doing a pretty good job keep the restaurant looking polished. Second of all, it shows that the management is confident in their ability to stay on top of the staff to keep the standards up on a day-to-day basis. And it shows a general management confidence that any corporate visit will show them to be better than their fellow locations because of the well-run nature of the restaurant. they show no fear, no panic. In fact, the well-adjusted GM will welcome the visit and if you have one of those, you should be grateful, because they’re fairly rare beasts.

This doesn’t mean that if extra cleaning duties are assigned, it means that you’re working in a shithole. There’s inevitably a little more emphasis on the things that escape notice on a day-to-day basis because everyone knows that a fresh set of eyes will see details that are missed because some things just fall into the background and get unnoticed after a while.

So if your managment gets all paranoid and jumpy, with the appearance of a bloodied cornered wild animal, this is a warning sign. If it happens everytime that a corporate visit is planned, it’s a serious red flag. It means that management (and, by extension, the staff) is not taking care of business properly.

If your management is relaxed and says things like, “Make sure that you’re looking sharp on Friday because the regional is going to pay a visit and make sure you look at your stations and side stations more closely in the next week”, you’re golden.

If you smell fear and they have everyone come in 2 hours early for “extra cleaning”, watch out. they’re more concerned about their jobs than yours. They would probably throw you under the bus in a New York minute.

A few reasons why Conan O’Brien shouldn’t consider becoming a waiter as his next job

Can’t spell “cocoa”.

Won’t recommend anything but boxty.

Only sticks around for 8 months before refusing to work after midnight.

Most restaurants won’t pay you to quit.

Won’t have any busboys other than a damn masturbating bear.

Even bending at the waist only gets him 4 feet above the patron’s head.

Hair gets many patrons seasick.

Inexplicably breaks into Pimpbot 5000 voice when trying to sell dessert.

Touches his nipples too often for comfort.

Has an annoying habit of sometimes bringing in William Shatner to recite the specials.

Skin sometimes blinds little children.

And speaking of little kids, making obscene balloon animals for kids’ birthday parties turns some parents off.

Does a freakish dance when it seems like his specials recitation isn’t working.

No Conan, you can’t bring Max Weinberg with you.

We luvs ya Conan. All the best, freakishly pale white brother.