Friday, December 14, 2012

Hostess with the Most-ess

It's been a long time since my last post.

I've been busy.

But now I'm back! And despite my best efforts to resist the siren song of the restaurant industry, I find myself once again at the mercy of the most insane smattering of humanity one can imagine. Working in restaurants will make you hate people in about .01 seconds. Doesn't matter what restaurant. Trust me on this.

As always, I am the most employed person I know, in that I work roughly 4-5 jobs at any given time. And because there were no openings for servers at the place where I had a lead/connection, I'm running the host stand. At a place that serves close to a thousand people a day, located in the heart of tourist Chicago: downtown Michigan Avenue.

                                               (Apologies for the incorrect grammar)

People are constantly flooding in without reservations and it's tough to keep up. Also, our owner, Tommy* (name changed) is the friendliest/most popular man in Chicago and tells basically everyone he meets to come on in, drop his name, and they'll get a table, instantly. So it's become virtually impossible to distinguish between his actual friends that need VIP treatment and some random guy he met somewhere once whom he has no recollection of now. People drop Tommy's name so often that the staff actually had shirts made that say "I know Tommy, too."

Some of the current trends of insanity I am dealing with every day:

1) People can't get the time they want on OpenTable, so they just book what is available and come in when they wanted to book, i.e. an hour before their reservation time.

My response: (paraphrased and delivered more politely) Those slots on OT were booked for a reason and you will get a table when you reserved a table. I'm not going to reward bad behavior/set a precedent that showing up an hour before your reservation is okay. Get a drink at the bar and deal with your life.

2) Party of two wants a booth that seats 4-6

My response: (tactfully) Live in the real world, folks. You are two. I have parties of 6 that can't sit at a deuce.

3) "Hi, we have a reservation for 8 but we're actually going to be 15, hehe!"

My response: Okay, we'll do our best to accommodate you.
My response in my head: JESUS H CHRIST ARE YOU JOKING. Because now you actually need two more tables, which depending on the night, I may or may not have. FML.

4) "Hi, we have a reservation for 8, but we're only going to be 4."

My response: No problem
My response in my head: Still probably fucks up my plans for table-plotting but now I can take a walk-in.

BOTTOM LINE: For the love of God, PLEASE call a restaurant where you have a reservation and let them know if the number in your party changes. It is relevant to us, I promise you. Even if it's a seemingly minor change, like from 6 to 5, it may affect where we seat you.

Oh, and don't be that guy who drops the owner's name when I tell you it's a 45-minute wait for a table (which, duh, if you come in at 6:30 on Friday night, what are you expecting?) because it does not curry any favor with me. You are probably the 5th person in the last half hour to say you know Tommy. TOMMY KNOWS EVERYONE IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO. Take a number, chump, or, here's an idea: just make a reservation like the rest of the planet!

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