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Day 1: Training Day

Activity: ✦✦ (slow)
Tips: $11

My first day, I was thrown to the wolves, so to speak. Fortunately, the wolves were fairly kind to me. My training consisted of: "Why don't you start by taking that customer."

While normally I would advocate some sort of formal training for a job, the best way to probably learn this job is to just dive right in. I've eaten at enough restaurants to know how to wait tables. The most difficult thing to learn is the computer system they use for order submission, tracking, and payment. This is simply because nothing is organized in a logical manner.

I used a co-workers MICROS card to use the system, called for assistance using the computer when needed, and helped wait on a number of tables. About halfway through the shift, they pretty much left me on my own to wait tables (still using co-workers card). Toward the end of the shift, I was given my own MICROS card. However, only a few more customers came in toward the end of the day, so I only had four tables before we closed.

One customer left me a $7 tip, another left me a $4 tip. One customer, an employee airport and regular customer, left me a few cents (and made a big deal out of my huge tip); he and his buddy regularly come in, stay a long time, order very little food, and don't tip big. I'll try not to begrudge them, though, as I'm told they're a bit slow. My last customer was drunk, and came to order more drinks before his next flight. I briefly contemplated not serving him (I can lose my state alcohol certification and be fined), but as he had a roll of $20 and $100 bills in his hand, I figured another drink could be tolerated. The expectation was that there could be a decent tip, as drunk people can tip well (personal knowledge), but after several drinks, he made his way out without leaving a single penny. My grand total of tips, as my co-workers kept my other tips since I was in training, was a whopping $11.

Some thoughts:

* Waiting tables is easy. The hardest part of this job is the stupid computer system.

* No bad customers today; I both look forward to and dread my first real pain-in-the-ass.

* There is tension and drama under the seemingly calm serface at the restaurant. I was essentially hired to replace an employee who was fired after assaulting another employee, and in preparation for when they are able to fire a certain employee (who is stealing, but has not been caught, yet). I know four of the employees at this place, as they are friends.

* Things are a little too laid-back at this place, in my opinion.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 30th, 2007 09:51 am (UTC)
I always think the whole "trainer keeps your tips" thing is a load of horse pucky, as my grandpa would say. I was so euphoric my first day at my last job when I offered my moneys to my trainer and she looked at me like I had two heads. "We don't do that here. You did the work, those are your tips."

In other news, just so you know, there is ALWAYS drama and tension in restaurant work. It's just like high school, only a lot smaller and harder to get away from. You'll develop a think skin eventually (it helps that you already have friends there).
Oct. 30th, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
Well, they do the "trainer keeps your tips" thing here. Thank goodness training was only a day long, though. Unfortunately, a couple of the friends have some slight drama between themselves, and while no one involves me, it can be annoying to be around it constantly -- in work and out. Heh.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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