Mar 16, 2009

My boss is a blog.

Seriously, I could write endless numbers of posts about my Big Fat Greek Boss, who happens to own and manage the Italian restaurant where I work.
He is so bad my friends have hard times believing me when I tell them the stories. He is soooo bad that I am surprised the restaurant hasn't died yet.
To his credit you need to understand he is old, meaning in-need-of-hearing-aid type of old, which also means that he grew up in war times when food was scarce. This might explain why he is so goddamn cheap. Not justify, but explain it at least.
My Big Fat Greek Boss (whom i will refer to as BFGB) will find every possible way to rip customers off, he is the antithesis of Customer Service, he does not have any long term view whatsoever and he rather put 10 cents in his pocket TODAY and loose a customer for the rest of his life than invest in some long term relationship.
Why do people still come there to eat, is something I haven't quite figure out yet. Oh, wait, maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are one of the only pizza places in several blocks, that the portions are humongous and that most of the customers are so old they'll probably be dead before they could find a replacement for their long time Italian dinner habit.
Yes, it's that sad.
More details on the BFGB to come.

Sep 3, 2008

The Queen, the King and the servant

One of the things that working as a waitress has thought me is being able to appreciate good service. And bad service, even.

In those -rare- occasions my schedule allows me to go out for dinner, I feel like a Queen. How nice to have someone keep your glass of water full, how indulgent to have another guy offering you bread, and ...OMG... it's warm, and you don't even have to slice it because they've already done it for you! How luxurious to have a stranger bringing your favorite dish cooked exactly the way you want, and have another stranger cleaning up after you and getting your table all nice and ready for dessert.

How about when they bring you an after drink on the house? That's when I don't feel like a Queen anymore, I am God in my own Heaven.

Think about it for a moment. You, people. All of you who like to come and eat where I work. And all of you who patronize some kind of food establishment. Think about it. Make a list of ALL the reasons why you go out for dinner instead of staying home. Sure, it's because of the food, you like that particular taste you can't quite reproduce in your kitchen. Or maybe you don't even like the food that much (at least I hope, for your own sake, that you don't like the food I happen to serve you), but it's million times better than what you can prepare for yourself. Then, yes, you want a night out and a slice of city life is way better than what's on TV tonight. And maybe you want to enjoy the company of friends, or maybe you simply forgot to buy groceries, now it's too late and you are exhausted.

But listen, how about that luxurious experience of being served? You don't have to move a finger, you just need to talk clearly, express your desire for a hot plate of half cheese ravioli -and please just add 2 of the meat ones, would you?- half spaghetti, one quarter with meat sauce, one quarter with tomato sauce and a touch of cream, one quarter with pesto and grilled chicken, not too much oil because I am on a diet, and one quarter, is there a quarter left?, oh yes, ok, the last quarter with primavera sauce, but please leave out the broccoli because I can't digest them, ah and don't forget to throw in some extra garlic, and give me some anchovies on the side. And the spaghetti, I'd like them al dente, but not the ravioli, them I like mushy, I can't stand when the edges are too hard to chew.

Yes, sir? Anything else?

That's it, ah, I am in a hurry, so can you please make it superfast?

I will, but you have to admit that one of the reasons you are here is because your wife/husband/partner would rather kill you than prepare all of the above. And because you like the idea that someone can serve you the requested dish with a smile on their face. And because the only thing we ask you in exchange is to remember exactly what you ordered so that you won't complaint when the spaghetti are too hard, the ravioli are too soft, the primavera has too much garlic, the chicken is not on the side and the tomato sauce is pink.

You ask, I deliver. You make a mess, I clean up. Your kids throw half-eaten rigatoni all over the floor, I pick them up. You spill Chianti on the antipasti and on your white collar shirt, I don't scream "Dummass!!", instead I literally run at your table, apologize like it was my fault, wipe the mess, give you clean napkins, more wine and new appetizers, for free.

You are the King, I am your servant.
What's not to like about that?
The bill, maybe?

Hey, Sir!...Sorry....Sir! Where's the tip?

Mar 5, 2008

Sometimes spaghetti likes to be alone

Yeah, right.
Remember one of the first scenes of that great movie, Big Night, when the chef Primo refuses to serve spaghetti as a side dish for risotto, wondering how can someone order starch and carbs at the same time? Remember how the customer keeps asking for more cheese on his serving of pasta? Remember how another customer assumes that the spaghetti automatically comes with meatballs? "No, sometimes spaghetti likes to be alone", answers the waiter, trying to accommodate the guests and to stay true to his Italian heritage at the same time.

That's a difficult task and in all honesty, I gave up. I gave up trying to understand the ranch dressing thing, I stopped saying that Italian food is not all about garlic, (which we use just to add a hint of flavor, not to replace lack of flavor), I quit explaining that the pregrated, prepacked, never expiring "parmesan" from Chile has nothing to do with the noble cheese of Central Italy, and that we don't use THAT MUCH OF IT anyways, I'm tired of saying that pizza to me is not a chewy piece of dough surmounted by an extra thick layer of greasy cheese and an insane combination of fatty toppings, I don't want to inform you that pesto sauce doesn't really have to be everywhere, I no longer feel horrified by that monstrous meat lasagna dish, I stopped giving recommendations on the food we serve, because if I did, I'd just say you'd better leave and go order somewhere else where they have absolutely nothing on the menu that resembles fettuccini Alfredo or spaghetti meatballs (who is this Alfredo anyways?).

You want extra cheese on a pizza that is already only about cheese? FINE. You want to add pesto, chicken, broccoli and clams to your fettuccini pomodoro? NO PROBLEM. You want even more bread and butter with your meal? OK WITH ME. You want to dip the pizza crust in Thousand Island dressing? SURE. You want a pink sauce? WHY NOT? You want to eat eggplant parmigiana with a side of tortellini? FINE. You think three glasses of root beer go well with your veal? GREAT.

I'll do what you want. I'm here to please you. Just remember though: Sometimes spaghetti likes to be alone.