Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bathroom Buddy

I have decided to end my very long blogging hiatus to share with everyone a story.

There are not many firsts for me in this business anymore. In this hidden world sheltering all the outcasts and psychopaths, you get to see a lot of strange things. Co-worker fornication inside the kitchen ….….seen it ….. Someone chopping off an appendage……check…….All out brawl on the line in the middle of a Friday night service……..gotcha……..sauté pan flying directly at my head……Yup. All of this, plus a dizzying spectrum of stupidity and idiocy from every kind of customer and every walk of wait staff.

It was a busy Friday night. All was going very smoothly. All the food looked beautiful and on time. The first turn had a great flow, and everybody was on point and focusing. In the lull before the second turn of the tables, everybody is prepping, stocking, and getting ready to get pounded with the next flow of customers. Sally, one of our very lovely wait staff veterans, is busy getting beverages, running app and salad orders, and taking the first steps toward that heavy second turn.

Sally is one of my favorites. Not only is she usually great on the floor and with our kitchen, but she occasionally brings in Resch’s donuts, with a special bag just for me. (The most direct way to my heart is through a Resch’s Glazed or Apricot Danish) Sally was unfortunate enough, on this busy Friday night, to have a service trainee following her around all night, which she wasn’t at all pleased about. Sometimes this pays off. You can have them work as your gopher all night….getting drinks…..go get this stuff…..go get that stuff……pick that crap off the floor….etc, which this guy was doing quite well. Come to think of it,....…..”Gopher,” while I’m writing this, is a fairly accurate moniker for this fellow.

One of the first tables to come back to us, was a table of 13 guests, which Sally, was imputing in the POS system, along with “Mr. Gopher” faithfully by her side. As she was doing this, and I had a short time to get away from the expo line, and relieve myself to the bathroom. I pass her in the server alley on en route, and she calls out to me,

“Ringing in a thirteen top!”

“Cool,” I say, not think a thing about it.

I need not worry with Sally, I know that she will break that table of thirteen guests into two, properly separated, cook legible tickets. We have a rule……neigh…… A Law, If you are ringing in a party of more than 6 people, it is necessary to break this up into separate tickets so it is easier to read and organize from the kitchen’s standpoint. Failure to do so results in Angry Chef. She has been here long enough. She has seen Angry Chef. No problem.

I proceed into the restroom, cozy up to a urinal, and begin the process. The door opens up, and “In walks another, fellow bathroom patron,” I think. Right in mid-stream, with a full bathroom of restaurant guests, I hear Mr. Gopher’s voice saying, “I hate to bug you right now, Chef, but Sally was wondering if 6 and 7 guests per ticket will be alright for this party, or should she break it up into three checks?”

I’ll let that sink in for a minute………………

This gentleman followed me into the restroom, and proceeded to make inquiries to me, while I exposed and swinging. ………My private time…….I don’t get much “ME time,” and that, my friends, I consider to be “Me time.” In fact, I’m pretty certain that the rest of the rational world share my belief that this is private time. I was kind of at a loss. With a whole restroom full of paying guests, I could not say the first thing that came to mind. In fact, I had to go pretty far down the list of things I could not say, before I finally said,

“Yeah…….uh……yeah…that’s fine…….that’s fine.

I would like to make it entirely clear to anyone out there reading this,
There are only two exceptions: You either have to relieve yourself as well, or be a female, and need to do whatever it is that ladies do when they go into the bathroom as groups.


So, chalk that one up on the board. There’s another first for me. There’s one thing I can say about Mr. Gopher: he definitely follows through with direction……….and without question, I guess as well.

Notes and Randoms

- Business is great. There really hasn’t been any sort of slow down since the Christmas Holidays

- Ahi Tuna Flatbread is off the chizzle.

- As seen in this review:

- I think Colin has lost some of the flatbread power after he shaved off the beard. Think “Sampson” from the Bible meets Charlie Daniels.

- Advice of the month: Never curse out the owner of your restaurant. No matter how mad you get.