Previously, on Guy's Waiter Blog...
I defined and offered examples of some "work-wife" relationships I've had in the past. That story is here "She's Gone, and I'm Sad".
You should totally go read it first, if you haven't already.
Seriously, I'll wait here. You go now.
And now, "She's Gone, and I'm Sad Part 2"
Cassie (my nickname for her) is one those rare co-workers who is almost never at rest. She makes everybody else almost look bad in fact. That is not her in the photo above (Image Source) but it does kinda look like her in fact.
For instance, while some are standing around talking or just generally lolly-gagging during slower moments, Cassie's weaving in and out of the assembly of the bored cleaning the counters that you're trying desperately to lean on.
She's also the type that - during busier periods - as you turn the corner planning on approaching your table with a full tea pitcher, she's leaving your table with an empty one, having already "re-filled them" for you. She's also carrying off their dirty plates, and has maybe even taken a desert order for ya, to boot.
If you're generally a slacker, that behavior could come across as perhaps a little too helpful.
But as I said previously (on Guy's Work Blog...) those with competence, high work-ethic, and teamwork are those whom I get along with best, and try to be myself. The reason that such a scenario doesn't make me look bad is that it's in context of a reciprocal relationship, and your tables (sorry - that's the word we often use for you people) - your *guests* generally pick up on the rapport you have with your co-worker. They generally have a better overall dining experience because of it, and that's what we want, right?
A recent example: Cassie is removing an appetizer plate from one of my tables, and I (for the sake of superficial improv "performance art" we servers sometimes do) say with mock indignation "Now I just tried to take that away not 60 seconds ago, and you nearly slapped my hand!"
They laugh :) Then Cassie chimes in with "It's okay, I slap him at least once every day. Right on his bald head." and walks off. You see? Rapport. Relationship. Good times. Smiling guests. Cha-ching!
Now there's almost no one I currently work with that doesn't - occasionally - pick up a plate for you when walking by, or refill some teas for you. But it's more incidental to the fact that my current job only hires really good, experienced servers to begin with. (Two servers have in fact "washed out" of training just in the few months since I've started here. It turned out they interviewed better than they actually worked.)
Some of my co-workers I'd say do stuff like this routinely in fact, but not quite in the same personal and symbiotic style I discussed previously (on Guy's Work Blog - you have read it by now, right?).
Some do it because they're good workers who know they're serving the guests' needs, and making our guests happy (and our restaurant's reputation shine) is their priority. We like these workers.
Some do it because there's a manager nearby and they want to be seen looking like a good worker (okay, I'm guilty of that sometimes!). A few in my time, I'd say do such things specifically to make YOU LOOK BAD to that same nearby manager in fact - maybe because they think you get better sections or shifts than they.
For some, their method of "moving up" requires pushing others down. You maybe know the type?
Well anyways, to wind this down before the darn story becomes a trilogy, it's rare to find people whom you work so well with that you honestly do stuff simply for the other person's benefit. I was enjoying seeing such a priceless relationship forming already at my new job.
Perhaps Cassie also saw in me the type of work-ethic I described previously (...). I went to her with a lot of my "newbie questions" early on. You might say she maybe saw me as worthy of taking under her wing. She explained a lot to me about the place - the procedures, she regularly offered helpful hints to me, and even insights about working with our main General Manager, Mike, which has proven quite helpful.
And then we worked a party of 20 together.. and we aced it. (Large parties are where the money is, btw.)
She later told me that that Mike asked her "How'd Guy do on the party?" And she told me "I told him you sucked! You were nowhere to be found half the time, and stuck me with all the clean-up."
Ha ha. Then she told me she told him I did fine, and that I should be put on more large parties.
And I have been since she said so. Thanks Cass.
Well, the last night I saw her, I was given my first "12-top" (a party of 12 guests, duh) by myself ever here. I went immediately to her and said "I need to recruit you. I'm getting my first 12-top and I don't want to go down in flames or screw it up somehow and never get another one. Will you drop by and help me to make sure everything goes okay?"
She says, "You'll do fi-i-i-ine. But yeh, I'll help you" and smiled. In this case, I felt the need to hand her $20 before the group even got rolling to show my appreciation (and to buy her guaranteed assistance ;) which she appreciated too. And yuppers, she was refilling drinks, pulling plates, etc, etc, etc, as if it were her own table, and as if her own income and job security depended upon it.
Well anyways, turns out she was actually quite discontent with our place of employment.
While my two stories above were happening, it was with the knowledge that she had found another job, and had given her notice. (She tried to recruit me to come with her in fact). I told her that if I were the manager and she gave me notice, Id've handed her a pen and said "write down the exact schedule that you want, and let's talk money" just to keep her.
But obviously, Mike must have felt differently.
So that was the last night that Cassie and I worked together. Next time I cam ein, her shifts were all crossed out on the schedule board, and just like that, my budding work-wife was gone.
I was truly sad for a couple of days there.
It's probably for the best tho. She *was* starting to get a little clingy.
Thanks for reading Guy's Waiter Blog : Chapter 11 "Cassie, my Ex-Work-Wife"
Read other chapters starting at TheWorkingGuy.com's Table of Contents page