Ciera’s Nightmare

Tonight I worked with Ciera and Carney and Mark. Did you read yesterday’s post?

The drama was not over for Ciera. Carney was very snippy and condescending with her tonight. I sometimes find it amusing when Carney treats an employee this way; other times I find it irritating; but I always find it strange. And that’s because Carney herself is such an inept manager. Don’t get me wrong: She’s an excellent baker, a pretty good promoter/PR person, and maybe a good administrator (running the books). But for one, she’s not good at handling people, and for two, she hardly knows anything about serving or bartending – even after all these years.

As an example, she once  deigned to chastise me for putting the bill on the right side of the check presenter. ‘I thought it didn’t matter,’ I said, ‘but, okay.’

‘Oh, no. This is just like a book,’ she said. ‘When they open it up, they look at the first page, on the left.’

So, like, if they didn’t find it on the left, they’d close the check presenter and give up?

Well, I described the bombshell of Ciera getting Mark to cover her shift without clearing it with Carney yesterday. Today Ciera had to work brunch with Carney. Ciera said it was hell. Carney scolded her for being disrespectful. She theorized that they were ‘too much friends’ that Ciera didn’t treat her enough like a boss. Ciera wondered, to me, why Carney thought they were friends? Carney asked if she was sticking it to her because of an incident a few weeks ago when Carney flew off the handle at her, for which Carney later appropriately apologized?

Tonight I had quite a bit of sympathy for Ciera because Carney orchestrated a Waiter’s Nightmare for her to live out. There was a party of 16 with a limited menu, and a set price of $40 a head, including tax and gratuity. However, there would be 8 separate checks. And the cocktails would be on separate tabs. And if that wasn’t enough, the desserts were also on a separate tab, to be paid by one individual. Then, instead of allowing Ciera to tally separate bar tabs for the separate parties and then merely add that tab informally to the $40 per person, she insisted on integrating the bar tabs into the dinner checks. Carney then drew up her own dinner checks for presentation purposes, making Ciera transfer her own log of drinks served onto the new checks. And, of course, the bar tabs had to have their 20% tip added in as well. Making it even more complicated, the guests didn’t understand how the whole thing worked, so they started squawking and questioning everything.

Imagine Making Up 8 Of These ...
Imagine Making Up 8 Of These ... For One Party

It was a disaster. Fortunately, these were long-time guests with whom Ciera had a very solid relationship. But a disaster that the guests happily accept is still a disaster.

Ciera didn’t help things by picking up Table Eleven early in the evening. Did I mention Table Eleven some earlier post? Carney’s has ten tables in the dining room. When Ciera wants to have a quick glass of wine she ‘orders’ one, takes it in back, and chugs  it next to the women’s restroom. That’s Table Eleven. Some nights Table Eleven rings up quite a tab.

Tonight she was keeping her evenflow going with a vengeance. Her head really wasn’t in the game. Her personality is excellent, so the guests always like her and she gets good tips, but when it comes to the logistics of manual checks, she’s a mess. And on a night like tonight, she needed an extra-clear head to combat the mathematical/logistical rat’s nest Carney devised.

But as I always say during the worst kind of hell shift, ‘No matter what happens, this night will end.’ And sure enough, it did. We made over $200.

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2 thoughts on “Ciera’s Nightmare

  1. MikeTheWaiterDotCom Mon, December 8, 2008 / 2:49 pm

    knocking down 2 bones is a respectable shift … and there will always be table elevens…. anywhere you work! In regards the sep check thing … i just don’t do it , NEVER EVER! It never works out for me, so i give up a table… but maybe you can’t do that when tip pooling?

  2. waiternotes Mon, December 8, 2008 / 7:20 pm

    Yeah, Mike. Don’t get me wrong. Our owner has a rule against separate checks – they’ve totally got our back. But in this case, the party was friends of the owner’s, and she, herself, set up the separate checks. There was no avoiding it.

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