Today because of elections, there was no school, which means it got fairly busy at work. It struck me as weird though, because I remember still going to school durring elections. I remember having one of my English classes in the cafeteria one year, because the classroom was in the autororium area, and that's where the voting was taking place. So no, election day didn't mean no kids in school, which was probably better anyway, cause it gave parents a chance to go off and vote.
It reminded me of when Todd and I watched his nieces and nephew for a few weeks. His youngest niece had two "in service" days in three weeks. Two days of no school for the kids, but the teachers were having "conferences" and apparently, according to his brother, these counted as "school days" at the end of the year. Even though the kids weren't being taught.
I figure at the rate it's going, within 20 years, kids won't have summer vacation anyway. They'll have two weeks off at the end of August and in that time they'll switch grades. Because with all the holidays and other excuses for days off, they'll need that much time. When I was in school, we got out the middle of June. Now the kids don't get out until the beginning of July.
But anyway, I was talking about work... yeah, cause of the holiday, we got pretty busy for a bit. But, I still got a little cheesed at a couple of business men we had. They sat at one of my tables from 11:30 until 2:00 Normally, I couldn't have cared less, but, I had to pass up a party of ten because they were hogging up one of my tables. I asked the manager if she wanted me to ask them if they'd move to a booth, and she was aghast. "You can't do that!"
"Yes I can." I said. "I've done it in other places I've worked and hell, I've had people ask me if I'd mind moving. These people have absolutely nothing on their table anymore. No glasses even. They have clearly finished eating."
"No it's not. Most people aren't aware that they're taking up space that we could use. I've done this before. Usually I just ask them very nicely, explain that we have a large party that needs the table, and we'd be more than happy to give them free coffee and desert to say 'thank you.' Trust me, if people want to stay and talk, they'll jump at the chance to move to a booth and get free desert. If they're just talking because they don't know how to say good bye, they'll leave."
She was absolutely freaking out. "You've DONE that before?"
It's true too. Last place I worked we did that. No, we never did it as long as they had a drop of soda in their glass or a bit of food on the table, but if they were just sitting there, and had been sitting with nothing for over half an hour, we'd ask them if they minded moving.
I never had anyone tell me they minded. Most of the time, they just left, realizing they had been talking for too long. I think I had two times where people actually moved over, but like I said, free coffee, free desert, they were pretty happy.
I dunno... I can linger in a restaurant, I admit it. And I don't think twice about it, becuase I always assumed if they needed the space and I was clearly done with my meal, that they would ask me if they could use the space and offer to move me somewhere else. But, maybe I've just worked at weird places before, because my manager acted like I was suggesting I chop off their heads.
So, I'm curious now... what would you think if you were sitting in a restaurant... it had been half an hour since you'd completely finished your meal... you'd been asked if you wanted anything else, you had said no, you didn't even have a napkin left on your table. You'd already paid out, probably 45 minutes ago... If the server came over and very very nicely said, "Hi, I don't mean to bother you, but we have a large party waiting and if it's not a bother, could I ask you if you'd mind moving over to this booth? We're really sorry if this is inconvenient, and we'd be more than happy to give you complementary beverages and desert for the bother." Would you be offended?
Me, personally? I'd be glad to do it, because I don't want to be a bother. Then again, I know how badly waitresses need to turn over tables to keep making money. That's also why I pay "rental" fee if I'm lingering. For every half hour I'm sitting toying with a drink, I throw a couple extra dollars onto the tip. I've been known to pay out, tip for that, then, after sitting longer than I intended, to leave extra money on the table.
The kitchen was having some trouble today though. Not messing up orders, but screwing up on the timing. Like I'd order three tables of food at once (cause I kept getting tripple sat) and the food would come out in a screwed up order. On some things, this happens, like if someone orders well done meat, it takes longer than a tuna sandwich, but I had two tables that ordered about the same time, medium rare burgers. The second table got theirs like 20 minutes before the first table. Not cool at all. Because no one ever believes the kitchen is at fault. It's always the waitress. "Oh, she must have forgotten to put our order in!" I hate hearing that, because I am actually honest with customers. If I do make a mistake and forget to put an order in, I'll tell them. "I'm sorry, it was my fault." So, when I tell them it's the kitchen, I'm not lying.
But, like I said, it was a pretty good day.
Friday starts vacation. I can't freaking wait.