Sunday, January 11, 2015

My O'Charley's Experience-No Holds Barred

Last year, I transitioned from working at Chuy's in Dunwoody, where I was making inconsistent money, to O'Charley's in Fayetteville, Georgia where the money seemed very consistent. Considering the fact that Terry works just two doors down from O'Charley's and makes great money, I assumed the case would be the same for me. BOY was I wrong.
Have you ever worked one of those jobs that you just want to call in every shift or on the way to work you have the urge to pop a xanax or slit your wrist? This would be the case for O'Charley's. The business is booming. The customers, however, are probably the most demanding, ignorant bunch of people I have ever encountered. It seems no one actually reads the menu, which clearly describes EVERYTHING in full detail. After a few weeks, the money I was making seemed to decline, especially after they restaurant closed for a week to get a more modern remodel. Unfortunately, the new look brought in a clientele that would be more at home in McDonalds or KFC rather than a sit down restaurant. I was hoping the decline was just temporary because I was NOT going back to Chuy's. When I started at O'Charley's I was excited about it because my friend Casey was a manager there and I remembered that he was an awesome manager with Rio Bravo. Throughout the time I was at O'Charley's I saw Casey working his ass off in a thankless and unappreciated environment and felt bad for him and the crap he had to deal with from every direction, customers, bad employees and even the other 3 managers in the location weren't piss poor people to deal with. Working as a server at O'Charley's is like chewing on a stalk of celery...There's no enjoyment but at least you can say you ate something. Our GM, constantly threatened everyone's job...I saw him scream at someone for scraping bread plate with their fingernail then take it to a table, which we ALL did because our dishwasher was less than marginal in his work. I was deadset that if I got reprimanded for ANYTHING, I was walking out of a shift in style...Full section needing refills and all of the orders in completely wrong....It never happened but I was tempted on that very last day when I walked with less $13 for the 4th shift in a row. So what is it about this place that sucks...The customers...Many people refer to restaurant customers as guests but I don't. A guest is someone you invite and pretty much take care of their meal...A customer pays you...Many O'Charley's customers have figured out how to walk in the joint, eat and never leave a dime for their food or their service. Coupons seriously drag the clientele down to another level also. Here are some of the situations I have encountered... Being assigned tables in the bar isn't fun in any restaurant, especially if you're not a woman. Most managers don't understand but bad customers usually expect service in cocktail from a Cocktail Waitress and not a guy. Many times, people sit there assuming they will get a special price for something...That only happens during happy hours...They also assume they will get their food faster...NOT SO...That 20 minute ticket time is the same all over the restaurant...The fact that you are ordering a WELL done steak adds more time. Food allergies...I know the difference between being allergic and not liking something. I hate tomatoes but I eat things with ketchup on it, I don't claim I'm allergic, I just explain I don't enjoy the flavor of a raw tomato. Don't tell me you are allergic to tomatoes and then ask for ketchup for your fries. Also, don't come in on a busy Friday night and tell me to cook something in a different fryer because of an allergy...Our cooks are basically pot and crack heads that don't care and will nod their head and do everything the easier way. Everything in the kitchen comes into contact with everything, I'd not be surprised if someone finds a bit of weed in their salad. Also, if you have food allergies, WHY are you grazing and eating off other people's plates? Someone with a seafood allergy actually did this and we had to call 911 and the paramedics took the stupid ass to the hospital. That's on her, not her server or the restaurant. High chairs or chairs at the end of a booth...We have fucking tables people...Booths were not designed to have a baby at the end of it...It's a fire hazard and a danger to your mongoloid when they grab for the hot plates our food runner is delivering to your table...Also, I don't want your slobbering monster's DNA on my arms or hands as they grab for me. Happy Birthday...We don't sing and though I'm a hell of a singer, I'm not singing for you and I don't care that it's your birthday...I don't know you...Also, why are you at a place like O'Charley's for your birthday? The party sections at the more elegant Olive Garden or Red Lobster booked up? Handing me a check presenter and proclaiming that you left my tip in it is like announcing to me that you left the equal to what it cost to do a load of laundry at your apartment complex...We had a tip guide on the receipt and it shows 20%, 18% and 15% and when you leave less than 10% I feel my butt start to bleed. I am an OCD server, I have a script that I follow, I touch every facet of the serving manual and when I hear you say "Thank you so much, you did a wonderful JOP!" I know that was my tip and I will give you no service next time. Drinks for kids are clearly marked on the kids menus...They offer NO juice for kids for free and if you order it, you are charged and then if your kid sucks that juice down and wants another...You get charged for a second, third, forth and so on. It wasn't my policy or fuck you. Ordering...When you say "I guess I'm ready" then proceed to say things like "Is this Prime Rib Pasta in horseradish sauce spicy?" "Do you have any other sides besides the 12 listed here?" I know you are gonna be difficult and not compensate me. Also, when you order a well done steak, it's gonna be dry. Impossible orders...Knowing what the fuck you are talking about helps when you are ordering. When you tell me "I want my steak medium but I don't want no pink or red in it" that tells me that you are stupid...That's totally impossible...Medium is warm and red on the inside. Being stupid and picky...I had a woman order "Cajun Chicken Pasta" then complain that we put too many peppers and onions in it, claimed she's ok with it and then picked them all out, picked out the chicken and ate it leaving just the pasta and the veggies separated and then claimed she was still hungry and we didn't give her enough food...LADY, you ate all the chicken out of it and left the rest no wonder you're still hungry, you ate a third of the dish. You should've ordered Chicken Tenders if you just wanted chicken you dumb ass....She also complained to the bar that a margarita was too sweet, wouldn't let the bartender take that one away after she made another one, drank both and was pissy about being charged for both. She didn't tip me a dime and shorted the bartender 50 cents. Her friend also ordered a steak WELL but she didn't want it dry so she wanted us to cook it in "BARBARACUE" sauce...We don't cook steak in frying pans, it's grilled and barbecue or as you say BARBARACUE sauce will just burn and make the steak dryer...Enjoy your shoe leather Miss Well Done. Yeast rolls or Bread...NOT biscuits...They are free...we bring 1 per every customer at the table plus one when we bring them to the table...that's the rule we have to follow per our kitchen manager. Your refill is 1 per customer. They are free...Don't fucking complain they are too light, dark or taking too long...They are fucking free...Furthermore, I'm allergic to the yeast in them...I don't touch them, I don't put them into or take them out of the oven...They are free. Sitting in the bar and ordering water, water with lots of lemon for your ghetto lemonade or ordering any non alcoholic beverages among everyone at the table is not acceptable. Also, bringing your kids to sit in the bar is inappropriate. Just saying. To go cups, plastic ware for the germophobic...Guess what...the silverware and glasses go through the same dishwasher as the plates you are eating on. Remember the pothead cook statement? They don't take the time to scrape off the stuck on food from the plates like we do as servers do with the bread plates...You might be enjoying someone else's food on your plate along with yours as you enjoy your beverages from styrofoam cups and eat with plastic ware like you're at a barbecue. Regulars, friends of a manager...I don't care who you are...Just because you feel a sense of entitlement through a personal connection does NOT excuse you from tipping or acting like you have no manners. Within this location, I found an extreme "US against THEM" stance. I witnessed many servers, even the ones of color, referring to customers as ratchet or even use the "N" word as a description. As one of a few white servers, I did find that many of our customers didn't appreciate me or any of the other servers that weren't black. I never really understood the race card, even though I was raised in the deep south, I just never had a white vs. black complex. Many of the black servers understood the struggles I as well as several other servers of different races were dealing with. With that said, there were a few that just couldn't wrap their heads around the concept and put their two cents in, usually claiming that we were completely incompetent as servers and would be better suited in other fields of work. One server that threw this in my face is a full time server that has an associates degree as a dental hygienist, got fired from her job as a dental hygienist because she was sleeping with the married doctor, told me she has herpes and gave me the run down on who she's slept with at work in addition to every place she's gotten fired from in the airport when she blew up on customers at restaurants in the airport. I know exactly how to follow steps of service, I know exactly how to conduct myself in front of customers and believe you me, I do not need a sex crazed crazy person that can't control their own urges giving me career advice. After nine months of the O'Charley's "Passion to Serve" BS, I had to get out of their. I realized why one of their values for employees is "Passion to Serve"...If you had no passion to serve, you'd not last a day after making marginal money. The day that I walked out, I added O'Charley's to my list of places to never go back to EVER and so far, I've kept my promise to myself...If I want cheap steak, I'll go to the grocery store.

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