I’m at the hotel bar, it’s Sunday, around 10:30PM. Earlier, the server gets cut around 8pm bc it’s so slow. I get a couple tables here and there, nothing too crazy. An older gentleman, classy, with his daughter, they order two Bombay martinis.
Kitchen closes at 11, I go outside to get a breath of fresh air, come back thru the kitchen, and the woman doing dishes says, you’ve got a table. I hustle-up, get to the bar, and there’s indeed a new table. …Of 20.
Holy shite. I’m a bartender, not a server. I get flustered when there’s more than four people at a table. I actually HATE serving tables, but find myself doing it more than I care to. I start taking their orders, as I do, another six people join the party. Chaos. And what majorly sucks is, these people are being UBER-picky. 10 of them order burgers, and you’d think that this would be easy, but no. I want a burger, medium well, but I don’t want this on it, but can you put this on it, but wait, I don’t like those sides, could I get this instead? EVERY SINGLE BURGER ORDER IS LIKE THIS. And then, mind you, I have to remember which one goes where, bc they all look pretty much the same, but with variance. And to top it off, everybody wants separate checks. That’s always fun.
It was a nightmare, true and complete. But an angel arose from the ashes. A woman in the party quickly introduces herself, and tells me she works at the hotel. She says, do you need some help? YES, PLEASE. I get to entering in everybody’s order, and the phone starts ringing. Room service. And with no server, guess who has to somehow figure out room service, which I haven’t been trained on? At this point, there is NO WAY I’m getting someone’s room service order prepared, and take it up to their room, no matter what the logistics. I answer, and say, I’m sorry. We don’t have anyone doing room service tonight, but I can take your order, put it in a to-go, and you can pick it up at the bar. He says, that’s fine, no problem.
While the cook is in the kitchen, casually freaking out at all the orders coming in, I hit the tables. What can I get you? I want a water with a lemon. I want a coffee. I get the coffee. I want cream, with a lot of sugars. I go looking for cream. I return. I want a Sprite. Put some cherry juice in it (grenadine). Can I add something to my order? I’d like to change my order. My wife said take this off the burger, can you put the jam back on?
Oh what true hell hath come to my life.
My angel from the ashes helps me start handing out food. Burgers, wings, wings, wings. I really have no idea where everything is going. If this was just some nightmare I could wake up from, but there’s no waking. Can I get an extra Ranch dressing for my fries? Can I get? Can I get?
Somehow, all the food gets out to the right people. I get two people tell me their hamburger isn’t cooked enough. I take the burgers back, the cook puts them back on the grill for a minute, I return them to their proper place.
Right when there’s a lull, with everyone eating, a manager from the front desk comes up, asks me if I need help. I’m sort off stuttering at this point. Uh..well…uh…I…have no idea whose bill is whose. I don’t know what I’m gonna do.
He says, just be bold. You can figure it out.
If there were only two words he said that could magically calm me, and help me get to the finish line, be bold was it.
I walked up to the main table, and said, all-right. What else can I bring you right now?