The Server Dream

I have big news to start today's blog.  I have settled on Rex Chase:  A Novel, as the replacement name for Ma'iitso Rises.  I have reasons for choosing the name, and they are based on science.  Kind of like astrology.  Anyway, the really cool part is that I hired a new cover to be done and it is awesome!  The bad part is that it makes me not like my cover for The Sentinel.  So, check it out.

After hours of scouring the online databases of covers I came across this one, and although there were a few things wrong with it, like the gas mask, and the hooded jacket, I came to a conclusion.  I love it.  It won't take much to include these oddities into my story, so I'll fix it.  Problem solved.  Anyway, whatya think?  ONTO THE BLOG!

I've written before about the frequency and vividness of my dreams.  The one I had last night was a doozy.  

I've spent many years behind a bar and running around a restaurant, and in that time it has been very rare that I get inundated in work to a point where I'm hopeless.  Number 1, I can handle a lot of work.  Number 2, if I were about to be dying in the weeds, I'll ask for help.  Number 3, most restaurants don't want any one person getting that busy anyway. 

I was working at Jumer's, and if you remember that place it had an upstairs room called The Reagensburg.  I'm up there by myself, and it isn't busy when Joslyn Livengood walks in with some dude and sits in one of the booths.  The strange thing about that is: 1.  I didn't know the guy, and 2.  She was eighteen years old.  Then, with all consciousness, in my dream, I realize that I'm twenty years old, which would make sense since that's how old I was when I worked at Jumer's.  So, we made some chit chat about how nice it was to see each other and in the meantime a few more tables come up to the room and sit down and I get drink orders.

At this point I have five tables and I'm looking around for my busser, because at Jumer's that room would have its own busser who would bring water and bread/cinnamon rolls to the table.  I don't see one, so I make my way down the steps to see what servers I'm sharing the room with.  When I get downstairs I'm shocked to see Natasha Farmer is my manager.  This makes no sense because she didn't manage at Jumer's, just at Chilis.  That doesn't matter, though, so I ask her about my busser and other servers and she tells me that not only do I have the room to myself, but that there is no bartender and she needs me to cover that as well as pick up an eight top on the main floor.  She asks if I can handle that, and I say no, in large part because the bar, the eight top, and my original five tables are all in seperate rooms, far, far, away from one another.  Tasha gets mad at me and tells me to greet the eight top.  I get mad back, throw a little lip her way, and start to ring in my drinks.  

Uh oh.  The computer is a Sable point of sale system.  I don't remember how to run that system, and it makes no sense for it to be at Jumer's because they had Micros.  I decide that it doesn't matter since I have to make my own drinks anyway, and go out to greet the eight top.  I get to the eight top and nobody knows what they want to drink, a busser hasn't been there with water and they want cinnamon rolls RIGHT NOW.  Meanwhile I can see the hostess taking more tables upstairs, where I haven't been for a few minutes.  The eight top is asking me question after question about the drink menu, and I can't remember any of it.  Since I'm an experienced server, though, I'm making up stuff that sounds feasible with the idea that I'm making the drinks anyway, I'll just do it the way I want.  So, after five minutes stuck at this table I have their drink orders and I sprint up the stairs back to the Reagensburg where my original five tables still don't have water, bread/cinnamon rolls, and I haven't even run over to the Balkon lounge to make their drinks yet.  My plan is to just cruise past the tables, explain that some degenerates didn't come to work, get food orders, then go make drinks for everyone.

When I get up there, the room is full.  All 20 tables are sat.  My heart sinks.

I grab Joslyn and put her to work.  She's awesome, and after I show her where the water and bread station is, along with my instructions to tell every table that we had some people not show up to work and I'll be around as soon as possible, I run from the Reagensburg into the Balkon lounge.  I can still do this.  I'll just treat the Reag like a sixty top, ignore the bar (except for my own drinks), and hit that eight top downstairs when I'm running for food.  No problem.

I get into the Balkon Bar and Natasha is behind the bar, and it is a train wreck.  Dirty glasses are everywhere, and as I start to try to make drinks, every glass I pull from the rack is filthy.  Like covered in mud filthy.  Then Tasha comes over and we have a conversation.

"Do you mind greeting that couple at the bar while you're here?"  She said.

"Greet them yourself, I have a full Reag and an eight top downstairs.  Why are all the glasses so filthy?"

"Dish machine is broke."

"I don't have time for this Tash.  Who's washing dishes then?"

"Servers are just bringing them up here for the bartender to wash."

"And thats me?"

"Yep."

"Where is the dishwasher?

"Since the machine is broke I sent him home."

"You did what?  How am I supposed to do all this?  I had to pull one of my friends from a table and put her to work.  I'm not taking that downstairs eight top, and I don't know how to use the Sable."  I toss her my list of drinks to ring in.

"I don't know how to use the Sable either.  You really aren't going to take the eight top or this couple at the bar?  I thought you liked making money?"

"You're stupid."

I finish washing the glasses I need for the original five tables, bang out a bunch more so that when I get more orders I'll have glasses, make the drinks I need while Tash makes chit-chat with the couple at the bar, empty the filthy dish sinks, and then bolt from the room.  Its been almost fifteen minutes since I first greeted my original five tables and the others have been there 5-10 minutes without being greeted.  Both are eternities in the world of serving and I can see that people are getting grumpy, especially the guy that came with Joslyn.  So, this dude stands up, comes over to me and says.

"I know you guys are friends and all, but I didn't come here to watch her work.  I came for a nice relaxing dinner.  We're leaving."

He grabs Josie by the arm and tells her they're leaving, but she says she wants to stay and help me.  Then the guy gets all mad and pushes her down.  Then I knock him out, spilling the drinks I just made.

I look up, and its like nobody else in the room was even watching.  This dude is lying on the floor, my right hand hurts, and I'm back to square one with the drinks.  An overwhelming feeling of helplessness goes through me and I look to the floor below where the eight top is now complaining to Natasha, and I assume its about me not being there, them not getting cinnamon rolls, and me spilling drinks over the balcony.  

A man stands up, breaking my pity party and asks me if they are going to get service any time today.  I go back into damage mode, ask Josie if she'll get drink orders and bring them to me, then go back to the Balkon Bar.  When I get there Tasha is there and we have another conversation.

"Why didn't you get them cinnamon rolls?"

"That's a busser's job and I don't have time."

"Well, everyone is trying to help out around here and it just seems like you're looking out for yourself."

At that moment I look around the bar and notice that all of my clean glasses are gone.

"Where did all my glasses I just cleaned go?"

"Other servers needed glasses so I let them take those.  They didn't have time to wash more."

I'm so mad at this point I can't stand it and storm from the room.  When I get into the Reag two tables are angry and asking to see a manager, and the guy I knocked out is waking up and threatening to call the cops.  I just stand there and watch as Josie walks up to me, a big cheesy grin on her face and hands me a piece of paper.  On it are sixty mixed drinks that I need to make.

Then I woke up.  I've had dreams like this several times, and they almost always end with me storming out of the restaurant, but this one ended in helplessness, which, I'll say, is much less satisfying.  Usually, though, I don't get to knock anyone out, so that part was pretty cool.  Anyway, thanks for the help Josie.  Thanks for nothing Natasha. (Disclaimer:  Natasha would have helped me in real life.)  Have a happy hump day everyone!

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Posted on July 9, 2014 .