It’s Not All About the Benjamins

Lately, as hard as it is to believe, the hundred dollar bill has been making my life very difficult in many different ways. None of which involve me actually receiving a hundred dollar bill.

First off, sometimes people pay for their small tab with a hundred. I can understand why some people would do this, but the people that have no choice but to pay with a Franklin generally say things like “I’m sorry, can you break this?” (in a non-snarky tone) or “sorry, this is all I have”.

Then there’s the (generally, sorry) guys who pull out a hundred and say something similar to the statements above, but with a shit grin on their face. I am not impressed. And even if I was impressed by the fact that you had a hundred dollar bill, little do you know that you’re indeed making my life more difficult reminding me that no, I can’t break a hundred because I haven’t made enough money in this shift to make change. And, I have to wait for the bartender to give me change while you continue to lean on my bar with that grin on your face. So directly after I’m reminded that I’ve made crap money so far in the night, I have a good 5-10 minutes to reflect on why I work here instead of something normal like the library while I wait for the bartender to get my change.

But the kicker is when someone pays for a small bill with a hundred then tips you less than 15%. I mean, you obviously have money to spend, and now you can’t even leave a decent tip? Especially when the dude that was obviously trying to impress me with his probably fabricated wealth leaves a bad tip. Weak.

My step-mom once told me a tale from her waitressing days where a guy tipped her $100 to show off in front of his friends. He later came back to the restaurant and asked for the $100 back, saying he really can’t afford to tip that much. I mean, damn.

The moral of this post is if you walk into a restaurant, bar, or really any place of business and you plan on spending less than $2o, get change ahead of time.

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Ah, I Love the Smell of Newly 21 College Students

We’re about a month away from game time, kids.

That’s right. In a month everyone will be heading back to ol’ Farmville (unless you’re me, who goes back next week). A lot of you are moving off campus for the first time, whether it be to the Park, Village, Walk2Campus, or any of the surrounding areas. A lot of you have also turned 21 over the summer, which is bittersweet for me. While I’m excited that people from my year are finally going to be able to come to the bar, including some of my best friends, I had a whole crop of seasoned bar-goers leave me in May to go off to be adults and stuff. While I will miss them dearly, you all have a lot to live up to if you’re going to follow in your predecessors’ footsteps. So here are some tips for you as you anticipate your first time legally (don’t act like you’ve drank there before I would have caught you) drinking at the bar:

  1. If you’re over on the avenues or the Village or Sunchase, figure out a DD – please. I don’t care if it’s your big or little or step-brother or whatever, don’t go unless you have a ride home. If you’re close the stumble is okay if you can compose yourself, but otherwise, don’t risk it. If there isn’t a 30 person brawl in the back parking lot of the bar or the rugby house isn’t getting busted, that means that the cops are out and looking for people like you who think they can walk 3 miles after 10 double whiskey and Cokes. And if you can’t find a DD, arrange somewhere to stay on campus or near the bar.
  2. Don’t ball too hard. That’s what your 21st birthday was for. No one likes the girl that is constantly completely wasted before everyone else at the bar, crying about your ex-boyfriend and taking Jagerbombs at 7 PM. And you’ll earn yourself a reputation fast. The boys don’t think it’s cute, your friends don’t think it’s cute, and the staff most certainly doesn’t think it’s cute.
  3. Don’t break the rules. Just don’t. You aren’t as sneaky as you think you are and security has been increased since May. And not just adding a fence this time.
  4. Wear something comfortable. I’ve seen too many girls eat the floor in stilettos coming down from the bathroom towards the front bar. Especially on busy nights, that floor gets slippery and that incline gets steeper somehow. If you’re gonna do the fancy shoes don’t plan on drinking a whole lot unless you’re in wedges. Also, if you’re going to wear a short skirt/dress, wear some shorts under them. This is one of my rules. Put some shorts on under that dress that are slightly too slutty to wear alone because you never know if you’re going to be dancing, or falling face first on an incline. This also applies to dudes. No tank tops; you look like a douche in them anyways. The dress code is posted by the back door; read it.
  5. Drink smart. Know your limits and drinking habits before you go out. This varies from person to person, but one rule of thumb that is pretty universal is don’t drink more than one of something with dairy in it. Doing so ensures blowing chunks all over the bathroom that we have to clean later. AND DO NOT DRINK ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.
  6. Do not write on those damn stalls. I mean it. Plus I can figure out who wrote what most of the time anyway. Not to mention having a sorority war on a bathroom stall is so lame. I’m sorry collegeACB shut down but c’mon, girls.
  7. Don’t give into peer pressure; we’re too old for it anyway. Don’t like whiskey? Don’t accept a whiskey shot. Don’t like Jager because it’s disgusting and I don’t understand how people drink it either? Don’t do a Jagerbomb. Know what you like and if people give you a hard time for not taking a shot or chugging something, don’t worry about it. They already look dumb for acting like a high schooler.

The rest of my tips can be found here. I look forward to meeting those of you whom I haven’t met, and those of you who I have, I’ll be keeping an eye on you. Please keep these tips in mind as you come back to school and begin your life as a person of the drinking age.

Last Call Everybody, Last Call

Some things you argue with, like “no you can’t have another piece of chocolate” or “George Bush was the best president this country has ever had”, but you do not argue with Last Call.

Beautiful words for me, sad words for all others. It means freedom and start mopping for me, but for the people at the bar it means you have to rush along getting the number from the girl you’ve been talking to, finish a pitcher in fifteen minutes, and try to get your group of friends together to leave.

Mostly Last Call is well received, an expected exclamation from the bartender past a certain time; it’s usually called around 12:30 a.m. on good summer nights. But last night, after another night of hardly any tables or people at the bar, the bartender and I decided that last call would be at 11 p.m. Mind you, the bar was empty. But, sure enough at 10:30, around seven people came in from various groups: some older guys, a young woman trying to get drinks bought for her, and a young man entering the marine corps in the morning so he wanted to get his “partying in”. Woo, party on, Tuesday night.

Alas, we still went with the plan to close at 11 p.m. “What?!” they exclaimed at us from the other side of the bar, “Really?! At 11?”

We listened with glazed eyes. You have no idea what goes into a bar shift, you have no idea how often and how long we work, you have no idea how our night has been thus far, and you have no idea that we are students and have more valuable things we could be doing with our time. But yes, the customer is always right.

The marine corps guy, who I thought was pretty nice, modest with his two Lionsheads, mumbled loud enough for us to hear as he left, “I guess I’ll go to B-Dubbs, they’ll still be open.”

Oh man, that stings. Sure the bar is hurting this summer, but I don’t need to explain to any of you how if trumps the business of “B-Dubbs” with school is in session. That would be a waste of space, and his attempted insult was invalid.

Nevertheless, we served the people that came in a couple drinks, then rushed them out of the door with some grumbling and complaining.

“Sorry, last call is last call.”

It’s A Cruel, Cruel Summer

I had been optimistic about the turnout on bar nights at 202 for the summer, and hadn’t been proven too wrong yet. We haven’t reached Thursday night numbers since the students left, but we’ve had some surprisingly busy evenings. The neat thing about people that stay in Farmville for the summer is that they don’t have to play by the work week’s rules; the money we usually make Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night is distributed throughout the week, minus Sunday and Monday, days in which we are closed.

I was enjoying the calm tide of business at the bar until this week. I’ve been requesting off a lot and changing my availability due to various not-BS reasons; moving, an 8 a.m. stained glass class, my mom visiting from Alaska, and one family vacation. They’re only working one waitress a night, which makes things tough in the first place, but this past week I got, count ’em, one night.

My parents own a business so I could understand the reasoning, even though I wasn’t happy about it. But did that one night have to be a Tuesday?

Tuesday night is open mic night, hosted by Buffalo Creek Guitar Company. It’s usually a good “chill” time, with a nice batch of professors that come out to support the music and eat dinner. The music is soothing, the musicians are talented, and the guys that own Buffalo Creek, good friends of mine, generally tip more than %50 percent.

But the first Tuesday of every month, open mic night is hosted at the Main Street stage (which if you haven’t been to this, you must change that immediately). And so this past week there was no event on Tuesday night, just empty booths and clean floors.

I thought I knew what a dead restaurant looked like until I saw Tuesday night. I worked from 6 – 11:30 p.m. I saw two tables. Thank Bono that I was the only waitress working, otherwise the other waitress and I would have fought over those tables like frat boys over the last two inches of a Natty pitcher.

I washed the baseboards of the dance floor. I wiped down the tops of ketchup bottles. I even cleaned under booths. 

Yes this is mostly just a post of me complaining, but my real message is to please come to the bar. If you are in Farmville, bored, even if you’re not 21, come get a soda pop and some cheese fries. Please? Yes? No?

Anybody?

A Visit from the Cast of Jersey Shore

Like I’ve mentioned in past posts, we have a lot of out-of-towners that come to the bar. They know it’s the “hottest” spot in town, so they come with their friends and have a good time after doing whatever they were doing that brought them to Farmville. Wrestlers, Navy guys, fire fighters, people from other countries, you name it, but this past Tuesday we had a group of guys all the way from JOIRZEY.

There was a group of five wife-beater wearing, hair gelled, tattooed New Jersey-ites (some find “guido” offensive)  in the bar on a Tuesday night around 4 p.m., playing pool and being rather routy. The bartender and I, the only two employees working, were not anticipating having to tell someone to quiet down when the sun hadn’t even gone down yet. These greasers were the only people in the bar, so they had our undivided attention.

The oldest New Jersey-ite was going up to the bar and getting two Coors Lights at a time. We didn’t ID the whole group at the door because the door guy doesn’t get there until later, but the bartender was obviously IDing anyone who ordered a drink. Then he started to notice that with the two beers the guy was ordering, he would drink one and put the other on the back table. Every five minutes or so, when he thought the bartender wasn’t watching, the mini NJ-ite would take a sip of the beer. Silly.

Drinking in that bar underage is just stupid in the first place. But doing it when the sun is still up and you’re the only group in the bar? Seriously?

Even better, they argue with the bartender like they’re right and he’s wrong.

Tip: If you’re going to get kicked out, don’t argue with the bartender. That eliminates the chances of you being welcomed back in the future.

“You just uh nerd, go sit in a cornah or sumthin’!” big NJ-ite yelled at the bartender. We looked at each other, puzzled and shocked by the weakness of the exclaimed insult. And then it happened.

The bartender raised his arm into Fist Pumping Mode. He’s doing it.

“Get … out … of … my … bar!” he said, in rhythm to his fist pumping. Without a word, the grease balls left and the bartender and I shared tears of laughter.

Awesome Blogs of my Colleagues

Check out the links in my blogroll to read the blogs of a few of my colleagues!

I Want Tables, Just Not Your Table

Anyone who has worked in customer service, especially food service, knows about the customers that just really irk you. This is my first waitressing job, and curbing my attitude has been a challenge I’ve had to be spoken to about more than once. I don’t like customers telling me how to do my job, and I especially don’t like being inconvenienced. Yes, I know, two traits that are working against being a good waitress.

Take for instance the other night. There’s an upper middle class family that comes in maybe once a week: dad in pastel polo with a mustache and a weight problem, son constantly in slacks (future or current Hampster), the textbook “cool mom”, and a daughter with three chins but diamond earrings and nice dresses. They’ve always tipped well, and haven’t been too bossy, but it’s their kids I have a problem with.

The son must be fresh into his 20’s, because every time he comes to the bar he hesitates and contemplates his drink order as if he’s writing his will.

 

“Hmmm, I think I’ll have the Sam Adams Summer Ale. Actually, no, how does the Fox Barrel Peach Cider taste?”

“I don’t know, I’m underage, but I like peaches.”

“I’ll just take a Natty pitcher.”

“… Okay.”

 

The daughter has never bothered me, until the other night. After the dad’s Guiness, the mom’s Mich Ultra, and the brother’s constant struggle always ending in Natural Light, I asked the underage daughter what she wanted. “Well,” she said, “I’d like an order of cheesy waffle friends and a cup of coffee.”

Coffee. Few words are more deadly in a restaurant than the C word. It was 10 p.m. and she was trying to stay awake for karaoke night.

 

Here’s what goes into making a pot of coffee at 202:

1. The coffee maker is upstairs, and you can’t afford to be up there too long if it’s busy.

2. It takes 5-7 minutes for the coffee to brew, or whatever coffee does.

3. You have to carry the heavy canister back downstairs and put it behind the bar.

4. You have to clean it at the end of the night.

 

Why in the name of all things holy would someone order coffee and cheesy waffle fries anyway?

I struggled with the best way to word a response in order to prompt her to change her mind. “Alright,” I said with a smile, “we don’t have any made right now but I can make you a new pot.”

“Great!”

Drats.