Oh Canada! I Serve All Day For Thee.

Canada Day Long Weekend takes on an entirely different meaning for servers in Halifax. Our nation’s annual celebration is usually a three day marathon of making drinks, waiting tables, and generally running one’s ass off. Every Canada Day weekend I’ll lose five to ten pounds. Which isn’t easy for the slowed down metabolism of a server working well past his prime.
Canada Day is all hands on deck in the service industry. It’s the time of the year when you don’t bother putting in for a day off, or make plans to visit a friend for a barbeque, or possibly even eat one single meal sitting down.
It’s the day when you find out which of your fellow employees has mettle. You’ll discover who can persevere past twelve hours serving in plus 20 degree temperatures, and who eventually will fall by the way side and start begging the Manager to let them go home.
Canada Day is when the kitchen manager will have at least one complete meltdown, when you’ll have at least one drunk old man that you really don’t want to kick out but eventually you throw the poor old soul out, and where bartenders and servers ride a thin line between hostility and love when dealing with each other over 16 hours.
Close at midnight on Canada Day? You’ll get slammed at 11:45.

Open at 11:00 am? You’ll get ten tables of early birds at 10:30.

Really need to use the washroom and maybe have a smoke? Start planning towards it and maybe you’ll get five minutes in about a half hour.

On Canada Day weekend, restaurants turn into lost ships of broken down souls doomed to spent an eternity attending to every whim of their masters. Servers, kitchen staff, and bartenders lose sense of time and space and drift into an abyss of reading chits, writing down orders, and running up and down stairwells.
Each Canada Day consists of several key components:
The Sixteen Hour Shift
Almost all servers at a restaurant will work at least one 12 hour shift during the weekend, give or take an hour or two. However there’s always the one server who steps into a time zone that only few have entered, and fewer have come back the same person they were before entering.
The sixteen hour shift.

Sixteen straight hours of serving. Oh sure, maybe they got 10 minutes at some point to go for a smoke, or had 15 minutes to eat a Hamburger standing up in the stock room. But for the vast majority of sixteen hours, they’ve been on their feet serving the people of Halifax.

No easy task. But it gets worse, a server working the 16 hour shift can count on any or all of the following to occur;

1)Their last table of the day either wants a full description of the menu, a list of recommendations, a list of vegetarian options, or has the dreaded “Gluten allergy”.
2)Will have anywhere between 2 to 3 lengthy arguments with the bartender or kitchen manager.
3)Becomes desperate for a bottle of Gold Bond medicated powder (males only)
4)At various points will be on the cusp of being cut, only to have a a table of six to ten people sit in their section.
5)Mind will completely shut down for several minutes while they are at the POS trying to ring in orders, leaving them staring blankly at the screen while other servers are waiting behind them.
6)Drop a tray of drinks.
7)Go for a Cigarette and nearly faint walking back inside because the “smoke rush’ hit them like a ton of bricks.
8)Get off work, have the best tasting cold beer of their lives, then realize they are back in tomorrow morning.
Canada Day weekend, it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s the time when a Manager will cut a server, and tell you to keep going because you’re the freshest on board. Meanwhile your approaching the tenth hour of your shift after working 13 hours yesterday. The worst part? Compared to the person being cut, you actually are fresher. They just worked 14 hours yesterday and 12 today.
How’s that for twisted?
Drunken Kitchen Manager at the Bar
A staple of Canada Day. After a long, arduous day of cooking in a hot kitchen, prepping for the night staff, and bickering with stressed out servers, the Kitchen Manager claims his stool at the bar, and begins pounding them back. One beer, two beer, three beer, four. Onwards this grizzled, weary leader of men pounds back cold suds slowly sending himself into a drunken stupor that spells impending doom for the tired bartender.

Server/Bartender Arguments
If your a fan of drama and confrontation, spend a few hours on a bar stool near the area when bartenders make drinks for servers. You’ll be front and centre for some of the most unusual, dysfunctional, irrational, immature, and belligerent discussions you may ever hear. Chances are good you’ll hear the following comments/arguments.

Server: We need more Limes.
Bartender: There’s still some limes in the tray.
Server: I know, I’m just letting you know there’s only a few left.
Bartender: The fruit tray is right there, you think I can’t see how many limes are in there?
Server: I’m just trying to help!
Bartender: (Dumping a bucket of limes into fruit tray) There’s your fucking limes.

Server: Did you get my Caesar
Bartender: What Caesar
Server: The Caesar I rung in 10 minutes ago.
Bartender: No, I didn’t.
Server: Well I need a Caesar right away.
Bartender: Well I need to know you rang it in before I make it.
Server: I rang it in!
Bartender: I don’t know that.
Server: (sigh of disgust) Fine, I’ll go check my screen.
(Three minutes pass, then a chit comes up on the Bar printer for a Caesar, server slowly approaches bar)
Server: There! Can I get it now.
Bartender: (smugly) Certainly.

Server: Are these my Keiths?
Bartender: They’re sitting on top of your chit for 2 Keiths.
Server: I’m just making sure.
Bartender: I think we can assume they are yours.
Server: Jesus Christ, I’m just don’t want to make a mistake (walks away in huff)
Bartender: (yellling) Stab you chit!

More Server Comments
“We need more water”
“What garnish do I put on this”
“Do I have to serve Table 25, I had a date with him 3 years ago and he never called me back”
“Who cut these limes?”
“We need more straws”
“I’ve been waiting 10 minutes for these drinks.”
“Can I get an Iced Tea for myself.”

More Bartender Comments
“Can somebody run these drinks”
“Who’s drinking all this water!”“You, whatsyourname, run this for whatshername”
“I’m not making Chocolate Milk”
“It’s a Pepsi, just put a lemon on it for fuck’s sake.”

I could keep going but I”ll be running out of material for future posts. Plus, after a three day weekend of serving hungry, thirsty Haligonians….I’m a little tired.

Source: http://halifaxserver.blogspot.com/2011/07/oh-canada-i-serve-all-day-for-thee.html

Daddy’s Boy

REALLY, Ryan Murphy?