The New Kid

Posted on Thursday 26 February 2009

“I’ve hired someone to help you out,” said my owner.

In this case, my “help” was supposed to spare me the agony of having to manage dinner, because restaurant management is something I absolutely, positively NEVER want to do again in my restaurant life, unless I own the restaurant.

Except this kid, who literally drove here two weeks ago on vacation from some frozen-tundra-like northern state, then walked off a fishing boat and approached my manager about working for the restaurant, is now working days as a hybrid “floor manager/host” whom none of us need, and he’s doing it so horribly, so over-the-top, we all want to run screaming from the place.

We’ve told him to tone down his Restaurant Management 101 crap that would work well in a big-city casual chain place, but NEVER here. We’ve told our manager to tell him that this is the Keys and that a newbie who ass-kisses every local is likely to drive them away and that comping meals for the legion of liars who say they are locals is idiotic.

We’ve tried to tell him he distracts us rather than helps us every time he says one of our tables needs something. We KNOW what they need and where we are in the service chain of events. If they need it that badly, we tell him, then just get it for them yourself, Mr. Manager who is not supposed to be our manager.

We’ve told him this is a frickin’ diner-style Keys dive of an eatery, for God’s sake, and that his asking every table at least a dozen times in five minutes (I am not exaggerating about this) in his sing-song voice, “How is everything and how is RG doing?” is insulting to me and annoying to the customers, as much as it is inappropriate all around.

Because RG is kicking ass with service and making bank, that is until the new kid got here. The other girls and I are starting to notice that the more times he annoys one our tables, the lower the tip from that table. My co-workers, assuming I have some sort of direct line with the owners, are begging me to do something. But what? I’m just one of them.


All was fine. All was operating like a finely tuned machine. We were in our groove and working in perfect sync. Then the new owner thought a new kid should come in to help out with dinner. Except he is wreaking havoc on the breakfast and lunch floor. And now the fun is gone for all of us.

We are hoping that the Keys will simply eat him up and deposit his pastey white legs and I-know-best-even-though-I’ve-only-been-in-town-for-14-days-and-worked-here-a-week-fake-professional-rah-rah-chain-gang attitude back on the boat he came in on.

Okay, I feel better having vented. Perhaps I will be able to restrain myself from taking off the new kid’s head if he even glances at me this morning. At least for five minutes….

11 Comments for 'The New Kid'

    February 26, 2009 | 9:14 am

    If you have learned anything about that place, you would have chewed him up and spat him out already.

    February 26, 2009 | 9:28 am

    sounds like this guy has a “there’s a new sheriff in town” attitude about him. i think people assume when they come into a new place as a management type, they have to become a tough ass or they will not be respected. usually it backfires, and if they had just tried to come in and lay low while they learn the laws of land, they would have done much better in the first place

    Restaurant Gal
    February 26, 2009 | 4:18 pm

    UW–Oh, I know. But I’m still kind of a new kid, too!

    Mike–Actually, I think a trip to the woodshed must have occurred, because all good today.

    February 26, 2009 | 8:44 pm

    Perhaps you should think like Upset Waitress, RG. Get the lad wasted after work and take some blackmail-worthy pictures.

    February 27, 2009 | 7:41 am

    I understand ground up glass in his food is supposed to be quite effective…

    February 27, 2009 | 12:51 pm

    Start making fun of him to your tables. Tell people you are not responsible and have no control, and appoligize to them for his stupidity. Maybe you can get the regulars to be your voice and get rid of the guy.

    February 27, 2009 | 1:37 pm

    Saw that in an aerospace company – young stud, just out of college (Berkeley) with his business degree, decided he knew much more than the “old-timers” who had been there for easily 20 years. He didn’t last long.

    How about metamucil or something similar in his food or beverage of choice?

    February 28, 2009 | 12:23 am

    just when you think you’re out…they pull. you. back. in.

    will you get a free meal when you’re the manager?

    Restaurant Gal
    February 28, 2009 | 9:43 am

    Ex-Restaurant Manager–Great idea, except I don’t want to waste my coveted happy hour time drinking with someone I don’t really like!

    Kim–Nah, you can just drop it on the floor and re-plate it. Kidding, of course.

    JoeinVegas–Actually, great idea. Happily, the owner and my actual manager saw the kid was over-doing it and pulled him off the floor for now.

    Mary–Yeah, but this one seems to have gotten the message already and toned it way down. I actually had a chat with him yesterday and was very civil toward him!

    last one home–Don’t even think it. No, no and no, I won’t be a manager. NO! As for free meals, I constantly graze through hash browns and just about everything else there. My cook will make me anything I want, and he is always shocked at the sheer volume of food I can put away.

    March 1, 2009 | 12:01 am

    How about some friends of yours coming in as anonymous customers and telling him what you cannot say or what he will not hear from you?

    just me
    March 5, 2009 | 12:40 pm

    It sounds like he’s a pill…and may be run out of tow. But maybe he’s being a jerk because he is young and new and is terrified about what to do and how to make it in a new town. If there is that much bravado, it usually is covering a weakness.

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