Last Wednesday all of the servers were called into work at The Restaurant, although there wasn't even 40 reservations on the book. All of us looked confusedly at each other, dressed in our white shirts and ties, and wondered how we were going to make any money. Well, we weren't.
There was to be a winemaker dinner the next night, and the restaurant would be closed to the public and we'd be denigrated to the job title of caterers (although we'd still be making our regular wage: MINIMUM). Because it was a winemaker dinner, there were to be 34 wines poured before and during dinner. We were there to wash and polish all of the rented crystal stemware.
Although the servers had sadly been given a three- or four-table section each, two of us quickly gave our tables away and took off our ties. Sitting down on the banquettes to polish, polish, and gossip won out making maybe $50, and we knew we'd get to leave earlier if we gave away all of our tables. Teal was bitter because she'd been given the cocktail lounge for her section (after six months of working in The Restaurant she'd never had to take this section), and I was bitter because I'd had to cut a camping trip with Valentino a day short to come in on a day that I was only on-call to polish wineglasses.
So, what's a couple of girls to do? Run across the street during service and take shots, of course! We grabbed the only other girl who works in The Restaurant (the hostess) and sprinted out the back door with the excuse that we were going to smoke (which only Teal does). Across the street at our favorite watering hole it was happy hour and we perched on the barstools and ordered a couple of Red Stripes. Our friendly bartender made up a shakerful of something refreshing and kamikaze-like, pouring it into four rocks glasses. We all clinked cheers, pounded our beers, and rushed back across the street to the theme song from "Purple Rain."
Heading back into the building, we ran into the owner as he was coming out, leaving for the night. Luckily, Teal had a cigarette in hand. He wished us a lovely evening polishing glassware, hopped in his Mercedes, and sped away. Needless to say, our night was much improved. As we sat morosely buffing, the sommelier felt sorry for us and opened up a bottle of prosecco, with the explicit instructions not to share: the servers working on the floor would have to stay late and finish polishing, and they'd have their own bottle. Suckas.