I’m spinning; spinning my wheels. I’m spinning this week’s topic with such a twist it may not quite be what Jen over at Sprite’s Keeper had in mind, but she’s such a doll I think she will be fine with that.
The general slant of the spin is bragging.
Not just regular bragging. Tooting your own horn at work bragging. Work bragging of the kind where someone talks themselves up to the boss in such a way that the exaggeration of their feats crosses the border of exaggerated reality to pure and simple fiction.
Hence, my conundrum. Instead of making mountains out of molehills, it’s more like making mountains out of sneaker farts.
Well then, now that we have our sensory details, let’s get on with the story.
The last restaurant where I worked was a rising star at the time. I started working there when it had been open less than a year, but the chef owner had a gift, not just for cooking, but for business as well. During that first year he really made a name for himself. After a few years, he started opening up other restaurants. Many of my waiter friends were the first to go into management at the new establishments.
One of my friends there was everything you’d want in an employee. Hard-working, smart. A truly caring person who could give just the right service to a young prom couple who had never been to such a nice place; but also be able to handle the richest, pickiest asshat with aplomb and finesse. I liked her.
Another fellow employee was a back stabbing, ladder climbing bitch. She had been hired a year or two after a lot of us, but she was itchy to be pulled up the ranks ahead of the pack. Every other night I would see her go up to the dining room manager and brag about something. Her sales. A compliment from a customer. How she managed to give great service despite her slow, shit for brains busboy. A lot of her tactics for illustrating her profound greatness was by throwing whoever she could under the bus. I did NOT like her.
Sometimes, when there was a large party (fourteen to twenty) two stations would be worked as one with a team of two waiters.
One night Glenda the Good Witch was teamed up with the Wicked Witch of the West (original version people – not Elphaba). Let’s just call her Bitch Witch so there is no confusion. I was working right next to them, a true eye witness. Glenda was on the ropes making sure that not only the twenty top, but also the six other tables were happy. Checking on them, getting the little extras, opening the bottles of wine. Bitch Witch was taking orders and ringing them up. However, she had absolutely no fucking follow through. More than once I stepped in and helped when Glenda asked me by opening a bottle of wine that Bitch Witch had rung up but left sitting on the bar while the customers sat there waiting.
I mostly thought they were going with their strengths. Glenda was awesome with her interpersonal skills. Bitch not so much.
At the end of the night while I was sitting at a table doing my sales report and money drop, the dining room manager and the chef owner were having dinner at the table next to me. Bitch Witch comes up, sits down at their table and shows them her and Glenda’s ending sales read out.
Look how busy I was. I sold $2,200. Man, was I busy. You know. Glenda only sold $1,000 tonight. But that’s OK. I’ll still split the tips down the middle. Cause I’m a team player. But I bet this is the highest sales ever, right?
Technically, Bitch was supposed to ring the tables in Glenda’s station on Glenda’s number….
Her point was moot.
She did not mention that she did nothing to actually service her customers that night.
But she came really close to me grabbing a fork and shoving it up her ass.
Bottom line? They both went into management and both manage their own restaurants. I don’t go to the one the Bitch is running.
I’ve observed this phenomenon in every line of work that I’ve come across. What has always irked my idealist side is most bosses (be it manager, owner, or admin in education) seem to usually buy the horn tooters version of their accomplishments at face value. It's like many that go into management acquire some kind of immunity to smelling a stinker when they leave the ranks of the field workers.
I kind of feel like it’s my boss’s job to know how good I am at what I do without me pointing it out.
Any horn tooters driving you crazy out there at your jobs? Fellow employees who brag mountains with only a sneaker fart to stand on?
For more spins head on over to our host, Sprite’s Keeper.