|Posted by Ally Tucker on December 6, 2011 at 6:20 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Kristen Geil on November 30, 2011 at 1:15 PM||comments (1)|
|Posted by Kristen Geil on November 19, 2011 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
Because I really enjoy making playlists, mix CDs, and lists in general, I've decided to put my day off to good use and create the ultimate mix CD defining UK basketball this season. I don't think it requires much more introduction than that.
1. All I Do Is Win- self explanatory. One of my favorite moments from the season last year was going to a game with my mom and having her join in when the eRUPPtion zone's "hands go UP... and they stay there."
Wait, just remembered a better moment- when UK beat UNC to go to the Final Four and Tin Roof erupted in a beer shower while playing this song. Did I dance on a bartop? I can neither confirm nor deny.
2. Coming Home- I think half of Lexington is with me when I say I teared up during this song at the Dominican Republic-Kentucky Pros game. Tayshaun Prince, if I recall correctly, was crying too. The most precious, sentimental player introduction of all time.
3. Ice Cream Paint Job- Was there ever a more iconic moment than when John Wall was introduced to BBN with his signature dance move? I have John Walled in numerous locations all over the globe, and each time I have had someone come up to me and strike up a conversation about basketball. John Wall is the key to world peace.
4. I'm a King- AKA The Anthem of John Calipari. "I'm a king - top topic of all of your magazines. I'm a king - head of the body, leader of the team. I'm a king - remember I can get your block knocked off. I'm a king - a Bentley coupe with the top chopped off. I'm a king - I'm connectin nationwide but in the South. I'm a king - just respect it and keep my name out'cha mouth."
I can't help but wonder if TI wrote this song especially for Cal.
5. N***** in Paris- Ball so hard, NCAA wants to fine us. Also used in player introductions.
6. Right Above It- "Wildcat offense, check the paw prints"
7. On to the Next One- For tournament time.
8. Move, B****- Because I have this poster staring at me in the face...
and I'm scared the UK women's basketball team is going to beat me up if I don't include them.
9. Man of Constant Sorrow- Does this song better apply to Billy Gillespie or Joker Phillips? I can't decide...
10. Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)- The anthem of the newfound White Boy Academy.
Who are these fine young men? The Caucasian Sensations of the men's basketball team, masters of trick shots and all around heartbreakers. Watch these videos and see if you don't agree.
11. Baby- Jared Polson's personal theme song. Sweet baby Polson.
12. I Love Trash- Besides the uncanny resemblance and hankering for unibrows, Anthony Davis and Oscar share a love for trash. Although in Davis's case, he prefers to keep the garbage away from the rim. Ba-doom-cchh.
Other suggestions? Let us know in the comments section! Please note, however, that I purposefully did not include Terrence Jones and his Teach Me Bout Kentucky song. I think we can all agree he doesn't need to quit his day job.
|Posted by Kristen Geil on October 27, 2011 at 4:25 PM||comments (1)|
Lately, when people hear that I am pursuing a Master's degree in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse, I get the same question over and over again:
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Well, a Pussycat Doll, obviously.
But seriously, I have a list of potential careers that if I ever got, I would consider myself to be "living the dream." In an effort to distract myself from schoolwork and the fact that I don't really know how doing this schoolwork will help me find a career, here is a list of the top jobs I hope to have in my lifetime:
Usher at Rupp Arena
No, not the Usher we love and praise so regularly on the blog...
But we still <3 you!!!
No, I'm talking about the real deal. The ushers for UK basketball games at Rupp Arena. You know them- maybe one of them is even your grandparent. They heroically stand in the aisles and point you towards your seat.
Or, as a friend from work so eloquently put it, "The elderly, blue-blazored Gestapo of Rupp Arena are the most dedicated employees in the nation. Keep guarding that empty section boys. Like your 65 year old lives depended on it." I liked it immediately.
Try as hard as I might, I could NOT find a picture of these people anywhere online. So here, a picture of Big Sean in a blue blazer:
Also, for those of you who are interested in this as a future career, I found this job information on Rupp Arena's website:
EVENT USHERS - (50 Part-Time Positions Available)
Job involves ticket taking, seating patrons, pre-event/post-event building/arena security, and traffic/parking control before and after events, and providing related guest services. High School Diploma or GED.
Email a current resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the HR Department between 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday to complete and submit an employment application; (The HR Department is located on the 2nd level of the Civic Center Shops)
Download and complete a blank employment application from the company's website
Completed applications can be mailed or brought to the HR Department
Human Resources Department
Lexington Center Corporation
430 West Vine Street
Lexington, KY 40507
So there you go. Dreams can come true.
National Geographic Photographer
Seriously, who HASN'T wanted this job? You get to travel the world, hear all sorts of cool stories, get up close and personal with wild animals, perhaps even have your photograph featured as a screensaver on computers around the world. On my general life "to do" list is take photography classes. Maybe it would help class this blog up a bit.
Top Chef Judge
I wouldn't even be picky about whether I was a judge on classic Top Chef or Top Chef: Just Desserts. Just get me at some food!! I can throw around buzzwords just as well as Tom Colicchio- "heavy handed with the salt," "a little under-seasoned," "the texture was just completely unappetizing." I can be snooty and judgmental too! I also have good table manners, which is a really under-appreciated skill these days.
Also, I would like to hang out with Padma in hopes that her beauty rubs off on me.
VH1 Talking Head
You've read the blog- you know Ally and I have lots of scathing commentary on contemporary (and past) pop culture. What better way to use these talents than to be a regular on VH1's "Best Songs of the 00s"?
And seriously, where has Best Week Ever gone?? It was the most consistent source of news in my life.
Usher's backup dancer
Because really, did you expect us to get through a blog without mentioning Usher... twice?
I have no shame about this. My greatest regret is that I quit dance before I got a chance to be any good at it, for real. Having the chance to travel with Usher, dance every night, get an amazing body, build my leather wardrobe, and possibly be impregnated by Usher himself? What's not to love?
Crossword Puzzle Creator
Anyone who knows me knows I love doing the crossword. It's a great joy in my life. When Ally suggested this, she specified for entertainment magazines like US Weekly or People. That would be fun... but seriously, I have so much respect for the people who create the New York Times crosswords each day. They have to be so damn clever. Some days towards the end of the week (when the crossword gets progressively harder), I literally find myself shaking my fist at these imaginary people and cursing them for being so witty. Yup. I want to be one of them.
Side notes: Potential Christmas gift that I've always wanted but never gotten- the giant wall crossword from Sky Mall magazine. (MOM)
Also, would anyone like to go to a crossword convention with me someday? No joke. HMU!
Jay Z and Beyonce's Nanny
I'm going to constantly search for them on Sitty City.com and Nannies Inc until I find them. Then, I will convince them that I am the best babysitter ever and I am completely fit and competent to take care of their little bundle of love. I would totally fit into their family.
(This is his Facebook profile picture)
Because as Ally Tucker puts it, "Really, what does he do all day?" Besides make angry phone calls in Farsei and churn it out on the Elliptical while watching Family Feud... not much.
|Posted by Ally Tucker on August 5, 2011 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Ally Tucker on May 16, 2011 at 6:45 PM||comments (0)|
Let me take a moment to introduce you to our newest Guest Blogger, my own flesh and blood, my sister.....Colleen Tucker.
Colleen hails from the same uterus as I do. Colleen is my older sister (although people often confuse our birth order...sorry Colleen, but the truth had to be told). Colleen is just like me, except she's older, smarter and funnier. Oh, and she can karaoke better than I can too. Which is why I invited her to come on the blog and share with all of us some tips on how to become the best karaoke regular possible. You see, I have just recently begun to dip into the world of becoming a karaoke regular. Colleen has been karaoking on the reg for years now. She is a well known commodity on the Bardstown Road karaoke scene (and yes, there is a scene there...I doubt any one street has as many karaoke spots as Bardstown Road).
Anyway, Colleen stopped by to share her wealth of knowledge, as she has so many times in our lives, to her little sis (and all of you all). Thanks Kees! (If you know what I mean when I say "Kees" than you know you are a close friend of ours)
"How To Become A Karaoke Regular" by Colleen Tucker
Congratulations. You’ve made the wise decision to become a karaoke regular. I have a couple bits of advice, things I’ve picked up over the years, to help you be the best karaoke regular you can be.
1. Pick your first song wisely. This will set the stage and let the karaoke guy know whether he wants to give you more or less songs as the night progresses. This is not the time to sing the new Justin Beiber song you kind of know. You want to pick a song that you know so well you could sing it even if there were no words on the screen. Starting the night with a great song will build your confidence and inspire your song selections for the rest of the night.
2. Don’t burn out after the first song. You’ve got to build up to your best number. You want to start strong, but save your best song, your trump card, for your second or third song. You want to hit your dougie somewhere between midnight and 1am.
3. Don’t sing the same song every time you go. This may be the hardest advice to follow. I know I want to sing Ballroom Blitz every Monday, but you’ve got to restrain yourself. Leave them wanting more. Try to remember your all-star numbers too. If you ever visit a new karaoke bar or bring friends you want to impress to your karaoke bar, you’ll have several homeruns ready to knock their socks off.
4. No more than 2 people should sing a karaoke song together. Exceptions are bachelorette parties and birthdays. It’s fun for you, but everyone else hates it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen 10 frat guys “singing”, really yelling, Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s a good song, but not when that many people sing it together.
5. Tip the karaoke guy. It may be the first time you’ve heard Bad Romance this week, but he’s heard it 47 times. You tip for drinks, tip for songs. Building a relationship with the guy in charge of the music is the most important job of a regular. Start by tipping often and early, back it up with good song choice, and you’ll be one of the gang in no time.
6. Never go to karaoke if you have something important to do the next day. “One more song” has been known to keep people out later than intended. Karaoke responsibly.
7. Save the weird stuff for the end. Maybe you’ve been dying to sing 3 is the Magic Number (one of my favorite late night choices), but a lot of other people in the bar either don’t know or don’t like that song. Wait till they’ve been drinking for a while to sign up for that one.
8. Be a good audience member. This is something I firmly believe in. You don’t have to pay attention to everyone’s song, but you better applaud and cheer like a maniac when their finished. If you can, sing along with them (just stay in your seat, nobody likes the drunk sidekick they never asked for). Karaoke is supposed to be fun, and the more enthusiastic you are, hopefully the more supportive everyone will be when you sing.
9. Don’t chase the weirdos, they’ll come to you. I’ve met a drunken cowboy, a homeless man with a bedazzled Sponge Bob Square Pants hat, and a numerologist who believed Harry Potter was real. I didn’t have to initiate any of these conversations. This brings me to my next bit of advice…
10. Have an escape plan. You’ve got to become a regular with a good group of people at your side. Choose your karaoke friends wisely. If drunk cowboy’s been chatting with you for too long, hopefully you’ve brought a friend that can come rescue you. It’s also nice to have a bartender friend who will kick out the more dangerous riff raff, but that’s not usually necessary.
I’m sure there’s more than I’ve come up with here, but you’ll just have to figure the rest out on your own. Being a regular is a blast. Have fun and keep singing!
|Posted by Ally Tucker on May 16, 2011 at 12:25 AM||comments (0)|
Earlier this week I experienced one of those "the joke's on you" moments. You see, a while back, Rick Pitino and his University of Louisville coaching staff decided to take a chance on a transfer player from Wake Forest named Tony Woods. At first glance, taking a commitment from a 5-star center with "NBA potential" (I think that is an over-used phrase anyway, "NBA potential," I mean don't we all have the potential, technically, to be in the NBA?...) seems like a great situation for any program. Unfortunately, if you look just beyond the surface and the stat-line, Tony Woods is not just any old NBA-potential toting guy. He broke his girlfriend's spine.
No, you didn't read that wrong. And no, this isn't me being sarcastic like I often am. He broke her spine. Now, according to articles that have been released since the accident, he may or may not have actually been the one to cause the fracture in the spine. His girlfriend now describes the altercation as being more of a domestic dispute with a little pushing than a violent attack in which he broke her spine. She even goes as far as to say that she fell out of her dorm bed a week earlier and had been having back troubles before the domestic dispute with Woods even happened. I won't even pretend to act like I know what happened on that night, or how guilty or innocent the whole situation was.....but I do know 2 things for sure....1) Even simply shoving a girl, or pushing a girl, isn't okay. Just because you didn't "violently hit her" or possibly cause a fracture in her spine, any amount of pushing or shoving (especially in the presence of their baby) isn't appropriate. And 2) "I fell out of the dorm bed" is the oldest trick in the book.....I don't know if I buy that.
Regardless, the point of this blog entry is not to decide whether or not Tony Woods is innocent or guilty of anything. The point is that I woke up one morning last week only to find out that Tony Woods (who recently changed his mind about playing at U of L and opened his options back up) took an unofficial visit to the University of Kentucky and met with Coach Calipari, Mitch Barnhart and President Lee Todd. Say what?!
Not only was I concerned and disturbed by the fact that we were giving attention and potentially considering giving a scholarship to Woods, but I had also made fun of Louisville for about 3 months about taking a commitment from someone who had put his girlfriend in the hospital.
I am all about giving people second chances in life. Don't get me wrong. I believe that even if the situation that night was actually the worst case scenario, if he truly has changed and his girlfriend and close family members and friends all vouch for that, he deserves to make a different path for himself in life--I just am not sure I want that path to be at the University of Kentucky. Now if these were the Billy Clyde years, and we were desperate for any talent at all, regardless of the situations, perhaps giving him a second chance at a school that was in need of a second chance at the time might have been understandable. We are on a high at Kentucky right now. We have a monster recruiting class coming in, with a few key veterans to surround them. We are already a consensus top-2 team and national championship contender next year. Others around the nation have been quoted as saying that this is the classiest group of individuals and highest character group that Coach Cal has had possibly ever. Why take any chance at messing with that? Just not worth it. Someone else will give Tony Woods a chance. I guarantee you that. There are plenty of schools out there who need 5-star talent in a bad way. We are not that school right now.
With that said, I started thinking about some of the other potential "Deal-breakers" I would have when considering whether or not to give a scholarship to a kid interested in Kentucky. What are a few of the things that I just simply could not look past, no matter what. I have compiled a list.....
10 Back-Breakers Deal-Breakers
1) Breaking Your Girlfriend's Back (allegedly or not....if it's even a possibility, count me out)
2) People with 2 First Names (You can't trust them....seriously...have you ever met a Kelly Lindsey that you could trust? Didn't think so...)
3) Claims "Two and a Half Men" as their favorite tv show (I'm sorry but no one in the world can convince me that this show is/was/will ever be funny. Now I hear that Ashton Kutcher is taking Charlie Sheen's spot. The show was already terrible....)
4) Drinks Whole Milk (Does anyone else feel like that is the equivalent to drinking straight from the udder? Eek)
5) Doesn't dance when "Party in the USA" comes on (Love it or hate it, if you don't even do a little bee-bop in your seat when you hear this song come on, I question everything about you. Everything).
6) Votes more than once a week for American Idol (I thought about saying votes for American Idol period....or watches American Idol period....but I decided to be flexible with this one. Seriously though...this show is terrible and I don't understand people's fascination with it...and willingness to call a # 400 times to try to get through).
7) Drinks their beer with a straw (I've literally seen people do this....why? why? why? Don't order a beer if you want to drink with a straw....order a flirtini....or a clue).
8 ) Wears jeans with no butt pockets... (I mean, when do you NOT need a pocket for something? At some point? Ever? And has anyone else seen more of these type of jeans at skating rinks than anywhere else? Just sayin'....)
9) Thinks it's okay for dogs to wear human clothes...or any clothes for that matter (Unnatural)
10 ) Doesn't read Tucker's Tales (duh)
|Posted by Kristen Geil on May 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM||comments (1)|
This year was my second year in a row going to the infamous infield of the Kentucky Derby. And not to brag or anything, but I've dominated it both times. I haven't gotten lost, arrested, or injured; in fact, the worst thing that has happened to me has been losing money on horses. I can deal with that.
So while the experience is still fresh in my mind, I'd like to offer a few tips to complement David's piece on the Derby (which was spot-on, by the way). Read this now, and reread it again next year when you boldly go into that famous oval of debauchery.
DO: Overprepare for any possible scenario.
This year we had a 60% chance of rain. Accordingly, Layson and I packed no less than four outfits each and 3 pairs of shoes. We had cute dresses, rowdy redneck ensembles, clothes to wear if we went out that night, and shorts and t-shirts for the ride back. Shoes-wise, we had cowboy boots (two pairs in my case), wedges, and rain boots. Overkill? Maybe, especially considering we wore exactly one outfit and one pair of shoes. But better safe than sorry.
Equipment wise, you need a lot of stuff. Ponchos are always a good idea- portable and disposable. Someone may even try and share your poncho with you, so they help you make friends too.
Towels, trash bags, chairs and tarps if you plan on setting up camp in the field (which we never did because we like being free to roam around, but maybe you prefer settling in for the day).
And a cooler- don't forget that. Even if you don't take it into the infield, chances are you'll attend at least two pre-parties before heading to the infield, and a cold beverage is a necessity.
Our most treasured item that we brought this year was perhaps the simplest- a bag of pretzels. Snacking on it throughout the day kept us in good shape, and we made lots of friends by offering them to those with growling stomachs. Pretzels are clutch, and don't you forget it.
DON'T: Drink too much right out of the starting gate.
It's a marathon, not a sprint, and the Derby doesn't run until six. Don't be the person who doesn't even make it in the gates. It's just not cool. You want to remember your Derby stories for the next day.
DON'T: Try and bring alcohol into the infield.
I know- beer is $5 and a mint julep is $10. Who in the infield has that kind of money? It's really tempting (and let's face it, super easy) to tape a flask or plastic bag of liquor to your leg and sidle on past the security guards. But in the carefree party atmosphere, you may thoughtlessly whip it out in front of an undercover cop, resulting in your expulsion from the infield and the end of your Derby experience. No bueno. Instead...
DO: Bring in drunk fruit.
What? How is this possible? Easy. It's completely legal and allowed to bring food into the infield- it just has to be in a clear plastic bag. So start getting crafty. A week before the Derby, buy a couple of containers of cut-up pineapple and a fifth of pineapple rum (you can also use peaches, apples, oranges, or all four, and tailor your rum flavor accordingly). Soak the pineapple in rum for a week. The day of Derby, cut it up, pack it in a plastic bag, and voila! A perfectly legal and savvy Derby snack. I'll admit that the texture of drunk fruit is not the most appetizing, but by the time you get into the infield you'll probably be brave enough to suck it down.
A fringe benefit of this strategy is that fruit makes perfect ammunition in case you need to throw something at people. I don't know why this would be necessary, I just know that it happens.
DO: Have some sort of unusual accessory that makes people want to take pictures with you.
The best part of the infield may very well be the instant camaraderie between all of its inhabitants. Literally everyone there is your best friend. You will meet some of the craziest, kookiest folks in the world, and while your conversation may not last longer than a minute, you'll remember it for a much longer time.
One of the best ways to make new friends is to wear something silly that makes you stand out. In me and Layson's case this year, we thought it was going to be the fact that we were wearing our matching cowboy boots- mine are turquoise, hers red, and they are ALWAYS a crowd pleaser. Always.
I even found a girl with the same pair and a few other things in common. CRAZY.
But then, our friend Brittany's mom decided that we needed Derby hats and that she would buy them for us. Naturally, she went to Rite Aid and came back with mini-sombrero fascinators. Words cannot express how popular these made us and how many people wanted to take pictures with us. It was awesome.
In that same spirit, return the favor. Ask to take pictures with people whose accessory you admire, and strike up a conversation from there. Instant bonding will ensue. As pictures will show, Layson and I tended to be drawn to anyone wearing an article of clothing with the American flag on it. What can we say, we just love America so much!
DON'T: Attempt cheerleading stunts in the infield on pavement.
So it may happen that some people admire you and your two friends' mini sombreros. Perhaps they will ask for a photo- nothing unusual there. But to spice the photo up a bit, they insist that you be doing something funny in the picture. Naturally you hit upon the idea of a cheerleading stunt- two people lifting the third in a basic move. Nothing fancy. Something you've probably even done before, to great success.
But, you do it on pavement. And without a back spot, the lift just isn't that steady. So the flyer loses her balance- NOT HER FAULT- and kicks one of her lifters in the eye with her boot. Oops.
After regrouping and correctly executing the stunt for said picture, it comes to your attention that the injured party is bleeding behind her sunglasses. GO FIND AN EMT. They are actually super friendly and helpful, even willing to let you tour the ambulance for a second.
Of course, all this only happens if you go against my advice and attempt a stunt in the first place. Which you shouldn't. It could turn out a lot worse. At least do it on grass and with a backspot.
That's all the tips I have. I was a bit conflicted because naturally I wanted to advocate going downtown on Derby night, but the past two years I've actually just driven back to Lexington after taking a power nap. If anyone has tips on how to push through that barrier, please share.
Derby is exhausting, but completely worth it. I've loved my infield experiences, but maybe next year I'll be a little more glamorous and actually sit in the grandstands... maybe.
Like Hef and his girls.
|Posted by Kristen Geil on April 28, 2011 at 11:25 AM||comments (0)|
Ever since I was old enough to have a real job (and no, I don't count babysitting as a real job), I have worked in restaurants. I started hostessing at Suggins (a classic Lexington bar/restaurant near my house with some seriously good food and a colorful array of regulars) when I was 15.
A few of my friends worked there, and I liked the free meal at the end of my shift and always seeing people I know coming in to eat. Aside from one traumatic incident when I attempted to carry four waters at the same time and ended up spilling them all and breaking an iPod (haven't tried that since), I loved hostessing and was pretty good at it.
During college, I started working at Alfalfa, a vegetarian-friendly restaurant downtown with an eclectic menu and even more eclectic customers. I hostessed for a couple of years and graduated to serving this past summer. I love working there and will probably write a tribute blog about my last day at work when it occurs this summer- between the homeless, the hippies, and the Sunday brunchers, there are countless SMH/WTF moments that occur at this quirky restaurant.
Both restaurants are great places to work and can get incredibly busy at times. As a server, it's obviously my job to make the customer's experience the best it can be, and because I generally like our customers and want good tips, I work really hard at this. But I think what some people fail to consider when eating out is that the diner also has a profound effect on the restaurant employees as well. My friend Bo, who worked alongside me at Suggins for years and years, once said something like everyone in the world should be required to work at a restaurant for six months, and I couldn't agree more. But until that happens, here's my guide for proper etiquette in the diner/server relationship.
1. The Waiting Game is not usually the hostess's fault. Don't be rude.
Waiting to get seated at a restaurant sucks. It's boring, there's usually nothing to do, and you're probably already hungry- horrible combination. But please, don't take it out on the hostess who took your name and number of people in your party. Her job is really stressful, probably more stressful than actually being a server. She has to deal with the public, stay cheerful, and play a strange little logic game to seat the most people in the most efficient manner. It's trickier than it sounds.
(Layson, I still can't believe you didn't buy this tank on spring break)
Here's a few subpoints to illuminate why the wait may be awhile, or at least awhile longer than you expected.
-You have five or more people in your party. Most restaurant tables seat four people comfortably. Five or more means you either have to push two tables together, squeeze awkwardly close together, or wait until one of the two tables that can comfortably seat five people gets up. And if you have seven or more people? You HAVE to push two tables together, which means waiting for two adjacent tables in the aisle to get up. That takes awhile.
-People are lingering. They have finished eating but won't leave (more on this later).
-You came in with a "crowd" or before/after an "event." Like, a movie at the Kentucky Theatre just let out and everyone decides it's a good idea to go eat at the nearby restaurant. Or it's intermission at a play and everyone decides to grab a quick drink. Or, it's Gallery Hop and your restaurant is connected to a gallery. Or church just let out. Whatever. If you come at a predictable time, you're going to have a predictably long wait.
I hope I never see this in person.
Hostesses try their best to accurately guess how long the wait will be, but other factors can skew the estimated wait time. So be patient, bring something to do, and above all, don't wander off to take a walk down the street while you wait. Your name will inevitably be called during this time, and when you do not respond, your name will be taken off the list. Tough.
2. Ordering: It's not rocket science.
Disclaimer: I am not a typically patient person. But I try my best, when serving, not to make the customer feel rushed or pressured. I even give them a little warning- when bringing their drinks, I'll say something like "I'll be back in a few minutes to get your order." That means, when I return soon after with a ticket pad and pen in hand, you should know what you're getting. It is acceptable to have it narrowed to two choices and ask me for a recommendation. It is not acceptable to say, "Gosh, I just don't know!" and ask questions about every single item on the menu.
It is also not acceptable to say, "Honestly, I haven't even looked at the menu yet." Why not? I told you I was coming back. There will be plenty of time to have scintillating conversation with your dining partner while you are waiting for your food, eating your salads, eating your meals, and after. Be ready to order- especially if we're obviously busy and I'm running around the restaurant full tilt juggling hot chocolate mugs, bread plates, and serving trays.
Similarly, if you are in a rush, please tell me right off the bat. I can tell you which dishes on the menu take the shortest versus the longest amount of time, and I will make a special effort to speed you through the dining process. Please don't wait until you are halfway through what I assumed to be a well-timed dining experience to tell me that you have to be across town in 15 minutes.
Here's another thing: I do not mind answering questions about our menu. I also don't mind going back to ask the kitchen about something I'm not sure about. That's part of my job. But before you ask- please make sure the information is not listed in the menu or around the restaurant somewhere. Want to know what flavors hot teas we have? Our salad dressings? If the entree comes with a soup or a salad? Funnily enough, it's all on the menu. Soups and side items of the day? On the specials board- which is inevitably located right next to the diner asking me these questions. Take notice of your surroundings, and I'll be grateful that I don't have to rattle off all of our salad dressings in one breath.
3. Don't send your food back unless it's for a good reason.
(I didn't really want to google image "gross food," sorry)
It's a fact. Sometimes, the kitchen messes up. It happens. And when it does, I am happy to ask them to redo your food. If your burger isn't cooked well, if they put cheese on it and you're a vegan, if it's not quite hot enough- that's legit. You ordered your food a certain way and you expect a good meal- great. I'm happy to give it to you.
But if you send a plate back because "It's not what I expected" and ask to get something else, free of charge... well, that's not my fault or the kitchen's fault. It's a little presumptuous to ask me to replace your meal for free in this scenario. I kid you not, last week at Alfalfa a customer returned a Seafood Puff Pastry because it "tasted too fishy." Awhat now?
I especially can't discount your meal if you complain about the food but have proceeded to eat it anyway. It's bad business. You eat it, you buy it. End of story.
4. Don't linger.
You've eaten your food. The plates have been cleared. I have taken your check and stopped refilling your drinks. I am silently telling you that it's time to go.
(but you will never see this sign at Alfalfa)
Yet you linger. This is one of the single most annoying things a patron can do, and here's why:
1. If we're busy, you're taking up a table that another customer should be sitting at. Turning tables quickly is how I make the most money, especially at a busy time like Sunday brunch. I make tips based on good service and how much food I sell you- not by how long you sit there.
One of my fellow waiters once said he wished we could install parking meters at tables and get our tips based on how long a customer is "parked" at the table. That's a great idea.
2. If it is late at night and we are trying to close up, we can't. Staying for a few minutes after the restaurant technically closes and finishing your drinks is perfectly fine. Staying a full half hour while the waiters have finished eating their employee meals and are waiting to sweep, mop, and leave (things we can't do with you still sitting) is not okay. Here's a hint: if I start putting up chairs, it's time to go.
5. Don't come in two minutes before we are supposed to close.
Just don't. It's heartbreaking to think you are almost done with work, and then have to serve another table, which is at least a 30 minute endeavor.
If you do come in right before close, please follow rule #4 and don't linger. Be ready to order. Because I'm the one who has to go back and inform the kitchen that another table just walked in, and sometimes, the messenger gets shot.
6. Corral your kids.
Alfalfa actually has a sign like this hanging up.
Besides the fact that kids running around a restaurant and screaming is annoying, it's also dangerous. I'm walking around with hot coffee and heavy trays- I do not want to trip over your kid and the ensuing lawsuit. Please keep all legs and arms within the table's vicinity.
7. Tips on Tipping
It's a touchy subject, but it has to be addressed.
Here's a secret: before I worked as a server, I thought tipping around or even under 15% was okay, even acceptable. It's not. To everyone who served me food up until that point in my life, I'm sorry.
Somewhere on the internet once, I saw a hilarious sign posted in a restaurant about how servers interpret the tips people leave them. I searched google images high and low but cannot find it for the life of me, so here's my take on it:
25% or more: Amazing service and great food- you rock! Let's elope. (Or, my parents came to eat).
20-24%: Above average dining experience. Nice work. Thank you!
15-19%: Decent (if an adult). Amazing service and great food- you rock! Let's elope (if college student).
14% and below: F--- you.
Remember- I technically earn something like $2.50 an hour. Tips are what I depend on, income wise. Unless I have been rude, given you poor service, or your meal just plain sucked- you should be leaving around 20%.
To figure out how much to leave, just divide your total by 5. That's it. At Alfalfa, we even have a handy guide at the bottom of our receipts that calculates exactly what 15%, 20%, and 25% of the total is. Please look at that when making a decision.
Also, please try to avoid leaving mountains of change. Because I am a poor soon-to-be college graduate, I will of course take it, but it's annoying and I tend to drop the pennies all around the restaurant as I'm cleaning off your table.
Also please don't leave foreign money, gum, coupons, or anything else. That's sweet and quirky, but I prefer cash.
This post came off more like a rant than I had intended. Let me reiterate- I love my job. Bible. (*Kardashian-ism*) I love interacting with the customers, serving food that I honestly believe is delicious, and getting paid to do so. But after six years in the business, I find myself being a much more conscious customer when eating out. Hopefully with these tips, we can all get along better. And if you wander into Alfalfa at 12:30 during a Sunday brunch and you notice me with a gritted smile and steam pouring out of my ears... well, now you know why.
|Posted by Kristen Geil on April 28, 2011 at 12:40 AM||comments (2)|