As some of you may know, servers are not the only people in the service industry responsible for getting the food to that table.
Cooks. They can be a servers saving grace, or the Cersei Lannister of the restaurant.
We can all agree that communication is one of the key elements in any successful relationship. Well, with cooks in the kitchen it is no different. However, cooks are a different breed of human. Oftentimes they work the hardest and most in restaurants and usually get paid hourly instead of on tips, which typically equals less money.
I’m not talking about the fancy Michelin ranked restaurants where we have award winning cooks whose life was a particular path directed towards culinary masterpieces. I’m talking about people who just so happened to be pretty handy with a knife and were thrown behind a grill to make not terrible food for a shitload of people in a day.
Naturally, these cooks happen to understand the current predicament they are in, they know they get shit on (money-wise), and yet they need money just like the rest of us. Here is where the attitude enters. Sure they work REALLY hard more often than not, but knowing they get paid less, AND they control the flow of the restaurant, they understand the power in their hands.
Being a new server in a restaurant, it is honestly a coin toss on your first couple of days if the cooks will arbitrarily decide to like you or not. Being a male, introvert, the male dominated world of cooks is already pitted against me. I’m already busy being fake with the customers that I’ll never see again to notice that I forgot to be genuine or half heartedly nice to the cooks, I “need those eggs over-easy, not medium-well.”
My worst nightmare was Maria, yes a female, cook that had been at that Chicago IHOP longer than I’ve been alive. It took me a bit to realize that she absolutely just no reservations, hated me. She would purposely get my food order incorrect, never talk to me, ignore me, and if I made a mistake, which happened frequently being a new server, it was a shit-storm like you wouldn’t believe.
Finally, one day after many months of working, dreading Tuesdays and Thursdays when it was just me and Maria. I’m letting my friend that is a new manager know that Maria just downright loathes me, and he scoffs and doesn’t believe me at first, until he starts to see it himself. Both of them being spanish-speaking, and me being almost the only person in the restaurant both server, and patron that is only english speaking, have a conversation. He relays the word to me that on my first day of work, I did not say Hello to Maria, and because of that, she created a vendetta against me.
This is where I learned an important fact about many people of the hispanic culture. It is exceptionally rude to not greet your elders. After that day, I made sure to say “Hello” at least twice to her and eventually she grew to not get my orders wrong quite so often.