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Controlling And Out Of Control

| Working | December 24, 2015

(I’m a waitress at a small banqueting firm. It is the last party before Christmas, so we were all a bit stressed out. Another one of the waitresses working today, senior to me, usually likes to be in control and give orders. When I take drink orders I make a numbered list to make sure I remember all of it. Back in the kitchen there was a general chart of the seatings, named and numbered. Here we write down all drink orders so that we can be sure to get the correct payment from everyone at the end. I go back to the (stressed out) kitchen to align my list with the general chart:)

Me: “This is the list of drinks from my guests. I’ll get them all out before I align it with the chart.”

Senior Waitress: “No, give the list here, and I’ll align it while you get drinks out.”

(I give her the list and proceed to getting the first drinks and serve them. Getting back I look at the chart and notice that my list is written “upside down” from it, since I started taking orders at the bottom of the tables, and she didn’t realize this.)

Me: “Oh, it’s the other way around. That drink goes with him:” *points at the bottom of the chart* “Not her:” *points at the top of the chart, where she put it*

Senior Waitress: *looking flustered and puzzled* “But you wrote [number] by that drink, and that number is at the top, not the bottom.”

Me: “Yeah, I started my numbering at the bottom of the tables because I didn’t realize this, but you can just start at the bottom of the chart, so that number three on my list is number [third from the bottom] on the chart.”

Senior Waitress: *still flustered, doesn’t seem to understand* “Well, this is just confusing. You should have written the names instead of your own numbers.”

Me: “Yes, I’m sorry about that. Do you want me to take over and align it instead? I know exactly who got what.”

Senior Waitress: “No, you go finish serving the drinks.”

(I went out with a few more drinks, and when I got back she was still struggling with the list and chart. I offered again to do it, but she refused to let me. This continued several more times, but even though she got increasingly frustrated she wouldn’t let me take over. I couldn’t do anything other than pointing out the mistakes every time I walked past – she just didn’t get it. In the end we finally got it all right, but it took way longer than needed. Some people are a little too fond of being in control, even when they’re not…)