Hola! (This is long but good)
Around 1998 or so, I was employed at a Cracker Barrell in a capital city in a deep southern state. Needless to say that i was down on my luck and needed work, to come to work for these slavedrivers.
The day waitresses were all redneck types, people that you would see manning the truck stops of this great land. Some worked in there 6 days a week just to make ends meet. The night wait staff were mainly college kids and young adults.
Our main clintele? Pentecostals, Baptists and the elderly. Actually, I liked the Pentecostals and almost took them on their offer for church, but would not go because those snake handlers would of kept me in their fangs. A group that does not allow women to wear pants is a cult not to be reckoned with. They went to CB because no booze was served there.
Old people. One lady would always come in and get the soup of the day, a chicken salad sandwich and tea. Another old man had ceberal palsy, and got angry at me when I could not understand what he was saying, "I'm not drunk!" he would say. He seemed angry, and a shot of whiskey couldn't of hurt him, but this was Cracker Barrell, not Hooters.
One annoying thing about CB was that they served breakfast all day. The hostess would never ask the customer if they wanted breakfast at dinnertime, it wasn't her job. She could not have cared less. Really no one gave a damn at CB except the manager, who was trying to keep the malcontenet employees in line one more day and not break too many dishes.
One night this old witch asked for a breakfast menu at about 9PM. I had to run half way back to the hostess stand to do Yolanda's job for her. She wanted an egg sandwich and she told me that it came with hash browns. Honestly, the egg sandwich is not on the menu, but it can be special ordered. I had several other tables besides her, and I billed her something like 35 cents for the Hash Browns. This woman went insane and started cursing me out and how her **** dinner came with free fried potatoes on the side. People like this confirms that insane people are everywhere, including that sweet old woman playing mind games upon a gullible sap making 2.13 an hour plus tips.
I once accidentally dropped a whole pitcher of water on a 80 plus year old woman. The daughter and son-in-law were angry, but not that bad. We dried her off the best we could, then came back after dinner to start to apologize one more time when the lady told me not to, she already forgot about it. Oh, the joys of Alzheimers.
The cooks were angry black men, imagine the Crips cooking your food. We had a young white girl named Brandy whose mother worked there and was about 19 with a kid at home. I wonder how people give their kids such weird names. Brandy? I would of called her Vodka or Martini myself.
I saw Brandy getting beat up by "50 cent" our dishwasher. Actually, I was cheering for 50 cent. Neither of them were fired. This is how much CB needed them. I dare to say that a lot of the backstaff were felons. Maybe the manager was scared to do anything, I don't know. This kid commits assault, while I once got "wrote up" for eating a slice of pie.
I worked in a CB 14 hours straight on a Sunday, I have never been so tired. Made 95 USD plus 2.13 an hour (which Uncle Sam took away from my hapless soul. Best tip I made was 14 dollars, been stiffed a lot of times. That is the nature of the beast.
Before we could leave the CB, we were required to roll 200 pieces of silverware, which took some time, and this activity had to be done as well as closing sidework, which includes breaking down crap and "marrying" ketchup bottles. Crap work that took well over an hour, at a payrate of 2.13 an hour. Many of us would get a bus tub and roll the silverware during the afternoon lull, then hide them some where in the kitchen. Servers would steal silverware from each other. So maybe the fork you are sticking in your mouth came from the underside of a freezer or a table.
All the food was Uncle something, Uncle Hershel, Uncle Tom, Uncle Billy Sunday, whatever. They did feature an "ncle Overpriced Slop" but he was led away in a straight jacket many years ago. CB also has something called "city" and "country" ham. City was OK, but country ham really smelled like dirty feet. Once I had to convince an old lady her "city" ham was "country" so the cooks would not take me to a dark corner of the kitchen and pummel me. (To myself) "Please old lady, eat the foot, I don't want to be shanked by 50 cent and the posse.
The lead manager was a nice man when he was relaxed or off work, but on the serving line was a task master who occasionally blew up, especially when plates were broken. The more broken plates, the less money on the bottom line. I really feel sorry for these people, assistant managers of these crapholes who have a wife and baby at home, working for people who consider them a number on a corporate spreadsheet and trying to direct and lead a bunch of sollen, mad, somewhat felonious kitchen staff.
We used about a 1/2 bag of sugar to make the sweet tea. If you are Type 1 diabetic and want to kill yourself, shotgun the CB's famous tea. Yum! Yum!
Once served the band KORN. They were jerks. I served the driver first, before the band, and gave me a 5 dollar tip. Then I and this drug addict waitress (CB does not drug test, and she was addicted) and I served the rest of tyhe crew. We were given 10 dollars. I gave the waitress 5 of it. She wanted to split the tip with the bus driver (although she did no work and this was a seperate table). She would not give up, give me that 2.50, I want my money, yada yada yada. So, I was a good guy and just gave it to her. What was I going to do, knock her in the head to shut her up? (And no, it was not Brandy.)
Served a couple of dudes once, then presented them their check. They wanted seperate checks. The problem was going back into the system after printing out a ticket to do another ticket, so I told the Assistant Manager about it. This guy, a tall lanky red headed goofball told me to tell them that I am unable to do that, and I told him to go explain it. He got pissed off at me, I said, Hey, (forgot loser name)your a manager!" He told me not to instruct him on his job, and I told him that I do not make enough money to get heat because CB's computer system was from the 1960s. Eventually got hit over the head by a dude doing a "dine in dash" which means someone who eats and runs. This guy also allowed diners inside 5 minutes before close
Whoever hit this peckerhead, please send me an e-mail and I will buy you your next meal!
There was a gay (found out later) that was a student at a very conservative Pentecostal school. This place was so conservative that seeing a movie or dating unchaperoned was cause for dismissal. This kid talked about every single customer in the joint, things like, "I have two women and a fetus out here", and "three jumbos", "inbred hicks", things like that. I really wanted to punch his head off, and actually told him once to stay on his side of the server line (in CBs, there are usually two dining rooms, and the server line was really a mirror of each other.
I thought CB food was crap, crap eaten by people who think they are getting something special. I however, cannot demean the entire operation hat in hand. These items are delicious:
Peanut Butter Pie
Rootbeer (in house brand)
Biscuits and gravy.
The strawberry and grape jelly, which the manager instructed us to not offer, but only give them when asked for because of the cost.
My story ends with this question, "Wanna go out and eat tonight?"