Back in April, work sent me to help train the Front Of House staff at a store in West Virginia that was being reopened. I tried to do a good job and I guess some of the employees benefitted at least a little from my tutelage, but really, I'm not sure the other trainers and I were very effective.
I'm a pretty nice guy and I don't ride their ass or go off on them, no matter how bad they suck. I'm basically not inclined that way and besides, it's my job to coach and teach, not harangue and punish. We had this one guy, Bama, who's the worst restaurant employee I've ever seen in my life. Allison wasn't as bad as Bama, but she was pretty lame.
Her appearance put me in mind of a model for drunken, dead Franco-Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920), and that's not a compliment. She's very plain-looking, to put it kindly. But her looks were a lot better than her serving skills.
I had a buttload of opportunities to suggest ways she could improve, but I only remember one of them. I walked past a table she was serving beverages to. She eagle-clawed every one of those drinks. In case you skipped class that day in server school or you're an art history major who Googled drunk-ass, dead Franco- Italian artists, eagle-clawing is when you grab a glass from above by its rim instead of from the side near its base.
ANYWAY, first chance I had, I spoke to Allison about her bevie-serving technique. I was real nice. I started by fabricating a couple of positive things to say about her job performance. Then I patiently explained how bad eagle-clawing looks, how it's against Health Department regulations and how she probably wouldn't like getting a Mountain Dew® served to her like that.
She nodded in apparent comprehension. She'd gotten the message. She wouldn't be eagle-clawing her glasses anymore. Cool. I felt good that I'd actually gotten through to her about something. Until not five minutes later I saw her serving drinks to another table, and every one of those drinks got clutched by ... The Eagle's Claw!