I’m the Manager of this Olive Garden, so Please Listen to Me

Hey everybody, gather ‘round. Rough day today, guys. Rough day. You all really stepped up during the dinner rush, and we got through it. Go us! I think I can speak for all of us when I say “No more minestrone soup!” am I right? It’s fun sharing a joke with you guys. We’re all in this together.

Alright, it’s time for evening announcements. First off, I continue to get complaints that when you guys are offering a table our delicious and complimentary breadsticks, it sounds like you’re saying “bread dicks”. The first few times, I chalked it up to a pronunciation mistake or a hearing error on the customers’ parts, but I am positively up to my ears in “bread dick” problems.

Oh, I get the joke, Brad. I get jokes. I love to bust a good chuckle! I’m the “No More Minestrone” guy! Personally, I think “bread dicks” is hilarious. Super funny, guys. It’s just that I’m the guy who has to explain to all the cheesed off customers why their six year old keeps asking for more bread penises! It’s a family restaurant, guys. It’s in the slogan.

That segues nicely into the next item on my agenda; just a quick reminder to please stop giving out my personal cell phone number when people ask how to make a complaint. This is not the first time I’ve asked. Olive Garden has a toll-free Customer Complaint line set up for that very purpose. Speaking of which, and I don’t know how you tech wiz’s did this, but somehow all customer complaint calls to the toll free number have been forwarded to my cell phone. Nationwide. Turns out this chain has a lot of unhappy customers, and they call at all hours of the night. There’s very little I can do about the number of sundried tomatoes on the Pizzaiola Flatbread at 2 in the morning. I can’t confirm that there were only four cheeses in the Five Cheese Ziti al Forno at the Dearborn, Michigan Olive Garden when I’m at the movies with my mom in Palmdale, California. I’ve tried contacting corporate about this little snafu, and apparently that number has been forwarded to my cell phone, too, so I’m right back at the beginning. Please change it back, guys. I’ve got a job to do.

How am I being a baby about this, Karen? I’m just asking you guys to change it back. No harm, no foul, just flip the switch. I can too take a joke! I laughed it off when you guys called Child Protective Services and said I was whipping my kid with those ninetails things from “The Passion of the Christ”. That was like 6 hours of my day wasted in interviews and psychological evaluations. I laughed. My kid doesn’t even live with me! Hopefully someday, maybe if I make regional manager, it’ll show the judge I’ve got it together. It’s weird how they can just tell you you can’t be a family, right? It’s ok, though. You guys are kind of like my family. When we’re here, anyway. Get it? Oh, don’t look so sad for me, Mallory. I’m fine.

Alright, next, I definitely need to address the elephant in the room. Yesterday. Nobody showed up. 14 servers, bussers, and hosts. I did, however, receive 14 different phone calls from your “Mom”s, who gave me the same excuse to a “t”: you’d been “raptured”. The Biblical end times, guys? C’mon. Not to mention that your “Mom”s all sounded like thinly disguised variations on your own voices. And besides, Danica, I know that your mom Is dead? Sorry, it’s just I know that to be a fact. The only person who actually came was Diego, and I had to send him home because he had a staph infection. I had to close the place down. During “Tour de Italia” week! We just weren’t open. And I had to answer for it.

Do you guys even like me? Don’t answer that. Just know that I like you. I like you guys a lot.

Let’s just get real for a second. I feel like you think there’s some sort of barrier between you and me. I’m the manager, sure, but I’m also a person. I know you’ve all gotten pretty close and you meet up after work at Darren’s house to party and all that. Oh yes you do, Sean, don’t lie to me. Don’t lie to my face. I hear you talking about it literally every shift. But every time I ask what everyone is up to after work, it’s like, “Oh, just going home,” or, “Oh, just gonna watch some Netflix.” Why don’t you want me to come? You think I’m some kind of narc? I can hang. I’m down for whatever, and I can get just as weird as the rest of you. What happens at Darren’s house stays at Darren’s house, am I right? I mean, as long as what you guys are doing doesn’t violate Olive Garden‘s drug and alcohol policy, we’re cool.

Oh, c’mon. I’m a mandated reporter, guys. I have to report it! I could lose my job for not reporting it! Believe me, if it were up to me, I’d be cool with everything. I mean, I am cool with everything! It’s just, there’s a manager-subordinate relationship there, and those boundaries have to be respected. I know I said there weren’t any barriers.

Look, just stop saying “Welcome to Olive Farten” when greeting customers. Also, our customers do not have to step on a scale before ordering the Never Ending Pasta Bowl. And please, for the love of Pete, stop telling our customers that my name is Jon Benet Ramsey, but with an “h”. You need to listen to me. I’m the manager!

Honestly, I wish to God I wasn’t the manager. Today, when we were just crushed with customers, and I had to jump out there and get my elbows dirty in the trenches with you all, I’m telling you I felt alive, truly alive for the first time. You’re all very, very lucky to be servers here.

No, Nick, I will not go fuck myself. That’s a pretty hurtful thing to say.

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