Woody’s Smorgasburger V

Here’s a new thread for those of you discussing Woody’s.  The other ones are closed for further posting but you can still read what’s there.

62 Responses to Woody’s Smorgasburger V

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Susan B.: Whoa! that is sooo Cool! Despite your self confessed PITA side, ya must have a sweet side too. I’m guessing I shouldn’t be jealous and I should look on the bright side that no Chica “from The Customer Line” (we didn’t have Gals on the Server Line in my time) has dropped by to make fun of my literally drooling at them in their bikinis while making a salad or change!
    – Say, what were the Gals’ uniforms like…did they include a Tyrolean hat with a feather as we had http://tinyurl.com/y9u4vrzk ?
    Some of us didn’t have ribs during our times…were they pre-seasoned/frozen or done from scratch…bare nakked?
    (PS: I hope this isn’t just Chris P. signing in under a pseudonym trying to impress us!!!! Otherwise, Bravo to him!….LOL)

  • Susan Bradley says:

    Chris P. I believe I worked for you in 1978 – it was my very first job and you taught me how to grill the ribs and make burgers – I know I was not there long – you probably fired me for something…..I am a pain in the ass still to this day lol – you left a big impression on me though – super nice man, and one of the best Manager’s I have had since. Let me know if it was you!

  • Phil Ankofski (64~68) says:

    ~ Rare ashtray ~

    Ebay has a seller who is listing a Woody’s ashtray which features the names of only the first two stores, Culver City and Torrance. Yes, this makes it pretty rare, but not rare enough to warrant a $99.00 bid start.

    The seller should consider that his audience is very limited because they are now in their mid 80’s. I suppose I would chase the bidding if it was around twelve of fifteen bucks, just for some fun.
    Anyway, I will monitor the inaction as the days go by.

    Of course, you never know, even when you think you know. ( Let it Ride )
    Phil A.

  • Phil Ankofski (64~68) says:

    ~ A big discovery for Bob, Evan, and others too ~

    I also was perusing the very early comments made in 2013 on the first Woody site. I came across an interesting posting by Ken on June 21, 2013.
    Within his short narrative he mentions the name of Woody’s one and only general manager ! I remember several of the guys here were racking their brain cells over this name issue. Now you have it !
    Proceed to the first Woody site next to ZITO’S and scroll back to June 21, 2013. Ta da … mystery solved !
    Phil A.

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Ha ha….went back to the “1st page” to check out “training”…re-read some of the first postings , e.g. You Guys saving the place by being staked out in the back of a station wagon during the riots; Ken nonchalantly disarming a hood…which apparently is not as hard as it sounds like I just saw this week http://tinyurl.com/ya3g5cw5 LOL

  • Phil Ankofski (64~68) says:

    ~ On the job in Culver City ~

    Yes Bob, I remember my very first shift in Culver City. For some reason I was hired in as a lineman and skipped over the busboy position.
    The shift was from 5 to 8 PM and I was started out as the ” drink man “.
    Every time I poured a Lyons root beer, I was told to set the mug on the tray and then proceed to turn the handle toward the customer. Fine and dandy.
    As my hand held mug approached the tray within an inch or two, Russ would turn toward the milk dispenser and then give me a gentle jab in the ribs.
    My reflex turned hyper causing the root beer to splash all over in front of the customer. The guy working the register was in on it as well.

    Another time I was told to fill a bowl with dill chips from the walk in cooler.
    As I dipped my hand into the 5 gallon can of Rykoff pickles, Russ came in and started laughing about how Don E. had just pissed in that very pickle can a bit earlier. And yes, the pickle juice did look like piss water. Such fun .
    Phil A.

  • Phil Ankofski (64~68) says:

    ~ In house training at the Woody’s units ~

    I think Evan nailed it regarding the learning process. The three linemen positions ( excluding the grill ) were all real easy to learn and after a newbies
    third or forth shift, he was pretty much on his way.

    The OPENING BUSBOY had so much more to learn and he always worked his shift by himself. He had to get the dish machine up and running, clean the grill,prep the salads and deserts, prep the dining room and condiment bars,
    plus cleaning the parking lot ! In hindsight, that position should have paid an extra 50cents per hour. No shit .

    Each new employee was given a small pamphlet ” Woody’s General Rules “.
    I had a single pristine copy which I gifted to a friend and I don’t think I photo copied it before sending it off.
    Anyway, I posted many of the rules on the very first Woody site.
    You can locate the 5 postings by scrolling back to June 19th, 2013 ~
    Since there is 1,600 postings now , it took me awhile to find them.
    Just be sure to go back to the very first Woody site next to ZITO’S.

    Next, the managers had access to an in store copy of the Operations Manual
    which covered everything except the amount of TT you could use while in the restroom. ( NO, it did not have the Salsa recipe either ! )
    My friend took much time and effort to replicate this manual for me so I could include it in my ” Woody’s Album ” which now weighs more than 10lbs.

    I think Evan was injecting some hilarity with his comment about Phil having a following of Redondo groupies. To be sure, Redondo was far ahead of the other stores because of the beach babes , but they were all high schoolers.
    The UCLA college girls were hopefully getting their burgers at the Westwood
    Village store after October, 1968.

    Phil A.

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    In addition to Evan having a steak thrown at him, what was anyone’s most traumatic happening? Let’s just say I was not an athletic type…I remember the first time I hefted the milk box into the dispenser and fearing dropping it. That wasn’t so bad, but there was just something unnerving about “unfolding” the tubing, closing the “door”, then snipping off some of the excess tubing…did anyone else feel squeamish doing that? Oh the agony of it all if it happened during The Rush…did we call it The Rush? Did we use the saying “We really got slammed!”? I’m thinking there was a temp indicator on the door; nothing about content left. It just dribbled out when empty?
    Anyone ever drop a bowl of cherries/1K dressing transposing them to the Sundae/condiment Bars? Get called on the carpet for being too flirty?
    – Say, was the fly on those checkered pants a zip up…I’m thinking (metal?) button style?
    – Anyone have a “welcome to the club” prank to pull on a Newbie?
    – Did the plastic bubble that held the Pink (beet juiced) Lemondade ever get cleaned out? Wasn’t it a cumbersome task?

  • Evan Zang says:

    Hey there Bob I don’t remember seeing any printed operating procedures during my brief tenure. I recall “shadowing” my manager for a few shifts and then going out on my own. I went from back room tasks, stocking condiments, and working the dishwasher (I tried putting an entire uneaten Matterhorn through it once and no kidding it was completely gone by the end of the cycle). I graduated to the line, salads, then cash register, and finally, over to the grill. The more experienced coworkers guided me and were pretty cool about it even when I screwed up. As I recall, we all learned by doing the various jobs. As far as hookups at Woody’s, alas, I personally had none, nor do I recall seeing anyone else exceeding in that department. I’m betting that Phil had a handful of young “female burger groupies” that chased him around the restaurant, Alpine style, winner take all!

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Hi…Did you Guys have a written Training “Protocol”? All I remember is training was pretty casual…basically showing the “mechanics” of e.g. putting a green in a yellow ‘cup/bowl’, breaking the spine so it and the noodles or lettuce didn’t then pop out, etc. Don’t really remember any orientation to the importance of and how to interact with the customer. Were you guys just depending upon most kids…in those days…. were brought up with a certain sense of politeness along with a sense of cleanliness and we’ll ‘shape’ yaz as we go along? Were there preventative measures in terms of handling the till as I’m thinking there could be several fingers in there over the shift.
    – Were there any serious hookups…by Y’all or Others…. that stand out over your time there, e.g. ya Joe and Becky lasted 50 years? I don’t remember any stated prohibitions about “innocent” flirting “across the counters”.
    – If you had the Op to do it over again, would you have worked Woody’s or done it differently or was there an Op Y’all regret missing? I knew there was a deadline per my being there per going on somewhere for more school. Per my goal to earn/save…given my lack of skills per se to do anything else…this was a great time spent in my life to work as I must, with a great bunch of Guys and El Jefe…No Regrets.

  • Phil Ankofski (64~68) says:

    ~ Wow ! Wow ! Wow ! ~

    Well gang, I see Evan Zang has just raised the bar regarding
    the amount of factual and interesting comments packed into one very entertaining posting. Well done Evan ! ….. and thank you.

    Evan’s narrative surpasses any others posted on any of the other “Restaurants Sites ” featured by Mark.
    The Love’s BBQ patrons repeatedly yap about their beans and the customers of Ship’s lament the long gone toasters at every table.

    How can I ever comment on the Woody’s salsa or chopped peanuts again.
    Those issues seem so trivial now compared to the issue of obtaining a healthy and properly cooked hamburger. ( * No cheese for me, thanks ).
    I commend Evan for spending his time and efforts in order to present his
    extremely well written offering. Ralph Wood and Charles Cramer would be so proud. Most everything is a crap shoot these days. I wish the term was confined to Vegas, but like Evan said, that isn’t about to happen anytime soon.

    * Cheese was invented for pizza ! It distracts from the beef patty flavor.
    Bacon has no business being around either …. too distracting.

    Phil A.

  • Evan Zang says:

    Phil, Mark, Bob and All

    Although I was still pretty young, I remember having to work the grill on several occasions. There were only two things, as I recall, that put real fear into my adolescent heart: The first “fear”was having to cook for a gaggle of customers who all wanted their meat done at different temperatures (from rare all the way to well done). It took timing skills I didn’t possess. The second “fear” was the freaking hamburger steak. Not being a very experienced grill guy, I remember searing both sides first, nervously watching the flames literally “toast” it, before flipping it over to the cooler side of the grill. Invariably, the finished hamburger steak would come back for more heat (or a laughing bus boy would show me the half eaten remains of my work). As I may have mentioned in a very early post more than a year ago, one day a customer actually threw a steak at me! At the time, I wasn’t working the grill – I was on the cash register. Who knows, perhaps the steak throwing customer remembered me from a previous visit when I may have actually char-blasted his entree beyond recognition? I sure hope so. I’d hate to think he hit me with a steak simply because he didn’t like me!

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