Friday, November 2, 2012

It's Not Olive Garden

     So, today is the second day of the NaBloPoMo challenge and I already forgot about it. Awesome. I feel smart. It is now 10:57 and that means I have one hour and three minutes o write and publish a post when I have no idea what to write about because I forgot. Also awesome. At least I have the hour, instead of just three minutes.

     I haven't really given details about my new job yet, so I guess I can say a little bit about that now. A few months ago, after I was ditched by the people I was baby sitting for, Mr Fix-It felt so badly about the way his friends (the kids' parents) ended up treating me, that he promised to help me get a job at the Italian restaurant that he works in.

     Back in.. August? Late July?... I had an interview with the owner but in order to be a server, you have to be nineteen so he told me to study the menu and come back in September. This menu... Holy shit.

8 Appetizers (including pizza, which there are 4 versions of)
3 Soups (two are basically identical)
3 Salads (all identical except for Ceasar salad)
7 Classic Items (including 2 dishes, each having 2 add-ons)
6 Pastas (including 2 that each have 2 add-ons)
5 Chicken Dishes (which basically all look like items in the list below)
8 Dishes in Seafood, Steak, and Veal (which all look alike and look like the chicken dishes)
5 Desserts (which I cannot express how amazing they look)
10 Lunch Specials (2 dishes have 2 add-ons each and 1 has a substitution)
11 Drinks Listed (only the listed ones on the menu; the alcohol menu has well over 100 items)

     I don't give a fuck how long I had to study all of that. Without pictures, it's damn near impossible. Everything is legit Italian foods and if you're like everyone else who asks about it when they find out I have a new job, you're wondering if that means it's anything like Olive Garden. Well, I don't know because I don't eat there. But it's not Olive Garden and this stuff is better from any time I've ever been to Olive Garden. Plus, the staff is a hell of a lot nicer (mostly- we have a few bitches too).

     Last week, they started me as a runner. A runner is the person who brings the food to the table when the server is busy. That is in the job description. So is pre-bussing (picking up dirty dishes before they leave, like salad bowls and shit), keeping everything for the to-go orders stocked up, and basically doing whatever anyone tells you at the exact second they tell you.

     My trainer was a total douche. I've never worked in a restaurant before so he thought it would be wise to continuously throw hot dishes into my hands and make me carry trays that way more than a 24 pack of water, in one hand and on my shoulder while holding the stand to put the tray on while I tried to balance it and not drop that heavy mother fucker. Not to mention that my hands were so burned up, they were bright red on my second day.

     Not in the job description: Itching the trainer's back when he told me to. Um, no, I will not touch you and you can find somebody else to do your work for you because I have my own damn job to learn and do.

     The second and third day, I was a hostess. It was insanely busy but I like it a hell of a lot more than running food. The trainer is nicer and the people are mostly nicer and I don't get burned and I don't have to carry things that weigh more than me. It also means we have to wipe down the menus every night, clean the tables, and set them. But you can sit when you clean the menus so that's tedious but not bad.

     But I'll be making more money as a server, so they're keeping me as a food runner because some of the trays are so heavy, I can't even lift them. Setting down trays isn't that easy either. I actually lost my balance and fell on my knees to keep myself from dropping the tray on the table next to me. It didn't hurt so much as I had a lot of people staring at me and that was awkward and unpleasant.

     Over all, things are getting better the longer I work there. Except for the couple of jerks who work there. They're still jerks but I'm figuring out ways to deal with them. Mostly, today, I just bit my tongue and nodded so I wouldn't come out with something like, "Go die in a hole" or "Please go jump off a cliff" or something equally or more violent. But I did pop out with a few comments that made other people laugh and the jerks back off for a short time... even though I really didn't mean to since I'm supposed to be nice.

     They're not all jerks though. There are a couple really sweet people and most of them have been very helpful and nice to me. The managers and owner are pretty nice as well, though I've mainly worked with one manager and she keeps telling me I'm doing great so I guess I'm doing something right.

     Though, the owner did get onto me because I didn't shake his hand hard enough today, when he saw me for the first time since I've been hired. That was pretty funny though.

P.S. Yesterday, the manager I haven't really worked with asked me how I was doing, so I said I was doing pretty well. He asked if I was ready to run the place yet and I was like, "Heck yeah!" so he handed me his keys and walked away.

P.S. #2 He only walked like ten feet before coming back to get the keys from me.

P.S. #3 11:30! I'm awesome.

30 comments:

  1. You didn't drop the tray!!!!!! Holy crap. I remember serving and the first thinking, there's no way I can carry those things. I even took one of the trays home to practice balancing it on my shoulder with one hand. Congrats on the job and good luck! :)

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    1. I haven't dropped a tray yet! Even though I keep bumping into things and people keep rounding the corners to fast. But I haven't dropped a tray!

      I think I'll like serving a lot more, because there's breaks in between carrying the trays and you get paid more. haha Just gotta work my way up.

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  2. You did good...I never would have finished this long of a post that quickly!

    The trainer asked you to scratch his back? Ewww! Glad you didn't.

    Yeah, you'll make good money as a server, so I hope the food running gets easier for you. It sounds like it's going well for you overall, so that's great!

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    1. Thank you! I kinda yelled at Mom to "SHHHHHHHHH I HAVE TO WRITE THIS SHHHHHHH" and it just kind of all worked out.

      He totally did! He was like "Rachel, come scratch my back." and I was like "Um, what?" and he told me "My back itches; come scratch it." and I was like "That ain't part of my job description. Do it yourself." and then another runner started laughing so much he choked.

      Over all, I don't even mind running the food that much, as long as it's the lighter trays that I can actually pick up. It's mainly just the fact that I have to deal with the trainer so much. When he was off and I worked with a different runner, it was a pretty good day.

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  3. Amazing how you whipped this together! I would have totally dropped that tray. -so glad you didn't hurt yourself saving it!

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    1. Thank you! I was so scared I would drop the tray. I'm already not a very graceful person at all and the trays make me so unbalanced that I walk really really slooooow and I'm constantly scared I'm going to drop it. lol

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  4. Good job Rachel everyone in the restaurant business had to start somewhere...I have had all the jobs you are describing...I worked as a Apple Trainer for Applebess so I know what you are going threw...I never treated my trainees bad. I was always "the cool one" lol good luck and like anything you do, you will get better with practice...

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    1. lol Then you should totally become my trainer so I can have a cool trainer instead of a jerk! All you have to do is tell me what to do and not yell at me and I'll be happy!

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    2. I would also appreciate not being told to scratch your back. xD

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    3. Train would be a good trainer, but he would ask for back scratches.

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    4. hahahaha Well, at least he would be a good trainer.

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  5. Great post for forgetting with an hour and three minutes left!!

    And stop falling before you are THE CONCUSIONATOR again!!
    No more concustions for you!!

    Love you,
    Mom

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    1. Thank you Momma!

      I fell on my KNEES not my HEAD.............Which may or may not be a reason my right knee is all jack up...

      Love you,
      Rachel

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  6. Wow! I can't believe that your trainer wanted you to scratch his back. What a douche. Glad you didn't.

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    1. haha That's basically what I thought when he asked me. I can't believe he would even say that.

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  7. Years ago I waitressed. My arm, shoulder and pectoral muscles were much more developed on the side I used to carry trays. I think the worst thing that ever happened to me though was the exploding ketchup. That exploded on a customer. Not so nice tip from that one.I'm sure you'll get into the swing of things at your new job.

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    1. I have no idea what pectoral muscles are but I'm guessing it has to do with your side/arm area. I guess I'll have to work out my left arm muscles too so that I'm not weirdly strong on my right side and have no upper body strength on my left. lol

      That sounds horrible though! It can't possibly be your fault the ketchup exploded (unless, you know, you sprayed it on them or something) but that really sucks.

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    2. It tends to make you more careful about refilling ketchup bottles the RIGHT way when it's your turn. It also tends to make you a bit wary of ketchup in restaurants. I always check the bottle before I use it and if there are any bubbles in the ketchup at the bottom - no go.

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    3. I don't think we have ketchup bottles where I look. But I'm totally going to keep that in mind, anywhere I am.

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  8. Scratching your trainer's back...WTF? Good for you for telling him that's not part of the job. I've never waitressed. When I worked in fast food, I used to feel really thankful that at least if a customer was nasty, I didn't have to deal with him or her for the next few hours. On the other hand, no tips at McDonald's.

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    1. Something else I thought when he asked me. haha He can scratch his own back. I've already had to deal with a few nasty people, just from bringing their food to them. But the tips should make it worth it... hopefully. One of the girls there told me that some of the meanest people leave the best tips, like they're testing you or something.

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  9. I'm 37 and I'm still looking for a job I love. Let's retire early!

    Scratching backs--ew.

    http://truthfully.ca

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    1. You're 37? And that is you in your little picture thingy? Holy shit. I thought you were like 23 or something.

      That's a good idea though. Let's retire early and never scratch anyone's backs!

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  10. Way to get that post in even after forgetting! I've never worked in a restaurant, so this was fun to read. Also? Cannot believe he tried to get you to scratch his back.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it! Also? Neither can I. I'm still in shock about it.

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  11. I used to be a server at Applebees and at Cracker Barrel. There is decent money in it if you get good at it. Some nights at Applebees, I would come home with over $300 in tips.

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    1. Holy crap. That's a lot of money. Do you have any tips or anything for me?

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    2. Oops. Bad pun. I mean tips, as in, suggestions to help me do well at my job. Not tips, as in, money (though, I wouldn't really mind that either lol).

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    3. Learn to read the customer and don't be afraid to flirt a little. I was about 24 when I waited tables and made my biggest tips from old ladies. I laid it on thick and they ate it up.

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    4. That made me laugh a lot more than it should have, even though I know that you're serious. You also made me remember something that I can post about in a couple of days.

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