I have a lot of restaurant stories from before and now, but because of all those "you can't write about us and work for us" laws, I won't write about the now place in detail for a while. Just in case.
Before, it was a family owned Italian restaurant. The menu is all but identical to Olive Garden but because the food is fresh and doesn't come from cans, its about a billion times better. (Except the marinara. The meat sauce and pizza sauce were great, but the marinara tasted like crap.)
After I became a server there, I felt like I lived there. Nearly all of my shifts were doubles with a one to three hour break between. Most of the time, since I lived about 25 minutes away, I would either stay or just go to lunch nearby with whoever else had to work a double that day. I spent a lot of time in the mall near it and even more time in the Halloween stores last October, because I was bored between shifts.
The longer I was there, the more comfortable I became with my coworkers, which is good but I also regret not becoming such good friends with them sooner than the month before I was like "oh, btw, I'm moving in three weeks lolol sorry". At the goodbye party for me and another coworker who moved out of state, my closest friends and I started crying. We ended up hanging out in the parking lot for about an hour after closing with 40 degree winds, no jackets, and having plans to hang out one more time before I left but nobody wanted to be the one to leave first.
Everyone who works there will tell you, nobody stayed for the money but the people who worked there stayed for each other. You can trust somebody not to steal your stuff, but you absolutely cannot trust them not to borrow your phone, go to the bathroom, take a picture of a certain body part, and the set it as your screensaver, wall paper, and every contact ID. After hearing that, I stopped wondering why everyone had a password on their phone.
While working there, I saw wedding rehearsals, birthdays, retirement parties, wedding anniversaries, baby showers (my goodness did they leave a mess though...), and one party of 300 people that rented out three rooms and wanted all of their food out at the same time but they all had something different. Things got insane, I got pissed off, but looking back- how cool is it that I got to see so many important events and sometimes help make them more special?
During slow times or after closing, I saw people dancing, singing, doing cartwheels. I played tic tac toe and constantly had my butt kicked. A bunch of servers collected old toys for a manager's family member who just adopted a couple cousins or nieces or something. Of course before pick up, we all had to check out the toys and one server ended up with a tiny cowboy hat, galloping around one of those toy horses on a stick.
I ended up in a pink princess tent to model it for another server who was supposed to live there. Why? The server who brought the toys was at the computer and the other server needed the to go boxes above her head. She wouldn't move so, and I quote, "he got all up on her" and she started screaming that she was pregnant and he either had to owe child support or she was taking his house.
I also had one person who would only ever sit with me. Nobody can figure out why me because he used to only sit with two others first, until after they were gone and he ended up in my section. He was the pickiest person ever and the first few times I served him, I screwed things up, but for one person he always left $8 or more. One time, I got like $20 on his birthday. I personally told him that I was moving. He shook my hand, wished me luck, and said that if he had any connections here then he would have pulled some strings to get me a job.
I don't miss serving food or rude customers or long hours without a break or my feet and back hurting from working all day. Hell, give me two weeks and I'll have all of that again. I ranted a lot about that restaurant but I was lucky to have had all the experiences that I did there, especially as a "first real job" and I am damn lucky to have made the friends that I did.
I feel almost like my theme should have been "sappy things" or "being positive" because that's how a lot of my posts are coming out. Then I think about my J post or my O post and laugh about how ridiculous that idea is.