Saturday, January 19, 2013

Welcome to the Workin' Week

So I'm here today to tell you a little bit about my job. I work in a sushi restaurant/bar in our little downtown. By "bar" I mean sushi bar, not drink bar. We don't serve liquor, only wine, japanese beer and sake. Well, and pop, etc.

I am a server, but I started out hostessing. I did that for a few weeks, all the while studying the menu and trying to find out how everything worked. All restaurants run a little differently and it had been years since I'd worked in one. I had forgotten just how much time is spent folding napkins. We have a pretty and complicated method devised by our own Chef Jack.

Chef Jack and his wife Jacque ("jackie") own and run the restaurant. Chef and his assistant Charlie prepare all the food upon order (everything is from scratch), Jacque and I wait tables, a kitchen boy named Alex washes dishes and an extremely efficient, has-her-sh!t-together teenager named Cindy makes the drinks, busses tables, sets tables, runs food, etc, etc. She does a lot of work!

I also double as a hostess/hostess trainer most nights. You see, since I started waiting tables, they haven't found a reliable hostess. Every weekend I train a new one. We had a girl who was pretty good, but she was too busy with school, then there was the girl who never came back/fell off the face of the Earth, then there was the girl who broke a limb. And last night a trained yet another. I don't hold out much hope that I will see her tonight.

(For the record, I would like to say that I have not, I repeat have not put a curse on the hostess position at Purple International Bistro and Sushi.)

Working at a restaurant is a kinda stressful job. Everyone wants everything like now and they want you to bring a million things from the kitchen and fetch this and that and have a specific and inexplicable ratio of ice to water that must be constantly maintained.

Mostly I do just fine. I thrive on activity. I keep a running list of things I have to do prioritized in my brain as I flit from one stop to the next remembering to grab a tray, drop off another set of chopsticks, bring out the regular soy sauce, prepare another reserved table, etc.

Sometimes the sh!t hits the fan and someone becomes a Jerk. Usually when this happens it is someone who had a sour disposition when they entered the restaurant and ain't nobody can make them happy.  So I kindly explain to them that no I will not stop everything and meet their every demand because A) I have other, more pleasant customers to help and B) the way they are talking down to me tells me straight up that they will not tip and C) it's food. It's just a meal, people. And I'm not working there because I have a deep desire to make sure the area's 1%ers have a great dining experience. I'm working there because I have bills to pay and kids to feed.

And I don't even get my tips; I get an undisclosed percentage of tips along with my hourly. So, when that Jerk tries to punish me by tipping low or not tipping, the joke is on him.

Anyway, after my shift, Chef or Charlie makes me a sushi roll and I go home and do homework.