Another week has come to an end and I finally have a day off tomorrow. The constant repetition definitely wearing on me and I'm starting to feel it in my lead shoulder and arm. People who don't work physically demanding jobs don't really understand the toll that these kinds of jobs take on the body. I guess that I'm lucky because my feet rarely hurt after a long shift since I've gotten used to the years of standing on my feet. My back and shoulders may never get used to the strain however.
The minor discomfort is well worth the tradeoff however as we are entering rush season. I've been so busy, in fact, that I don't even have TIME to spend my money it seems (other than for bills). I really need a vacation!
I requested off some time at the end of the month to drive down to Arizona so that should be a nice relief from the job. Plus my Vegas trip is coming up in only 7 weeks! I feel like time is just flying by so fast right now but I am more prepared than ever before for this year's shot at the WSOP.
Also, don't forget to check out my memes page which I just updated today!
The best nation of all might possibly be procrastiNATION! Just kidding :-D Actually I wanted to say that I will be making an nice update soon and hopefully do a mega meme dump. The last several weeks at work I have been on six days/week, and on my only days off I've been so exhausted or busy that I have been neglected the BLOG... Also I had been having ridiculous tooth pain due to some fillings I had worked on recently so in the past week I haven't been doing anything other than trying to zonk out after work. Luckily I went and had my fillings adjusted again and I feel great now! Time to get back on track and be productive again.
Anyone who knows me personally knows that I love poker. The past few months I've been gearing up for this year's World Series Of Poker (WSOP) which begins at the very end of May and runs thru July. It is a series of large buy-in poker tournaments which take place at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas every summer and it attracts the biggest and best names in poker as well as a plethora of amateurs such as myself. Between the hours of practicing and studying online and work I have been finding myself pressed for time almost daily. I promise to put more effort into the site however since I have been lagging HARD lately.
Anyways I have to start getting ready for work very soon but expect some cool stuff this week. Ill put some memes out soon so keep an eye out for that :-D
Sometimes I think to myself "How did I get here and why did I decide this path in life?" This is probably something that many people ask themselves at some point in their lifetime. Unlike other kids, who wanted to be astronauts or doctors, I never really had a clear idea of what I wanted to be when I got older. As a child I remember seeing pan-handlers in Atlantic City playing their harmonicas and guitars, and being a naïve four year old I thought this was a profession. From then on I would proudly announce "I want to be a harmonica player!" when any adult would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. My parents would just laugh and give a warm smile, not wanting to discourage my silly dreams.
Flash forward a decade to when I got my first job at the local Dunkin Donuts & Baskin Robbins (combo store with a drive-thru). I was a freshman in high school and only really got the job there because my sister had already been working there for a few years. I will never forget I used to make minimum wage back then which was $5.25/hour plus a few bucks in tips each night if we were lucky. My paycheck every two weeks was a measly $100 or less but when you are living at home any amount of money seems like a lot! This is where I got my start in the food service industry I guess you could say.
I worked at the donut/ice cream shop for just under a year when I decided I wanted to try something different. I ended up quitting and just coasting for a few month when I found myself broke! Going from having a nice couple hundred bucks a month to nothing is a real shock to a teenager so eventually I took up my second job at the fabulous Bed Bath and Beyond :-D I was hired at the age of 15 for $8.25 an hour to be a cashier. I quickly moved up the ranks and was promoted to a front end (cashier) supervisor within a year, which also came with a nice little pay raise ($12/hour). So at the age of 16 I was making almost double what my friends were making at their hourly jobs. I ended up staying with the company for around 4 1/2 years and even transferred to a different store when I went off to college.
While attending Arizona State University I worked part time at BBB for a couple of years and eventually quit for a few personal reasons. Hours were being cut and I wasn't really getting along with a few of my managers for some reason. I eventually moved back into food service by becoming a delivery driver for a very popular sandwich shop named Silvermine Subs in downtown Tempe, AZ right next to campus. I loved the freedom that being a delivery driver offered, as well as the quick cash on top of a steady paycheck. The money wasn't AMAZING by any means, I think I was making something like $7.25 an hour plus tips, but the freedom and excitement you get from the job is what drew me in. This was the first time that I was making substantial cash tips and I was hooked. After that delivery job I worked at very tiny Italian restaurant where I got my first experiences as a server. That didn't last for long because of poor location and no customers so I moved on to another sandwich shop called Mr. Goodcents. I was part of their opening crew and came in as a part-time delivery driver and part-time manager.
I eventually moved back to Virginia from Arizona for a short time to be with my family again. I didn't complete my microbiology degree at ASU partly due to the recession in 2008 and due to my inability to get any more student loans. I worked home construction and remodeling for a few months once back in VA and really enjoyed it, however the job started at 8am and I would often have to work in rain or snow and I was only making $12/hour. My girlfriend at the time was working as a server at a nice steak restaurant and asked why I didn't just apply there as a server. I said why not and gave it a shot- next thing I knew I was working at Longhorn Steakhouse making $2.13/hour plus tips. On a typical busy night I would walk with $80-120 in tips in 4-6 hours which was fantastic and definitely the most money I had ever made up to that point. I was 24 and having a blast, going out with friends partying, just living the server life. When you are making cash every night its very easy to blow it all shopping, eating out and drinking all the time which is what a bunch of my friends were doing (and still do).
After enduring a solid year and a half of being back in Virginia I decided it was time to head back out west and moved to California with the gf at the time. I transferred jobs to Olive Garden, of all places, since they are owned by the same company that owns Longhorn Steakhouse and were the only location that was reasonably close. In CA they also pay minimum wage to servers so I was making $9/hour plus tips at the time. Olive Garden was a great stepping stone for me to get to where I am now because it sharpened my serving skills in a larger busier restaurant and gave me a solid foundation to build on. I ended up staying with Darden (the parent company) for over 3 years combined and my time with them was invaluable. When I got the chance to apply for my current restaurant I jumped at the opportunity and was rewarded greatly.
Many of my coworkers take their jobs for granted seeing it simply as another serving job, but when you work in fine dining all of the stakes are bigger. Everything must be held to a higher standard and I mean EVERYTHING. It can be nerve-racking for people who aren't used to the pressure of opening a ten year old bottle of wine that is worth several hundred dollars for example. This is what I decided to do with my life so I take it a little more seriously than others. This isn't just a job for me, its a profession, and I love every minute of it!
Thankfully February has come to an end! This past month has been absolutely insane, between the mad house that was valentines week and the storms that caused power outages and road closures all over the state. It was also one of my best months so far at the job and I feel like I am actually finding my place there. I haven't been making really any mistakes at all lately and the money has just been rolling in.
There is no slow season in sight and things seem about as steady as always. Business as usual one might say. I am already saving up for vacation this summer so maybe there is some relief in sight!
The past few weeks have really flown by! I can barely believe that its already the 17th :-D!!! I have been working six days a week again since we are in the busiest time of the month. Valentines day was absolutely insane- luckily I got a really good section and did alright. Time flies when you're having fun am I right???
Made a meme post a few days ago and about to make another post right now before work! I'm racing the clock now seeing as I only have 13 minutes before I gotta go... Check out my new memes post and share with your friends, feel free to comment down below!
Yay! I finally have another two days off in a row :-D Spent the first day off having fun with my girlfriend. We went out to have Pho noodles first- which was interesting. I don't expect much when it comes to service at a noodle joint but today was exceptionally bad! I asked the server for no onions in my Pho and he seemed upset initially, then asked for no cilantro which caused him to act even more flustered as he said "Hold on!" and walked to the kitchen. A minute later upon arriving back at my table he proceeds to whip out his pen and paper to continue our order as if nothing had just happened... we place the rest of our order and he leaves without a word. Food comes out normal but as per usual with these places THE SERVICE SUCKS and they never return to your table- not even once, unless you flag them down that is. I have to ask for a water refill and after the dirty looks don't even bother asking for a second refill. After I finish my noodles I was still hungry for more eggrolls so I ask to add a second order on. To my amazement this guy scoffs out-loud and literally rolls his eyes at me before turning away and leaving without a word :-D!!!
Later on in the night we ended up at PF Changs to have dinner with another couple. Our time there was much better however as we were taken care of by friends of friends. Shoutout to all the PF Changs people! They kept the delicious food and crafted cocktails coming and always kept my water full :-P
Had a fun day off needless to say regardless of the drama today. Have a fullllll day ahead of me tomorrow since it is my second day off and I'll be catching up on chores (BORING!). I will however make it a point to post some new memes tomorrow however so be sure to check it out later!
You know that feeling you have when you go back to work after having a few days off? You know, exactly the feeling I'm talking about... Having a few days off in a row made me LAZY! I took a break from work and all things work related so I could try to relax- and that's exactly what I did this past week. I had time to go and play some poker finally and I logged four sessions which was a nice change of pace. Now its time to buckle down and get back to work... but I still feel like:
Lots of fun stuff coming up this week for the site (New memes should be out by tonight) so I expect to be pretty busy throughout the week. Oh that reminds me I have to leave for work in a few minutes :-D!!!
It feels amazing to finally sit down and relax after a long day at work doesn't it? Especially when your job requires you to be on your feet the entire time. As the week comes to an end all I can think about is how badly I need these next two days off. In the past 16 days I have only had one day off! Granted, that is partly my fault for picking up a shift last week. Needless to say I'm in a state of complete exhaustion- feels like I ran a marathon. My phone actually says I walked over 63 miles at work in 16 days.
The next two days are going to be amazing! Any server knows that having two days off consecutively is rare. I'm so excited I haven't even put much thought into what I want to do with all this time. I mean I have a whole 48 hours on my hands here people... Is this what 9-5ers feel like?!?!
I was beginning to think I was living in the movie "Groundhog Day" where every day is the same over and over and over. I guess all jobs can become repetitive and tedious at times. Part of the reason why I love serving so much is because it ISN'T as predictable as most jobs. Today for example, within 15 minutes of me being on the clock I was running up to my manager to tell him to call an ambulance for an elderly gentleman. Other times it can be extremely mundane and utterly boring (like when I'm polishing wine glasses). I guess the important thing to remember is that I truly do enjoy my job all things considered. When my friends are having a bad day sometimes I like to remind them that the average person in a third world country only earns a few dollars PER DAY. We are lucky to be where we are and to have all that we have.
Oh boy, where do I begin. Today was interesting to say the least. For the first hour or so I didn't have a single table and then finally I got my first ONE TOP!!! Shortly thereafter I get sat a two top right next to my other table. Before even sitting down the lady decides she is going to help herself to our salad bar... Ok that's fine and all, but at least sit down first next time and let your server greet you like a normal person. So I happen to walk past the bartender and he goes "Hey, so your table...." and I immediately say "What did they do!?!?" The bartender continues to inform me that they are "cut off" and that they were acting afool at the bar.
That's when I realize my night just got a whole lot more messed up... I smile sheepishly and then make my way back to the table from hell... Only the guy is sitting there now and I greet him with my usual welcome. He doesn't even bother to look up from his stupid cell phone game and barks out a few orders. I suggest some water and bread (to sober them up) and he falls for the bait. Little did I know this guy was already black out drunk. Soon I realize that they had also ordered some appetizers from the bar, which they both had forgotten about of course, and I bring them out. The sloppy drunk lady spills half her salad off her plate which is piled up like MOUNT EVEREST on this tiny little plate, in an attempt to make room for their apps.
At some point in the meal, this guy decides he is going outside, leaving his poor date in a state of confusion. The guy was so drunk that he didn't even know where his table was on the way back and had to be escorted by the host. I didn't see this, but apparently he was harassing other tables on the way back. That's when the chef and GM decided they had to leave and printed their tab out for me to hand to them. I awkwardly headed back their way to drop check and without missing a beat asked if they wanted their food to go. Both of them were so drunk I don't think they even realized they were being kicked out (nicely). This next part I called from a MILE away- I knew this guy was the type to take BOTH receipt copies like many drunken douchebags do. That's why I made it clear when I went back with the processed card that I need back the top copy and he can keep the rest. He of course mutters in agreement... I return about 60 seconds later and he has already pocketed both copies, so I remind him "Hey I actually need one of those copies back please." He goes alright alright and then I walk away. I knew 100% that he didn't listen to a damn word I said so I checked his book as soon as he got up.... OF COURSE ITS EMPTY. So I follow the guy and say "Pardon me, you actually took both copies of the receipt." Anyone who has even tried to reason with a drunken moron knows what's next. He is confused and acting like he has no idea what I'm talking about even though this is now the third time I have mentioned this to him. Needless to say he can't find the receipt in his pocket, after barely trying to look. I get the manager to re-print his receipt and ask him to sign it, again he acts confused. After signing ONLY his signature I mention I need him to fill out the total.... at this point I want to punch him in his stupid drunk face SO SO SO badly but I cannot. How do people like this even exist?!?!
And the icing on the cake tonite was when I was walking around the corner with a huge tray loaded up with two desserts, an entire bag filled with leftovers, and one of our biggest salads, I ended up somehow catching the handle of the bag onto one of the sprinker heads on the ceiling. The sudden weight shift caused my entire tray to topple in my hands causing a huge scene with broken plates and salad flying everywhere. The bag of leftovers was hanging from the ceiling and I didn't even realize it! Luckily I saved one of the desserts but had to explain to all of my tables what took so long and why it was so loud. Yeahhh the struggle was real tonite!!! #serverlyf
Tonite I went to a work party after a very long shitty day at work... It was awesome! Not only was there plenty of beer and other drinks to go around, there was TONS and TONS of food. One of the cooks from work went above and beyond and made not one, not two, but THREE different platters of food plus hummus dip/ranch in red-pepper bowls and all sorts of chips and bread. One platter was alllll sorts of cheeses, another was different meats and some breads, and the third was a fruit platter (probably 2 1/2ft wide). Talk about going all out! Then there were a couple of different pizzas they made too. We all had a blast and huge thanks to Arturo for making the platters, and to Andrew for hosting the party!
Me before the party^
Me at the party^
Everyone else at the party^