Monday, September 12, 2005
Making Some Room in My Life
That's it. After 5 years 8 months and 6 days, today was my last day at J's. Finally leaving the restaurant world is going to be soooo easy - I've been ready to get out for a year or more (I sound like I was in the mob or something) - but still..... What about all of the free food? There's no way I'll ever be able to get all of the free Medium Rare Prime Rib that I want anymore. And what about all of the wacky people you get to meet? Like the hat lady that comes in twice a week - each of her hats has at least one fake bird on it, and we can judge her mood by how many birds are present on any given day. Or the man that used to come in 5 nights a week that said in his English accent"My name is Lord Devonshire, but you can call me Mr. Devonshire" His father was supposedly an Earl, but he was a real jerk - then he got arrested for something crazy and we found out he wasn't even really British! And there's no denying that my bosses have given me some great presents! Gift certificates to day spas and the World Market, great bottles of wine, lunches that they cooked from recipes they created while in culinary school... And yet, I can't wait to be gone. I'm tired of the cutthroat atmosphere. The idea that nothing any member of management can ever do will be good enough, but that they had better give 250% (most of the time at the expense of their families), or else they'd get chewed out even more than their daily quota called for. It's never about the people that work for you or the people that you're serving food to. It's all about the bottom line, percentages and how much food has disappeared over the past week. If it could be a job that was about food and people (two of my favorite things in the world), restaurants would be fun. Instead, they're all about the money. I still think that everyone should have to work as a server for at least 6 months of their life. There is no other job that teaches you so much about the public; no other job that teaches you how to treat total strangers with the respect that they deserve simply for being alive; no other job that teaches you how to appreciate the little things that people in public service do to make your life better. Waiter Rant is a great blog on the idiocies of the public in general, with some sterling examples picked out for specifics. After 11 years and 3 months working in restaurants, thankfully, my time is through.