Playing in the Sandbox

An interesting blogger, whom I have just discovered, describes the “family” aspect of working in a restaurant. He remarks how it sometimes takes a few months for a worker to be truly accepted.

I know this all too well. I have been a golden girl at most every place I’ve worked, until now. Here, I am a mediocre cog in the wheel of a very fine group of folks who know how to get it done every single day of the year. But when you get a taste of finally being accepted after three months, even just a little, it is a feeling utterly terrific.

After my first wedding, (see previous post, Show Time), I asked my wonderful girlfriend to meet me after I thought I would get off–around 11. Mr. Restaurant Gal was out in Ohio visiting the boy, or we’d have dragged him out, too. Turned out, I wasn’t done until well after midnight, and she got stuck at the bar waiting for me, all the while talking to some guy 20 years her senior from Oklahoma and swilling multiple glasses of wine. Ugh.

When I was sure I was off, I led her over to where the other staff was gathered, grabbing something to eat before heading home. And, with three glasses of wine in her very petit form, she regaled my co-workers with a bit of personal history about us working together at the magazine in the office job I had way before I even dreamed of being in this biz.

This shocked them: “Wait, you used to do what?”

And as the night drew to a close, a manager I really like but have never felt close to whatsoever, was asking, a huge smile on his face, why I never said goodbye at the end of the day. One of the bartenders, whom I was sure didn’t even know my name, offered both me and my friend a final “shift” drink. The captain and the other wait staff who had literally carried my ass throughout the wedding, laughed and joked with me, and in their way, welcomed me into their fold.

I am somewhat of a hybrid here. Not a manager, not part of the wait staff, just me–private events someone, no one.

How nice it felt, on this night, to feel a part of everyone else’s fun.

And now, today, it was simply back to work, glass slipper very far out of reach–at least, for now.






7 responses to “Playing in the Sandbox”

  1. Katie Avatar

    I am definetly struggling with the whole family aspect at my new restaurant.

  2. Julie Avatar

    I’ve been with the same company for nearly a decade. For the last couple of years, I’ve worked from my home and don’t see anyone on a regular basis. We email and IM, but it’s not quite the same as popping over to someone’s desk or having them pop by. When I do make it into the office for a while, people who I had lunch with everyday are a little awkward for the first fifteen minutes or so before we slip back into our comfort zone.

    By the end of the day, it’s like I never left. And, when I return home, I wonder how I ever completed my work in the office.

    Sounds like you’ll soon be part of the family.

  3. Kim Avatar

    We all want to feel we belong. It always takes time. Clearly you’re several steps closer ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. RG's Wonderful Girlfriend Avatar
    RG’s Wonderful Girlfriend

    Geez, I must’ve really gulped down that wine. I forgot about the whole “previous life” conversation. Your co-workers all seemed to love you, RG, so you are definitely part of the family now. I saw it first hand.

    Oh, and Mr. Oklahoma called…ack! THIS is why I’m still single. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Jenni Avatar

    I think you should bring your wonderful girlfriend in everyday ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I hope the family welcomes you in soon… and I hope they aren’t anything like MY family.. ick! hee hee

  6. question girl Avatar

    i am a teacher at an inner city school – there are teachers that LITERALLY will NOT speak, even to say hello/good morning/etc… to me/”new” teachers until they have been there at LEAST 3- 5 YEARS – that is longer than most of the students are there

  7. david Avatar

    Their comes a point in your tenure with a job that it seems to just turn around. Usually something happens funny that lets everyone else know you are human and one of them….BUT you can not rush that moment. I’ve had people say to me I don’t want to get to attached to you until you have been here a while……….