“I forgot about restaurant feet.”
This from RG Daughter after her first night at work at a new eatery that has just opened in her college town. Actually “first night” is a misnomer. She had just put in an 18-hour double that encompassed a morning, an afternoon, an evening, and the wee hours of the next day. Ah, the marathon everyone on staff has to run in order to open a place.
“How could you forget the whole sore feet thing, after the summer we worked together in D.C.?” I asked her.
“Yeah, I know. Who forgets that kind of agony? Anyway, I am on my way to the Clarks store to look for shoes like my grade school teachers used to wear. That’s how desperate I am.”
Forsaking fashion for comfort–RG Daughter realization No. 1 after her first day on the job.
“So they invited 50 guests to the friends-and-family soft opening. Except 250 showed up.”
This from RG Daughter after her second 18-hour shift at the new eatery.
“Oh, wow, how did everyone handle that?” I asked her, being reminded once again about how the opening week of a restaurant is positively enchanting.
“After the kitchen crashed, or before?” she asked, laughing.
“Oh, well, that’s why you have those soft openings. Work out the kinks, etc.”
“Yeah. It was crazy. But actually, Mom, it was really fun, too.”
Having fun at work when you are working really hard–RG Daughter realization No. 2 after her second day on the job.
“Mom, they called me in at 8 a.m. to help the kitchen prep!”
This from RG Daughter just prior to beginning her third marathon shift at the new eatery. She was sobbing.
“Wow, they really do want you to learn every aspect of the running the restaurant,” I told her, a little shocked. One of the reasons RG Daughter took the job was to learn about brewing and marketing beer, in addition to all the other restaurant operations stuff. But kitchen prep?
“And I’m late and I only got home five hours ago and have to go right back in!”
“Hey, I hear you. But this won’t go on forever. It’s the opening day to the public, right? They just want to make it as good as it can be. Everyone will be there all day and night,” I tried to reassure her.
“I know. I am just so damn tired, and I don’t know how we’re going to get it all done” she sighed, sounding less teary.
Feeling exhausted after a zillion hours spent completing a zillion tasks to get the new eatery ready to officially open–RG Daughter realization No. 3 as day three of her new job began.
“Mom, 25 people were lined up at the door a half hour before we opened.”
This from RG Daughter after her third 18-hour day at the new eatery.
“Wow, you all certainly have a buzz going on about you out there. How’d the kitchen hold up today?” I asked her, somewhat surprised by how alert she sounded.
“Much better. We’re working out the best systems for all of us, since we do everything as a team.”
“Good! And the rest of the staff and the owners? Everyone as tired as you are?”
“Ha! Yeah, it’s all fine. Plus, I cannot believe how much money I made on the first real day!”
Earning more money in one shift as a server than your mother does in two days as an assistant manager–RG Daughter realization No. 4 after her third day on the job.
“Mom, I love this job. And I think I am really good at it.”
This from RG Daughter after her fourth marathon shift at the new restaurant.
“That’s great. Glad you’re still hanging in there.”
“Yeah, the owners fired two people on the spot today for being complete idiots. Then told me they want me to train as a bartender because I am doing really well, and they like how I am with the guests.”
“No, Mom, seriously, I love this. Restaurant work must be in my blood.”
Being excited to go to work every day, no matter how exhausted you are–RG Daughter realization No. 5 and hopefully a lifelong reality.
Restaurant Gal II–God help the poor kid. Actually, God help the poor owners. I have a feeling RG Daughter might well set her sights on running that place one day.
I hope they know how lucky they are to have her.