This is that moment when you’re at work and there’s nothing to do, but your manager hasn’t cut you yet because they might need you. You sit there at the host stand waiting for a cue from your manager and servers. You see guests leave and you assume there’s a table to be bussed (that means cleaned off, for you non-restaurant folk). You go clean it, while narrowly escaping the throng that has formed around the bar. You remember that you’re slightly claustrophobic and definitely hate big groups of people. “Why am I working in a restaurant with a bar?” Check that, two bars.
Now, I’m not complaining; I love my job. I just realized that I prefer brunch, when people are getting tipsy on mimosas and not milling around getting in my way of seating diners at tables. The challenge of my job could be restricted to strategy and a game of Tetris. If we didn’t have a full bar with a small amount of standing room I’d be happier here at night. But the restaurant usually isn’t this crowded. Private events made it so that more bar guests have crowded into the front bar, which is waaaaay smaller than the one in our lounge.
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I am desperate for more to do at work, a way to stay motivated. I can’t figure out why I didn’t get the one thing I asked my previous manager for: more tasks. A way to make it worthwhile to him to have me at the restaurant, being paid. I’m bored out of my mind, so bored I’m writing at work. There’s nobody to seat at a table, there are three managers and nothing to do. So I’m writing and looking for things to clean. I want to stay motivated while I’m working here.
I’m thankful for both of my jobs, I’ve learned so much from working as a host at the front door of an extremely popular supper club and jazz bar. I have become more organized and thoughtful about planning the evening. On a busy night, I’m always super motivated and I can keep moving the whole time. I’m in charge of a lot of people’s experience: both our guests’ and my coworkers’ nights are determined by how well I do my part.
I love that feeling of being necessary to the overall flow of the night. I’ve found something I’m good at and want to continue furthering my career in this path. I want to be a server and then a manager in a restaurant. I also still want to work in a restaurant’s marketing/ public relations function. I’m motivated to find a job where I fit in with the team like I do at my current two jobs, with management that is similar to my newer job.
I did the thing. I asked to be trained as a server. I said, “You know how I’ve been taking care of tables upstairs when all the other servers move downstairs or go home? Is it a possibility for me to be officially trained as a server?” I was caught off guard when my manager looked surprised at my proposition and said he didn’t realize I wanted to serve, but that we could definitely talk about it. So…Yay me? At least I asked… So, I’m studying with this book to keep motivated:
As some of you know, I’m now a redhead. It’s a big change from the blonde look that has been my go-to for a couple of years now. It is not easy to put color back into your hair when it’s been bleached to hell. Juuuuust saying. my hair looks very much like an apricot right now. while I am definitely ok with it, it was not my desired result. I was going for something a little closer to Isla Fisher than a fun, unnatural pink-peach-red color…But like I said, it’s a challenge to go from very dark hair that has been bleached to a very light blonde and then put a red over it and not get a pink-toned outcome. I knew this from the start, but I’m willing to play around until I get to my intended hair color. I’m going to change topics without a segue because this one isn’t thaaaaaaaat interesting, even to me.
I’m really excited about a new development at my job: I’m going to be trained as a server! I’m not sure how official this is, as my manager loves to just come up with ideas and surprise me with them. Like when he gave me a raise to do office work in addition to hosting. I think it’s awesome that he trusts me to do things, but I don’t really care much for being thrown new tasks as if I know what I’m doing. I NEVER know what I’m doing.
I only know I can learn to do anything because I’m a student at heart. Always observing and trying to learn. Anyway, I’m planning to take advantage of this new bone my boss is throwing me and I’m gonna make my way to assistant manager as soon as possible. I want to be trusted to and useful. I want Black Cat to be the sleek-est, sexiest, Michael-Bauer-can-suck-it-because-we-ARE-amazing restaurant, ever!
Hopefully, being trained as a server will also make me rich, haha. Or at least help me pay off my student loans, which being a cook never did…I also really like the idea of taking care of people, which I can do as a host, but not as much as being a server. It’s more direct during dinner service. Kind of as if I get to spoil my friends and take care of them all night and show them a great time, except, I don’t know them and I’m getting paid to take care of them. Hopefully, the kitchen will go easy on me while I learn the seat numbers all over again, and learn the ins and outs of serving. I know it’s not really that hard, as long as I don’t get lazy and comfortable. I think that really is the difference in most aspects of life. Things are usually easy to do, but becoming too comfortable is always your downfall.
I’ve been struggling lately, trying to figure out what to do with myself now that the closure is official and I’m unemployed (by choice). I had no desire to work in our sister restaurant, a restaurant that does more than 100 covers on a nightly basis and is open for lunch. It is just too much for me. I have loved my restaurant coworkers more than any other aspect, which is crazy thinking about the fact that the actual cooking is what originally pulled me into the career. If I were a great cook, I would stay because I would love every aspect, but I just do not have the skills or drive anymore.
I decided to take a few days to myself, no boyfriend, no friends from work and visit my family. I got to go to the river and camp two nights, I shopped with my mom (not my most responsible part of this episode) and just relaxed. I needed a bit of perspective and I enjoyed the crap out of it!
My recent soul-searching has led me to take many career and personality quizzes. Apparently, I am a tribe member, a high-octane collaborator and an ENFP. I never saw myself as an extrovert as a child, but I know now that I just did not learn to be one until more recently. Working in the kitchen–and not being near my old friends, or my overly supportive family, who I relied on too much—has led me to become a more active extrovert who is willing to get shit done. However, I have not done much of anything constructive outside of my last job, too tired to write, too preoccupied to think about anything other than paying rent really. Now that I have this opportunity to take a deep breath—inhale relaxation, and exhale stress—I cannot let it pass without learning about who I am. Therefore, I took the quizzes as a basis for my soul-searching.
In summation of the quizzes, this is what I have gotten:
Energizer bunny that you are, your dream career is probably heavy on action and involves lots of hard starts and stops: a journalist, a project manager, a chef, a doctor, a firefighter, or anything fast-paced that relies on quick response time. And as an extrovert, you’d be great working in customer service, HR, or any role that involves reading and interacting with others (Bornforthis.com).
I also “love to interact with all kinds of people” and have an “expressive and warm manner that ideally sees lots of affirmation flowing both ways” (http://www.celebritytypes.com/test.php). According to my results clarityonfire.com, “To you, there’s nothing more rewarding than working toward a big vision with a team of people you love.”
I am clearly very motivated by working on a team and collaborating with my coworkers. I will shy away from solo projects because I find the interaction more motivating than just working by myself. As a tribe member, it is beneficial to me to eschew the ”responsibilities of business ownership, … use your leadership prowess to manage a team, take the reins on a project, and get to spend your valuable time doing what you’re good at” (clarityonfire.com). I want to be the one coming up with cool ideas and having other people work with me to reach unique, exciting, team-engaging goals. Most of all, I just want to feel like I belong to a group and am a necessary, contributing member of the team.
Aziza’s last weekend as Aziza, as I’ve grown to love it, is now upon me. As I sit on my ass during my lunch break, I have started to worry a little bit. Finally it’s hit me that I won’t have anything to do for an undefined amount of time–other than a much-anticipated trip to Harry Potter land and a baseball game for my birthday –this summer. I have decided that I’d like to avoid burning bridges and promise to come back when we reopen, but I’m also still intending to use this time as a respite to go visit family and see if I can’t improve my resume a little.
I’m getting jobs all of a sudden. Nothing big, but nothing small either.
Let me explain: I just graduated with my BA in LIt from UC Merced. I thought I’d be serving coffee by now, or at least everyone else thought I would be. I’ve always known I would make it, failure isn’t an option if I say it isn’t. And if you’ve read my other posts here on wordpress.com, you know I’ve gotten an experience only gig reviewing a couple of cool fantasy books. And that’s awesome! I’m really stoked about that.
Then, my beloved roommate recommended me as stand-in pet-sitter for a guy she usually pet-sits for. She’s going out of town at the same time he is, so of course, she couldn’t be there for him, and Raffy. So I’m going to go feed the sweet old pup and play a little fetch with him and basically hang out. Pretty cool, no?
Out of the blue I got my first job in publishing today; my friend from high school has an older brother. He just happens to need a proofreader for his book on guitar tab. She being the amazing friend that she is, suggested me. As a proofreader. For an e-book. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it because I was focusing all my efforts on summer school, but it’s a step in the right direction!