I was sixteen. I wanted a job in the Mall…..THE MALL! I wanted to work at Maurices or Outback Red. I wanted cool clothes and, like, totally awesome music playing over the loudspeakers in the store. Yeah, that was my goal……to be cool.
I can’t be positive on this, but I am sure Dad knew someone and got me hooked up with a job at the Mall. I was hired to be a waitress in a steak house. Cool isn’t the word I would use for that polyester uniform in the most flattering color of mustard and brown, but I guess it hid the stains well. I made $2.01 an hour plus tips, and the tips were terrible in the Mall.
It wasn’t a terrible job looking back on it. I learned people skills, real people skills. Real people eat in steak houses. They expected good service and good food. Abe did make good food……and it was real food……except for the salads. They came in huge buckets that we scooped into salad bar containers.
I learned how to clean, and most important, what a clean restaurant should look like. Every night the tables were pulled out. The wall was washed, the benches were washed, and everything on the table was washed, wiped down and refilled.
I learned you could vacuum jello. I know you shouldn’t, but we did. It was amazing how that vacuum just sucked it right up off from that orange steakhouse carpet. I wonder how often Abe had to buy new vacuums…..
So here are my life lessons I learned:
Be nice to your server.
You have entrusted them with your food. If you treat them like dirt, you may get a little dirt….or worse. I think this is why I laughed so hard at Minnie’s Chocolate Pie in the movie The Help. In the words of Woody in Toy Story, “So play nice!”
You can tell how clean a restaurant is from the table space.
Is the menu clean?
What do the condiments look like? Are they full?
What does the wall look like behind your booth?
These clues speak volumes about the Manager's cleaning policies.
Don’t eat from a buffet line.
I avoid buffet restaurants as often as possible. Have you ever watched how many people will return to the line with the same nasty, drippy plate, with all their slimy germs dripping back into the fresh food? Not so fresh anymore!
There are good buffet restaurants out there. Just watch how quick those awesome waitresses take your plate as soon as you swallow the last bite….no chance of returning with that slimy plate.
Let me know when you want to go catch a bite with me sometime soon!! I will try most places once, but I have been known to walk out before they even bring me a water…….and yes, I do tip well.