So, the reality of the situation is that I want to someday get paid to write. Sure, I have gotten paid for an article here and there, but it would be really cool to pursue my food and wine passions without hustling every single day for sales.
That being said, I need to practice more. A lot more.
That being said again (I guess I need to find another way to start a paragraph), I shall tell you about my first ever job in the restaurant industry.
When I was a sophomore in High School, my best friend Spencer got a job at TGI Fridays in Overland Park, KS in the shadow of the Oak Park Mall. From what he said about the job, it was the greatest thing ever. He could wear goofy clothes (those hats...ugh), made tons of money, and the hottie post-college waitresses would sneak shots of Malibu into his shift cola. He suggested that my friend Brody and I apply for jobs there as well.
I remember very little about the interview process except that I wore a dress shirt, tie, and pants that were likely a little too short at the ankle and snug in the waist. The lady that interviewed me seemed too old to work in a restaurant, and reeked of Parliament Cigarettes. Even though I thought I was interviewing for a bus boy position, she offered me a job as a front-door "host". I said sure to the $5.25/hour position and asked my parents to buy me a couple new shirts and pants.
Most of the memories that I have of my tenure at TGIF are more like Polaroids than actual memories. I do remember thinking that the ability to tell future-paying customers that they will need to wait an hour and a half to be able to sit down to their grilled chicken and free piece of birthday cake was an awful lot of power for a 16 year old kid.
The following are other snapshots that I have in my mind:
There was a head bus boy nick-named "Crash" because he once knocked over an entire cart of racks of glasses, breaking them all. We thought he was cool.
There was a poser-type host named Ryan that had frat boy hair, and drove a white mercedes that his parents gave him. He once lost the car for a couple days because he let some girl at a bar take it for a spin. The cops called him two days later when they found it abandoned in the parking lot of a K-Mart.
I watched the OJ white-bronco chase on one of the overhead TVs during a shift.
That restaurant was the first time I ever got hit on by a guy. I was so incensed (he worked there) that a manager told me not to hit him, otherwise he would have to fire me.
There was this stacked dude named Reggie that got me to come out and play softball with the restaurant team one time. I struck out all three times up at bat, and a waitress slid me a Cape Cod at the ensuing lunch.
There was this petite little waitress there- I'm not kidding, she was like 4'2" and must have weighed 87 lbs- that was always getting sent home for wearing too short of a skirt. When I came back from college and was drinking some sort of frozen peppermint schnapps drink at the bar, she ran up and hugged me like we were long-lost best friends. That made me feel special.
I once got a phone number from a lady that wanted "one last fling" before she got married. I didn't follow up on that opportunity- probably for the best.
I saw Expos in the kitchen drop food on the floor, pick it up, plate it, and serve it. I saw waitstaff box up pieces of cake that were left on the table with two bites taken out of it, take them home, and eat them.
There was a girl named Heather that got fired because she dropped a GI Joe toy tent on a table that had been "camping" too long.
I used to tell girls that I went to UMKC so they would talk to me. I was in high school.
I'm sure there are more memories that will pop into my bewildered mind. Hang tight- more to come.