Monday, May 26, 2014

Can This Old Dog Really Learn New Tricks?

I've been a server for well over three decades and still dread when I have to start over at a new place.

You may think serving is like riding a bicycle but boy have bicycles changed over the decades. I walked in today and felt like I needed training wheels!

Everyone was very nice and I took tons of notes. I have a lot to learn but think I can do it.

It's not much fun having to leave the house almost two hours before work but learned today I may need to add a few minutes to my early departure. Last week I was in orientation on the T concourse, a five minute walk from the Marta train...but first there's security to get through. Sometimes there's maybe five people in front of you, sometimes there's thirty, and that's the employee line. They told me last week (I was the only one in orientation working on F concourse) that when I arrived at the airport on Marta, should just walk back out the door and ride the shuttle to the International terminal and go through security there instead.

I had to be at work at three so left the house at one thirty. Made it to the airport by two thirty and got off the Marta train. I saw a guy I recognized from the restaurant when I went by last week to get my schedule.


I tapped him on the shoulder on the escalator and asked if he was headed to work? He looked at me like I was an idiot (he isn't far off) but nodded and asked if I could tag along?  He said sure so I followed like a lost puppy. At least now I know how and where to catch the shuttle bus. The ride ate up  fifteen more minutes Security wasn't nearly as crowded in the international terminal but still walked into the restaurant at 2:56 which made me nervous and convinced me to leave the house thirty minutes earlier tomorrow.

The Atlanta airport is like a huge city in itself. After three days of orientation on the domestic side I pretty much learned my way around...well not my way around so much but at least  my way to the training room. Going from concourse T to concourse F is like leaving one city and going to another.

So little ole country me is working in a place where people from all over the world come to eat. I still haven't tried the grilled octopus but seems to sell like crazy. I skipped trying the beef tongue for now (baby steps) but was curious enough to ask if I could see the whole thing before they whacked it up to look like pot roast? They have Fava beans and the only time I've ever even heard of those was in Silence of the Lambs if that says anything about how much of a bumpkin I am. Heck they look like Lima's to me. The chef said they look like them but have a completely different taste. (We'll see about that!)

They make their own mozzarella and ricotta every day which impressed me but guess if you can afford a ticket to France you can afford to eat in a place that makes their own cheese.

Yes, I'm a little out of my league but know the basics of serving. I guess it IS like riding a bicycle.

When I started with Red Lobster right out of college I was riding a tricycle. Johnny's Pizza for the next fourteen years was like moving up to an old school Red Rider. We'll call working at the Western Sizzler for thirteen years (not the real name of the place but still refuse to say it) a Banana Bike. My current comfort place, Mama's is like a ten speed. After walking in today and seeing not only the menu but also the wine list wondered how a fifty four year old woman could learn to ride a Crotch Rocket in ten days?

Guess I'll find out!

So I'm heading back tomorrow, thirty minutes earlier and a little bit wiser. I can already tell it's going to be hard but the last five years of my life have been excruciatingly hard but made it this far.

Four more days of learning about fancy food and wine and then I'm back to my ten speed, eight minutes away from home but feels like home.

In the words of my eighteen year old daughter "I got this."

Sometimes you have to step out of the box and step out I will. If I can learn it all and get used to the added travel time, security and waiting on people who have enough money to buy and sell me, I'll be okay.

Huge, HUGE shout out to my bosses at Mama Lucia's for letting me take this tremendous leap of faith. I know it's hard for them to see me splitting my time between the two jobs but  think this may be our saving grace and have absolutely no plans to desert them, only want to speed up our financial recovery.

It will be nice to walk back into Mama's on Saturday and pick up where I left off... my comfort zone.

Til next time,  COTTON

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