Monday, June 16, 2014


So yesterday I took my big "Final Exam" at the new place. I stayed up until three AM the night before studying and making a cheat sheet for a couple of things thought I may forget, just in case.

I left the house a little after six thirty and got there in time to cram for thirty more minutes before clocking in at eight thirty. The general manager doesn't come in til after twelve thirty so once again just followed another server and asked tons of questions, taking notes one more time.

Around three he pulled me to the side and handed me a ten page typewritten test. Once I started taking it immediately felt better about my chances of passing. I knew most all the answers and gave them with great detail. Out of all ten pages there were about four questions which stumped me. One of the best servers came by the table where I was and asked if I needed any help? I told him not so far but to come back when I got to the wine section, my weakest area.

What the Heck? I even knew THOSE answers, luckily because it asked to describe three different dry,crisp white wines in detail as if talking to a guest. I had started with white wines when first beginning to study and at least had those down pretty well.

"We have a nice Sauvignon Blanc from Cassablanca Valley, Chile with a nice brassy finish with notes of citrus, melons and pears or maybe you'd like the Domaine Fournier, our Sav Blanc from France with huge notes of apple and grass. Another nice selection could be Weingut Hiedler, a Gruner Veltliner from the Kamptal region of Austria.


I remembered the wine from Chile had a brassy tone because Gus Frenz, the Los Pollos chicken dude who had Walter White making meth for him in Breaking Bad was from Chile and certainly had BRASS cajones. I remembered  Veltliner was from Austria because it's where the Von Trapp's were from in The Sound of Music. I knew Domaine Fournier was from France simply because it "Sounded French."

So I'm no wine Sommelier, but at least it's a start. Baby steps!

It took me a little over an hour to complete the test and never even needed my little cheat sheet. I gave it to the GM and he said I could leave to go home. He told me to clock in as a server on Sunday and they would start me with a one table section. Hey! One's better than none.

I clocked in today at one thirty and did some sidework, catching the morning crew up by polishing glasses and silverware, filling the ice bin and folding linens for tables.

Around two thirty the hostess came into the kitchen and told me I had a table. I went out and greeted seven guys, all musicians with guitar cases in tow.'re gonna start me out with a seven top?

Then the next thing a new server hates hearing came out of one guy's mouth.

"We'll all need separate checks."

Hot flash number one started immediately. I pulled out my index card telling me step by step how to split checks and add the 18% gratuity.

Thank The Lord I'm an excellent note taker! (not to mention my buddy who trained me was there and watched to make sure I did it right)

I figured I was done for a while since only having a one table section when the hostess came up and told me to pick up table 160. Then ten minutes later they sat me another table.

After my initial nervousness settled down, found my groove and things got easier.

Then the manager came up to me and said a server called in sick and was moving me to her six table section.

Lucky for me it was an extremely slow day. I kept up and didn't make any major goofs.

At the end of the shift I sat with a couple of other servers and they helped me do my check out.

The break down went like this:

Every check has an added eighteen percent gratuity. If they pay with a credit card that tip will be put on my paycheck and direct deposited into my bank account on payday, every other Thursday. If they tip in cash I walk with the tip. Anything extra over the eighteen percent they may add on a credit card the manager gives me in cash to take home. I had $130.00 in 18% charge tips which will go on my next paycheck. I had $73.00 in added gratuity which the manager gave me to walk with. One guy had tipped me ten extra in cash so kept that too.

I tipped out ten to the guy who is the server assistant and nine to the bar. I walked out with over sixty bucks in my pocket and had another $130 which will be on my paycheck, a total of Over $190.00.

In essence I walked out shortly before eleven, after a slow night with a song in my heart and spring in my step.

Boy did THAT make the MARTA ride back to my once again borrowed vehicle a lot more pleasant!

I"m not used to things getting better or even going right but looks like I'd better get used to it!

I'm calling "Hells Fargo" who holds our mortgage tomorrow and telling them to draft a mortgage payment out of my account on payday, the twenty sixth. Then tell them to take out another one two weeks later on my next payday, making us current.

So I'm going to use this job to pay the mortgage and have enough to cover most of the utilities with my paycheck. Mama Lucia's money two days a week will buy groceries, gas and dog food. The extra cash I get from the airport will be running money, the start of a savings account and help with Massey's college education.

Can it be we're finally turning the corner?

This used to be us but actually think we may be finally seeing this next one in our near future.

Yes I have to leave my house two hours before my shift, borrow a vehicle and drive to the MARTA station and fight the masses on public transportation for a three minute ride, then go through a security screen after another fifteen minute ride on a shuttle to the international concourse but if it means keeping this house we are less than four years away from owning outright I'll do it and be grateful for the opportunity.

Yep I ache and feel like a granny most all the time, but am about granny age anyway.

Jeez, I wear my peepers just like this and most probably have more wrinkles and gray hair but at least both weigh about the same.

Here's what totally blows me away.

My brother in law, Harvey loaned us an older car for four weeks but kept it over a year before the transmission went out. It's still in our driveway and a reminder of how much he has done for us. After that, a blog reader offered me the use of a spare car and got me to the airport for my initial interview for this new second job. Then my next door husband loaned me his little spare Ford Ranger so I could finish training for my new job. My car which have been paying on for over two years should be ready this next week. Tim's car is also in the shop but should be ready before his second job interview on Wednesday. My brother has pretty much helped put Massey through her first year of college.

Our life has pretty much sucked for quite a while but always been blessed and taken care of by family, friends and peeps who love me.

I pray they all know how much they have not only meant to me but how much their kindness has inspired me to keep not only the faith but to keep on fighting.

Going to bed knowing I made the right decision. Sometimes you have to step out of the box, sometimes you have to step back and realize you may be over thinking the solution because heartstrings are strong.

No worries to my Mama Lucia's family.

 I'll  never forget or abandon you, simply because you are the ones who picked me up when at my lowest and have helped, loaned, hollered at but always loved me.

Looks like I have the best of both worlds right now, and a pretty nice place to be after five years of worry and constant turmoil.

Til next time...COTTON

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