Sunday, May 1, 2016

Another Week Closer

Today was the Friday of my work week. I didn't think it would ever get here. The international terminal at the airport is already insanely busy, getting busier every single week and it's not even May yet. Luckily for me, I work in the only five star restaurant in the entire airport and some people trek all the way out to concourse F just to eat with us even if they are flying domestic.

It's kind of weird. I'm nowhere near a neat freak at home and rarely even set an alarm clock. I wear the same grubby clothes day after day and never wear makeup.

At work, I'm always on time if not early. My uniform is starched and looks professional. I even have a certain few pair of socks I wear because they match my work apron. At work I'm fastidious to anal at best. I'm a neat freak about every single facet of my job. I even go in every day and rearrange the linen cabinet where we keep the folded napkins for the tables. I pick up trash off the floor, wipe counters off and even constantly clean up after not only myself but everyone else.

Guess I was born with the Server gene.

I can say with a certain confidence that I will be sorely missed. I'll be missed by management which knows can always count on me to be on time, look sharp and diligent in every aspect of my job.

I'll probably even be missed by the small handful of slackers and misfits who I still to this day wonder how the hell keep this job other than the fact I continually pick up their slack and sometimes even do their work.

It used to really bother me. They're late or sometimes don't come in at all. In the two years I've been there have called out exactly two times. Their uniform is dingy and work sloppy at best. They never go the extra mile but tend to have to be dragged through the shift.

I was lamenting to one of my former managers about it around Christmas when I had dinner with him. He summed up perfectly and instantly changed my frustration into almost pitying their lack of ethic.

He asked me if I was making good money?

I told him it was borderline redonkulously incredible.

He said "Do your job, make your money and forget about the rest".

What he said totally changed my thought process and has inspired me to be an even better server. My money has increased each and every week. Yes, I may have an off night maybe twice a month but is to be expected when gambling (serving) for a living.

Don't worry about what other people aren't doing. Worry about doing your job right. I know for a fact that (luckily) I'm included in the small a handful of servers who make what I do and just like me, work extremely hard for it. The others just simply get by and seem okay with that.

Not me.

Every day I drag myself together, slap on makeup and wear a freshly pressed shirt. I give Hershey's kisses to each and every customer telling them "Here's a goodbye kiss from me and thanks for coming in."

I come home every night exhausted but overly compensated. Then I get up and do it again.

I'm putting money into savings for the first time in almost ten years. I connect with each and every table and in return am blessed. I know what wines to suggest and what food to offer. I anticipate needs and realize when to leave a guest alone.

 I still get this feeling when tired and is five minutes to closing but if am already there, you never know what that last table may leave you.

My very last table of the night was a couple from Scotland. I was tired, it was late and was ready to go but seemed as if I felt like a million bucks, had just clocked in and was the first table I'd had as I greeted them...because that's what I'm paid to do.

They were receptive to all my suggestions and actually seemed interested in what I had to say. She had a glass of our best cabernet and loved it. They ordered things I'd suggested and loved those too. It was closing time so had plenty of time to chat as I began to break down the patio area where they were seated. We talked about where all they have traveled, even talked politics and laughed together about Donald Trump.

You have to be able to read your guests. Some want to talk about certain things and some don't want to talk at all.

You must be intuitive as a server and able to go in the direction your guest wants.

They were awesome, made my night and rewarded me handsomely. I came home and crashed after sorting bills and doing laundry.

(Now it's the next day)

I woke up this morning around ten, after going to sleep around three. Just like (probably) everyone else in this pitiful techno savvy world, checked my cell phone.

As have mentioned before, am anal about my job and always check Yelp and Tripadvisor at least twice a day to see how my restaurant is faring.


I've been mentioned once or twice in a review but to be called a massive asset to my company is the greatest thing a "Lifer" like me could ever hope to hear or read.

I'm giving these next four months left at the airport my all, even going to try and to kick it up a notch and ultimately walk away a winner.

This should be every server's motto. If it isn't, you shouldn't be one.

Just saying.

Til next time...COTTON

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