The Restaurant

The Restaurant
Formal Dining

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Getting a Job in the Restaurant: Co-Workers

I suppose it is with mixed feelings I can report that the hospitality industry, restaurants in particular, are possibly filled with quite literally with dozens of personalities. If you go into a law firm, you'll see an over whelming majority of business types, same with accounting or other professional service. If you go to a car garage you'll find people that love working on cars, with the restaurant... It's a grab bag of everything. While it is nearly impossible to describe every single person that walks through the doors looking for a job, there can be many generalizations.

This kind of person is always trying to be the best (typically not the boss, but always sucking up). They are constantly complaining about something not done right, health codes, company policy, etc. etc. This person usually has some experience and wants to do a good job, but can be a pain to deal with. They are sticklers for the rules and will bust your chops for over-portioning anything. The kind of person that grabs a scale or thermometer to check your work for no apparent reason. There aren't too many of these kind of people, not that many people really care.

Passing Through
There is a lot of these kinds of people. There are many different sub-sections to this group:
  • Schoolers: They are putting themselves through school, no real interest in the job. Depending on where you live, there can be a whole lot of these people.
  • Out-of-Workers: Laid-off/fired recently, feels like the job is beneath them, seeking a 'real' job.
  • Part-Timers: They have a 9-5 job somewhere they are miserable at and enjoy doing something different. They are usually pleasant to work with, but no real loyalty to the restaurant.
  • DJs: These guys are 'DJs' or 'actors' that work for a steady paycheck until the band's hit single tops the charts. Usually they are cool enough, but you may pick up a lot of their slack. Worst part is they may ask you to come to a show or listen to a mix tape...
High Schoolers
We were all there once. Probably their first job, no experience, usually lazy, somewhat stupid to the world around them, etc. etc. They come and go, and it wouldn't be fair to generalize too much about them. I only mention them because you won't typically see high schoolers working at a dentist's office.

Pot Heads
These guys are just looking for some cash to feed the monkey on their back. No real drive in life, no cares, no worries, all of which translates to pulling your weight plus theirs. They are usually slow, clumsy, just generally not a great person to work with. They care about nothing, but it's not uncommon for one of them to be throwing a party on any given weekday.

This may seem horrible to say but what's a person to do without an education. I suppose they can be a day laborer or work at a restaurant. Either one.

Old people that want to make some money on the backend of their life, maybe even waited tables or was a car hop in the 1950's. Times have changed Grand-dad, you move too slow, this "computer-thing-a-ma-jig" is called a point-of-sale (POS), and you take too long to ring anything in, your memory isn't as sharp as it used to be, and if I have to tell you "NO pickles" one more time I might scream. Also, I've got my own tables to worry about I can't carry all of your food for you.

There is a large population of immigrant workers in restaurants. I have worked with Mexicans, Hondurans, El Salvadorans, Filipinos, Chinese, and people from the Sudan. This is only the surface of it. Most of these people are hard workers. They may have a speech barrier but they are some of the best workers around.

There are all of these different kinds of people, yet I have seen the patterns of them over and over again. This isn't meant to be rude to the elderly (sorry, but you really can't teach an old dog a new POS system) or the uneducated (I am in this industry!) just a glimpse into the world I love. This is just a sample of the kinds of people I work with, and how much or how little they care about the customer.

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