For a couple of years, I thought it might be fun for the blog if I were to get a job at one of the places I continuously trash. You know, like Olive Garden or Applebee’s. Two weeks ago, as I walked past Olive Garden, I decided to fill out an application and see what happened. “There’s no way they will even call me in for an interview,” I thought. After all, if you Google my real name, the first thing that comes up is something about Bitchy Waiter. Surely whoever is in charge of hiring would do a simple Google search on prospective employees. But I guess they didn’t because three days later they called me for an interview. I decided to see how far I could go with this charade. I went to my interview on March 27th.
I arrived with my hair pulled pack in a tight pony-tail and I was freshly shaven to give the appearance that I could be corporate. It’s been years since I have done a corporate chain, but I knew how to play the part. The manager who interviewed me was named Charlie (yes, I changed the name for this blog) and I quickly realized I have been waiting tables since he was in diapers. My first thought when I looked at him: “Goddam, his forehead is bigger than mine. I did not know that was possible.” After discussing my experience, why I want to work at Olive Garden (“I really like the food and I have heard that Darden is a great company to work for!”) and how I need to keep at least one or two shifts at my other job, I walked out with a starting date.
Wait, what? It was that easy? My ego was a little bruised because I couldn’t help but think, “Don’t they know who I am??” Apparently, they don’t. Ouch. I started on March 29th. And my husband thinks I’m nuts.
I show up at 3:00 on Wednesday to fill out my paperwork and do my first trail shift. As I walk in the door, I can’t help but worry that someone who works there is going to recognize me and blow my cover. In another shattering blow to my ego, no one does. I am also the oldest person on the staff except for a cook who looks like he is either a lot older than me or has never heard of moisturizer. Somewhere in the mountain of papers, I am pretty sure I signed something that made me promise I would not blog, Tweet, Facebook or whatever about my job. You can see that I took that very, very seriously.
My trainer is Timmy (name changed) and he is actually pretty cool. He’s about 30 years old and is an actor so we instantly click when we talk about our love for musical theater. My shift begins at 4:00 and he tells me I will be there until about 9 or 10:00 depending on how busy it is. When he shows me a list of what all I will be learning over the next few shifts I am completely shook. The vast amount of crap is mind boggling. We get our first table at 4:45 when a lunch person named Alberta (actual name because it does not get better than being named Alberta) transfers her check to Timmy because she’s “on the rag and can’t handle this place right now.” That table leaves pretty soon so I learn how to close a check and then I take it upon myself to go bus the table and reset it.
Charlie the manager appears. “Hey, I like your self-motivation, but how did you know how to reset the table?”
“Well, I just looked at the other tables to see how they were set and then copied them. Is that alright?”
What Charlie did next seemed right out of a movie to me. He grinned and tapped his forefinger to his head and said, “And that’s how to use the old noggin, buddy boy. Keep it up, keep it up.”
Are you fucking kidding me, Charlie? I already hate him, but he’s going to be great for the blog. Timmy lets me do whatever I need to do for the rest of the night. He knows that the training is just a formality, but stresses how important the menu tests are. The POS is pretty simple to pick up and table numbers I can memorize in one night. I just have to get thorough the four trailing shifts.
Who knows how long I will keep this up. This cannot be a job I keep forever and I am doing it for the sole purpose of getting some good blog posts out of it. It’s going to be difficult to balance this job with my other restaurant, but I can get my some of those shifts covered for a couple of weeks in order to see what it’s like on the inside of Olive Garden. I will do my best to take some photos every now and then and my goal is to do a Facebook Live video from the bathroom. That’s right, I am living life in the danger zone.
- The menu test is going to be the death of me, but I bet that they will keep me even if I fail it.
- It was a very slow night so I didn’t get the full experience.
- The sections are small.
- Timmy is cool.
- Charlie is a fucking idiot.
- Alberta has a cool name and is going to become a regular character on this blog because she is straight up crazy/psychotic and wears way too much make up.
- What will come first? Me being fired or me quitting?
Wish me luck! I am officially in the Olive Garden family!