Perhaps I was just predestined to acquire a mermaid.
Years after I had worked my last shift in a restaurant, I would still occasionally have what I call the ‘Oh, crap!’ dream, in which the hostess had sat my entire section simultaneously, meaning that all the tables wanted drinks at once, to order at once, and the food came out all at once. The chef screaming to ‘pick up the *#@*ing food, already!’.Me, to the hostess: ‘Do you hate me for some reason?’. I’d wake up in a total panic.
If you’ve ever worked in the service industry (restaurant, bar, catering, hotel, etc) you probably understand this dream. Hey, you’ve probably HAD some version of this dream. Because what you do in all those jobs is hustle….while (hopefully) making it all appear effortless.
All of this is front of mind at the moment because my daughter has recently started as a server at a busy restaurant in Greenwich Village, a nice way to make some green while interning in the city this summer. But she’s also been indoctrinated into those ‘Oh, crap!’ moments: working a huge banquet solo, the manager who can’t decide how to divide the sections, or the bartender who may or may not have imbibed a bit before his shift. Not much like working at the Franklin Country Club.
These experiences are painful in the moment, and fertile ground for nightmares. But useful, too. Working in the service industry teaches you many, many valuable skills: problem-solving, creativity, improvisation, co-operation. Resiliency, for sure. Most of all, these jobs teach you to MOVE. When the restaurant is buried in customers, efficiency and speed are not optional; they’re a must. Lastly, ex-servers make better customers. If you’ve already dealt with jerks, you rarely want to be one.
Restaurant experience is definitely valuable in retail. While we aren’t serving you at a table, we are serving whatever needs, wants, and whims customers bring into the store. As for hustle and bustle, retail redefines the phrase-and we love every busy, crazy minute of it.
Cassie is also a restaurant veteran, just one of the reasons she has been such a terrific addition to the store. As we continue to grow the business, we’re looking for a part-time employee who enjoys interesting beverages. Restaurant experience would be a definite plus.