Chattanooga schools were released for summer break last Friday. I knew this was coming and had been hoping to spend the summer with lots and lots of nannying/babysitting jobs. I had some fabulous business cards made (shout out to Serena and Sweetpea Designs), enlisted a couple of well connected moms on the mountain to spread the word and waited for the calls to pour in.
But they haven't so much poured as they have dripped. One drop at a time.
I began to realize that the one job I had sworn I would never do again was now beckoning to me. Yes, it was time to look for a place at which I could wait tables.
I earned my place at UNC-CH my freshman and sophomore year by waiting tables at Bandido's, a popular Mexican restaurant on Franklin Street. That first year after college, The Year of The Many Part-Time Jobs, I waited tables at Macaroni Grill. Waitressing is exhausting, often thankless, grueling and sometimes humiliating. Pride told me that after the age of thirty I would no longer be submitted to such humiliation.
Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Realistic times call for realistic measure so back to the apron and notepad it was for me.
After careful consideration I decided to try to find a place where I wouldn't have to go through rigorous training (I literally used notecards to help pass The Macaroni Grill waitstaff test) and where I wouldn't have to wear a collared shirt or tie of any sort. My mind drifted across the memory of a particular BBQ place from which we had ordered takeout when we first moved to The Mountain House. On the mountain, laidback, easy menu to learn. Score.
I dropped by last Thursday, inquired as to whether or not they were hiring and began to fill out an application. While I was filling it out the hostess went to the back section where I could hear a baby fussing and soon returned with the baby in her arms. Suprised but curious I inquired, "Oh, how cute! Is she yours?"
"Yes ma'am," was the proud reply.
Now, at this point, I really had to stop myself from saying, "You have a baby...in a BBQ restaurant!" a la "Sweet Home Alabama" (the movie, not the song) and I'm pretty sure her response would have been the same as Lurlynn's.
In any case, by the time I had finished the application I was hired, had agreed to show up on Tuesday for the dinner shift and was told to wear whatever was comfortable. Awesome. Laidback and no fuss. It was all sounding so good.
Fast forward to this past Tuesday, I show up and am told that I will be training under a nineteen year old who arrived for work wearing a dirty, untucked shirt and flip flops. Um, is there such a thing as too laidback? Around six o'clock while we waited on our ONE table, he told me that he would give me the skinny on the place.
Apparently, the boss never actually pays you a paycheck. How is this possible, you ask? The employees are given only the stub and then are put in a position where they have to ask the boss for the actual money. My trainer informed me that he hasn't received a paycheck in seven months and the hostess confimed that she was owed quite a bit of money as well.
Uh huh. Okay...
To make matters worse, over the course of my shift we sat only ten tables over five hours. And the piece de resistance? I saw five cockroaches (dead and alive) on various food prep and serving surfaces and watched food containers banged against the side of a disgustingly gross trashcan be reused and the food items in them served to customers.
Yeah, I was out of there.
After lining up some babysitting work today, I gave notice. I momentarily debated as to whether I should give notice in person or just call. After a quick Twitter poll, Abby put it best, "While it may be the proper thing to go in and deliver the message, do you really need to be proper for the Cockroach Grill?"
Amen, sister. Cockroaches trump polite quitting etiquette every dang time.