Saturday, August 28, 2010


"Well, what can I say...I'm just that good."  Thats what I said (to a few friends) when I was told last night that I was officially out of training -- one to two days earlier than most would have been graduated.  In fact, out of the three people who started when I did, I am the only one who got an early release.   Some would call that arrogance...I call it "doing what I gotta do to get the hell out of being a slave."

For those of you who do not work in the industry, or who work in the factories fast food sector and are preparing to move up in the world, training week for a server is probably the worst part of the job ever.  Granted, you usually get a free dinner to sample the wares that you will be peddling to people like a homeless Mexican selling chicklets from the corner, but the rest of it sucks.

The first day is usually all classroom type know, going over the floor chart1, the menu, taking a tour of the facility, and maybe a food running gig or a few hours of standing around with the hostess'.  The second and third days are usually spent following your trainer around like a lost puppy.  Learning the lingo, seeing how the process works, getting drink refills and running food for your trainer, all while making $0 in cash.  Yes, you earn minimum wage, but for those of us in the more upscale places, thats just a fraction of what you are missing in tips.

The fourth and fifth days are usually spent being your trainers bitch.  By this time, you are generally expected to know your way around the menu, the restaurant, and have a pretty good idea of what and where  things are.  And the trainers love it.  These are the days that you, the trainee, get to do ALL of the work...from the greeting, to the check back, to delivery, to closing of the ticket...everything short of owning the table, for no money at all.  That's right, your trainer keeps 100% of your earnings (you do get minimum wage on a paycheck).  I remember when I was a trainer at my last restaurant.  I always requested the first and last days of the trainees education so that I would have a slave to do everything.  Yes, it can be considered lazy, but seriously folks, trainers have been there for a while and often enjoy having the relaxed day to break up the monotony that is a restaurant.  So I do see both sides of this argument quite well.

To top it off, most restaurants, and 99% of corporate ones, require you to take a test after each day of training.  Normally, this isn't such a bad thing as it does force the trainee to actually learn something.  However, there are those, myself included, who suck at tests like Bush sucked as a president.  At my restaurant we are supposed to take 3 tests for 5 training days...two tests on the food and procedure, and one on alcohol.  I only took two, and the two I took were relatively easy.  

So you understand why I am so damn happy to be out of training a day early....and on a Saturday night!  Not only will all my work and energy go to providing ME with cash money, but the feeling of being watched 24/7 will diminish slightly from here on out.  I am nobody's bitch today.  I am free.

1Floor Chart: The chart that management gives to hostesses to show where a servers section is. It is also given to trainees to learn the table numbers and restaurant layout.