Sunday, September 5, 2010


Isn't it funny how fast one becomes integrated with a new staff?  I mean, when you first start out at a new restaurant, you are of course, the odd man out.  Nobody knows you, and you don't know anyone (usually).  This makes for an interesting first few days as you feel out who the 'cool' people are, who is boinking who, and the general pecking order of your new establishment.

Top the social anxiety with the lack of knowledge about your new place and things become tepid at best.  However, within a few days, one usually has gained enough respect from the existing crew for the hazing to stop and the 'hellos' to begin.  And that's where I found myself last night.  

Having been on the floor for about 5 days on my own, staff are more receptive to my pleas for help, more inclined to offer advice and opinions on a wide variety of subjects, and the time is passing quicker now.  Yet I still find myself in that awkward spot of not knowing the back stories to conversations, the hidden meanings inside the 'inside jokes,' and some -- those that have been there since the door opened -- are still distant.  And I don't blame them.  Most new folks only last two to three weeks after training if they weren't going to make it starting out, so why bother getting to know someone you may only 'know' for 2 weeks.  In an industry where turnover is about as high as the national debt, do you really blame us?  

So yes, it's getting better, but I'm still nervous about a whole lot of things...changing jobs is never easy after all.  I've made a few work-friends and with the exception of the minor snags of ignorance on policy, obscure menu items, and the ungodly long wine list, things are going well.  Hopefully soon going to work will be 'just another day at work' and the customer stories will truly commence.