My birthday is in the summer, so I was lucky enough to start my very first job on my 16th birthday at a Pizza parlor. Since then, I’ve worn many hats, aprons, name tags and wreaked of various sauces, soups and salads over the years before finally landing a ‘real job’. While there are many jobs to choose from, one summer job takes the prize as the worst.
When I was about 18, I got hired on as a server at a soup and salad buffet style restaurant. It was a chain restaurant popular in the east coast that was trying to break into the California market. It was the only one like it for hundreds of miles; the place couldn’t count on name recognition. Since it was pretty slow usually, it was common that one server would serve the entire floor which probably had a max occupancy of 100.
In theory, this 1:100 ratio seemed reasonable especially since it was a buffet style restaurant and my only responsibilities where refilling drinks and checking out customers when they were through. In reality, I found myself running frantically between the soda bar and the cashier drawer trying desperately to keep patrons from seeing the bottom of their soda glasses. By the end of my shift, the place was a mess!
I should add that another one of my responsibilities was to clear tables and dump all the remaining food and soup into this disgusting bin. By the end of the night, that bin looked like a swamp that would intimidate the Lock Ness monsters! One time, I accidently dropped the cashier key into the stew of grime and had to stick my hand in to find it. It was beyond gross!
As the only server, I also had to clean every table, tray and counter and mop the entire floor before locking up the store. It was a gruesome job which left my 18 year old body feeling 81. But before I had a chance to throw in the towel, I learned the restaurant went out of business when a coworker called me on my day off. The managers had not even informed any of us and had simply left a sign on the door. To this day, I am missing my final paycheck! But to be honest, I was relieved it was over and I would never see the bin of bile again!