Growing Up In The Family Restaurant
The experience of working in my family restaurant taught me the importance and reward of challenging work. Growing up I was immersed in the restaurant industry from an early age, I distinctly remember going into the restaurant on Sundays and watching my dad do inventory and preparing many different items that would be implemented in service later that week. When I turned twelve, I got my first genuine experience working. In the dish pit, not the most glamorous position I had in my twelve-year-old mind. That first summer was difficult for me, being in the roasting hot kitchen, getting wet and gross from splashing water and discarded food, and having to work at a pace I was not used to so that service could run smoothly. On top of this being the youngest person in the restaurant I felt out of place. My dad used to say to me "to work at the higher positions in the restaurant you must learn how to work hard and have respect for all the positions that allow the entire restaurant to run smoothly, for you that starts with washing dishes." While I didn't understand that completely in the moment and took a "whatever you say dad" attitude looking back I am grateful for this lesson because it taught me that just because I may be in a higher position than someone it does not mean that I have more value than them especially in a business where all parties come together to work to a common goal. As I grew older, I continued to work hard and eventually moved onto my next role as a server's assistant which provided a new set of its own challenges. I was now required to dress more formally for my role which meant I now had to plan before work to make sure my uniform was clean and pressed so that I could look presentable for guests dining at our establishment. With this promotion came a separate set of responsibilities, I would have to learn and remember table and seat numbers, balance multiple dishes to distribute, interact with guests to provide an experience to remember, as well as clear tables and re-fill drinks. While learning to handle these tasks, mistakes were made, plates dropped, drinks spilled but I quickly excelled. I enjoyed speaking with customers and helping them, as always there were rude customers who treated me without respect which took me a minute to grasp how to engage with them properly. This usually involved listening to them and then responding with composure, regardless of their actions. I also started to enjoy work, I was able to connect with other employees and even though the work was still demanding it was nice to be in a comradery environment. Around the time I turned seventeen I received another promotion; I was finally a server. This is the job I always desired, I got to run the show, guide customers though the menu, and make tips. I now could truly understand the saying "you reap what you sow", now that I was a server my pay would be solely biased on the quality of my service, it was good I would make better tips if not the money would not come in. Even though I knew the menu well, this motivated me to learn it inside and out, the wines, drink pairings, prices, the works. I was intrigued by this new role I took on and I was more motivated than ever to work hard and use all my skills to provide magnificent service. I am forever grateful to my dad for my first role as a dishwasher that taught me the meaning of hard work, efficiency, and respect that have assisted me in many aspects of my life up to this point and into the future.