..I’m on a kick about discussing some of my previous jobs (in other words, I have writer’s block). My first real job lasted approximately 10 minutes – We went to this local restaurant for 8th grade graduation (we being me, some friends, and our parents). We – the kids, decided to apply for a job at said restaurant. Later that fall, I received a phone call – a lady from the restaurant informed me that I was hired (as a bus-boy), and that I should come in the next afternoon.
I was pretty excited and nervous at the same time … I was just going into 9th grade, and outside of helping my dad with his tool and dye side work in the garage, I never really did much outside of take the trash out or mow the lawn. I went in dressed in a white buttoned-down shirt and black pants, per the lady’s instructions. I walked in the door, announced to somebody that I was called in to work, and one of the bus-boys began taking me on my tour.
My first question (something I probably should’ve asked prior to accepting the offer) had to do with my hours. For some reason, I figured I’d work from 3-7, or 3-8 … I’m not sure where I came up with that number, but when they told me it was more like 3 to midnight, I almost swallowed my tongue. When the hell was I supposed to do my school work? What about the high school sports teams I wanted to play for? I didn’t let on that I was shocked by the hours, as the bus boy continued showing me around the place.
Basically, he showed me how to clear and set tables, and take the table cloths to the washing machines. It seemed pretty simple, so far. Then, he took me into the kitchen, where I would be dropping off the plates, silverware, and glasses. Maybe it was karma, just bad timing, or a combination of both, but as I walked into the kitchen, I saw one of the “chefs” drop a piece of meet on a really dirty floor (I’m assuming it was accidental), and then pick it up and throw it back on the grill like nothing happened. It made my stomach turn, as this was a restaurant I had enjoyed in the past.
I immediately knew that I would never be able to work there under any circumstances … ever. I told the bus-boy “mentor” that my mom was still outside, and I had to let her know that she could leave. The bus-boy felt that this was a reasonable excuse – instructing me that he would be in the kitchen when I got back.
My mom was still outside all right, but I wasn’t telling her to leave. Instead, I hopped in the car, and told her to drive me home –that the job really wasn’t for me. I think I had a hard time eating dinner that night … I think I may have even asked my mom if the meat had accidentally been dropped.