Thursday, February 02, 2006

Re-Employment Joy!

Okay, so this is the deal I finally feel comfortable making public. When Restaurants America said they'd find jobs for all of us servers who were being laid off when Nick and Tony's closed, they asked us at which of their other restaurants we'd like to work. Everyone wrote down their first choice. For some it was One North, near the Lyric Opera. For some it was a manager-track program with Bar Louie. Et cetera. My choice was The Grillroom, at 33 W. Monroe, across from the Schubert Theater (now called the LaSalle Theater). The Grillroom has a more expensive menu than Nick and Tony's, excellent business and theater clientele, a nice big wine menu, good hours, great management, great staff -- all the things I crave in a job. And Restaurants America wanted to give me my first choice of a job at The Grillroom. It was all falling into place.

But The Grillroom, like many Chicago restaurants after the holidays, found itself with an excess of servers and a big dropoff in post-Christmas business. So they couldn't hire me, although the general manager said I would be first in line when they need more people in March. She said it was just a matter of time. So Restaurants America did what it could and placed me at Bar Louie Dearborn, for which I'm grateful, but they're in the post-holiday slump, too and just can't give me enough shifts to live on.

This week, The Grillroom general manager (GM) called me and said they still don't need servers, but they do need a hostess. So that's one of the interviews I went on yesterday: I sat down with the GM and found out the details of the job. It turns out I'll JUST barely be able to get by on what I'll earn as a hostess, but that's a whole lot better than quickly starving over at Bar Louie. And the GM says I'll still be first in line when business picks up in the spring and they need more servers.

Just now I called the GM at Bar Louie and gave notice and he says it's fine if I just finish my shifts for this week and then go work at The Grillroom.

I am so glad! I am so relieved! I am so OUT OF THERE! Hooray for me! I start at The Grillroom on Monday at 9:00 a.m. Congratulate me: I'm back at a job I WANT!

[MUSIC SWELLS "Don't Rain on My Parade!" - no, Barry Manilow's "Daybreak!"]

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