Friday, June 30, 2006

Discouraged. Again.

I'm feeling discouraged (what else is new). I guess I've only had one restaurant job that was good from the very beginning and that was Nick and Tony's. From the start I was able to live on my earnings there. My new job is at a successful, busy restaurant with good reviews. It's part of a large restaurant corporation and I really like the people there (co-workers, management, kitchen staff -- all great). But I'm struggling with the earnings.

At this new job I completed the training period on June 13th. After that, a new server works only lunch shifts. She has to work a certain number of days without mistakes, then she serves the managers a meal without totally screwing up, and then she gets to work dinner shifts, which is where the money is.

I've completed the required number of days without screwing up and I'm hoping next week to serve the managers a meal. There were six of us in training together and only one of us has made it to dinner shifts.

The good news: two weeks ago I was "rated" by a mystery shopper-type of service and on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 as the best score) I got all 5's in every area. The general manager says it's unusual for a new server to be rated so soon and excellent that I got such a high score.

The bad news: lunches are so slow. It's really hard to make a decent pile of earnings at this place which is apparently different from every other restaurant in Chicago. Most restaurants are busiest in the summer and during the holidays, but drag in the winter. My restaurant apparently does great during the holidays and the winter, but slows down for the summer (it's a Chinese place and I guess people aren't as into Chinese food in the summer).

I've been slumping home from lunch shifts with $30, $21, today $18. I can't live on this! I've GOT to get on dinner shifts soon. When I get stressed out, two things often happen: I stop sleeping well and I hit the sugar hard: cake, cupcakes, cookies, chocolates (sometimes even ice cream, but I'm not big on ice cream). Maybe I stop sleeping well because I've got so much sugar in my system.

I guess I'll get on the dinner shifts soon enough. I'm SO glad servers have been leaving to go to school for the summer and others are interested in having more nights and weekends off. I need those shifts.

Today I worked lunch, then came home for a couple of hours, then I was going to work tonight (serving cocktails in the bar, not the dining room), but they called and told me not to come in because apparently the entire city of Chicago -- or at least those who should be eating out today -- are either at the Taste of Chicago or they're leaving town or I don't know where they are but they aren't at my restaurant. It's just as well since I was in a really bad mood when I was at work today (making no money, depressed that I can't pick a good job). So instead my boyfriend is going to come over (relationship back from the brink) and we'll have dinner and hang out. I'm not sure it's a great idea considering how I feel about life right now (he's having a hard time at his job, too), but I think it's better than sitting alone and staring at a wall. I think.

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