In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First!.”
Oh, my first day at work. Before I indulge into the story I’d like to hope that this blog is “judge-free”– I can attest that I’m not a bad employee. Well, not always; I always have great intentions. So I was fourteen and completely innocent at the time. I had never worked a job beforehand, so I was already expected not to perform so well, because I had no experience! Anyway, my first day at Glenaire, a retirement company a few measly blocks away from my home, I was scheduled to come in early Saturday morning. Attempting to be responsible, I went to bed at a reasonable hour, showered the night beforehand, and set four alarms to wake up on time. Not three, four. Within fifteen minute increments, just to be safe. I fell asleep cold for what felt like a matter of minutes and shortly after I was interrupted not by an alarm but a phone call. Instantly my stomach dropped because I could see the time reading something not so pleasant. I was an hour and a half late. On my first day! I’ve never got dressed so quickly in my life. Running through the house like a mad man, I managed to leave in 2.3 seconds and that’s no exaggeration. A sense itched at me, telling me I had forgotten something but I brushed it off quickly because I was in such a rush. I hopped on my bike, and the only thing I remember was smelling burnt rubber. As I’m punching in the time stamp machine, I hear laughter but disregard it thinking it’s just white noise. I walk into the dinning room and it hits me. My shoes. Bright orange shoes. I had never been so disappointed.
Pause. Luckily, my manager at the time was completely understanding, and new I was what they called a “noob” That was actually my nickname for the first month. I rocked it too. Oh, those flashy orange shoes. I was so embarrassed that had nothing else to do but take pride in my outfit.
So my manager teased me for the whole shift, but also had some serious tone to her voice about me being late. Promising that it wouldn’t happen again, I kept up with that promise. So my first task was to watch another waiter as she waited on her tables for breakfast. After my trainee did three tables I was assigned to do the next one. It seemed a bit difficult because it was all about timing, which apparently I lacked that day. My first table, the elderly people looked at me like I was from mars especially because of my flashy orange shoes. It went fairly smooth except a few slip ups. I was tipped well too. The arrogance of a 14 year old boy started to kick in. I thought I was hot stuff, and here’s when reality hit me in the face as if I was walking into a brick wall: the next table, asked for two decaf coffees and two regulars. I thought I knew what I was doing, so I just brought out the four cups and attempted to give them to the right people. I was completely wrong and they immediately complained about it. I apologized and fixed their coffee in the right order. Yet this threw off my timing completely. Their soups were claimed to have to taste “chilled” because they sat too long. It got worse. I spilled the water all over them because of being the soup, and coffee incident. Their meals were cold as well, and I had to send them back to the chefs which made them upset. Boy, did they leave me a tip and here’s what it said:
Tip of the Day: Try to hire a more experienced waiter
I sulked to myself for the rest of the day when my mother asked me how my first day went. I laugh now because I knew I tried my best. Also my manager didn’t fire me! I mean I’m sure everyone’s first day went pretty rough. I won employee of the month for three months in a row! Also, the majority of my comment cards were mainly positive–except for that one table. That one damn table. But moral of the story: There really isn’t one! Other than just do your job your best, and try not to switch decaf and regular coffee for anyone. It’s not a pretty sight, and I could have been liable for a lawsuit. There’s a conclusion to my first day at work.