Posts Tagged 'Olive Garden'

My Story…Part 6

     As I was beginning on the relationship with my sister’s friend, who would later become my daughters’ mom, I was working as a dishwasher at The Olive Garden. I had a good schedule of working different hours every day. So the job wasn’t boring. I liked being there. It was a fun job.

     But like I said before, my dad had different plans. He worked it out with a friend of his to get me into a better, higher paying job, since he wanted me to help pay for my schooling at Ferris State University.

     I had no clue this plan was going on between my dad and his friend. The friend worked at the natural gas company for nearly thirty years. He had some pull there and was able to get me in as a temporary for just that summer, the summer of 1992. My dad TOLD me to quit the restaurant job and if the interview I had went well. It did. I got the temporary job.

     I went the next day to the resaturant job to quit. I told my boss what was up. He tried keeping me there with a raise. He offered to try to match what I was going to be paid at the gas company. When I told the pay i would get, which was ten dollars more an hour, he laughed and said good luck at my new job!

     We shook hands, I turned in my uniform shirts and we wished each other well. That was a real fun place to work. I had some good times making friends the short time I was there, but I was also excited to start the new job.

     Who wouldn’t be excited to land a job at the age of 19 paying nearly fifteen bucks an hour? That was a whole lot of money to a kid at my age. My friends were envious. But I had a game plan. It was to make as much money as I could before I had to return to school in the fall.

     I had a weekend to myself to do whatever I wanted to do. My dad took me shopping for a good pair of work boots for the new job. I remember thinking “what did I get myself into” while we shopped. Work boots! It was like suddenly I was going to work for the rest of my life. That wasn’t the plan though. Little did I know.

     But we found a good reliable pair of boots (my dad had always been big on getting good, quality footwear no matter what they were to be used for) and he payed for them, although I had a little spending money. He just didn’t want me using so much of it at once.

     I hung out the remainder of the time on that weekend. I was nervous about what was to come on Monday morning. New people, a strange job I didn’t even know existed, and the pressure to workalot for the money. I didn’t know how much I had to work, but I was about to find out.

My Story…Part 4

     I had acquired a job as a dishwasher at a brand new Olive Garden. By brand new I mean the building was just built, and they were hiring people to fill positions from waitstaff to greeters to cooks to dishwashers. I had filled out the application and got interviewed and hired the same day. The boss who hired me asked me to cut my hair.

     This was the sign I was waiting for about my hair. I had it long to my shoulders and I had kinda wanted to get it cut, but that had to be for a reason. A good reason. Not for a girl. Not outta boredom. And not because my mom wanted it cut. This guy asked. I agreed. Then immediatley went to the barber to get it cut off. I never had long hair again.

     The next day I started working at The Olive Garden. All we did was learn to do the jobs. Everyone. The restaurant was not open. It was just set up for training. Every position. Us dishwashers sat out in the dining area as the waitstaff took our orders. The cooks learned to cook our food. We got served. FREE FOOD!!! It was a regular running restaurant. When we were done we washed everything. It was real neat seeing how this was working out. All this lasted for about four days. By the weekend we were to open to the public.

     Looking back at what I had been through during that training period really makes me admire the managers and trainers there that had to train all of us who were so new and very green to this type of experience. That must have been a major undertaking. I just wonder if that happens alot when they open new places like that. 

     I liked working at that place. I had ideas about being in the restaurant business during that time because all I seemed to do was work at those kind of places every time I got a job. It’s like I was lured to them for some reason. I had worked at pizza joints, fast food places and now there. It was like I was moving on up.

     But as I got settled in, which took about two weeks, my future was about to change. Drastically! The ride I call life was about to begin. My life. The ride had left the station full speed ahead and there wasn’t a brake pedal to hit. And I wasn’t hanging on either! Didn’t know I had to.

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August 2020