Finally Time For The “Fine Dining” Training Session (1/18/2020)

Today I finally had the first fine dining training session for the private dining event going on on February 5th. Now when we were told about the event this past week, my instant response was “Wow, I don’t want to do that”. I mean, I don’t really see myself going into fine dining, to be honest with you. I feel like there’s so much more pressure in fine dining to do everything absolutely perfect; which is great, but I don’t like being that stressed at work. Thinking I’m gonna mess up at any moment, from carrying plates wrong, to pouring wine incorrectly, to accidentally breaking something. I know mistakes happen no matter what, but I still don’t like being the one who has DONE the mistake. Also, and I know fine dining restaurants likes personable servers apparently, but I feel like I able able to completely be myself in a more relaxed environment. Whether it be leaning on a chair or table, or casually chatting to guests, I feel like that’s where my strong-suits truly lie. So at the idea of being forced into “silent dining”, quietly showing and removing plates, pouring wine, etc., it just didn’t appeal to me. Then the next day arrives, I get the schedule, and… “well, guess I’m doing the event”. Needless to say, I was scheduled to have a training session today from 3:30-4:30, and I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I even chatted to Joe about it, and he told me I was the first name he put down- thanks Joe. I mean, I’m gonna complain about this until the event is over, but I do hope I at least gain SOMETHING from this event, whether it be experience or who knows what.

Now today I ended up waking up around 12:00, falling back asleep for a good 30 minutes before finally opening my eyes, and of course staring at my phone for a while. Around 1:20 I got myself up, and walked into the living room to chat with Andrew and Julian for a bit; they were both off today, because it’s Saturday you know, and they were both just hanging out today. Noticing the time was already reaching 1:40, I headed back into my room, hopping into the shower, and beginning to get ready for work; the 4 isn’t running this weekend of course, which meant I needed to catch the 3 at a decent time, or I would absolutely be late to work. Since the 3 I was looking to catch left at 2:30, I ended up needing to jog to the train station, just to catch it. As I was leaving, I made sure to put on my heavy jacket and gloves, because of course it was snowing today- of course it was. Listen, I like the snow as much as the next guy, but I know that when I’m walking home tonight, I’m gonna have to walk through the slush, and my shoes are gonna get soaked; and I really truly hate walking in soaked shoes. Despite this, I still hurried off to the train station, catching the 3 and making my way into Manhattan. After jamming out to some solid tunes, I arrived at Park Place, getting off the subway and hurrying to Eataly. I actually got out at the proper side this time around, so I didn’t end up blocks and blocks away from the world trade center, thank goodness. What I will say is that as I exited the turnstiles, I was instantly burated by a guy working for an on the ground fundraising company, trying to get me to stop. I had my airpods in, so I have zero idea what he said, but what I can tell you is that I instantly went “Nope!” and kept moving. Listen my guy, I did that shit for three months, and I am not dealing with any of you today. Especially not when I’m running late to work.

Hurrying up the escalators, I clocked in and headed onto the floor, finding out that I was in section 1 again today, because of course I am- training will do that- and got to it, stocking the wines. The thirty minutes passed pretty quickly, with me even having a moment to help Chernin out, since the wines were stocked and ready to go. 3:30 hit, I grabbed my things, clocked out, and clocked in for the training- greaaaat. Now thankfully I wasn’t the only one having to do the training today, with the other servers being Alexandria, Will, Kat, and Patricia, along with a busser and two runners. Alexandria and I kind of, wandered around for a couple minutes- aka Alexandria led the charge and I followed her, because I had zero idea where I was going- before we were finally told to take a seat in the waiting area at Pace. Right as Patricia grabbed a seat… she broke a glass. Fantastic start. We were finally all brought to a nearby round table, where one of Pace’s managers proceeded to explain everything that we’d be doing. I learned very quickly that this isn’t actually proper “fine dining”, because we’re just doing everything on the right, even though Will is left handed. Doesn’t matter, do it on the right! Patricia went first when it came to practicing what we learned, and right as she was reaching the end, doing it very well I must say… she dropped one of the plates and it shattered. Honestly I burst out laughing. Like I know that we were supposed to be learning, but Will kept cracking jokes and I couldn’t help but chime in; we were a rowdy bunch for sure, but we had fun, despite maybe not being perfect when it came to the practice. And when I say we, I mean me; I didn’t break anything, but I definitely didn’t do the most incredible job.

With training finally ending right before 4:30, we headed on back to La Pizza La Pasta, where Nikky told me to take my break, and so I clocked out, clocked in, and then clocked my 45 minute break. Oh boy thank god. I headed over to Pret, grabbing my usual meal only to find that the back area was closed. As I was paying, one of the usual cashiers working the front asked me which department I worked at. I was a bit confused by the question, but told her I worked at Eataly, specifically La Pizza La Pasta. It was weird, because although I literally eat there like, 4-5 times a week, we’ve never really had that kind of conversation; it was neat. Anyway, not having anywhere to sit at Pret, I just made my way back to the break room and relaxed for a bit, enjoying my food and watching some YouTube. Finally, after taking a quick bathroom break, I clocked back in and headed onto the floor. I was told to just go to 5, so they could cut Will early, but with three large parties coming to sit in section 1 at 6, they switched Will and I again, and ended up sending Will home pretty early on. Like Will was working a swing, but made exactly $0 working the night shift; incredible. Now except for the three or four tables I had, my night was dead. I frankly just hung around for a while, drawing Kent the host something after he gave me a prompt; Ursula clam shell warrior. Definitely not a great drawing, but fuck it I was bored. I ended up getting cut around 8:30, closing my final tables and getting out of Eataly around 9PM. I literally made just over $100, and $18 in cash; At least I paid for my lunch today. Walking to the 3 at Park Place, the next train arrived and I was on my way home, pulling out my Switch and playing it on my way back to Brooklyn.

Finally arriving at Utica, I got off and made my way through the… slush (great) and walked the 10 minutes back to my building. When I got up and into my apartment, Andrew and Julian were watching a video on YouTube, and I sat down as the three of us chatted for a while. We ended up watching an episode or two of My Hero Academia, with me heading out for a good 10 minutes after an episode ended to pick up a chicken sandwich. As I hurried down the stairs, heading towards the bodega, Danielle from 3B poked her head out, annoyed at who was jumping down the stairs. I made eye contact with her, jumped in place, and then continued hurrying down the stairs. Stepping outside- damn it was cold out tonight- I hurried to the bodega, getting inside- “Same Time!”- getting my chicken sandwich, and hurrying back home. Once I got back into the apartment, Julian had passed out, and Andrew was sitting on the couch, looking for jobs; unfortunately Emma’s Torch hadn’t gotten back to him, which I feel really badly about. I mean it seemed like a surefire thing, but it’s been a couple days and he’s starting to lose faith. I’m confused why they at least didn’t reach out to him, even if they were telling him that they weren’t going to hire him. I don’t get it. Anyway, I’ve spent the rest of the night just playing League and relaxing. What I will say is that today I’ve been talking to a girl on OkCupid; she’s cute, but I can’t tell if she’s real or not. She gave her her number, but we’ll see if she’s ghosted me, or a conversation will be picked back up tomorrow. Thankfully tomorrow is Sunday which means I’m off for the day, but it also means that I have my first training session at Blink; am I nervous? Absolutely. I really hope this goes well.

Until next time,

-Michael

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**Side note- Julian asked me to take this picture of him, and I don’t know why but I think the photo is kind of hilarious and fantastic. Love my roommates ❤

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