Thursday, March 16, 2006

Long long overdue update

Wow. What a difference three months make in our lives.

In my last post, it looks like I was planning on Army, had no job, and had generally lost my way; but didnt know it yet.

Around a week after the last post, I got my job back at TGI Fridays. It wasnt the same job though. I had several months of rest and was in the best physical shape of my life. At fridays, they had lost (or were losing) many servers, bartenders, and bussers to the new restaurants opening in town.

Macaroni Grille, Bonefish Grill, and Cooper Ts all opened within a month of each other. They are all higher-end restaurants and attract the upper echelon of servers (or at least those that thing they are) . The unintended benefit was being understaffed, severely.

How is this a benefit? Well, at times, yes; it was hell on earth. Food out late, always super busy, etc. You needed some real endurance to handle the job full time. When agreeing to come back, I negotiated absolutely NO day shifts and NO doubles, period. This allowed me to set up a schedule for everything. Had planned sleep-time, etc. Well the benefit is MAJOR CASH. Sections were always full sized (4 to 5 tables) and your tables were ALWAYS full. There werent enough servers to cover the entire restaurant, so your section stayed full all night long on a wait. This guarenteed some MAJOR sales; and major sales translate into major cash.

Last year, I was averaging about $80/night at Fridays, peaking by making around $130 or so. When I came back, I had new experience from Outback and more foodservice time, so I was able to really rock the house :) My goal everynight was to make at least $100. I succeeded almost everynight. But on many nights, I was pushing the envelope for tips. Several weeks I took home more than $600 in cash, and on one or two weeks I was bringing home over $700. In Mobile, Alabama; where average income is $18k/year and me working in an average restaurant, this is RETARDED money.

It started dying off a bit; traffic slowed; and they finally were able to hire more help. Just in time for me to be brought to the bar. There weren't enough servers to cover any part of my schedule; so I took it upon myself to come in on offdays and train. I worked for 2 weeks straight with no days off. They bumped me to the bar schedule too and I began full-blown training. I was still picking up shifts as a server to make money since training pay sucks.

Finally, I became verified and began to receive full pay. And Oh My God did I receive full pay. Currently, I am averaging $170 per night. Granted bartenders only work 4 nights a week unless they pick up shifts; its still hella money. I walked with $720 last week, and it was dead on some nights. Thats the big difference. Dead nights as a server will kill your tips... you'll walk with maybe $50-$60. Dead nights as a bartender mean you make only $150ish. Its less work and much more pay. I've got to say I'm enjoying it a lot.

I'll update later with personal life updates about Aimee and Amanda. :)

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