Lookin' Good at 58

Monday, December 8, 2008

Don't Kid Yourself - It's Who You Know

So there I was working at the Holiday Inn Roofgarden Restaurant where I was learning all the tricks of the trade as a service bartender serving drinks to seasoned veterans of the waitering profession.

Without my car and bussing it to work I longed for my car back in Montreal which was supposed to be getting fixed. When I called my stepfather he said the car was ready and all I had to do was get back there and pick it up. Not an easy thing to do as the only day off I had was Saturday returning back Sunday brunch.

So after work Friday afternoon I grabbed a Greyhound bus early in the evening to get to Montreal so I could get the car and drive away. As it turned out it was one of those long stop at every town bus rides and I arrived there early morning. I hardly slept and felt like crap. I knocked on the door and my stepfather wasn't home. Apparently he was somewhere but no one knew where. I needed the keys that was all as it was going to be a turn around of 5-6 hours and I wanted to get a sleep before work the next lunch.

I finally met up with him and he says listen the rad should be okay as he added some rad sealant. Great I thought and it didn't cost me much money.

So I started out and not a half hour later steam starts coming out of the hood. I phone him and gave him the royal treatment lambasting him for not taking it into a shop and getting the rad changed. I would have covered it. So I had to make the decision should I stay or should I go?

I needed to work so I decided to go on. It took me many stops to let the rad cool down and add more water to it so I could continue. After the 12 hour trip and exhausted the Monday I took the car into the garage and they replaced the radiator. They commented on just how good the car held up. It was an Olds Delta 88 455 under the hood. Quite a car! While that was getting fixed I bussed it into work that day. If there is a poignant moment in all this my stepfather and mother separated and that was one of the last times I saw my stepfather.

Anyway I had to add the info about the car. Meanwhile about 3 weeks into the Holiday Inn I got a call from a woman I used to work with while making Maalox ( the antacid pill ) and she says to me her husband works at this golf course and is the F and B Manager and he is looking for a Head Bartender. It was a great spot called the Credit Valley Golf Club and the nice thing about it was I would be able to run the bar and make my own schedule and serve members who were all round pretty decent. It was a fairly good hourly wage and more hours. Good food and a chance to make some drinks again at a stool bar and serve the wait staff at the same time.

Off I went after giving my two week's notice to work at a golf club. Yes it seemed like I was jumping around a bit but I had to jump to find a spot where I could make some money. I did just that. I worked 4 double shifts and two lunches one week and the other week the other bartender would do the same. It seemed like one week all I would do is work and the other it seemed like I never worked. But the hours added up and if you wanted to work more you could to get some overtime.

I served some big name football players there and Oscar Peterson's wife who I remember drank Ballantines and Soda in a tall glass. The food I ate was plentiful and the beer I drank was plentiful as well. In fact , everybody use to drink the draft there. One month , inventory was way out of wack when they noticed we had gone through a few kegs and only 20 draft beers were accounted for during the month! I had to stop encouraging the drinking of draft.

I started to smoke cigarettes as well but it was only other people's who used to write an IOU to borrow cigarettes from the bar supply that was only allowed for members. So I borrowed a few of them during the time working there. At the end of the month the staff would return all the packs they borrowed so inventory would be right.

The F and B Manager was okay with the above so what was I to say. If your boss says it is okay and not to worry then I guess I will not. Here I have been bartending for a few months and I have seen drinking waiters and bosses. I was getting to be a drinker myself.

All these things would lead shortly to another move and a lesson learned for a green horn like myself 6 months later.

Jobs so far....

Hilton Hotel - barboy 4 Saturdays
Willows Inn - bartender and waiter 2 weeks
Holiday Inn - service bartender - 1 month
Credit Valley Golf Club - Head Bartender - 6 months


MikeTheWaiterDotCom said...

you and I both know that when you hire someone.... one of the first things you look for is longevity. you hate to train somebody just to have them leave. That said, the grass is always greener...

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Mike...it was the chance to make some more money plus I knew this guy.A golf club was a bit more relaxed as well at the time but wait there is more.Longevity anywhere was not one of my strong suits..