Lookin' Good at 58

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hamburgers on the Fly - Late 1983

So to continue on with my job history that is featured every Monday I now am back in Montreal staying with Mom after my summer out West at a spot called the Saskatchewan River Crossing on the Banff - Jasper Highway in the beautiful Alberta Rockies where I was a head waiter.

Being back in Montreal was great but my lack of French was as it did 3 years back was really hurting my chances of finding work. French was now the main language and really the only spot you could get away with speaking English was on the West Island in places like Pointe Claire and Beaconsfield. Anywhere else you had to be fully bilingual. I am 24 years old now and after a fun frolicky past 3 years with lessons learned along the way maybe I should start thinking of planting my feet permanently somewhere and for me Montreal seemed to be the logical place since that is where I liked it the most. I still had friends there but then again a lot moved too. Some moved that I lost contact with which is unfortunate just due to the political instability there at the time.

Since 1980 my jobs included that of

Hilton Hotel
Willows Inn
Holiday Inn
Credit Valley Golf Club
Bristol Place Hotel
Ramada Inn ( 2 times )
Badminton and Racquet Club ( 2 times )
Dunfield Club
Opening a restaurant that I forget the name of.
Another restaurant that I also forgot the name of.
Some shot at some sales jobs during the day.
Saskatchewan River Crossing.

And now I am looking on the West Island for a job as a bartender - waiter. Picking up the newspaper I notice that there is a job at this place called Marilyn's Hamburgers. Hey when you need a job you will look at anything so I went and checked this place out.

This restaurant was all English which was a good thing and it had rave reviews for making the best hamburgers anywhere. Now it made other meals like a steak but hamburger was it's specialty. People would come from all over to try them.

The hamburger was not with a bun but with toasted bread and it must have been a half pounder served with all sorts of toppings. The grease just use to ooze down the side of your mouth when you took a bite of it. The owner was or use to be a member of a motorcycle gang and he had the appearance of having ate a bit more of these burgers than he should have. He wasn't much of a people person and dressed up in leather everyday and his longish hair he scared the bejesus out of me every moment I worked there.

Usually on my own working the floor as it wasn't a big restaurant I was the main guy. How he wanted you to take an order though was go to the table and there might be 6 people and they would all want their burgers done differently. Then you had to memorize it and go back to the kitchen and write it all out. Lord heavens if you forgot something.

For example ,

I will have a burger with no cheese , fried onions , mustard , and fries.
Next one , a burger with cheese , relish , ketchup and my fries with gravy.
A burger fully loaded with salad instead of fries.

Then you run get the drinks and when it came to bill time and they were usually separate you would have to remember who was having what as it was one of the those old registers that all you did was manually put everything in and a bill about the size of your thumb would print out with the total. Then you would hand it out and hope for the best that people would not give you a hundred dollar bill as the float was minimal.

To me it was just nerve racking and I kept my eyes and ears to the pavement looking for something else to come up while I tortured myself working at this place. I needed a spot to make me stay in Montreal better than this and I was about set to move on when an ad appeared in Montreal newspaper that I felt like I had a real shot at. I called and got an interview. Would this be a success or not........

Stay tuned. Things get a lot better.


Manuel said...

wow I'd love a burger right now.....right now!!!!

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Manuel... you would have loved one of these burgers! They were so juicy it was incredible. People would come from everywhere just to taste this oozing burger. I also had to ask what temperature and if someone ordered a MR it would just ooze everything. Nowadays everything is cooked well for burgers of course.