Lookin' Good at 58

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Best Top 5 Jobs - Number 2

The last few weeks I have been going through what I consider my top 5 jobs of all time. Some that were pretty good didn't make the list but the reason why I chose what I did choose was not only were they fine jobs but each one changed my life in a certain way.

Number 5 - where I work now has given me the flexibility to be off when I have needed to be and kind enough to accomodate both my wife's and my hours so that we can play a big part in our kid's lives. That is a biggie especially with one car in the household.

Number 4 - was the Palisades Restaurant in Jasper Alberta where in 1991 I really felt I got it together as a waiter. Up to that time I was mainly behind the bar , held some management positions just before that , but especially at this time I needed to see some real success in my life. I needed direction and to focus on one thing and that is when I decided pretty much that waitering was where the money was at. The previous year had been terrible so the time in the Rockies was exactly what the doctor ordered. In 1991 I got it together personally so to speak.

Number 3 - my 2 years in Switzerland where I worked hard and travelled in 1988-89 for me was outstanding. That is why 1990 was brutal cause coming back from a high was difficult to take. The job experience I had and the people I met together with the places I saw was unforgetable. I didn't make much but learned tons. I think everyone if they can should work elsewhere for a while just to appreciate things they may take for granted at home. Although Switzerland wasn't exactly a tough country to spend time in.

Which brings us to my number 2 job and that is where I worked a short time ago. I know some read this blog with whom I worked with and still keep in touch. I was working at this fine dining restaurant in Oakville Ontario called Jonathans at the time when business slowed down during the summer and being the new kid on the block I was getting called off a lot of the time.

So I got on my pony and started to look for other work when I saw this ad from a restaurant looking for a waiter. It was closer to where I lived so I thought I would check the place out. I left my resume there and shortly thereafter I got a call to come in and talk with the owner.

We hit it off and he said come on in one night and we will see how you do. So I went in. I remember that first night and I guess really all I was supposed to do was shadow someone but we had a few walk ins and it got pretty busy so I think I mucked in pretty good and was invited back. Alex the owner knew the restaurant business and was very waiter friendly. Being old school he never liked too much staff so the waiters were also bartenders , bussers, food runners, banquet waiters , and polished cutlery all at the same time. Good money was made all the time there.

Being of the fine dining variety the tips were great and the place catered to corporate meetings , dinners , weddings , the works.

I worked there for 2 1/2 years before I moved on to where I am now so that I could manage my schedule better and also teach the bartending. My body was aching too as my back would give out. Usually you worked right through without a split. So physically it was taking a toll.

This job at Terrace on the Green www.terraceonthegreen.ca pretty much got us the town house we live in now. The tips were that good. So the years from 2005 - 2007 were income wise terrific years. It was fun and great people to work for. If I wrote a book I would mention Alex the owner as helping me getting what I have today. No question.

Next week my number 1 job.

12 comments:

♥ Caz said...

I think its nice that you mention Alex specifically. Sometimes the ones that help you don't get enough credit.

:)

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Caz...it is important to remember who helped us along the way I believe. Thanks.

SkippyMom said...

Alex sounds like a special owner - and that sounds like an awesome job - congrats on being able to buy the house!

Can't wait to read #1!

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

SkippyMom...it is hard for a waiter to get a house anywhere let alone when both spouses are waiters. Banks don't like waiters here. So this job enabled us to get one. We are fortunate.

Carol said...

When I commented yesterday I forgot to say I love your blog. You are a natural writer. I also have a question. You may have covered this in the past, but how does your company handle tips on a debit/credit card? The reason I ask is I have been told a nationwide chain makes their waitstaff wait 2 weeks to get these tips and then it's a check that is taxed. We don't eat there unless we have a cash tip.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Carol...Thanks again for reading and your nice comment. As to your question everybody does things differently. A nationwide company holding on to a waiter's tips for two weeks sounds pretty bad. That is way too long for any reason. It makes me wonder if they are using the tips during the two week wait for some other reason. Then to get it that late and get it taxed is tough. It should be the waiter who declares the tips and his responsibility to declare his income. I prefer the place where we are paid everyday or at least once a week on the same day where there is only charge transactions. I have worked in places where you are paid every two weeks and had the pooled tips taxed from your paycheque as well. All in all waiting for your tips every two weeks is tough. Especially on a low hourly wage.

Caleb said...

The chain restaurant I worked at, our credit/debit tips were paid out in cash at the end of each night. It was integrated into our POS system to where the manager's could select which server they wanted to pay tips out to and the register drawer would open, the tips were paid out, and the server signed a slip saying he/she received tips.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Caleb...that is the best way for sure. Similar to where I work. It is like immediate gratification. Do a night's work and get the result before you leave.

Bernadette said...

2005-2007 seemed to be very good financial years for us too...lol, then the economy went down the drain ;)

I can't remember working anywhere where we didn't collect all of our tips at the end of the shift. In most places, we would keep all cash paid for tabs and at the end of the night would take our CC tips out of the total cash and turn in whatever cash was leftover. I think I'd get a bit aggravated at having to wait 2 weeks for tips...lol, and getting taxed on all of it.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Bernadette...yes that must be a real bummer to get your tips two weeks later and taxed. I have had jobs like that and it was no fun.

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Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Jessie...great to hear and keep it going with the online degree you are working on. Glad you have found inspiration in the blog. Take care. I haven't posted lately but will start something up soon.