Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Weird Jobs: Japanese Restaurant (Part 2)

Note: I am not saying this about ALL Asians and Hispanics, I am merely saying that this was true about my experience with the majority of the wait and kitchen staff at this specific restaurant. 

If you've read Part 1 you will have known why I should have quit this restaurant job pretty much the first week. However, I was working at an unpaid internship at the time (shocker concept, I know) and this night job was about as good as it was going to get. One of the main reason why I didn't though, was because of the busboys and kitchen staff.

The rest of the wait staff (mostly Asians) didn't talk to anyone besides each other and stuck their nose up at everyone else. Because I also was not Korean and thought it very rude when they spoke Korean loudly to each other, I pretty much kept to myself. They also gasped when I helped the busboys clean tables and I couldn't understand why. Sure, it was their job, but a restaurant couldn't function properly without everyone helping each other out. It was because of this and several other reasons why I didn't make friends with a choice number of waiters until about a month went by.

As for the Mexicans (I'm not being racist– they were actually all from Mexico), I befriended them during the first week.

Here were my "Fab 5," as I liked to call them (the names have been changed in case they don't have their green cards yet):

Fabio: The head cook who also happened to sell coke in his spare time. He had sleeves of tattoos and nipple piercings, which he promptly showed me in the kitchen when I told him I didn't believe it.  Whenever I went on my 30 minute break, he would sneak chicken hibachi for me up the food lift on the second floor. It was because of him that despite me running around for 8 hours on my feet, I did not lose weight.

Nacho: This is actually his name. I didn't change it. I'm not sure if it said so on his birth certificate, but everyone called him Nacho. He had a killer mustache and liked to dry hump the dishwasher from behind when he was bored. I'm pretty sure he's had his fair share of jail time. He was also a kitchen cook.

Marco: This tiny little busboy that was 19 years old, constantly smoked the kush, had a crush on me. He would always wait for me to be done counting the cash to office and walk me to the metro, or give me a ride home. When he confessed his feelings, I broke it to him gently that he was way too young for me.

Pueblo: My favorite busboy of all time. We instantly became friends when he acknowledged that some of the waiters were assholes on my first day. My particular favorite time to work with him would be on Sunday afternoons, when there were no managers and no one gave a flying fuck about anything. He would just give me a look, signaling to meet him upstairs, and we would chug beers every half hour or so in the back room. It was glorious.

Beto: The only hispanic that was a waiter. He came out to me as being gay one night, saying that I was the only one at the restaurant he's told, and that we can finally talk about the cute guys that came in now. Even though he was a terrible waiter, I was the first one to help him calculate his tips or run his cards when he was busy because he was great to work with. In exchange, he would always buy me a Starbucks frappuccino before work every day.

I loved working with the Fab 5 so much that when Beto gave his two-weeks notice to the boss, I decided to finally call it quits. I was so done with the food service industry, my internship was about to end, and without Humberto, it wasn't worth it any more. The first people that I broke the news to was the kitchen staff. Ironically, a week later Fabio told me that him and two other cooks gave their two-weeks notice too. It was like Beto had started a trend.

Two months later, I ran into Marco on the metro. He told me that not only he had quit months ago, but so did the manager, a few other cooks, busboys and waiters. I'm pretty satisfied that I threw in the towel when I did.

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