April 23, 2014

Loss for Words

I've been at a major loss with words lately.
I'm not sure what to blog about.
I think I'm just worded out, maybe?
yeah right.

It's just... I have to write all smart-like for school. I just spent my weekend writing a stupid paper comparing contested boundaries between Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, and if they should try to dominate all areas, or just focus on their own niche (basically). For some reason, that paper took a lot out of me.

Also, I am struggling because I have not written for American Craft Beer for a while. And that gives me great anxiety. But I've been so busy lately, that other than my birthday trip to Ord and Scratchtown Brewing and a few trips to Zipline, I haven't really had time to be involved in the craft beer world. Which makes me sad, truly.

Plus, all I really have going on in my life that is interesting right now is my new part-time job. But I don't want to wear anyone out who reads this little corner of the web of mine. I almost blogged yesterday about my third shift ever, which was on Monday night, and went pretty well. But is it overkill? Maybe. I'm sure Derek, Kyla, and Dustin are getting sick of hearing about it.

Then there are my nails - one of my favorite things (obviously). Technically I am not supposed to wear any nail polish at the restaurant. *insert shocked and horrified emoji face here* But after realizing that nearly every other girl there wears nail polish, and asking my trainer about it - who said that the manager is okay with it, as long as it isn't "outlandish" (what does that even mean?!) - I have decided to wear nail polish. I am confident that my polish won't just chip off into anyone's food, and I'm a huge nut about having clean hands, so gunk won't be building up underneath my nails. But then - what's "outlandish"? I don't want to cross a line or anything. But we all know I'm crazy for my nail polish, accent nails, and nail art! So I'm slowly trying to figure this part of my new job out. So my nails haven't been too exciting. Though I did get a compliment on them on Monday! :)

blurry & tip-wear - sorry! China Glaze Fuchsia Fanatic, Maybelline Color Show Clearly Spotted, and Zoya Raven & Purity

Other than working two jobs, one of which I am starting from scratch with my knowledge and abilities, being in a really intense marketing class, and being kind of exhausted and feeling like the world is passing me by, I don't have much going on, and I don't know what to write about. This serving thing really is a whole new lifestyle, and I'm still getting into the groove of it in a big way. And it's kind of all I want to talk about. Especially the weird things I experience, and also the stuff I'm going to miss out on now because my nights are often taken up by either working at the restaurant or working on school stuff.

So anyways - that's where I'm at right now. How are you? What have you been up to? Know anything about IKEA (that's what my next marketing paper is about)?

Thanks for reading this nothing post... I'll perhaps do my nails again tonight - these are looking a little rough! But I am also drinking a margarita from my favorite place, so who knows how they'll turn out if I even do them ;)

Happy Hump Day!

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April 21, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up...ish

I'm totally dragging today.

I will be the first to admit that I did not have a great weekend, nor did I have a wonderful Easter, and that I'm sure no one wants to hear about it. After Friday's not-so-good shift at the new job, I was not in my best or happiest of moods come Saturday. But that could also be because I had to spend my Saturday and Sunday writing a damn group paper.

That means I spent the majority of my weekend like this -- thanks for the "help," Kiki...


Don't worry, we turned the paper in on time. Barely. This paper's group leader emailed the professor at 5:56pm, and it was due at 6:00pm. Yikes. A big part of the problem was that the paper was close to 16 pages, and it was only supposed to be 7-8 pages. Bigger yikes. Glad I didn't have to pare this one down...

Anyways. Enough whining! Because I do have some excellent news, and it also was the highlight of my crappy weekend!

Apparently on Thursday, I missed this post on Facebook:


Guess who they meant by "Sara"? Yup - ME!

Sooo, my favorite beer that Zipline makes is called Belgian Pale Ale, and I love, love, love it! Tom, one of the owners, told me that they almost decided not to make it this year. But then, in the owner's meeting, Tom said, "..but if we don't, Sara will be devastated!" So they decided to make it again this year! If that isn't the definition of #winning, then I do not know what is!

Anyways, they released it on Thursday - not that I knew, though... silly me and not liking/checking Facebook! And then I had to work on Friday [ooh, note to self: pitch to the manager and/or Zipline that we need a keg of my BPA at the new job...] from 5:30pm until 11:00pm, so I clearly didn't go on Friday night. And then I worked on that stupid paper all day Saturday.

Finally, I said eff it and put the paper down around 5:30pm on Saturday, got ready, and we headed out to Zipline!


(I may have been a little excited... haha!) (also, cool tongue, Sara... what the eff?!)

I had two of these beautiful babes, and it honestly knocked me on my ass. Whoops! But, guys, it was so amazing! We got two Boston Rounds (mini growlers) to go, and I've already drank one of them (Sunday)... oops! Good thing I don't work on Thursday night, because I may have to stop by for some more! ;)

Apparently my darling husband went to Zipline on Friday with our friends Jon and Angie, and the owner's wife, Heather, was there. She was very concerned that I was not with them, and why I wasn't pounding down the doors to get my BPA - haha! I must be an open book or something when it comes to my love for this beer..

I also found out on Saturday night that we get to go on vacation in May! See, the past few summers, we have gone up to Port Washington, Wisconsin, for Memorial Day weekend, and Derek and I thought we were not going to do that again this year because our nephew is busy with lots of triathlons and track meets. But then his parents informed us that we were crazy, and of course we will go somewhere! Woohoo! Not sure yet if we will head to the normal spot, or maybe go to Colorado - either way, though, I'm so excited!

So other than me in a panic because between today and next Monday, I am working seven shifts, plus my regular full time job, and one marketing paper (who knows anything about IKEA..?), that's about all I have.

Yes, I am a glutton for punishment and decided to pick up a dinner shift tonight. I have my good reasons though... promise! I wouldn't do this to myself if it wasn't for a good reason! :)

Okay, really, though, that's it for today. Hope you are just as excited as I am about Zipline bringing back their Belgian Pale Ale! And if you aren't, then good - more for me! ;)

Happy Monday (or something)!

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April 19, 2014

My Second Day - Spoiler Alert, It Was Not So Good

There is a 100% chance that I should be writing my managerial marketing paper comparing the internet marketing capabilities between Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google right now.

But I am having a horrible time concentrating. So I decided to word vomit here for a while, and then hopefully I will be able to focus (especially since I'm supposed to have my part done in about two hours...oops).


Honestly, that's all you really need to know. But of course we all know I can't just tell such a short story. So if you're interested, here's my blabbering about my night last night. If you're not, then hopefully future Sara will appreciate this..

Friday night was my second shift ever at a restaurant. If you remember in the post where I told you about my first day at the restaurant, my manager asked after that night if I was ready to serve on my own, to which I probably looked like a deer in headlights, because no freakin way. Remember - I have never ever even worked in a restaurant a day in my life before Wednesday. And my trainer had some major faults, and I definitely did not learn anywhere near enough. So my manager said I would get one more night of training.

Nope.

And that's where things started to go south.

When I walked into the building, things were chaotic. Apparently the internet was down, and that meant the credit card machines were not working. Not good. So my manager was clearly stressed. The hostesses said that they were way over-staffed for servers that night, so maybe I would get to go home. But I couldn't talk to my manager because clearly the inability for a restaurant to take credit cards trumps me wanting to go home or figure out who I was training with. When the hostesses found out I was still training, they informed me that I would definitely not get to go home. Cool - moving on then.

Took my purse and coat upstairs to the office, found the executive chef, found out that the day had not gone well at all at the restaurant. Oh good, that meant everyone would be on edge. Not the best day to complain about my schedule and ask for days off that are marked as days no one can take off.

Finally I was able to talk to my manager. He put me with the same trainer - which I did not want because a) I wanted to learn from a different person who may have different perspectives and lessons to teach, and b) she wasn't the best trainer for a lot of reasons and I didn't want to be stuck again. But then he said that she would be following me and that I would get my own tables. I understood him to say that our section had three tables and that one was my own, and the other two hers. She understood it the other way around - two for me, one for her - so we just went with that.

Unfortunately, she didn't really follow me around at all. I barely saw her anywhere near me or my tables, unless I sought her out specifically in the restaurant or the kitchen area. (which I did a lot, because HELLO I am still super new at this and had a ton of questions)

Then my night went real bad.

As I was finishing up taking an order for a table of people (two tables were pushed together, so it was a four-top of intimidating looking mid-twenty-somethings), a couple at an oddly placed table got my attention as I walked by them - they had been sitting there for a while and no one had served them. I apologized for that (and had a momentary panic attack that it was my table - don't worry, it wasn't), took a drink order for them, and promised to find their server.

Turned out that their server was really busy with a 10-top table and "forgot" about them. And so my trainer agreed that I could take that table over for her no problem. Um - thanks? Spoiler alert - that table transitioned to be my table for the rest of the night. So now I had three tables when I had walked into work assuming (because I had been told) that I would still be following my trainer around and getting minimum wage because I was still training.

No pressure, Sara.

So the couple at the forgotten table got even worse from there. The guy seemed to be okay that they were forgotten about, but man did the girl look like she could kill. And she never really cracked a smile the rest of her time there. They ordered appetizers and he ordered a beer. I asked my manager to go talk to them, as the girl still seemed really upset about not being served, and also to let him know that I took that table over.

When that couple got their entrees, it was clear that they didn't like them. They didn't even eat half of their burgers, or really much of their mac n cheese. I asked them how everything was, or if I could get them something different, and they indicated that they didn't really like the food, made a few suggestions about what could have been done differently, said they were disappointed because the reason they even came was because he knew the chef and had always been impressed with the chef.

So I found my manager again and asked if he had talked to that table yet. He hadn't. So I updated him that they really didn't like their food at all and had eaten less than half of it. So he went over to talk to them. And was there for quite a while, and it didn't look like it was going too bad. But when he was done talking to them, he disappeared - but I needed to know if he was going to take care of anything off their ticket, or what I should do. Because, ya know, this was my first time serving on my own and only my second day ever working in a restaurant, so how would I know what to do?

Not knowing what to do (and unable to find my manager or my trainer), I went back to the table. The guy thanked me for sending over the manager, said they'd definitely be coming back (uh-huh..), and then said they were ready for the bill. Now I knew I needed to hunt down my manager.

And here's the worst part...

I finally found my manager and asked what he'd like me to do with their ticket. Here's what he said:
Manager: "I'll take care of the food - they can get their beers."
Me: "Okay, sounds good. How do I do that? Do you need to fix their ticket?"
Manager: "No. Just split off the ticket, and I'll take care of the food"
Me (blank look on my face): "Split off the ticket? How?"
Manager (annoyed look on his face): "Split off the ticket."
Me: "Okay, how?"
Manager (exasperated): "Split off the ticket on the register"
Me: "....okay."

Clearly that exchange was helpful.

Thankfully my trainer was there for the conversation, and she said she'd show me. What he wanted me to do was to split the ticket and print the one with the beer on it out for the table and he would get the food. Since that's not exactly what I was expecting him to do, I had been confused.

So I printed out the ticket with two beers on it and gave it to the couple, telling them that the manager was going to take care of their food and I would be their cashier. They were surprised, and seemed thankful.

But then a little later, my manager found me to finish clearing up that ticket. I had to finger print into the system and he pulled up the order.

And that's when I got yelled at and made to feel *this* small in front of about five co-workers and in the kitchen.

Apparently, by "food" my manager had meant "entrees" and not all of the food. Remember - they had also ordered appetizers. My manager was insanely pissed at me - "they ate the appetizers. Why the hell would I take care of those for them? They didn't eat the burgers or like them. What were you thinking?"

I stammered a bit, apologized, said I misunderstood him when he said "food" and he just looked at me like I had sprouted antlers - complete disbelief in my stupidity. He reiterated that they liked their appetizers and why in the world should they not have paid for them. He mumbled a lot under his breath. I apologized again and offered to pay the difference since it had been my mistake, and then he just waved me off in irritation.

My trainer consoled me a little, saying that she understood how I misunderstood him, and that she was there and heard him say "food" (she was also there when I split the ticket, so she should have stopped me if it had been clear that he only meant entrees).

It was then that I realized how crappy my training had been. Everything really became super clear to me. There were two other girls being trained that night, and I kept gravitating towards them and their trainers (one of whom was the one who was supposed to train me on Wednesday), and eavesdropping on their hints and advice. And ya know what? They were both damn good trainers, who gave a ton of great information. They were also really efficient servers.

And there I stood, defeated, unable to even find my trainer most of the night, making mistakes, forgetting how to tip out a credit card, etc.

So the training failure, the screwed up ticket situation, the extra table, the fact that I was completely on my own when I had absolutely no business being on my own, the fact that Derek and three friends showed up and had a terrible time at the bar (where I really want to be so bad), then feeling like I was on the outs with my manager (who I needed to talk to about my schedule but now felt like I couldn't). That was just about enough for me. I was trying to hold it together. And I was doing okay, except for maybe looking overwhelmed and dazed for a little while, until my trainer kept coming up to me to "check up on me" and to "make sure" that I wasn't "going to cry"... thanks - that's super supportive.

And then of course it all came crashing down on me at once - and by "it," I mean the things I realized above (crappy trainer, my mess up, mad manager, etc) - and I damn near did cry.

Thankfully, I kept it together. Not sure how, but I did.

Thankfully, the next couple that sat in the not-supposed-to-be-my-table table was awesome and the guy was a huge craft beer geek. Then I was totally in my element. Without that table and that guy, I may have given up completely on the night, and maybe even serving.

[I must note two things here: 1) I am 100% overwhelmed with normal work, serving work, and school, with two papers due on Sunday that I've hardly even had the opportunity to work on, and 2) my "aunt" is visiting right now so I am already dealing with extra emotions - if you know what I mean. So that's why I think I really almost cried, and why I'm surprised that I didn't, and also why I was thisclose to just giving up.]

After my good table left, and the twenty-somethings left, I had no tables the rest of the night. And they left around 8:30pm. I sold $127 worth of food and made $34 in tips. Which may seem okay, but when you stand around from 8:30pm until cuts were made at 10:00pm, with no earthly clue what to do (see, bad training..), and you make $2.13 an hour before tips, that makes for a LONG night.

And then at 10pm when I was cut, my trainer decided to find me and tell me my closing duties. Cool. Thanks for telling me to do any of this stuff before when you knew I had no tables and was looking for things to do. The good trainer that was supposed to be my trainer was cut at the same time. She got out at 10:15pm because she had done her closing stuff already. I didn't get to leave until 11:00pm. On her way out the door, she mentioned that next time it would be good for me to know my closing duties and get them done ahead of time if I was slow and had no tables. She gave me some good hints and told me where supplies were. So at least now I know better.

There was another server there that night, who I had met on Wednesday night, who was also insanely helpful. Every time I turned around, she was checking on me, helping me on the register when I was blankly staring at it, chatting with me to calm my nerves, giving me advice and hints, and just overall being really professional, great server, and a really awesome resource. I am so so thankful for her. And the trainer I should have had, because she was great, too.

Today, I am feeling a lot better than I was last night. I just know I need to shake off what happened with the table and with my manager. I cannot dwell on what happened, because working in a restaurant is a fast-paced environment, and no two nights will ever be the same. I will likely screw up again - either with a table or with my manager - and I will also likely have a great night again like I did my first night. I know that I need to learn from all of these experiences and grow from them. Especially if I want to get off of the serving area and become a bartender, which as I have said is the ultimate goal with this particular experience.

So today, at least with the serving thing, the outlook is much more positive. The school stuff, not so much, but one thing at a time, right?

Speaking of school, I'm off to attempt to write. Get excited - here I come, contested boundaries between Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google!

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April 18, 2014

My First Day!

My heart is so full of happiness right now!

I know - weird way for me to start out a blog post.. but it's true!

What am I talking about? Go read my post from Wednesday. Or I suppose I could just tell you the short version (but that's no fun, right?!) - I just started a new part-time job! The goal is to move up to a bartender, but since I have no experience whatsoever, they started me out as a server.

And I LOVED it!

Seriously! It was amazing!

me, insanely nervous, pre-shift

Sure, there were ups and there were downs, but overall it was so great! It was both harder than I thought and easier than I thought. It was fast and it was slow. It was a little bit of everything, wrapped up into four hours.

Yeah, four hours. It was supposed to be a quick two hour shift, and then I talk to my manager after 8:00 to set up my schedule, finish my I-9 form, set up my employee profile, get any questions answered. Around 8:00, I found out that I was obviously the only one that remembered that fact. So I ended up staying until just before 10:00.

Can we think about how long of a day that was? I woke up at 6:13am, got to work by 8:00am, left work around 5:35pm, got to the restaurant around 5:50pm (I couldn't find parking...), worked on my feet until 10:00pm, and got back home around 10:20pm.

And I had a nervous stomach before heading to the restaurant, so I only ate a CLIF bar -- but then I also thought I would only be doing a two hour shift, so that wouldn't be too bad. Needless to say I was a bit starving by the time I got home.

But you know what? It was so worth it!

Can I do that every day? Oh hell no. But I can do it every so often, a couple of times per week. And I will have good days, bad days, great days, and utterly horrible days. And that's so okay with me!

I learned so much. I won't really go into it right now, but I also learned a little bit more than I wanted to about what I don't want to do. Because yikes to a couple of things I witnessed. [it seriously wasn't that bad - just really caught me off guard]

I'm thankful that I am a person who has frequently gone to restaurants and is a natural people watcher, so I think I have picked up on habits of servers that I like and don't like as a customer, as well as how the two groups interact together. I really have my dad to thank for that, who has probably prepared me for every question a customer could potentially ask, haha! (If you know my dad, you'd get it..) I'm also thankful that I am pretty quick to pick up on technology, because I've never used such a fancy point of sales system.

I was pleasantly surprised by my poor, sleep deprived brain's ability to remember a lot of things that I anticipated I would forget. Like, for example, when I was schmoozing a table of four older guys (they were my favorite of the night), and then as I walked away one of them randomly said he wanted another beer and an appetizer. Even though I didn't write it down, and was on my way to do something else (gotta always be on the go!), I remembered to enter his order! Of course, I had to wait for my trainer, because it was her ticket and we have to use our fingerprints to log into the system, but as soon as I found her again, I was able to enter the items onto his ticket.

me, pre-shift, "i got dis (um, maybe)" face

At first, when my trainer told me I should greet a table or add items to the POS system, I kinda panicked and made her do it. But I am so, SO thankful that I eventually did both things - and ran food and drinks, for my table and other tables, that I cleared tables, and was able to interact a little with the customers on my own.

When my shift finished, I talked to my manager. He asked me if I was ready to go on my own. I am pretty sure that I just blankly stared at him like a deer in headlights! See, my student worker had been a server for many years, and I picked his brain like crazy before I started. At the last place he worked, everyone trained for EIGHT shifts - seven as a follower and the last one they were followed by their trainer. Needless to say, I was absolutely floored when my manager asked if I was ready to go on my own! A) no!!!, B) what?!?!, C) really, though, I have never served before at all, ever - you think ONE session of four hours will make me ready?! I'm not that awesome - ha!

Moral of that story is that I have one more training session. One more shift to figure it all out, before I am unleashed on the customers. One more shift of making minimum wage ($7.25 - YIKES) and watching all of my schmoozed tips go to the trainer (womp).

No pressure, Sara...

But really, I'm okay with that (I think). It seems a little quick to me, but I am sure I can do it. Will I be perfect? Absolutely not. But that's okay. That will only help make things more interesting, right? :)

Seriously - who am I?! I basically woke up with a smile on my face on Thursday morning. I also slept like a damn rock Wednesday night, so that probably played a small part into waking up in a good mood. But I didn't hate going to my "real" job on Thursday, and I couldn't wait to tell my student workers (two of the only three people at work who know about the side job) how it went.

I would be lying, though, if I didn't say the one big concern I have right now... and honestly, I'm pretty concerned. And I hope to find out a positive answer tonight when I work my second shift (BRING IT ON, FRIDAY NIGHT SHIFT!).

My schedule was just posted for April 23 - April 29. And I have SIX shifts scheduled. SIX! Um - can I remind us all that I work a full time, 40 hour per week job from 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday?! Because six shifts will be absolutely impossible. Especially since I am in a class right now that will go on through the beginning of June. I would literally have time to work and sleep - and that's about it. I truly am not in a place where I can or want to do that.

It's a little frustrating, because I have always been honest with my manager. He knows I have a full time job. He knows I am only doing this part time right now. When we were adding my availability on Wednesday night, I reminded him that I only wanted to work 3-4 shifts a week, and asked how to add that. He said to do it later, in the system on my own. But I was somehow still scheduled for six shifts - and that is insanely frustrating, because that was never the deal, and now I'm going to have to attempt to have someone fill them for me - and if I don't get someone to cover the shift? I'm screwed. And that's a little upsetting to me, because I never asked for that.

Also, I went to put in for days off that I've been planning to use for a vacation to celebrate Derek's 30th birthday, and guess what? Two of those days just so happen to be two days marked as unable to request off because of UNL's graduation and Mother's Day. Um - we already have a hotel booked and have been thinking about it since February or so. I am going to be a little heartbroken if we can't go now. This whole vacation was my idea to celebrate my husband's big birthday!

I'm hoping that my manager will understand, and let me have the time off, and also work with me better on only scheduling me for 3 or 4 shifts a week. I'm okay with a double on the weekend - but not if I'm working four other shifts that week, too.

But - that's the only thundercloud in my sky that's attempting to rain on my parade! So I'll take that as a win for sure!

"supportive" cats after shift.. good thing my legs were numb already ;)

Also - just to clear it up - I realize I am being a bit cagey and not saying where I'm working. This is mostly just because I want to make sure it's something I want to continue doing, and have it be something that I am more comfortable with doing, before I put it out there. I know that's silly, because if I had gotten a job at Zipline, you bet I would have told you all in a heartbeat! But since this is a restaurant and bar, I want to hold off just a bit. But I truly think it's a great fit for me, and so far, so good! (after only one shift, of course)

Anyways - of course I've ended up typing out way more than I ever anticipated. Whoops! Story of my blog life lately, though, huh? So I hope you aren't surprised! ;)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Mine is going to be SO FULL and BUSY - and I'm probably not even working! (Unless they make me come in on Saturday......)

See you on Monday!

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April 16, 2014

Let's Talk: Work (Continued)

I know that last week I left you hanging a little bit. I told you a lot of negative truths about where I'm at in my work-life right now. Then I said that there is most likely a happy-ish conclusion (though it isn't really a final conclusion, so to speak).

Well I'm here to finish that part of the story - and I promise it will come to a close in the post a lot happier than the other post did!

We left off with me finally being ready for a change - despite my crazy loyalty to this place - and then finally with my dreams. You know, what I'd really do for a living if I could do anything - that's what I mean by dreams.

It is no secret that I am passionate about craft beer. Knowing, seeing, learning, working (unpaid) in craft beer has been such a life-changer for me. I know with full certainty that I want to work in the craft beer industry. That's the dream. At this point in my life, I don't care how - I just know it is something I need to do for myself. Ideally, I would work on social media, marking, event planning for craft beer - but I am as open as can be to other possibilities. Would I be a bartender? Absolutely! Would I even wash glasswear? You betcha! A management role would be great. Cleaning up after the brewing process is done at a brewery? I'm there. Seriously - anything.


Last year, I wrote about how I applied for a job a Zipline, and how that didn't happen for me. Well, this year they had another position open - same one, actually, but with additional job duties that fit me even better. I applied for it - one of my most anxiety-causing activities - and I did not get it. I figured I wouldn't, but I was still absolutely heartbroken. Mostly because of the stock email I got back from them that was kind of hurtful - it was from someone I had come close to calling a friend, and had hoped for a more personal letdown. Silly? Maybe. But a personal touch when that person is even an acquaintance can go far in the healing and moving on process. And truly, they hired an awesome person, and I think it will be a great fit for Zipline. I'm happy for them - just not for me, if that makes sense.


[Did I mention that all of this stuff here is a huge anxiety-causer for me, and a huge part of the reason why I was in my funk? Because it was... well, is/was.. anyway - moving on]

I have also applied for a job at a new brewery in town that is not yet open. That application was originally due on the same day as Zipline's - February 15 - but they extended the application period recently and I won't know anything until after April 18. That position is a information specialist position that would include a lot of social media, marketing, and sales - talk about ideal! And I am continuously blown away by the owner/brewer - he is one of the most intelligent men I have ever met, and he would be the greatest resource I could ever imagine. I also just adore their beer that I have tried up to this point at festivals. I have a relatively good relationship with the owner/brewer, and I was/am hoping that would maybe count for something..

.. but one huge thing I lack is experience. This girl has always worked in an office (well, except for my first couple of jobs), and I've never poured a beer from a tap or served a plate of food in my life. These are huge knocks against me in trying to break into the craft beer world. But hey - you can't gain any experience until someone's willing to give you experience, right? So I am not letting that get in my way of working towards my dreams.

That's why I applied at our Mellow Mushroom in town. I had a great conversation with the taproom manager and he made me feel relatively confident that, with some effort and experience with serving, I would be able to move up into bartending. But then I waited and waited for a call back, because according to him, there was still a two-interview process to do before anything was official. I waited over two weeks. I finally emailed them back, only to have to wait another week to find out that they "went in another direction." That was also kind of frustrating - if it's going to be a "no," then I'd rather hear no as soon as possible so I can move on. And I can honestly say that I've gone back there to eat/drink since then, and I have not seen a new bartender, and trust me when I say that they need the help.


To say I've been frustrated would be an under statement. I get that I have no experience. But shouldn't enthusiasm and passion count for something? Shouldn't my willingness to be a server instead of a bartender mean something?

Then one day a few weeks ago, I had it up to the proverbial "here" at work. This was around the same time that I saw a new place finally getting ready to open in the Railyard in Lincoln, right across from Mellow Mushroom and the Pinnacle Bank Arena. Somewhere that Derek had been looking forward to opening, as they were touting themselves as a craft beer bar, with the goal of having the best tap selection in town. And hey, guess what? They were hiring.

Color me intrigued!

A craft beer bar? Looking for bartenders? Who could have little to no experience? That should be craft beer enthusiasts?

It took me over a week, but then I had another really bad day(s) at work, and said, "fuck it, I'm applying."

Twenty minutes later, my phone rang: they wanted to interview me. That afternoon.

Unfortunately, I got cold feet - mostly because my nails looked like a clown barfed on them (yes that's a good reason) (notice how you didn't see those babies? they were brutal). But I scheduled a meeting with the guy for the next afternoon.

That was last Tuesday.

When we met, he eventually came to the conclusion that I had enough craft beer knowledge (arguably way more than him, but I'll try not to toot my own horn too much) and good passion and connections, but I was still lacking any serving experience. Since this place is also a restaurant, I would still be expected to serve food, even as a bartender. He asked if I would be willing to start as a server and work my way up. I said "yes" (see, told you I'd do anything I could to help out my dreams).

And guess what?

I start today. 

Yup.

And no, I am not quitting my regular, full time job. Not yet, anyway. When I met with my new boss, he asked if I was looking to replace my current job or supplement it. I told him honestly that it was a loaded question, and explained that I eventually want to move out of where I am currently working, but want to be cautious since this would be my first time serving, and I didn't want to jump in too quickly. (This would also be a HORRIBLE time of the year to just say "PEACE" and give my two weeks notice. Silly loyalty...)

Also, that's what I was busy doing this weekend - completing food handlers and two liquor server permits so I can legally work at a restaurant/bar in Lincoln. I passed, but they took longer than I expected. Probably because I'm nutty and had to read everything a million times before I felt comfortable taking the tests.

my three manuals that I had to read before starting... let's be honest, the "beer bible" taught me nothing new ;)

So anyways, I am starting part time. I'm not sure yet what that will mean - maybe three shifts a week? Today, I am training for two hours - which I think will basically consist of me silently following around a seasoned server, and I'm totally okay with that. Then I will meet with my new boss and go over a few more things and work on a schedule.

Did I mention I'm also in a really writing-intensive class right now? And that I have TWO papers due this Sunday, and that they are both group papers that I have to collaborate with 5 other people to write? And that those 5 other people are mildly insane and want to have two conference calls every week about our papers on top of the professor's weekly conference call? [Hey, guess what our next "talk" is probably going to be about..? ha!]

So yeah. I'm slightly overwhelmed.

But, dammit, I'm so freakin' happy!

It may sound strange, but I am crazy looking forward to learning how to be a server! It's nothing I have ever experienced before, and something that has always intrigued me. I am also over the moon that, if I put in my hard work and am a quick learner, that my manager will give me a chance to work behind the bar. The bar! Me! A bartender! Not yet, of course - I will have to work my butt off to get there - but he ensured me that it was a possibility, and it was up to me how soon it became a reality.

Do I want to be a server for the rest of my life? No - that's not the dream. But this opportunity that I am going to start today is going to give me a huge shove in the right direction! And I am so grateful, so happy, and so ready to get my life started again!

So - here's to ending on a happy note, right?!

Wish me lots of luck tonight! And also, if you've ever been a server or bartender, PLEASE leave me some tips (as in suggestions)! I'm like a sponge right now, soaking up anything and everything I can to better myself before I get started.

Thanks so much for reading! This one also turned out much longer than anticipated -- oops! :)

Cheers!



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