Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The First Impressions

Every job I have ever had has of course been optained in the usual fashion of filling out an application at a restaurant, possibly speaking to someone right away, or perhaps being called back for an interview later. Some restaurants have policies and procedures for hiring, especially the corporate ones like Applebee's. Some are much more lax in the matter and hire a server right on the spot, but these types of places are more likely to be privately owned.

For the record, the restaurant I had been working in for a year was a privately owned BYOB Italian joint. It was not a bad place, and I made a few friends that I would like to still keep in contact with. I just wasn't working enough to pay the bills, and I wanted a full time job. One should be careful of what they wish for!

I chose Applebees for a funny reason, really. I was chatting with a family friend a few weeks ago about how I was not doing very well, and I was looking for another waitress job. At some point in the conversation, I said, "At this point, I am not even unwilling to work at Applebee's!". Then I stopped and wondered why I had not thought of it before. I had worked in the casual dining industry for most of my waitress career, but one of the few places I did not ever work for was Applebee's. I went straight from the conversation to Applebee's.

My first impression of Applebee's was actually very good. The restaurant is still fairly new and in a nice part of the suburbs. The wood was polished, and the hostess smiled. I asked for an application and she handed me one immediately. After filling it out, I thought she would just take it and tell me that someone would get back to me, but a manager happened to be right there, and he took the application and said he would call me later. Encouraging, to say the least! I had not had such friendly reactions recently to applications.

I was not terribly surprised in a few hours that my phone rang, and the General Manager (hereafter GM), who said her name was Joanne, asked me to come in and take the "personality test" required for employment. I said I would come in the next day, and I was encouraged again!

Here is where things started to get a bit odd. I showed up the next day for this test, but instead it turned out to be an interview with the Assistant Manager, Bob. Bob was very friendly, but it was the most informal interview I have ever had, in any restaurant, corporate or otherwise. He cursed, told me gossip, got up a few times, and introduced me to staff as if I had worked there for 3 years. It was a bit overwhelming, even for someone with all of my experience. I was not even sure I had the job when I left!

Bob called two days later to let me know that I was hired and that I would indeed have to come into the restaurant and take to personality test. What was I getting myself into? Mmmmm......

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