Saturday, June 19, 2010

First Weekend in NYC and I was lost in Queens.

Hahaha I make that sound so terrible. I was roaming the streets of Queens at 9:00am this morning looking for my sister because we went to a thrift store sale (you read right) and for ten dollars I got 16 items of clothes, including brands such as: Zara, J.Crew, New York & Company, Banana Republic, Gap, and American Apparel. Now, I must say that I spent another 5 dollars washing most of the clothes when I got back (since the other half was dry-clean...bummer) but I think I made out pretty well.

What one needs to know about my sister and I is that we are hunters. When we shop, we don't mind the unorganized clothing racks and bins of shoes (don't get me wrong, pristine shops are wonderful) but sometimes it's just so much more rewarding when you actually work to find a piece of attire you really like and is worth having.

I've learned that if I get lost, I am more likely to get directions sooner from people when I mimick a foreign accent. Sometimes I do Italian, sometimes a vague French accent, and other times an English one. I have to choose which accent I do carefully or else God forbid I run into someone who speaks six different languages. Whoops. (But seriously, it's so much cuter if you're a tourist and you're foreign, not when you're an "out of towner" Ah-murr-ican.)

Anyway, my internship has increased my responsibilities with reading resumes, arranging phone interviews and conducting them. This involves a lot of charts (for me to write for my own personal preference), reading resumes and emails, and using my Country Club phone voice. It's about two octaves higher than my regular voice. Maybe three.

I've also attended a press launch for WannaJet with my EiC last week, as well as meeting last week. (Maybe it'll become a regular thing?) I'm not sure if I'm allowed to talk about the meeting in detail, but apparently it was such a big deal that EiC treated himself to icecream after. I didn't do much in the meeting except sit, smile, and listen intently. I wasn't sure if I was expected to take notes or partake in the conversation. I'm pretty sure EiC just wanted the company on his way there.

I've been training for three days at a swanky restaurant/bar/lounge in SoHo and tomorrow I have to take a test on the menu. This doesn't make me happy because a) every time I started serving tables, I was told to stop --because I'm training -- thus inhibiting my familiarity with the menu, b) no one else who works there now had to ever take a test on the menu because now it's under new management and c) I'm really just aiming for the hostess gig. Although servers make more money than a hostess, servers pool their tips and split them evenly. I would rather know that the money I worked for is going to just me than work four tables while the other waiter works one with 2 people and get my share of tips. On a more positive note, I've learned how to open a bottle of wine without setting it on a table and how to present it. If this ever comes in handy beyond restaurant service, please let me know.

I'm told to just follow waiters around and learn from them, but what seems to get lost in translation is that I know how to take orders and I have a good memory (for up to 4 people, anyway). They think I need practice with that when I really need help learning the menu. None of the people who trained me did a terrific job, but I did learn a little something from each one. The server who trained me that I learned the most from was Rodon, who is a cynical hardass, so naturally I gave him a hard time by calling him "Rodo" and smiling a lot. He emphasized the importance of knowing the menu, knowing what questions to ask when specifying an order, and how to recite what foods are available at what times. What happened everyday of my training was that when things got too busy, no one asked me to help them with little things or told me to do anything so I ended up standing in the doorway and did what came naturally -- smile, invite people in, and seat them. I got more experience hosting than waitressing so that's another reason why I should get the hostess gig.

Fun fact: I met a famous Turkish actor on Friday while I was training. Apparently he's like the Brad Pitt of Turkey. If I was more familiar with Turkey, this would probably mean something to me.

Tomorrow I'm going to Sushisamba for the Brazil vs. Ivory Coast game cocktail party because my EiC asked me to and I want something fun to do on a Sunday. I'm going to end up buying one drink and attempt to talk to strangers so I have something to write about later. And of course, right after that, I'm bolting to SoHo to take my menu test. I wonder what happens if I I not hired? Do I just continue training? Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. Getting good clothes for only $10 makes me want to move to NYC right now!