Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Interview Fail

Once you've been a waitress for a few years, you feel fairly certain that you are now qualified to wait tables anywhere. You understand the basics of the job, and you are probably pretty speedy and very good at carrying large, loaded trays. These would appear to be important skills for someone applying for a server position. I learned the hard way that this is not exactly the case.

I had reached a point in my life where I thought it might be advantageous to work at a restaurant that was open 7 days a week and had a strange cult like following. So naturally I filled out an application at the O.G. That's Olive Garden for anyone who doesn't know.

While I rarely, if ever, eat at O.G. these days, I have to admit that the gal pals and I practically had a night of the week that was dedicated to the Layton Olive Garden. This was many, many years ago, but I still have a weakness for their salad and bread sticks, who doesn't? I honestly haven't eaten there in years. The last time my best friend and I ate there, my oldest daughter was two years old and she ended my meal early by throwing a massive temper tantrum under the table. Maybe I have a negative association with the O.G. because of that awful day.

Back in the day though, I loved it there! We would drink loads of the O.G. Sangria, get tipsy and then have no guilt at all about ordering the Tour of Italy plate which brings with it 3 or 4 days worth of calories. This sounds sort of disgusting to me today, but like I said, I was not above the O.G.! I loved it. I loved it so much that I even once went out on a date with our O.G. waiter (damn that Sangria buzz!). Thankfully, that experience put a stop to the weekly Olive Garden experience. My arteries are so grateful!

So with a lot of waitressing experience under my belt and a decent knowledge of how the Olive Garden machine works, I applied for a job at the brand new Olive Garden location. I got a call back for an interview and I just assumed I'd be collecting large tips there in no time. Easy as taking candy from a baby or money from a person in a food induced coma who is to full to move. It's all the same to me.

So I arrive at my "interview" and I'm ready to roll. Some dude, the manager I assume, sits me down in a booth and the hard hitting questions begin. It's all going well and I just know I've got this in the bag. My interviewer then explains what happens next. He tells me that I will need to take an Olive Garden class on the menu, after which I will be tested on the material I have learned. I will also take an Olive Garden wine class that will teach all about "wine pairings", for which I will also be tested. I started repeating this information again and again in my head. I pictured some wine master, fresh from the vineyards of Tuscany, teaching me the art of which five dollar bottle best compliments the endless bowl of pasta. Then I picture myself trying to explain these fine wine pairings to the diners of Ogden, Utah and I just about burst out laughing. I knew I must not do that though, so I tried as hard as I could to keep a straight face. I tried to push the humor away. You know when you're trying so hard not to laugh, that you sort of start making a wheezing sound and your chest appears to be convulsing? This horribly, obvious internal laughter could not be controlled. The more I tried to stop it, the worse it got. Then finally I burst out in uncontrollable laughter. It was just so funny to me and I couldn't get a hold of myself. I don't know if the interviewer knew what I was laughing about, but it's safe to say the comedy of the situation was lost on him. Once I regained control of myself, he told me he'd be in touch soon. Do I even need to type the last sentence of this story? I never got that promised phone call, and I knew the second that I walked out the door that it wasn't coming. I have to say that I learned a whole new shame that day. It's called, "I am not good enough to work at the Olive Garden shame." And it cuts like a knife.

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