The first job I ever had was as a cook in a restaurant (actually as a paper-girl but I try to block that painful memory. Anything that happened before 6 am when I wasn't drunk doesn't count). I was designated as a Flat-top cook meaning I made quesadillas and pasta. Also, Fajita Roll-ups - we were a tex-mex restaurant.
On my first day of training I had my color guard (flag twirling) practice right afterwards. I went to practice still wearing my name tag:
is what it said. Of course, my mom told everyone I had applied at Hooters and wasn't "busty" enough to get the job so they put me in the kitchen. Funny mom.
No really, I wasn't emotionally scarred for life or anything.
Anyhow, I worked as a Flat-top cook for a few months and then was promoted to Trainer. I was only 15 when I got the job - this either says something about how great I am or how poorly the restaurant was doing. After another few months I was promoted to Broil Cook (one of the top positions). Again, they may or may not have been close to bankruptcy at this point.
This restaurant was drama after drama. If they had a reality series starring crazy cooks, stressed waitresses, sex, drugs and whipping cream this would be the heart of it all.
There was one girl "Vana" who really loved starting the drama. She had a boyfriend, let's call him A-Rod, who was a possesive, kind of crazy guy. Our kitchen manager was a young guy (though also crazy - he once drank oven cleaner just to prove he'd do it. His lung collapsed and we had to call 911).
Vana tried to seduce our manager in the walk-in cooler (the site of many dramatic happenings), he pushed her away, she freaked out and told A-Rod that our manager was hitting on her.
One night A-Rod and 19 of his friends, the Yankees, showed up at our work. Vana wasn't working that night but I was, as well as our manager. We were innocently taking out the trash at 1 am, almost done our shift and ready for a cold beer. Luckily I had made friends with the guys at the place next door, so they never asked for ID.
Well, A-Rod and the Yankees came over, surrounding us: 20 to 2. Before I knew what was happening there were 4 guys on our manager; punching him, kicking him - I had never seen anything like it in my life.
I ran inside to grab our huge bartender but of course even a huge guy is not really a match against 16. He did however manage to get the 4 off of our manager right before they were going to curb-stomp him, and as intimidating as he was, I thought the fight was over.
Meanwhile manager went inside, grabbed a butcher knife and came back out. The guys decided they had proven their point and got in their cars to drive away.
Manager ran after them screaming like a maniac and I of course chased him a) to make sure he didn't kill anyone and b) to see if his cuts and bruises needed ice. When we got back to the restaurant our boss, the front of house manager, had locked all the doors.
I knocked on the doors crying (my purse was in there and dammit it was expensive! Also, my house keys, all my money etc.) then ended up going next door where a woman saw that I was panicking, pretended to be my mother and yelled at the front house manager for half an hour.
She finally let us back in to get our stuff. I'd like to say I wasn't sobbing but that would be a lie. We were called in the next day and fired for walking out on our shift.
Apparently they were trying to make an example out of us.
*I'm not altogether sure what the lesson I was supposed to learn was? Let your boss get beaten to death? Watch him stab someone? Any ideas?