Searching for a job never gets any easier. Even if it is just another serving job. I've found myself in this situation countless times and it's always the same. I've learned over the course of time that handing out CVs or filling in application forms online are a solid waste of time and if it's a job in the hospitality industry you are after then the only way you are going to achieve anything is via the cold hard face-to-face-with-a-manager approach. For the last decade...shock horror!...I have been waiting tables, serving up dirty pints and chalet hosting with the best of them. The only way I have ever secured any one of these jobs is by talking one-on-one with the person in charge. It's more a case of walking the walk as opposed to talking the talk however, when it comes down to it.
A couple of days ago I found a job in an Irish bar in Portland. It's a chain with sites also in San Francisco and Seattle. I fully grasp the full extent of how archetypal I am in my choice of establishments. Just what the world needs - another Irish waitress in another Irish/American bar. But sometimes you just have to play to your strengths and find your buck-buddy where you can. This industry has been good to me having funded many a trip and indulged my appetite for nights on the town...if ever there was an industry that supported a healthy social life, this is surely it. I have friends who as a rule will not date music men or bar men...I understand their perfect logic. It's a fickle fickle world fueled by mind-altering substances, late nights and close proximity to bright young things open to reckless behaviour under the guise of "Man, was I smashed last night or what!" It's an easy world to enter but a devil to walk away from.
It's gotten so that now I can't help but check out waiter stations when I go out for dinner/a drink. You can tell a lot from the state of these hidden spaces...the make-up, the boxes of medication, the shoes, the phones and the snacks all laid bare to give patrons a glimpse into life on the other side of the guest check. You can spot the close relationships, the easy banter, the awkward stances and the budding romances if you pay close enough attention. It's a crash course in human interaction in the time it takes you to eat your mac and cheese and down your glass of sauv blanc. One of my best friends I met in Edinburgh while waitressing at Italian food chain, Bella Italia. I'm not ashamed to admit that I fancied his Bobby Gillespie-esque ass when first I met him. I howled with laughter at his jokes, chatted endlessly about goodness knows what, ate soup and sandwiches together on our days off and drank copious amounts of red wine on one too many occasions. Of course, he is gay and not in the slightest bit interested in the fairer sex, tells me repeatedly that he is repulsed by female bits and bobs. Our saving grace is that we have polar opposite tastes in men. Small mercies - he would make a stellar wing-man if only we didn't have so much fun to the point I forget to observe what's going on around me anytime we are out and about.
Anyhow, today I got my paperwork in order for this new job. The state of Oregon it seems is pretty darn hardcore when it comes to food and beverage laws. I have already doled out the guts of $60 by taking online food and beverage training courses before I can start. I'm not excited about this job. I'm not even sure I am excited about this city. More and more I am finding myself thinking about home and New York. That old restless spirit is beginning to kick in and I think I am close to checking out. I can recognise the signs now, I've been here often enough before. Maybe Voodoo doughnuts will hold me down for the summer at least. It sits two blocks from where I will be working. Did the universe just throw me a sugar-coated freakin' bone?