The banquet serving job…

It’s too early on Sunday morning for me to even be awake. But I am…

I know I’ll regret this later. Especially while I’m at my laundry job tonight that runs from 5:30 pm until 5:30 the following morning.

But there are 2 reasons why I’m up at 7:30 am after getting in last night from the banquet serving job at 2 am..!

  1. I’ve got something to do today… A chocolate festival… I’m a junk food addict, remember..? So why would I NOT be going to an event like this then..?! I’m really looking forward to it..!
  2. I couldn’t sleep not one minute longer… I HAD to get up and write this post about last night and just how all that went with this banquet serving job.

Believe me…

This could potentially be the most interesting and entertaining post you read today..!

 Lets begin.

So it starts with the cab ride over to the hotel where this banquet was to be held at…

I had to call for a cab to take me to work yesterday because, again, I had no transportation to work…

I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to work, either…

So I was OK knowing that this cab ride might cost me a small fortune.

And it did…

21 dollars, in fact.

Between what I spent on the vest for my work outfit…

40 somethings dollars.

The bow-tie…

20 dollars…

The cab ride…

21 dollars…

All of that alone was surely more money than I would even make working the banquet.

Yet, I told myself that the first time would just have to sort of be for free to recover my investment…

After that, if there was to be an “after that…”

Would all be “to the good.”

OK.

So with that being said…

The cab came to pick me up, and no matter the cost, the woman driving was a sweetheart…

We talked the whole way there, and she really helped me to not have to think about the immense anxiety I was feeling at the moment.

A short 20 dollar ride later, we arrived at the hotel complex which was very CROWDED…

I paid my fair, got out in front of the hotel, and then had no idea where to go.

I tried  to remember what the staffing agency told me I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to go…

But truth be told. They were talking so fast when they were telling me the logistics of everything, that all that information basically just went in one ear and out the other.

So, now I had to figure this out for myself.

I went in the front entrance to the hotel and immediately saw a “check in” area…

I told the person working there that I was there for a banquet and they gave me some pretty shoddy directions as to where I should go.

Still, I tried to follow those directions the best that I could…

But that only resulted in me walking around the entire hotel complex in one giant circle…

Which had to be about a mile in circumference…

My travels yielded me no results, and I ended up right back inside the front entrance to the hotel again, speaking with the same person…

Thank God I was a half hour early to this event…

I told this same person working the “check in” area that I was in fact a “dumb ass” and that I needed more direct directions…

Possibly drawn out in crayons with colorful shapes.

Just trying to figure out where exactly I was supposed to go had me on edge quite a bit. And I won’t lie…

Throwing in the towel and just saying “fuck it,” crossed my mind more than once.

But throw in the towel, I did not. And luckily for me, this person manning the check in station was nice enough to escort me to the back of the hotel where I was lead out the back entrance and told further where to go…

Thanking them for taking the time to show me this, I noticed a women who was dressed like I was, heading in the direction I was told to go. So I caught up with her and asked if she was going to the the banquet…

She was.

That was awesome…

I asked if I could follow her…

She said, I could.

That was awesome.

We talked on the way and I immediately noticed her accent…

She definitely wasn’t from this country. So asked her nationality, and she told me she was Cuban.

Wow, I thought. That was very interesting..!

She turned out to be a very cool chick.

So after following her into another building and up an elevator, I finally arrived where I was supposed to be.

I met who I was supposed to met.

I signed in.

And I am immediately assigned my initial work detail…

Polishing silverware..!

Nothing to it..!

There’s a ton of others doing the same job being that there is a ton of silverware. And most all of these “others” who are doing the same job, minus a select handful, epitomize what you would think a temp agency worker would be…

Slack asses, who aren’t trying to do shit other than collect there little 8 dollars an hour doing as little as possible.

This poses no problem for me, though. In fact, I was happy to be around a bunch of individuals like this…

Why..?

Because I stood out like a Gold coin in a room full of nickels..!

My work ethic was immediately noticed, which I’ll get to later.

So, there we all were, polishing silverware, talking…

I’m met everyone at that time.

They all seemed nice enough.

One thing that I did learn and found quite interesting…

Most all of these individuals working with me…

Guys and gals…

Most all of them were in transitional homes.

Those are half way houses that you go to after incarceration.

So most everyone that I was working with was just coming home from prison like I was..!

Pretty crazy, if you ask me..!

Then I noticed that there were others like the Cuban chick who I had met earlier who were all huddled up in this little office…

They were also polishing silverware and dressed just like we were. Except they had hotel name tags on…

I soon learned that all of these individuals were hotel employees who also worked banquets.

Whats even crazier..?

Every one of these hotel employees was a foreigner from another country..!

Right on their name tags, under there name, was the country they were from…!

I found all of this to be really interesting…

The silverware duties ended and we were all escorted into this GRAND ballroom to start setting the tables.

Notice how I use all caps to discribe this ball room…

It was massive.

We came out from behind this huge stage and entered the dining area and I just couldn’t believe the enormity of it all…

We began to set the tables with water, tea, salad, desert…

The band was in pre rehearsal…

Its some HUGE jazz music event I soon gather that we’re to serve.

It’s estimated that 1200 people are to attend…

If ever there was going to be a test of my anxiety dealing with large crowds of people, I think this was going to be it.

We finish setting all the tables and are then escorted to the back again.

Here we’re told that we’re going to be paired up with someone and that we’ll work our assigned section of 5 tables that seat 10 people each as a team.

We’re told that we’re to get the food served quickly and that if we’re caught with our phones out at any time during this event, we’ll be fired immediately…

Fair enough, I thought…

These people probably payed a lot to attend this event and our job was to ensure that they enjoyed it.

I got this, I thought to myself.

Partners are assigned and I’m paired up with this little cutie from the Philippines.

She has a name tag.

She works for the hotel and has done these banquets before.

I tell her immediately, after introducing myself, that she is the boss.

I’m going to follow her lead.

That was our understanding.

We load our station with ice water, tea, and coffee, and our now ready to go.

Shortly, thereafter, people start to pile in and everyone is dressed like a million bucks…

Oh, and by the way, just to throw this out there…

Back to how much I spent on my work attire…

With it being kind of a lot…

I was looking pretty damn good myself.

At least, in relation to what my job was.

That made me feel like it was worth it to spend a little extra.

I sort of felt like I was dressed like a million bucks, too..!

The event began, and my partner and I started off in a mad dash serving our section.

From the onset, I realize that we’re a good team.

She worked hard.

And so did I.

As the dinner progressed, we tried to get everyone served as quickly as possible.

But of course, at our furthest table, it was hard to get to them quickly due to the never ending requests we we’re getting from every other table on the way to that furthest table.

We both did the best we could. And too be fair, yes, it might have taken us a little longer to get to that furthest table. So I can understand the frustration this one attendee felt when he informed me that I was the worst server he had ever dealt with before.

I apologized for even being born after he told me how disgusted he was with my service. Then commenced to picking up dirty plates and silverware from his table only to drop a cake invested fork and spoon in the guys’ lap, who sat next to this biggest fan of mine.

Thank God this man had a cloth napkin in his lap…!

I apologized again for my lack of adequate service. And vowed to do whatever I could to win back this table.

I did well enough from there on that I was all but forgotten. So that was good enough in my book.

The event carried on with the music cranking up and eventually my partner and I were caught up enough to just kick back a little and take it all in.

This was a very extravagant jazz event..!

One of the main things that blew me away was when I noticed that off to the side on this huge stage, and behind a silk screen, was an artist painting up a storm to the beat of the music..!

I was “WOWED” beyond anything at the sight of this.

There was also a celebrity in attendance…

A news anchor who I had watched for years…!

I thought that was pretty damn cool too..!

The event carried on, and I busied myself tending to my section…

Then something crazy happened…

One of the two bosses I was working for pulled me to the side and asked if I wanted a real job..!

He said I could forget the temp agency and come and work for the hotel…

He said that he had a “bar-back” job for me right now where my responibilities would be helping out in the bar and keeping it stocked.

“Holy shit,” I thought…!

That was awesome..!

I was already having a blast at this event..!

That seemed to be the icing on the cake..!

I told the boss that I definitely wanted the job. And he told me that he would talk with the other boss and get back to me before the night was over…

A short while later the other boss called me into the office where he asked me what my situation was and I told him I was a felon…

The conversation all but stopped there.

He told me the hotel didn’t really hire felons.

I told him that it had be 7 years since I last had a charge. And that started the conversation again.

Albeit slowly.

He said he would see what he could do and that I should apply online anyways.

I was not deterred.

I realized the hotel might not be a fan of hiring felons. But I then vowed to myself to make sure I became the exception to the rule and that I was worth taking a chance on.

For the rest of the night, I busted my ass even harder than I already was.

Also, something else worth mentioning…

My anxiety…

It was all but non-existent last night.

Once I got in the groove of things, you would have thought I had worked in customer service my whole life…!

I was like a pro on that floor.

Handling my duties…

Making sure people were getting the things they requested.

I was a real life server last night and that really felt GREAT, to be honest..!

I was around cool people at a very cool event.

It really turned out to be awesome..!

It probably couldn’t have turned out any better..!

And no matter what happens with me actually getting hired on by the hotel, one thing is certain.

The bosses there know me by name…

“Gold Coin.”

And they’ll definitely have me back to do all the banquets I could possibly want to do.

The event wrapped up at about 11:30.

People started leaving after a pretty awesome head lining act, and we started breaking down all the tables…

By this point, a lot of the “nickel type” temp workers had already bailed.

So, I was working my section, plus any and all the other tables that needed tending too.

I didn’t even mind, either.

I’m the hardest worker I know.

And this work was easy in comparison to say…

Building decks, for example.

By the end of the night, I had a chance to speak to Barbara Ciara…

d6944fe15f861c2d38a96234cf1f540c

The news caster who was in attendance…

I told her I was going to tell everyone that I met a celebrity last night.

So that’s what I’m doing here now.

I also made fans of not only the bosses last night, but also most of the hotel employees who worked the banquet, as well.

Especially, the chicks…

There was a bunch of chicks from the Philippines that I worked with last night. And they were all diggin them some Joe..!

So that was cool too.

I got home at about 2 am.

Woke up at 7:30 am.

Wrote this.

Going to a chocolate festival.

Then on another adventure later this evening…

A laundry job.

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20 thoughts on “The banquet serving job…

  1. Sounds like a good time! Thanks for the play by play 🙂 I was going to mention the opportunities for employment in the convention and trade-show industry. If you enjoy the service trades I suggest you look into Trade Show decorators or labor agencies that hire set-up workers for big conventions. Great unions to get hooked-up with.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Loved reading this. Despite having anxiety and being a felon you didn’t let that stop you. I feel like in life we are faced with two options to keep going or give up and you chose to to keep going. I hope you always choose to to keep going Joe. Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joe,
    I found myself rooting for you, right from the start. Our justice system makes it very hard for men and women to reintegrate–punishment continues–unfairly–for many years after the sentence is served. But you know that. I love your spirit, and positive attitude. These next few years will be challenging. I look forward to reading about your successes, and I hope your setbacks are few.

    Liked by 1 person

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