July 22, 2008

End of an Era

So Sunday I officially retired from the Restaurant industry. Its been a good decade, but I am
tired. For the 2.5 years, I've been working 6 days a week. Bob Evans was my "fun job" I
enjoyed meeting new people all the time and getting some physical exercise.
I started working at Bob Evans when I was a 16 year old senior in high school. I was
homeschooled so I would work the day shift as a hostess. The next year, when I was in
community college, sometimes I would work on homework during the slow afternoons. When
the area director was in town, he would help me with my algebra.

After begging to become a server, one day my manager handed me an apron and a ticket book
and told me to wait on the counter. Considering I had not yet had any training as a server, it
was a bit overwhelming, but lots of fun. A couple weeks later, they finally got around to
"officially" training me. It was a few months after this that I met a customer, who helped me get
a job at the airport. I took a leave of absence from Bob Evans and worked there during the
school year.

I couldn't stay away too long and next summer I was back in my blue apron. I still preferred the
morning shift, but would work an occasional evening. I was going to MoBap at this time in my
life, so I would adjust my schedule around school. That was one thing I loved about the
managers. They were so flexible with me. I would tell them what days I could work, and they
would let me work those days.

When I graduated college I waitressed almost full time. It was a great shift, it seemed like most
days I wanted to work, someone else wanted a day off, which was a perfect arrangement.
Since I only was obligated to work a couple days, I was free to job hunt when I needed. When I
was hired for an office job, I only worked the weekends for a couple months, then dropped to
one day a week.

Working at Bob Evans only Sunday mornings was so nice. I made just enough cash to never
have to use an ATM. I had my own regulars who would always ask for my section. I moved up
in seniority and got the early shift, getting out of bed was rough, but seeing the sun rise was
always worth it.

This summer I reached my "official" five year anniversary (really its been 8, but the leave of
absence messed with my employment history). It was my goal to reach 5 years, and you get a
5 year present. So once I reached my goal, it was only a matter of time before I decided to