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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Training Day

Floor Chart

1. Jennifer- the party girl
2. Sarah- the weeded girl
3. Josh- the comedian
4. Richard- the couple
5. Chief- the trendy guy
6. Ross-the hustler
7. Angela-the crier

After the termination of Steven, the management team began holding interviews with the applicants that had been sitting in an unorganized pile on the office desk for sometime.  There were hundreds of applications to sort through, the most current and legible applications were the ones that got the call back. 

After about a week and the approval of Matt, the GM, Blake finally hired, Jasmine.  Jasmine had zero restaurant experience, but she was very pretty and had a nice smile.  Mike rarely had much to say in hiring matters, so he wasn’t the least bit surprised when his boy Chuck didn’t make the cut. 

It had been a long while since the team had any new blood and poor Jasmine had no idea what she had just signed up for.

“Okay, everyone, I’d like to introduce Jasmine,” Mike began.  “Today is her first day with us, so everyone please take a minute throughout the shift to say hi.  And be nice!  Sarah will be training her, but you all know it takes a village to raise a child, so please be helpful and answer any questions she may have.”

“No offense Sarah,” Jennifer interjects, “But, Mike, why is Sarah training?  She’s not even a trainer.  Shouldn’t Diane be training?”

“Those who cannot do teach,” Josh offered in his usual dry monotone voice.

“While I find this inappropriate to be discussing now, Jennifer, Diane is obviously not working tonight, but will be training Jasmine the rest of her days.  I thank you for your concern.  And Josh, in response to your opinion of Sarah, she is more than knowledgeable of our policies and the restaurant.  So if there are no more objections to my decision making, we can begin the shift.”

Mike adjourned the meeting and went to print out some paper work Jasmine needed to fill out, leaving her to fend for herself with no protection other than Sarah.  The two looked like a couple of shivering Chihuahuas.

Sarah sat Jasmine down at table 40 to go over some of the basics in the book labeled “Day 1”.  Sarah, knowing the usual hazing antics of the crew, kept a close eye on the guys herded together.  She assumed they were either plotting on how to break Jasmine in or deciding who got to hit on her first.  Either way it wasn’t safe for Jasmine to be left alone.

The slow night gave Sarah plenty of time to spend with Jasmine, showing her the ropes and covering all her day one material.  For the most part Jasmine just listened and observed her new surroundings.  Remembering her first days at the restaurant, Sarah knew the servers to watch out for were Josh and Jennifer.  They had been there the longest and lived for these sorts of opportunities.

As the night was coming to end, Sarah got the last few tables and was busy being run around.  She showed Jasmine what cleaning she could start on in the kitchen and then left her quickly, as the training and two tables was entirely too much for her to handle simultaneously.   

Now that the young cub was left alone, the vultures began to swarm.  The first to swoop in was Josh.

“Hey Jasmine, you’re doing a great job so far, but Sarah wanted me to show you how to clean the coffee machine,” Josh informed with a friendly smirk.  “First, you’re going to need to get a big bucket.”

Jasmine trustingly followed Josh to the shelf with all the plates and picked up a big bucket.  She stayed close by his side as they walked through the howling coyotes in the kitchen; the cooks would hit on anything with two legs and it had been a while since they had had any fresh meat.

“Next,” Josh explained, “You are going to hold down this red handle that says ‘hot water’ and drain it all out.  Now, this could take a while, so you may need to dump out the bucket a couple of times.”

Josh, holding in all laughter until he was back out front, left Jasmine to her duties.  After informing everyone of his prank they slowly made their way to the kitchen to witness the comedy first hand. 

One by one, Chief, Ross and Angela nonchalantly walked through the kitchen to see the prank in action.  Angela cherished moments where she wasn’t the brunt of a joke and almost hoped Jasmine would break.  She too remembered her first days and the tears that followed.

Feeling bad for Jasmine, but mostly jealous of the attention she was stealing from the guys, Jennifer jumped in to stop her.

“Jasmine, honey, stop!”  Jennifer heroically exclaimed, taking the already twice filled bucket from her hands. 

“This is the hot water spout, it comes from the main water supply, and you will never empty it.  Josh was just playing a mean new girl joke on you.” 

Jennifer amused a little herself, could feel the attention shifting back her way and couldn’t help but seal the deal with a little prank herself.

Having established some trust by “saving” her, Jasmine wasn’t the least bit suspicious when Jennifer began to direct her to her “real” side work.

With a small audience, attempting to look cool and pretending to clean, Jennifer began to explain to Jasmine how to make a batch of French Onion soup.

“Okay, sweetie, first you need to begin by cutting 35 yellow onions.  I will show you where the cutting boards and knives are.  I suggest you cut them under some running water, so you don’t tear up.”  Jennifer was very convincing and relishing in the attention and back ground chuckles.

Focused on the task at hand, Jasmine began cutting the onions.  Jennifer left her in the back prep area elbow deep in water and onions to go and bask in the approval of her cohorts.

Jasmine only got through a few onions when Mike came out of the office and put an end to it.  He had seen this prank done a couple of times and already knew what was going on when he saw it.  He simply explained to Jasmine that they don’t make French Onion soup and showed her the pre-made frozen bags that were shipped to them.  He apologized to her and asked who had done it.  Jasmine knew giving out a name would only label her a snitch and make matters worse, so she just played the good sport role and went to find Sarah.

Sarah had finally gotten out of her two table weeds and sat down with Jasmine to be filled in on what she had missed and work on her end of the day paper work.  Sarah was irritated when she heard about the pranks, but wasn’t one to take a stand, so she simply offered the same weak apologies Mike had.

“You guys are childish,” Richard, spoke up, deciding to tell the group how he felt about it all.

“I didn’t see you trying to stop it,” Jennifer pointed out.  “What is it Richard, do you like the new girl, do you think she’s pretty?” Jennifer mocked.

The truth was Rachel wasn’t there and Richard found Jasmine very attractive.  He was trying to play it cool and was working up the nerve to ask her out for drinks after work with the rest of the gang.  Instead, he was now determined to prove Jennifer wrong and decided to join in on the training day pranks.  Not nearly as smooth or clever as the rest, but excited at the opportunity to break the ice with Jasmine he walked over to the table where her and Sarah sat with all that he had.

“So, um, Jasmine,” Richard stuttered.  “You know you have to clean the bathrooms before you leave, right.”
The on looking group died laughing, not at the prank, but at the ridiculousness of it all.

“Lame!” Ross yelled out his vote.

“Pathetic!” Josh seconded.

Jasmine laughed a little at this one too and for the first time all night spoke more than two words.

“You know, Richard is it?  I wasn’t aware of that task, but I am beginning to figure quite a few things out.  It seems like you guys like to have fun, so why don’t you all join me after work for a few shots.  I used to go to the bar around the corner a lot and remember see you and the rest of the crew there. I think I remember you.  Isn’t your girlfriend, Rachel?”

Shamed and blushing Richard nodded and now knew why she looked familiar.  The rest of the gang gave Richard a patronizing pat on the back and began to wrap things up so they could see how the new girl partied. 

“This is going to be good,” Jennifer whispered in Richards’s ear and walked away offering a wink.

Jasmine had survived the first day of training, but the real test was soon to come. 

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