Some of you might have caught my post last week about changing jobs. It is tough as a server to spread the word about such things. It is questionably ethical to let it be known to your casual regulars. Job changes generally occur with little fanfare and a maximum of two weeks’ warning. This inevitably leads to regulars losing track of servers only to cross paths again months or years later. It has to be factored into the cost of changing jobs.
That is why I was both surprised and pleased to see an email after my first training shift from a familiar name. Longtime readers of my blogs might know the name Charles Ferruzza. For those who do, they know him as the subject of an intervention, the namesake of the restaurant jerk award, or the guy who accused me of rigging the vote to win the best server award from his publication. Mr Ferruzza is one of the food critics for the local alternative weekly paper and a former server. He also spent some time as my nemesis.
We had a nice conversation on Monday. He did a quick interview about why I left and what made me choose my new restaurant. I suppose I was a bit disappointing to interview. Most servers dream of the day when they can leave their job and then get to tell a reporter exactly why. I did my venting last week. I think I chose the right route and maintained my integrity by not dishing any dirt.
Late yesterday, my blogroll updated with a story about me. It was honestly pretty cool to read, “Waiter and blogger David Hayden moves to the Majestic Restaurant.” This was the second article the paper has done on this blog and on me. One of the first tables that came in today shouted, “aren’t you the celebrity waiter?” The restaurant had a busier than normal lunch and another table mentioned the article to me. Not a bad way to start a job and help your boss feel he made a good choice in hiring you. I just wish I didn’t have the label “celebrity” placed on me. No one really feels like much of a celebrity on their second training shift.
Let me clear up a couple of misconceptions the article might have left you with from reading it (and you should). In no way would I ever consider myself a “celebrity.” I am just a guy who wears an apron. I take a great deal of pride in it. I have learned through the years that the only job security you have in this business comes from marketing yourself. I try to get my name out there to insure that if anything ever happens, I can find another job. I cannot tell you how supremely honored I am that anyone reads this blog. It is an even greater honor because I have the coolest readers of any blog out there.
The other thing that caught me off guard was the classification of my writing as “caustic.” Honestly, I try very hard to avoid being unnecessarily aggressive or negative. I fail sometimes when politicians, websites, or reality show personalities are unfair to servers. I do get angry about these things and feel that to the extent that I have a very small platform, I need to use it to defend my fellow servers from attack. That being said, if anyone feels that I have become caustic or am ever being caustic, please feel free to call me on it.
I suppose one other thing should be mentioned in this post. While I am fully convinced that Mr Ferruzza started this feud in the comment section of the first article in his paper about this blog and got plenty of shots at me in, it is time for me to apologize. We are both incredibly passionate about this business. That leads to us agreeing 95% of the time, but the other 5% leads to some interesting posts. While I choose to believe that we both toss jabs as a sign of respect, I will also acknowledge that I have crossed some lines. I want to take the opportunity to publicly apologize to Mr Ferruzza for my retaliations. In reality I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and his service as the custodian of Kansas City’s rich restaurant heritage. We don’t always agree, but I always maintain a healthy dose of respect for him and what he has accomplished. This apology is not a response to the article, but rather it is made timely because of the article.
I hope you take a time to read the article and leave a comment. It is a really unique story and I hope if it receives enough feedback it will become much more common. There are so many great servers out there and I think many of them would benefit from this sort of story. Let’s show Charles that we appreciate it and hope that the trend catches on for the other food blogs around the country owned by the same parent company. I will return to posting non self promoting information tomorrow, but I thought this was too cool to not mention.