When I was in university I worked at a chain restaurant. The thing is – I never wanted to. I actually had never even thought about being a waitress. I had worked retail all through highschool and felt like this is where my post secondary part-time job would be as well. I had no experience in food service and didn’t really want to spend my college years smelling like chicken wings. So how did I end up schlepping chicken tetrazini to husky town folk and fellow university students? The answer is simple, I needed a lift to the grocery store. Seriously. I lived in a house with five other girls and two of them were taking the one car we had to the grocery store and I needed a ride. The restaurant was not yet open but they were doing interviews, and two of my roommates wanted to drop off resumes. Again, I had no desire to do so but they pressured me into it under the guise of “come on! It will be fun! Imagine how cool it would be if we all worked together!”. Truth be told, it wasnt that much fun living with them I certainly didn’t want to work with them, but I went along with it and in the end I got the job but neither one of them did.
That decision to bow to peer pressure has literally changed my life. I used to be quite shy, and having to walk up to tables full of strangers night after night really helped me gain confidence and learn how to talk to anyone. I met some of the people you hear about all the time on this blog, including Sam and Aly. I met a few different boys, two of whom I dated for quite a while (one reads this blog fairly regularly). It afforded me the opportunity to move out of the house I shared with all those roommates. Honestly, I don’t know why I thought moving into a house with 5 other girls would be a good idea, but the subsequent one bedroom apartment I rented afterwords was incredible. Actually, not only did that job allow me the funds to rent my own apartment, but the guy that had the apartment before me was our Kitchen manager and put in a good word with the landlord. That restaurant is the reason we have Judgy Monday and the reason I know everyone at Judgy Monday. It gave me the opportunity to travel to Cuba, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. It is the reason I still live in this town and not one of the two towns I grew up in. On the night of the 2003 Ontario black out, we shut down the restaurant, grabbed a case of burgers and a few cases of beer and most of the staff went to Jeremy’s place for a (very dark) bbq. I spent that night lying in the grass looking up at the stars with two people who were co-workers at the time and are still, almost 1o years later, very close friends.
I always tell people I have the best friends in the world. I havent found anyone that disagrees with me yet. This restaurant and that one decision to apply for a job before grabbing groceries is the reason I have all these friends and a million memories to go with them. Today that restaurant will close its doors for the very last time. I haven’t worked there in almost 8 years but I can’t help being nostalgic and more than that, thankful for all the things that restaurant gave me. All because of one small but life changing decision.