I applied to a Craigslist post that asked for an administrative office manager for an anonymous restaurant. I thought, Hey I can file invoices in the backroom and learn about the restaurant industry at the same time. Yeehaw! To my delight I was called in for an interview at a very famous chef’s very famous Japanese restaurant in Waikiki. To my dismay the job turned out to be something I’m entirely unqualified for.
This position would put me just under the assistant general manager and have me opening the restaurant on my own each morning as well as covering evenings (when they have 300-400 parties a night) anytime it was needed. So let’s see… there’s the part about how I don’t eat sushi or Kobe beef. And the thing about how I’m allergic to wine and have no experience with food/wine pairings. There was one other thing… what was it… Oh! The part about how I’ve never worked in a restaurant! Almost forgot that one.
I soaked up the sun and took in the view as the AGM walked me through a day in the life, throwing out phrases I’ve never heard like “classic European formal dining”. The shift starts at 5:30 AM, well 5:20 actually because he expects everyone to show up ten minutes early. Employees arrive at 6:00 AM, restaurant opens for breakfast shortly thereafter. I would be responsible for overseeing the entire production (food running, table service, reservation programs I’ve never used, mixing Bloody Mary’s, you name it – all things I’ve never done) until noon when the GM and AGM come in. Lunch is a sort of handing-over-of-duties period, then I would retreat to the office for four plus hours of paperwork. Twelve hour shifts, five days a week, plus a half hour commute each way.
I kept pace with the interview, ‘cuz why not? I asked appropriate questions, explained how easily my skills would translate and never once scrunched my face up in confusion or concern. Driving home I did a really good job of focusing on how helpful it is just to get interviewing experience and immediately let go any hope of a response.
So this morning when I awoke to an email inviting me back for a second interview I was sort of excited but mostly confused. It’s ridiculous to think I might actually be offered this job, but I have to say it really is an honor to even be considered. I’ve sent out so many resumes and gotten so few responses. The responses I do get are rejections so I don’t actually mind when I don’t hear back.
For now I’ll just enjoy being temporarily taken seriously by the managers of a very famous chef’s very famous restaurant. It feels like an accomplishment unto itself and it’s helping my confidence in a time of some serious waning.