It’s one of those days where I can see (faintly and smudgy against the horizon) where the idea that being a restaurant manager is glamorous comes from. My day starts languidly, rolling out of bed at 9:30am. I lounge in the sunshine on the back deck before jumping in the shower. Tossing around the desire for coffee, the need to answer emails, and a strong sense that I’d rather avoid doing the dishes, I find myself at my favourite coffee shop for breakfast.
Chicken tacos and americano in hand I busy myself with a few small pieces of business, sun glasses on to avoid the glorious August glare. By 11:00am I’m at the Laurel Point Inn. Here for a fairly exclusive wine tasting, I am introduced to the owner of Poplar Grove, and we settle down for an hour of education, sampling, and food pairing. There are only seven of us in the room: the vineyard owner, our sales rep, and 5 restaurant managers. We taste an array of wines from white to distinctively BC reds.
Noon time finds me back in the car, this time en route to work. Stopping to pick up several cases of wine, there is time for a quick phone call with another supplier to sort out details of an incoming order. A text message reassures me that the restaurant is holding it together over lunch (mostly it does, but other days it unwinds abruptly, all in one go, with a force that is hardly describable.)
At work there is just enough time to place a very large liquor order, sort out a shift coverage for a sick staff member and then head into the afternoon’s meeting. With enough time for a manicure before dinner (?!) the feeling of being superbly pampered in this moment is complete.
Service is easy tonight. Everywhere I look there are guests enjoying themselves, servers quietly moving here then there, food being cooked in unthinkably reasonable amounts of time. I breathe deeply, put ear phones in and settle down to answer emails. My singular focus is broken slightly by my bar manager brainstorming new cocktails beside me. He’s been on vacation so we catch up on the past week and the upcoming menu change. We settle on a design for the layout of the menu, discuss the pro’s and con’s of fermenting our own Kombucha, chit chat idly about the price of wine.
The pager on my waistband vibrates, signalling that someone somewhere on the floor needs me. In a beautiful moment of pride at our teamwork, it is not truly me that is needed, but simply a pair of hands to smooth the transitions between tables. Moving quietly to a few tables who are in immediate need, my presence is soft back ground noise in the Dining Room while the Pub flies solo, completely self sufficient for the evening.
Without even looking at a to-do list I gather my things, quietly eat sushi at the bar, and find my way our into the dusk of the evening, chocolate truffle in hand.