Wednesday, May 11, 2016

An Open Letter to the New Crop

Hi there, all you newbie Whistler folks!

First of all, welcome to town. This is an awesome place with some awesome people.

Now, while I don't want to single anyone out, I do actually have to talk to a specific group of you. The ones trying to get their Whistler job as a server or bartender - the Front of House, Front Lines collective.

Of course, you have experience. As with any job requiring a skill set, it's folly to think that you can walk in to one of the many restaurants in such an esteemed resort without having so much as carried a tray or poured a Coke. But, and this is important to remember: Whistler doesn't work like other towns. In real estate terms, it's known as a buyer's market. We're spoiled for choice.

So drop your fucking attitude.

I understand that a certain amount of confidence is required in the job; perhaps even a little cockiness. But if the manager speaking to you offers you a job bussing, or hostessing, how fucking dare you turn up your nose at the offer.  You may have been King Shit in Barrie, Brighton, or Brisbane, but to paraphrase Humphrey Bogart, that don't amount to a hill of beans in this bubble. 2 years experience is quite literally laughable in this town, largely because those two years cannot have prepared you for the May Long Weekend, Canada Day Weekend, or the ten-day mountain biking juggernaut known only by a single name: Crankworx.

I think I can count on my digits (without taking my socks off) the number of bartenders I know that walked into their job fresh off the bus - and you'd better be sure it wasn't because they said they were good. The the word of a politician that tells you he's the most honest has to have his source questioned. Their resum├ęs had point after point of either well known or easily researched venues, and that certain charisma that you cannot teach (whereas I contend that you can teach any moron how to make a Manhattan, provided - and this is important - s/he doesn't talk to the customers).

The reason they have offered you this "lowly" position is simple: the hospitality business in Whistler is what makes it thrive, so it's important that you understand the guts of the beast. Where to go to make more coffee. What the busiest times of the day are. Jesus, even to make sure you get along with your potential fellow staff members. It's not a dig at your skill set; it's an invitation into that hallowed world of the Whistler Restaurant Family.

Like I said, the restaurant or bar has its pick of the litter. So arrogance is not high on the list of desirable traits, and if we see someone with only 18 months of experience, plus a year at a coffee shop, but they're also *gasp* a pleasant person to talk to, guess who I'm hoping they hire?

I won't pretend to be an expert, but I have been through the machine. I started as a bar back in a club, and made connections and gained a reputation as a hard worker. It's the old adage of not being what you know, but whom. So yes, I got my current job without putting in my dues there, but rest assured I have paid them in full. (Side note: another part of taking the support role is that you gain another aspect to your employment. I embarrassingly still have to check the floor plan to double check where a couple of tables are.)

So I say again: drop the attitude that you are entitled to that job, or Whistler will drop you even faster.