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I’m discovering two big differences between this new job at Olive Garden and any other I have held through the years. The first is the sheer number of players to meet, become acquainted with, and collaborate with. Not only the other hosts, but the servers, the bussers, the kitchen crew, and the managers. Many different personalities, work styles and ethics, and areas of expertise. And because of flexible shifts, I am meeting different ones each day.

Some are quite serious, others laid back, a few push the envelope right to the edge. All have been patient and understanding with “the new kid” who is actually an old broad. Tonight I had the pleasure of working with my best friend’s younger daughter, a very competent, hard-working young woman. Tomorrow I get to share shifts with my own daughter. I love seeing her in action!

I am official now!

I am official now!

The other big difference between this and my other jobs — the one that I think will be hardest to adjust to — is the flexible scheduling. My last job with variable hours was back in college (the first time around) in 1971! I am very accustomed to knowing my schedule months in advance and planning accordingly. Finding out the following week’s schedule on the previous Friday takes some maneuvering…and lots of flexibility.

Each day has gotten a little bit easier, though, and soon I hope to be doing at least parts of the routine on automatic pilot. It just takes patience and practice.