Thursday, May 28, 2009

Scoop-tacular Attitude

Even though I've always had some other full time job- education, social work, non profit- I've usually kept a part time job in food service, often because my full time job paid peanuts and I needed to make ends meet. I've worked in coffee houses, tended bar, and worked in restaurants. But I have to say that working in the ice cream parlor is by far the best food industry job I've had.

Oh the money was so much better in waiting tables and tending bar because of the tips, but with those-- people were crabby or drunk and hard to handle. Folks would be miserable and complain about everything. Even if Martha Stewart herself prepared the food and served it on gold plates, some folks would find something to complain about. Kids would scream- and smear crackers over everything. People would cry in their beers. It was usually pretty miserable, most of the time. The coffee houses were okay, but often people were cranky, waiting for their coffee, not having had their caffeine yet, already frustrated with traffic or upset with having to go to work at all. Tips were sparse. And it wasn't my fault you had to be at work at 8 am and came in at 7:40 am and were pissed that you had to wait in line behind 122 other people who also had to be at work at 8 am!

But working in the ice cream parlor is a different sort of food service. It's... wait for it... HAPPY! People are happy when they come in to get ice cream, generally speaking. Oh there's the occasional person who gets bummed that we don't have their very favourite but are quite content with their second fav. Once or twice someone is shocked at a price, but we have 2 kinds of hard ice cream- regular Atz flavors and then gourmet, and the gourmet costs more. But what floors me, is that these cases are few and far between and people are just generally happy when they come in.

And not only are customers happy and kind, so are my fellow employees! I've worked primarily with the same two women and they are just happy workers who love their jobs. Other employees have come in as customers, or I've worked with them briefly as the shift changes, and they too have been happy. And they were teenagers. They said they like coming to work there, they like their jobs! Happy teenagers?!? Wow- what a phenomenon.

I also love the fact that most people usually don't stay and eat their ice cream in the dining area- most people order and then leave. People are nice and excited. Even the grumpiest lady, with the biggest frown on her face when she orders, ends up with a smile when presented with her cone. It's a transformation. Kids come in and oooo and ahhhh over the 53 flavors- and then jump up and down when they get their cones, and everyone loves our super sundaes or our HUGE banana splits. People are in good humor to us staff members and to each other. It's nice to see everyone being nice. As Hawkeye Pierce said in M*A*S*H: "It's nice to be nice to the nice!" I wish I would've known about this part of the idealized food service industry earlier!

Hmmmmmmmmm, I wonder what they're really putting in the ice cream? Doesn't matter to me as long as everyone stays happy! So, while I was bummed that I still hadn't found a full time professional position, I have to say I'm at least enjoying the wonderful world of scooping ice cream for the masses!

Please pass the chocolate cherry amaretto,


Anonymous said...

So there!


Maggie said...

Patti- right on!