Thursday, March 23, 2017

Behind-the-Scenes at Long John Silvers!

Long John Silvers, the greasy and fishy establishment where I landed my first job. I was a senior in high school and my husband, then-boyfriend at the time, suggested I applied. So I did. I wasn’t expecting too much, and it took forever to hear back from them. But I finally did and I got the job. They provided a couple shirts, a hat, and a name tag. We had to buy a black or brown belt, black pants, and black shoes.

Here's a picture (sorry it's really blurry!) of a goblet made out of Reese wrapping my LJS co-worker made!
My first night sucked. You always have the bullies around making life miserable for everyone and she was rude to me. However; I was friendly with mostly everyone else. I’ve worked at Rural King, a university, and physician offices and yet LJS still held a spot in my heart for ‘favorite job’. It was nasty work, but the some of the people really made the difference.
I really enjoy customer service. I enjoy interacting with folks and smiling at them, making their encounter with me pleasant, and hopefully making their day just that little extra bit more special.
What’s it like to work fast food? That is usually most people’s first job. Sure it’s easy, per say, but at the same time a lot was expected from me.
There were three main positions: cook, drive-thru, and “main” which consisted of a few duties. I hated drive-thru. I had too much of a short-term memory to be doing a task and trying to remember what the person at the speaker wanted, then repeating it back to them without being at the screen punching in the order. Also, the headset was basically the devil. I couldn’t keep that sucker on my head without it being annoying and catching on everything. Plus we had to wear hats which made things even more annoying. At the particular store number I was at, we were required to say the following phrase: “Thank you for choosing Long John Silvers, my name is ___, how may I help you?” Sometimes we had to throw in something about a special and ask if they would like it.
I did help make some of the food. I will get to super-specifics on the food-aspect in a few paragraphs. You have lots of responsibilities as the cashier. I’ll list things I had to do:
  • Greet every customer with a smile and repeat the order back to them; handle the cash register
  • Prepare food and bring it out to the customers
  • Collect and clean trays. It didn’t please me when people left their trash and tray on the table. This isn’t that kind of restaurant people. Clean up after yourselves!
  • Do the dishes
  • Fill the ice in the pop machine
  • Redo the pop syrup when the machine ran out
  • Clean the tables along with wiping down the vinegar, salt and pepper
  • Rearrange the contents on the table (yes, they were specific)
  • Refill the vinegar on the tables (I hated this so much, it stunk so bad), along with salt/pepper, and napkins
  • Refill the station that included all the condiments, straws, forks, etc.
  • Clean the silver back wall
  • Clean the baseboards (yes, seriously)
  • Sweep continuously throughout your shift
  • Mop at closing
  • Push down the trash, take it out back, put a new bag in, wipe off any condiment leftovers. What annoyed me so much about this was the fact the trashcans were at the exit door and people insisted on coming in the exit instead of the entrance, so they would stand there and sigh when they had to wait on me to move myself, the trash bag and the dolley just so they could come in the wrong way because it was the closest door. And also when people just kept filling the closest trashcan when it’s overflowing because they were too lazy to put their trash in the second can.
  • Clean the windows inside and outside
  • Clean the bathrooms
  • If a customer dropped their change, I had to exit the establishment, walk around to the front, shimmy in between their vehicle and the wall, and pick up the change they dropped.
  • Accept coupons that were for Captain D’s which was two stores over (yes, really)
  • Refill and make the coffee and tea
I think that pretty much sums up the crap I did on a shift. You know how LJS in general always seems pretty slow? Well we were actually required to get things out by an X amount of minutes and when we were running behind (which was always) we offered free drinks and pies. We always got behind because we would get low on fish (we wouldn’t cook up any if no one was in the store) and no one would be there, then all of a sudden everyone literally came in at once and we would start running behind because it all took a certain amount of time to cook, of course.
Ok. Now. The food! I’m going to go into detail about what it took to prepare it.
Fish, Chicken
They were frozen. I think the chicken and fish were ok, along with the fries, but greasy.
Fish Tacos
Right before I left, they started requiring us to use a whole piece of fish for the taco, when previously we used half a piece. It was difficult to put the toppings in and have the tortilla try to wrap around the entire thing securely. I would actually make these for myself during break, or sometimes, even on shift (hehe). I would just use ketchup instead of the Baja sauce though. Next to the drive-thru window we had a station with all the necessities needed for the tacos and sandwiches. We really weren’t supposed to eat anything on shift though. We got 30 minute breaks once we worked 4.5 hours.
Shrimp, Clams, Crab Cakes
Anytime a customer ordered these, we would need to call out loud to the cook because we made these on a made-to-order basis (I always had such a hard time remembering to do this in the beginning). If they ordered two clam dinners, we would have to say “Two clams!” but if they ordered one, then it would just be “I need a clam!” Omg I just remembered the lobster bites! Yum! This was the same concept. They changed the recipe and taste of these though :(
So I always made fun of my mom for ordering krums/crunchies but once I started working there, holy cow! Soo many people ordered them! And they were free. They were just the extra bits that were floating around the fryer, like from the fish and chicken and stuff.
We would cut up lemons and put them in cups then stick them in the fridge for peeps. Also in the fridge were the pies that weren’t too shabby!
Green Beans
Now I’m trying to remember how we made these. It’s been like, 5 years since I’ve worked there. I think we just put them in the microwave. I think. Or maybe it was the other way. We did have these hot water things that we used to bake the corn and baked cod, and soups. We would just stick the bag in and wait till the timer went off, carefully took it out and put it on the plate.
Baked potatoes
We would dampen these, roll them in the salt and seasoning, and heat them in the microwave
Similar to the baked potatoes; I remember sometimes if you didn’t use enough water, the rice would turn black and would not want to come off the plate we used.
I still love these things! Once it got closer to closing time, if we ran out of hushpuppies, too bad because we weren’t making anymore. It happened to me once where a guy and his family wanted some and he was a big jerk about it. I had to let the manager talk to him. (Random thought: there was a guy who would stalk my co-worker. Creepy!)
So for the hushpuppies, we had to use this mix and you just had to keep stirring it and it got tough! I honestly don’t remember too much else about them.
Cole Slaw
Ok, we workers used to call this concoction “snot.” Yummy, isn’t it? We would have to put on these really flimsy elbow-length gloves and dig on down deep into the snot. Ha! We would have two bags: One bag had the cabbage, lettuce, etc. The other bag was the snot bag that contained the “creamy” part. We mixed it together in a big gallon bucket and it was kind of gross!
Thank goodness I didn’t have too many nasty bathroom clean-up incidents, but guys liked to get pee everywhere and one time I swear I saw poop particles in the trashcan.
The thing I hated most was doing them dang dishes! Those baskets we used to lower into the grease got so stinking greasy; no matter how hard I scrubbed they would not come clean! I would damage my nails all the time because they would slide around and catch on all the little holes.
Oh yeah, we weren’t allowed to paint our nails! Or wear much jewelry at all. A wedding band was fine. No facial piercings either.
The dishes would stack up so fast and it would get late and I would try to do them while also waiting on the customers. And people get so nasty when it comes to their food. They treat the area like a pig-sty!
I only had two customers that stood-out for being jerks, so I was lucky for such a low number! I worked here for three months, put in my two-weeks, worked an extra day for them on Sunday and turned around Monday and went behind the lot to Rural King for my second job! (Would anyone like a BTS of Rural King? I’m thinking I’ll do one).
Alright, I think that does it! Thank you for stopping by and reading my detailed “behind-the-scenes” look at Long John Silvers! Don’t forget to ring that bell on your way out if the service and food delighted you!
Disclaimer: Photos taken from LJS website.

No comments:

Post a Comment