Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lightning Bolt Dan

When I was attending the University of Washington I worked for a brief time as a busboy/dishwasher at Mannings restaurant which has been recently designated as a Seattle landmark. I can testify that being a dishwasher is a much harder job than most people might think. Anyway, I had trouble getting my job done before the restaurant closed so I would end up working overtime for free. This was happening to other employees too so I decided to complain to the manager. She wasn't happy with my complaint and informed me in kind of a mean way that, unknown to me, my nick name was "the turtle".

Fast forward twenty-eight years. My son Daniel is working the grill at the A&W at the Everett Mall and he comes home one day upset that some people where he worked were calling him "turtle". I explained to him that tall people often appear to be moving slow even when they aren't and related my employment experience to him. About a month goes by and I ask Daniel how his job is going. He says his nick name had been changed to Ninja Turtle. Apparently his employer noticed that Daniel was working faster than it appeared and everything ran smoothly when he was at the grill. I felt vindicated.

Despite some begging, pleading and bribery by his employer, Daniel switches jobs and ends up at Applebee's working as a host/busser hoping for promotion to server which pays much more. It isn't long before Daniel is complaining (his third favorite sport) that they won't promote him to server. I didn't have any advice for him. I did end up going to Applebee's for dinner sometime later and I discovered the problem. Daniel was zipping around the restaurant about as fast as a Tasmanian devil but with the grace of Michelle Kwan. I had never seen a restaurant worker move so fast in my life. They would have to hire three bussers to replace him. No wonder they wouldn't promote him. I later found out that his nickname at Applebee's was Lightning Bolt. I felt less vindicated.


At 4:23 PM, March 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan! Keep doing what is right for your employer. The right employer will do right for you. I too was held back because I could do my job like no one else. I am now 45 years old, a mother and grandmother. I still run circles around people 1/2 my age. Because of my work ethic I can look back on my jobs and career and feel very proud. You will too.
A Successful Business Owner


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