For the past 7 and a half years, I’ve worked at the same restaurant that I got my first job in back in high school. While lots of things there have changed, including my job description from busser to server, one thing that has stayed the same is the comfort I find in my coworkers/friends, even on the most ridiculous of days. Today was one of those days.
Any day that kids have off from school, Ruby’s is also unnecessarily crowded. When it’s kids and their moms, it’s generally not too bad because mom usually knows what their kid likes and orders quickly, makes them eat quickly, and exits quickly. The problem is that on work days, moms often have to go to work which means that babysitters or grandparents take the kids out to lunch in an effort to entertain them. This is the only situation ever where grandparents are kinda the worst. They don’t know exactly what their grandkids like or are allowed to have, which means I end up standing at the end of the table for 20mins as they try to figure it out. Similarly, children can sense that Mommom or Poppop is not really gonna yell at them, so they act crazier and run around way more than normal. All in all, despite the large amounts of money we make, working the day shift on a holiday is always exhausting and draining. Luckily though, my co-workers and I have developed a perfect way to de-stress: HIbachi Mondays.
Hibachi Monday originated last MLK day, when the situation described above was in full effect and we needed something relaxing to do after work. Someone remembered that Hibachi had half-priced steak entrees on Mondays, which seemed like a sign. It also seemed to be a sign that the further away Hibachi had a lovely koi pond that that other Hibachis lacked. Since it was gonna be a far drive, and we’re kinda ridiculous, the only valid option was to pre-game before and during the ride, which resulted in a whole new level of fun watching our food get cooked.
Today we decided to bring back this lovely tradition of getting drunk before going to a family restaurant, and it was an experience as usual. I was the DD tonight, so I didn’t drink which meant I was able to fully appreciate the antics of my friends, which included convincing our Chef to give us shots of the sake he was cooking with, refilling our drinks with said alcohol, asking to feed the koi in the koi pond, and laying on the ground to try and pet them. I’m not sure how much the Hibachi employees enjoyed us, but we’re pretty good at making friends wherever we go, plus we tip like 50% so they were probably alright.
As I was driving everyone back to the Hibachi after party (yeah, I know. We’re excessive) jamming to some old school rap I couldn’t help but think about how blessed I am to have co-workers that aren’t just fun to work with, but are also genuine friends outside of the restaurant. I’m not sure if it’s normal to want to hangout with your co-workers every day, but I am so thankful that we are all kinda obsessed with each and equally enjoy getting drunk and eating good food.