Thursday, June 9, 2016

Tico's

During finals week sophomore year fall semester, Susannah and I relieved our stress by eating out at a new restaurant each night. We had heard from someone that Tico's Mexican Restaurant had amazing chips and salsa, so we made our way down there in mismatched sweats and unwashed hoodies. Classy.

We were surprised by the decor - it was fancier than we expected while also looking old and old-fashioned. We about died when we went into the bathroom and found it tiled wall-to-wall in awful brown patterned squares. (Keep in mind we were not fully in our right minds - thanks, finals week.) We felt out of place in our grungy clothes but found the chips/salsa to indeed be delicious, and Susannah got a quesadilla and I got taco salad. We liked our waitress a lot and were being silly and making jokes that we should work there, and waitress Lizz was like, "well actually we are hiring, so you should totally fill out an application." I did, right then and there! And worked as a host for the next few months before I decided to be a waitress instead. Then I got married, pregnant, and quit before I had Natalie. I worked there again just one or two nights a week once Stockton was done nursing, and then I quit before I had Jack. Now I've been working again for the past four or five months and it's been really fun!

I love being a server - it is really satisfying work: anticipating needs (refills, extra ranch, more napkins), getting the order perfect, offering free dessert to really nice tables, and in general making people feel served but not overly attended to. I love that there are repeat customers who begin to recognize me and appreciate when I remember them too; I love being on my feet moving and grooving for four or five hours and then being done; I love eating a delicious free meal when my shift is over; and most of all I love using totally different skills than I do as a mom. It is SO NICE to do something completely separate from being with my children all day; it helps me feel like my personality/life is more involved than just caring for my wonderful but needy children, and most of the time I don't even mention my family when I'm at work because it feels like I sort of have a secret identity, ha.

I took some sneaky pictures one night after I was "cut" (meaning I wouldn't be getting any new tables but I needed to finish up the tables I was already serving) and want to share them here for posterity. I've worked on and off here for 5 years, so it should definitely be documented! Too bad I can't save the post-Tico's chip/fajita/restaurant grime smell....actually that's definitely a good thing.

my view turning back after work - right by the capital, obv

my meal of choice that night - kid nachitos with beef/beans
and a side of rice with ranch/hot salsa and a diet pepsi with lemon

where we eat if we're too lazy to go upstairs to the
break room

Travis in action - when your table's food is done, they put
the receipt next to the plates to let you know it's okay to take
the food out from under the warmer (hence the pile of skewered receipts)

the "someone please work for me" board

a real life Jessie comment card!

looking past the salad area (left) to the kitchen prep area

one view of the bus station (yes, it's that small!) fridge for salsa, racks for
glasses, buckets for ice, silverware/salsa cups/coffee/takeout boxes

the opposite view: soda, water, and chip station

the struggle: "how full can we make these bus tubs before
someone has to take them back?"

 some of the seating areas

the screen for taking orders
Tico's has been good to me, and I will happily work there whenever it works for me and my family. It's nice to only work once or twice a week because it feels like a fun outing/break for me instead of actual work. I make anywhere from $60-110 in tips on a Friday or Saturday, and it's fun to see the cash build up in our change jar. Come visit me some time! : )

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