Working in a small business such as Jack's Shop Kitchen, the staff gets to know each other very quickly. Through the high turnover of the restaurant business, there are few that truly stand out. You may recognize the man above as Carl Holt, our lead bus boy. Carl has been an essential team member to the staff for over a year, and has been a reliable and steady employee. Carl is attending Piedmont Virginia Community College; we said goodbye to him this week so that he can focus on school and transfer next year. We asked Carl a few questions about his time here at Jack's Shop Kitchen before he left:
How long have you worked at Jack's Shop Kitchen?
"Like my official first bussing day? Or first training day? Let's say first shift. First official shift was Wednesday, July 13, 2016. The heart of summer."
Favorite part of the day?
"Oh my gosh *sighs*. I would probably say my favorite part of the day is the start of the work day - once my opening duties are out of the way and I can truly bust into my busser form. I also just like coming in and saying hello to everybody I'm working with for the day. Definitely the beginning of the day."
Favorite bussing duty?
"The satisfaction of cleaning a table, once the table is turned and brand new. I enjoy saying, 'This table is done. On to the next.' or whatever other task I have coming forth."
Least favorite bussing duty?
"Cleaning the bathrooms."
Favorite day of the week?
"Wow. I don't know if I have one. This is a toughie because, you know, we used to have dinner shifts, so I have to take that into account as well. I'm going to go with a Sunday."
You would occasionally expo. Do you prefer bussing or expo? Why?
"I'm going to give you a long answer. I enjoy expo-ing more: at first it was so challenging to me that I was so nervous, but once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed doing it. I learned a lot and the opportunity to be an expo was really fun. Although, I would add that bussing is something that I'm always satisfied with because I know that when I do it, it's going to be done properly."
Favorite item on the menu?
"The grilled spankin' cheese. Not the grown up grilled cheese, the kid's grilled cheese! With a side of parmesan fries."
Any menu hacks?
"I'm not the person to ask for this, there is no expertise. Add butter."
Favorite staff meal?
"Cheese fries - New Years Eve and Valentine's Day were great days. OH, and grilled cheese waffle."
What's a little known fact about you?
"I have two pet frogs, named Frogerto Roberto and Fredrik Von Hausen."
You are also a pretty sentimental person; what items have you held onto/taken for your personal keepsake?
"Yeah, obviously gotta start with my first clock-in and out slip, and the slip with the most hours I've ever worked in a week; along with other things such as pictures taken and made for me: a man-bun drawing, a drinking glass, a plastic silverware set with stamps. But the clock-in and out slip is the most important."
"Chicken tendees." "You do you."
Most memorable co-worker:
"Larry. He was one of the first people I ever got to work with. My first job, a new environment, I didn't know anybody. He was the first person to greet me with kindness; he was a stand-up guy. We had some solid conversations about life. He was like 60 years old, and he became a role model to me in this place quickly. He didn't complain, he did his job every day, and he did it well. What got to me was he genuinely cared about you as a person. It meant a lot to me."
Most memorable day or moment:
"First day - everything was new and a learning experience. Everything was kind of surreal. And the last day."
What will you miss the most?
"Working with everybody, as cheesy as it is. I really enjoy working with people in general but especially here. So cheesy, but it's so true."
What are you looking forward to the most?
"Not having to do anything so early in the morning. I am a night owl and I like to sleep in. That is what I'm looking forward to the most, is not having to get up and clean bathrooms at 9 am."
What are your plans now?
"To focus on school and get good grades so I can transfer to either VCU or JMU next fall."
You do you, Carl. Best of luck!