I’ve never been to a fancy restaurant.
Yes, you’ve read that right. I have never been to a fancy restaurant. There’s a bunch of reasons as to why I have never been to one, but the bottom line is that I’m not really a fan of anything fancy and high-end. I’m a commoner and I see myself as a low maintenance person, thus my need to eat at a fancy restaurant doesn’t exist. Plus, the servings would probably be a smaller portion too… (and I don’t know how people would get full with that. Not that I’m a huge eater, but I’m just saying, lol.)
But hey, there is always a first time, right?
And that first time happened to me yesterday, when my superiors (the general manager, T, and Operations Manager, B) took me out for lunch. Why? They said it was to show me how much they appreciate me as their admin. Remember back in April on the 24th was Admin day. They were supposed to take me out to lunch that day and was supposed to be a surprise, but it didn’t go through the way they planned. You see, when our Operations Manager came that day, I just got back from lunch. Not that it was actually a surprise too, per se. I check T’s calendar and he noted “lunch” for admin day. A part of me assumed that they might take me out for lunch since I’m the only admin in this office, but then the other part of me called me out and reminded me not to assume stuff. After all, those are just mere assumptions and well… let’s just say that I had my fair share of wrong assumptions before when I was young.
Anyho, back to the lunch treat that my superiors were kind enough to do.
Aside from never having been to a fancy restaurant, I had never had lunch with any of my superiors in my previous jobs. Well, scrap that. I had lunch with my manager at the gas station (I used to work at a gas station, yeah) but that’s different since it’s not in a fancy restaurant and she’s like a second mom to me (but it was still fun and great, nonetheless!).
A few highlights to how our lunch went by:
A lot of first times.
The fancy restaurant was near our office. It was my first time going to such a place: a sea-side restaurant where you can see all these yachts and people basking in the sun. Sure, I’ve been to San Francisco’s restaurants and the only thing fancy there are the menu’s prices (again, insert sarcasm here). It was my first time eating with my superiors which both are white gentlemen and my first time eating olive, mushrooms, onion and a leek (or maybe those were chives?!), but yeah, I don’t eat any of those!
And the one thing that topped it off?
I GET TO RIDE A FREAKING BMW.
Call me ignorant and naïve or laugh at me, I don’t care, lol. I’m a commoner and I drive a Toyota and Honda.
My voice was shaking, and my body was quivering the whole time I ate with them.
I was eating with my superiors: the general and operations manager together. Do you have any idea on how nerve-wracking it was for me? I know in the American culture, it might not be that big of a deal, yes. But I was born and raised in the Philippines where there’s this thing called “power gap” that exists in work culture. If you’re in a low-ranking position there, what are the chances that you’ll see your boss, let along have lunch with them, right? Okay, scrap the seeing part, but most of the time? Low ranking employees fear their boss.
I’m not that scared of my managers because I interact with them daily, but that fear still lingers in me. They still have the power to fire me in a finger snap, lol.
It was all about me. (Or at least, the first part was about me, lol.)
Having lunch with them was one thing, but before we got to the restaurant was even more fun (insert sarcasm here, lol). I was grilled with a bunch of questions about myself. Questions like “how far is your drive to the office”, “how was my husband” and blah, blah, blah. Simple and basic questions, yes, but I don’t like talking about myself in that kind of position, lol (I’d prefer it better if they know little about me, haha).
Buuuut, I ended telling them a bit about my background.
I told them that we recently moved and hence my morning commute is different from what it used to be and that we moved because of my dad. They also asked me what I finished in college and my baking skills (which, I’m still trying to pick up after losing it somewhere, lol). But the one thing that stuck with me more than all that? It was when they asked me if I was born here. Apparently, it never crossed their mind that I might not have been born here, because I spoke English well and didn’t have an accent. I couldn’t believe it, lol. I never considered myself to be well spoken in English because I still struggle to find my words from time to time aaaaaand when my inner translator’s still not functional, specially in the morning. Plus, my accent rears its ugly head when I speak to my nephews (I dunno why, but I always struggle with them, haha). But yeah, that’s what they said and if that’s what they think, then I’m flattered. I’ll take compliment with a grateful heart. 😊
And then when we got to the restaurant, they asked me a bit more questions. Until they got sidetracked and talked about ships, the navy and other stuff. I nod my head occasionally and showed interest, even though I didn’t have the slightest clue as to what they’re talking about.
I’m blessed to be a part of the team.
When this job was offered to me by my hiring adviser at the agency last year while I was job hunting, I refused the offer not only once, but TWICE. Yes, I rejected them TWICE! Why? Well, I wanted to stay away and detoxify from the construction industry after the hell I went through as a “contracts administrator” for a general contractor in the city. So, I rejected the job offer twice and then, my hiring adviser screwed up.
Turns out, they accidentally sent my resume to the company, which sent the company a message that I was interested. What a screw up, right?
And if that wasn’t enough, the company reviewed my resume on the spot, on that same day and extended an invitation to meet me and come for an interview. Imagine my horror when my adviser told me. I wanted to reject the offer (for the third time, because I wasn’t really feeling it) but I felt bad when she told me that the company reviewed my resume on that same day and was excited to meet me. I didn’t want to be rude or anything, so I thought, “yeah, sure, why not?”, right? I agreed to come for the interview and check the company culture and work environment. I wasn’t feeling well on the day of the interview because I was sick for two weeks already (probably from all the stress from the previous job, lol). I went in with the interview, met my now boss and spoke with him for at least 5 minutes and I was out the door already. Yeah, that interview went by fast, haha. I remember on that very interview, T wanted to buy me out on the spot from the agency, lol. And after that interview, I got the job and started the following week.
The lunch treat was my bosses’ way of showing me how much they appreciate me as their admin, and I’m very grateful. Even though sometimes I don’t think too much of my work and worry a lot about things that I might have done wrong, it makes me so happy when people appreciate me and the things I do for them. I love helping people in any way I can! Sure, it’s my job and they pay me, but the mere fact that they appreciate me is even better. They also told me that if I have any suggestions, frustrations or if I need anything, just let them know since as they put it, I’m their “favorite” admin and the best they could find. Of course, I wouldn’t be doing well with my job if I wasn’t trained well by the previous admin, S, so credits go to her as well.
Aww, I’m so blessed to be a part of this team. 😊