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Zack_of_Steel

I could use some advice.

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So some of you may have heard me mention that I moved to Lincoln, NE a few weeks ago. We had some massive flooding in Kearney and the restaurant my gf and I worked at got wrecked and our apartment did also. Neither of us wanted to be in Kearney, but the money at Coppermill was great.

So when we first decided to move I got a fat stack of applications to bars and restaurants that seemed "higher-end" and drafted a resume, scanned the apps and filled them out with my computer, and got shit moving. On top of that, one of our friends owns her own chiropractic practice in town and started reaching out to some professional contacts for me.

Here's the current situation:

-I just took a job at a family business that does art and cooking classes on one side of the venue and has a cafe/bar on the other side. They started out just with the classes and shit, but the cafe thing took off and kinda became the main draw, whereas the family has no real experience with running a commercial kitchen or bar.

They had recently had some turnover and one of the sons took over as a manager in the past 6 months with basically 0 experience in this realm. The kitchen staff had been doing things a certain way under the previous manager and the family kinda let the cafe/bar be run by the employees.

When I went to interview for a front of house (FOH) position, I was asked if I would  be receptive to helping out in the kitchen (BOH) for the first 2-4 weeks since they were hurting for help and it would help me become acquainted with the business. I knew we needed money coming in and accepted despite the fact that I absolutely abhor dealing with food. I have the capacity for it, but I just personally do not enjoy it in the slightest.

So I started Tuesday and ended up in a shitstorm from the first minute. I showed up and they had gotten a text from their last/main kitchen guy that he was quitting. The guy that handled all the prep and was supposed to train me was out before I got started. The family is comprised of some of the nicest people I've ever encountered and they have been treating me like their savior. I've worked 3 doubles in a row now, helped out as a server/bartender during a private party, and have been running the kitchen with some help from the family trying to figure it all out with me. They didn't have a shirt for me and so yesterday I worked 8 hours in the kitchen and then put on a fuckin' sweater to serve/bartend for another 8 hours. Shit has been bonkers.

On top of all that, I've made some huge waves in getting shit fixed or noticing room for improvement. Their prep table had a Freon leak that I alerted them to and they had a dude come out to fix, I noticed yeast coming out of the beer tap drain line and let them know that they have to have the lines cleaned once every month at least. I found a bunch of mold in random areas people wouldn't think to clean in a bar unless you know what's going on. During the private party of about 50 people on my second day, I pushed the drink tab up to $330 before they sat down to eat by ignoring the dumbass 19 year old "bartenders" and going out to cocktail and get orders and fill the hands of the group. They kept insisting, "that's not how we do things here, they come to the bar." Well, for the first hour or two they were mingling and talking in the other room and if I hadn't done what I did their tab would have ended at less than half of what it did at the end of the night.

 

So, with all of that long-winded context, the entire family has been bowing down to me, begging me to stay and trying to push me into management. They told me yesterday they're already bumping my pay $2/hr based on what I've done. My thing is, I wanted to come to an established place and jump in with no responsibilities and just make an assload of tips like I did in Kearney. I just don't know if I have it in me to start from a negative and build everything alone from the ground up unless they're able to pay me out the ass, which I'm not sure they can afford. I think it's a lot more sensible for me to act as a consultant and teach the family what to do so they can actually run the place themselves rather than having 5 family members on staff that are only competent in half the business while paying other management like myself.

 

-My chiropractor friend has a colleague with a practice that just lost an assistant. She put in word for me and I met with the doctor and made a good impression, but she has a girl just out of chiropractic school that's coming in to help in an interim capacity until she opens her own practice. That could be 2 months, could be 2 years, just depends on how ambitious the girl is. This is the #1 job I want. Pays well, has great benefits, I would work amazing hours. The larger the practice, the fewer the hours, so they leave at 3:30 on Thursdays and have Fri-Sun off. I'd be working in an office and have time to chase a world's invite in Pokemon this year and earn a trip to London. I just have no idea when/if this job is going to be available or if I'd even get hired after the fact (feels likely).

-Her other contact is an insurance adjuster about 30 minutes drive from here. He's looking for an assistant to help grow his business and deal with all the computer shit. He's got bonuses in mind and said I could do a lot of the work from home. This is another job I think I would like, but it just came about literally the first day I started working the current job. I'm going to draft up an email and see about an interview, but I think this seems like a good shot also. My only concern is that it's out of town and that my friend Dana has a tendency to...overlook the douchiness in people, especially guys (she's a lesbian, so she just doesn't "get" it with dudes sometimes). She sent me a screenshot of her conversation with him and it kinda rubbed me the wrong way. I think one of my best qualities is my judge of character, so we'll see what happens.

-In dealing with getting my internet set up I had some problems, but the one dude at the office I went to that knew wtf was going on and took the case over suggested that I apply to work there. He said I'd be working with him and it was a great job with benefits and he'd been there for 12 years in sales. I think I could wreck shit at this job also, but I'm not sure about working for a cable company by principle. I've also never worked in "commission" outside of tips, so I'm unsure of how volatile my income would be, but based on my research it looks like it could be lucrative for me.

-Next, I just got a couple voicemails from other places in town. The first is a higher-end martini bar where I think I could kill it, but they're only looking for opening shifts on Fridays and 2 Saturday nights a month. I could maybe tack this on to one of the other jobs, but with everything being in the air, I'm not sure.

-The last place is a high-end restaurant group in town that has a few different concept restaurants. I think if I made an impression I could get hired on pretty easily and make some money, the type of job I figured I could find quickly based on my experience.

 

 

 

 

So, my question is...what do I do? I've always been a supremely empathetic person and put others before myself. I've never been in a position where I had a bunch of job offers/prospects and I'm not sure how to handle it--I feel selfish and I don't want to fuck over this family, but I know I have to do what's best for me because I want to start having kids.

Do I just set up every interview and let them all know that I have some options to consider? Do I keep killing myself at this place while I do so? I worked 45+ hours in 3 days and I still have another day on Saturday. I don't have time to do shit and I feel lost and worn the fuck down.

 

If you made it through all that, thank you for reading. I appreciate you all and anything you have for me.

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Your mental health is the best thing you can offer to a lot of these places. If you have better offers on the table, you should take them. From the sounds of it, this family is really nice, but they don't know what they're doing and seem like a serious risk to go under in a few months. The Restuarant business is a harsh mistress and even if they are offering you a lot, if you aren't enjoying the work you're only killing yourself in the long run. Obviously don't dump it in the trash right away, and see how that insurance adjuster interview works out for you. Some people are just douchier on text than they are in real life, but obviously you'll need to trust your judgment in that regard. Then from there I'd just go down the list of other employment opportunities you've got, from the ones you're interested in the most, to the least. The work you're doing right now sounds like a disaster though, and I'd try to get out once you have something stable lined up.

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I read through the entire post twice just to make sure I hadn't missed anything. 

You said you wanted to start having kids soon. Is there anything else you've been wanting to do? Which of these jobs do you think you would enjoy the most? And which would put you in the best position to smash your goals? 

Maybe the answer to your question lies within the answers to mine.

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Just now, Sarge said:

 

You said you wanted to start having kids soon. Is there anything else you've been wanting to do? Which of these jobs do you think you would enjoy the most? And which would put you in the best position to smash your goals? 

 

From what I hear, Missionary is the best position to get some kids.

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9 minutes ago, Sarge said:

I read through the entire post twice just to make sure I hadn't missed anything. 

You said you wanted to start having kids soon. Is there anything else you've been wanting to do? Which of these jobs do you think you would enjoy the most? And which would put you in the best position to smash your goals? 

Maybe the answer to your question lies within the answers to mine.

Mostly, I want to remove myself from American society and I want kids. That's about it. So both goals require an assload of money. So what I'm thinking is that whatever job pays the most is my go-to.

 

I forgot to mention one other consideration here (kind of a major one).

Alecia took a job with her cousin's business that works with the railroad and highway system spraying for weeds and cleaning up hobo camps and shit like that. She's been on the road in the panhandle for 3 weeks. The job is within the family, pays well, and has exploded since they started a few years ago, spanning across the US. Alecia just got promoted to a Quality Control position (they did not have one previously and kinda promoted her randomly) and will be home for only a few days before going to Oklahoma and Texas to run some shit.

So basically, I can make a ton of money doing that shit away from home and basically give up on Pokemon for the time being. If I'm going to hate what I do, but do it for the money, I could at least be with Alecia while I do it.

 

Basically, I know I just need to make a bunch of money. I've never really been happy in life, so if I can work toward something while being unhappy, I'm willing to do it. Depending on what my current job offers me (they want to have a sit-down on Tuesday), I think I have some good options. My biggest concern is how to navigate the entire thing and take interviews and tell them, "I have some other offers to consider, I will be in touch" or whatever. I hate doing things that I don't know how to do and right now I just feel lost.

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I find that family businesses tend to unravel fast, so unless you're quite certain this place you're currently working will be there 10 years from now, I'm thinking you should consider moving on simply because you can't be positive that they won't mismanage money and fold at a moment's notice.

Quite honestly, Zack, you have all these options but your gut instinct is telling you something and you should listen to it. If you can have these kinds of options now, you can have these kinds of options later if what you choose now doesn't pan out. 

I've got more to add but have to go for the moment.

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