By: Jan Kartusek, Work and Travel Summer 2014 Ambassador Scholar

 Jan Kartusek is a Work and Travel participant from Slovakia, working in Alaska. In his first blog post, he shares how he combines work with fun.

My name is Jan and this summer I have decided to work at Anchorage Golf Course located in Alaska in the southern part of Anchorage. I work at O’Malley’s on the Green as a server. It’s a restaurant in the center of the golf course, where it’s comprised of two rooms, where one is always used for banquets or events and the other one is a daily open restaurant room.

My day at work begins at around 11AM, when I arrive to work and clock into the computer for my scheduled shift. I arrive by bus or by bicycle. First, I need to prepare the restaurant and the server station for the working day. There is often just one server and one bartender in the whole restaurant so I really need to be prepared in case it is a busy day. I set up all the tables, check peppers and salts on each of them, bring condiments on top of every table and change the table tops.

After that, I need to set up the server station, so I bring some ice, clean the nozzles on soda machine, prepare menus and all of the sauces that we use during the day (mustard, mayo, ketchup, tartar…) and always fill up the salad bar with fresh vegetables. Then I roll silverware and bring any sort of condiments that are often used such as napkins, to-go boxes etc.

Everything is then ready and I wait for the first customers. I always welcome any customers with a smile and bring water and menus to their table. I ask them what they would like to drink first and bring them their order of drinks. If they are ready I take a meal order and recommend any specials that we might have for the day. I put every order into computer in the server station and wait for the cooks to make the order. After it’s done, I sometimes make a side salad for them if they asked for it and bring the meal to the customers. I check up on customers from time to time if they need another drink or refill. When they are done I get them their tab. They either pay by cash or by credit card. When payment process is complete, I return and bring them their receipt with change or credit card. I thank them for the visit and clean the table after them. The perks of being server are that you receive tipsfrom the customers, which is usually 15%of their total tab. This process repeats and it can be really challenging to remember all the orders if I have 4 tables at the same time with separate checks. That is why I use a notebook to write every order because as I found out you can’t remember every detail of the given request.

At the end of the shift after my replacement comes in, and I print a receipt of the total orders that I had that day and the money that I owe the house or the house (meaning the restaurant) owes me for the credit card tips. One shift takes around 6 or 7 hours and after I cash out, I log off the computer and enjoy some free time at the golf course. I usually end the day by playing golf or chatting with friends that work there.

Watch how I complete my day, by watching my video below!