How I started my adventure at TGI Fridays: Part I
Do you know the feeling of excitement but also of fear when you start a new adventure? That’s exactly how I felt when I found a job at TGI Fridays. At that time, I had no idea what I had in front of me.
After I started very intensely with the process of stepping out of my comfort zone, I resigned at work. I told myself that housekeeping really isn’t for me and that I won’t go far at this pace. A new large cinema center with many restaurants has opened in Bournemouth. That gave me at least a little courage. And also the fact that I did not want to go back home to Slovakia as a loser.
In 1965, Allan Stilman came up with the idea of opening his own business and finding a woman in this way. In my opinion, he had no idea how popular his business would become. He had no idea that his small bar would become a worldwide popular restaurant, which is not only a pleasant place to meet for good food and drink but is also a place that means a home for many people who work there.
I have long considered TGI Fridays to be my home. It was the first place I felt good after moving to Bournemouth.
I will remember my interview with TGI Fridays until my death. Maybe because the whole thing was very unexpected. I did the interview with a huge man, a manager who looked like he could kill me with one hand and continue lunch preparations with the other hand.
I was afraid to speak English and I didn’t believe it either. That’s why I chose to work in the kitchen. I don’t know what made me feel confident about that because the funny thing is that I can’t cook. I’ve never cooked and I don’t even like cooking. The only reason I wanted the job was that I saw the TGI Fridays website on the internet and everyone there looked incredibly happy and satisfied and talked about what a big family they are. I remember sitting in that still small little cold room and thinking I wanted it too.
The beginnings are very difficult everywhere, especially if you have work that you really don’t know how to do. To this day, I do not understand what impressed the manager, whether fact that we were both foreigners and he saw in my his beginnings, the fact that he preferred to work with foreigners more than with British or he was impressed by my answer to the question of what I would like to be if I could choose from anything. You don’t want to know my answer…
How I could do it? How could I enter that kitchen with the feeling that I couldn’t cook and that I didn’t even know what I was doing there?
I can’t tell you for sure how I got a job at TGI Fridays because I never asked. I also can’t tell you that I wasn’t afraid, because it would be bullshit. In the first weeks, I went to work with the stress that I would have to cook something again and I wouldn’t know. How unexpectedly, cook in the kitchen… but I didn’t have any other options. I started to run out of money and Bournemouth is incredibly expensive.
I had to have a plan. I needed it if I wanted to survive. An easier option would be to just pack my two suitcases and go back to Slovakia. Another option was just started looking for another job, which I think would be stupid because it would end up exactly in the same situation. So I made a decision.
I think that somewhere inside me I threw away my fear, pushed away my pride, and decided to learn everything. I considered it just another point on the way out of my comfort zone. I think if you want something you have to do something about it, you have to take risks.
I think you can learn almost anything. Of course, I’m not talking about professions like doctors or paramedics when you really need special education so you don’t kill anyone. Of course, you also have to be careful in the kitchen, but I think it can be learned, especially when you have good people around you who are willing to help you.
TGI Fridays were the first place where I felt at home in Bournemouth. Every time I had a hard day, working there improved my mood. It was really what it looked like on their site. We were like a family.
Here I get to the point where people with who I worked became my friends. I met most of my close friends there. I met the man of my life there.
But now that I am writing this article a few things are different. TGI Fridays are different, it has changed …