Monday, June 30, 2014

Why I am Saturday night

A friend recently asked me just why I post "is Saturday night!" as my Facebook status on, well, Saturdays.The simple answer is that since I work in a restaurant, Saturday night is a big night.  As you may know, I love my job, so this is the best day of my week.

But there's more to it than that.  Here's an interesting fact about being in the restaurant 'biz':  Once you are committed to it, your Saturday nights are not like most folks' any more. Your friends will call you up and say, 'hey I am having a party on Saturday', and you'll say, 'oh that's too bad, because I work on Saturdays'.  This isn't actually a bad thing, as far as I am concerned, even though it is a workday.  If you love the business like I do, Saturday night is a party night, but not for going out.  We hold the party and people come to us.

There's also a back story here.  When I first got the job at Hudson's (now 17 years ago), even though I'd been 'hired' in October, technically, I was 'on call' so I called in every Saturday night for months, only to be told, no sorry not this week.  I didn't give up, though.  It was actually April before I got to work my first shift, and it was a Saturday night.  I wanted to make a good impression with the kitchen, so taking a cue from a old movie called The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, I brought along a twelve-pack of beer for the kitchen.  In the movie, it's a bottle of whiskey, I think, and it's for the chef, but here I tried to hit the lowest common denominator, thinking that if the kitchen didn't hate me, I'd be off to a good start.

It worked.  Well, I really don't think it was the beer that did it, but whatever the reason, I got to work more and more Saturdays.  And each time I came to work, I was so excited and happy to be there, that when I would arrive, I would kick open the back door to the kitchen and holler as I came in with my 12-pack: "It's Saturday Night!"  This would be met by a chorus of whoops and and occasional 'Sabado gigangte'.  This is a ritual I still do today, although I often no longer arrive in the afternoon when everyone is in the kitchen.  Now I even call it out to an empty kitchen when I arrive at noon, but it's still a symbolic moment for me--the moment when I am where I really want to be, in the restaurant.

So, when Facebook came along, I started posting my excitement as a status.  Back in the day, FB would put up your name and the word "is" next to the status box, so when you posted, you could just say, "at a party" and it would come out as "Phillip is at a party".  Eventually, FB changed, but I didn't, and the result is sort of zen-like statement about me and my week.

I am Saturday night!

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