An Open Letter

On January 8, 2011, in boston, by Stephanie

Foundry on ElmDear Foundry on Elm:

In my courier bag, I have a folder. In it are a pile of news clippings of bars and restaurants that I’d like to work at and that I’ve been tracking to approach. The first clipping in the book was an article about you from before you opened, and there were several more added when you opened and as the reviews started.

I missed when you were first looking for people; and I was pretty sad. But I knew that I didn’t have the skills to do what you would no doubt want.

Now, I should note, I’ve been a web developer for about 14 years; before that I was in desktop publishing. I went to university to train to be a  journalist and I’ve taken a one-year diploma course to be an administrative assistant. You may think I am overqualified for a job as a server. You’d be completely wrong. I just spent most of this last decade doing work that was fun in the 90s but that no longer really challenges me – I’ve always been more engaged and involved when my job involves the public (from time to time I’ve taken part time retail jobs just to get out and interact).

I’ve spent a lot of the last decade taking  increasingly specialized roles as a web developer, and well…I’m simply not suited to it anymore.  I like serving people. I get along well with people for the most part. Strangers talk to me readily, and I enjoy talking back and maybe making their days brighter. It’s a challenge to me to see if I can get a great tip: I like the instant feedback.

Last August, after a lifetime obsessed with cocktail culture (I had an extensive set of swizzle sticks when I was 7), and provoked by the fact I didn’t feel I could bring anything to the table if I applied with you, I took a certificate in Bartending. I then certified in ServSafe Alcohol so I could learn about serving appropriately. I started making my own bar mix, syrups, and bitters. Then I started doing private parties for free to build up some experience.

About which time, one of my favourite web dev jobs called me and I wound up being a little ‘bird in the hand’, because I really like my boss there.

But here’s the thing: I want to work for you. No, on paper, I’m not the ideal server. I don’t have experience within the service industry to fall back on while searching for better, more gainful employment, because this is what I want to do. I want to be a server, a barback or a bartender. Foundry on Elm (and the cocktail bar I heard you had planned) is one of the places that I really want to do that in.

I stopped in tonight and picked up an application. They told me that 3:00pm weekdays was the best time to drop the resume back. So I’ll see you at 3, Monday.



(who uses an alarm clock with two alarms, and keeps it 4 feet from the bed)


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