I love to visit the Pasta Shop on 4th Street here in Berkeley. It is the closest market to buy fresh bread and produce. I also love their bulk olive oil that is just so rich and buttery. One day when I was in there I thought, I might like to work here. I filled out an application, brought it back the next day and received a phone call right away. They said that they were interested and would call me back to schedule an interview. I thought well that was easy. I had not worked in a year and was excited to get a summer job to keep busy. I was hired last week and began training Monday at their big store in Rockridge called Market Hall. Everyone I met was super friendly even though I was only working at that location for the day. They went out of there way to help me out and made sure that I knew to eat everything I could for the first two weeks. That part was a bit strange but I found out that newbies get to try everything no matter the price (later we are restricted to a seven dollar meal). I was trained to use the pasta cutter and how to weigh and price the fresh pasta. Then I learned to use the big meat slicer. I was relieved to use gloves and not have to touch the meat. I did pretty well and spent the afternoon slicing meat for customers. It seemed every person that came in wanted to buy meat. I was a little grossed out but knew it was just the first day and everything seems overwhelming at first.
Last Tuesday thru Thursday I worked in Berkeley at my new store and was happy to discover that most people did not buy anything from the meat dept. Most of our customers come in for lunch and get ready made salads, pasta and bakery items. I spend my time filling orders for half pints of orzo or lima beans and not prosciutto. I have been trying to sample everything but am limited by the fact that I am allergic to cow’s milk and most of our high priced items like lasagna consist of lots of cheese. I do eat grilled salmon for lunch everyday now, which is so wonderful. I also bring home lots of food at the end of the day that we cannot save like salad, fruit, scones, etc. It is fun for me to work with the customers and it makes me extra smiley when they are also genuine and friendly. The people that I work with are all really cool as well. I am on my feet for a really long time but to me that is better than sitting behind a desk all day. Another unexpected perk for me was that I really enjoy my days off. I feel like they are worth more now that I am working. Before I was spoiled by too much free time. I would love to keep working in the fall as well. I have registered for three classes and my bosses have said that I could go down to three days to fit with school. I want to try to make that work for me.