Saturday, August 4, 2012

Working at the Korean Restaurant

I started working at this Korean restaurant that's only a 10~15 minute drive from my house. It's a restaurant that I've been to since I was a little kid and my parents have known the original and newer owners since we just go there so much. But recently the newer owners sold the restaurant back to the original owners and they called my dad to see if I could work there part-time.

I got the job, but because of a favor... Since I was jobless and my hunting for jobs seemed useless, I asked if  my parents could do anything to put in a word for me to ANY kind of job. And about two months ago, my dad asked the newer owners of the restaurant if I could work there, but they didn't need any more extra help. But because the owners have switch recently, and they knew that I was looking for work, they were kind enough to take me in!

I'm working as a cashier there. So I just handle all the money and to-go stuff, and if they're all busy I would sit down the customers. I'm just working there Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 5~10. So my weekends are now gone for the rest of the month until I go back to school, which sucks, but I'm just grateful that I'm able to make some money this summer.

And it's nice to be working there because the owners knew me since I was a little girl and they're always being so kind to me. I stand all day, greet the people and try to stand around and just look pretty (LOL) since I'm the only young girl there.

But there are some things that make me feel a little uncomfortable...
First of all, I only got the job because of a favor. So obviously they're expecting something out of me. But it's just hard because their English isn't that good and my Korean speaking is obviously not any better either. So talking with the owners and the chefs makes me feel super quiet and shy...

Second, I'm mostly working with their son who is 9 years older than me. He's nice and all and his English is perfect, but he just doesn't come off as friendly. You can be nice, but it doesn't mean you're friendly. Maybe it's because it has only been my second day of working, but still, there were MANY awkward silences... Anyway, he is the one older than me, doesn't that mean that he should be the one asking me the usual questions like how old are you? What school do you go to? What do you study? What have you done over the summer? I'm the younger one and this is a very Korean setting, so I can't be one asking him hey what did you do last night? It just doesn't work that way. He just doesn't talk to me at all and I just can't think of anything to talk to him about. And once the place starts getting busy we can't talk, so I just feel like it's getting more and more awkward between us...

And I made it more awkward yesterday. There was a girl there, a friend of the family who is the same age as the son and we were talking perfectly fine! She was being the good unnie and asked me what school and went to and stuff. We found out that the son went to the same school as I'm going to now and naturally, I asked Oh what year did you graduate then?

And his answer wasn't something I was expecting... He said that he didn't graduate and didn't really like the school and just kinda looked away.
Fuck. I just made it super awkward. And what the hell am I supposed to say after? Oh so what did you do after you left school? NO! You don't ask Korean KOREAN people that kind of stuff!! I didn't talk to him the rest of the night too...

Third, I want to help out more than just handle the money since it's such a simple task. So I try helping the ahjumma and the son clean up, but they always say it's okay and take over... I just feel like I'm obliged to do more than what I'm doing now since I can kind of see that they don't exactly need me as a cashier. It seems like they can just do it on their own too... The ahjumma at least appreciates me trying to help and says to let the oppa take over, but then the guy just makes it awkward.

Fourth, the family is always feeding me! I'm already feeling like I'm just taking money away from them since my job is so simple and the restaurant just hasn't been busy lately (they told me it's because it's the beginning of the month and it's never busy then) but they really don't have to feed me good food too! And I can't refuse, it's just rude to refuse. And last night I ate with their whole family, the chefs, some friends of theirs and their other older son! The chefs seem like they don't like me because they don't even bother learning my name and one of the guys was like asking if I drank and since I said no for many good reasons, he seemed to have a disappointed kind of face. They're just all so Korean that older chef doesn't understand why I just don't comply and drink like a normal Korean.

God I just feel so out of place. 

I just honestly wish that I could just be good friends with the owner so that it would make time fly by and make working a little more enjoyable with him...

Today I got a text from the son asking if I could come in a hour later than usual. I'm sure that it's just because it's not going to be busy, but at the same time it just makes me feel a little bad...

Haaaa... But there are some good things. The owners really like me. They're always asking me about my day, if I'm hungry, feeding me random stuff, and joking around with me. One of the customers said that they remember the ahjumma from a long time ago, but didn't recognize her son and then asked if she had a daughter (looking at me). The son did joke around and asked his mom if she did have a daughter and she joked that I was her daughter.

And I will admit that there has been some times that the son did joke around with me and I made him laugh too... The awkwardness just overcomes all of that for sure.

I hope that things will become better and more comfortable for me. And I also hope that I can work harder so that I don't feel bad about their kindness!

Maybe I should brainstorm some topics that I can talk with him and then we can be friends before I go to work today hahaha

I sound so desperate.

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