Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, in a very dark, grim place in my past…

I waited tables at TGI Friday’s.

Yes, really. Hard to believe, I know, but I needed a job, I couldn’t get hired anywhere else, and a friend got me the job. It was the early 90’s, we were in a recession, I was depressed and dumpy looking, and no higher-end restaurant would give me the time of day, so I went the corporate route. For a few months…

Suffice it to say, TGI and me…we didn’t really, uh, “mesh”? My flair wasn’t flair-y enough, I kept trying to stick political buttons on my suspenders, I refused to promote the “Saddam Slam” drink special we were offering (it was the first weeks of the first Gulf War)…you know the story. This fish was seriously out of the water.

But I got myself a taste of corporate hospitality training, and all of its enforced cheer and generic conformity. And instead of hanging myself by my red-and-white suspenders, I did the right thing, and got fired instead.

Today, on LGR, we have a guest who is all too familiar with the ways and woes of hospitality training, my great buddy, Kate Edwards! Kate’s a hospitality management expert and coach, and she’s worked at the best places in NYC. No TGI’s for her, she’s too classy!

We’re going to hang out in the newly AC’d Fallout Shelter and talk corporate training, chains vs independents, and whatever else comes up. We may also discuss sea otters…it could happen.