It’s not work when you love what you do

You can usually find me at Pappagallo’s Satellite Beach seven days a week. There are a few days a week that I take a half day off and I sneak away when I can for a power nap. I used to take these naps on the floor of the store room behind a filing cabinet, but with the invention of smartphones that contain cameras I had to start coming home to nap in safety. After I ended up on some Instagram pages of my jokester crew members and one poor kid that thought I collapsed and was passed out on the floor. Naps are for home these days.

  Pappagallo’s Satellite Beach is usually a destination for past crew members if they come home to visit and I would hate to miss somebody stopping by because I was just off that day. Most new hires will eventually ask me, how do you do it? Do what will be my reply, you’re here everyday sometimes it seems like you sleep in the back, refer to last paragraph to find the truth of that question. My answer is almost rehearsed at this point, “I love what I do and I feel a responsibility to be here unless there is something more pressing that needs my attention.”

 Let me explain that, first it is true that I work a lot. Well partly true, fact is to me it’s not work. I’m making orders and doing my prep and handling whatever comes through the door that demands my attention– that’s the work part, what’s not work is the interaction with our regulars and the constant good hearted banter that goes on with the staff. Corny as it may sound to me it’s like I’m home most of the time, I could probably take several days a week off and maybe trim my work week to 50 hours or so. The crew could handle it fine without me, proud of that fact but hate to admit it at the same time.

If I’m not at Pappagallo’s Satellite Beach I may miss something, some of its social but a bigger part is, what if they get busy and need my help but I’m not there? I absolutely hate to come in after a night off and hear they got slammed and everybody was running around crazy. I know as a business owner I’m supposed to love the fact that we’re busy, it’s good for the cash register but in my eyes not always good for Pappagallo’s Satellite Beach.

I see it this way, how well can a stressed out staff take care of our guests and if your a regular at Pappagallo’s Satellite Beach and you come into a crazed rush. I’m guessing it’s not the experience you were coming for. There’s a distinct difference between being busy and being “slammed.” Busy is good, everyone is in place the restaurant is humming along and our guests are getting the meal they expect when they come in, everyone is happy, that’s busy and that’s good. Slammed on the other hand means something entirely different. Slammed means someone didn’t show up for their shift. Maybe a driver is lost on a delivery. Maybe a supplier didn’t deliver us what we need for that day so we’re running around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off. That’s slammed! I don’t like slammed!

 I’m proud of my team at Pappagallo’s Satellite Beach. in my opinion everyone who has been with us for more than 6 months becomes more than a staff member they really become part of the family. I routinely watch, from my pizza table vantage point, guys from the kitchen running food to a table for a server that is busy at that moment. I watch servers run to the walk in to grab the cook line something they need but are unable to run and get right away. None of these things part of their individual job description but they see someone needs help and they just step up. That’s not something you can train into people. That’s a quality they have before they come to us, and these are the type of people we value and do everything we can to give them a place to work where that type of behavior is truly appreciated.

I hate the phrase ”that’s not my job.” Those four words speak volumes about who ever is saying them. Don’t get me wrong there is a place where that is a valid statement. If another crew member is taking advantage and pushing their work on another staff member, than yes, I get that statement.

However if your a cook or pizza guy and your walking through the dining room and are asked to help clear a table for a waiting guest. Or if your a server and you’re not busy, and the cooks are “in the weeds,” if one of them asks you to grab them some lettuce out of the walk in… those are a few of the times when, ”it’s not my job” could cost you that job.

Pappagallo’s Satellite Beach is probably one of the easiest places to get along with your co-workers, that you’ll ever work. I say that because for years we have made many steps to make that a true statement. I always tell the “newbies” that I won’t ask you to do any job I haven’t done, but you may be asked to to something other than your job during a rush. I hate to admit it but there has been many a time that a bathroom back up during a rush and it’s yours truly that grabs a mop. Not my favorite day at the office but it has to be done and I live by my idea that no one is above doing what needs to be done for the good of Pappagallo’s Satellite Beach and our guests.

 So the next time you’re in for a pizza or a cold beer, have a listen to the background noise coming from behind the scene. I think that on any given night, no matter how busy we are, you will hear someone laughing or just the general sounds of some hard working people that are enjoying their shift.

This is why you see me here so often, I’d hate to miss out on the laughter, and it feels like being home with some friends.