I walk into the restaurant Red Robin, wait for my name to be called by the host and sit down in a booth with comfortable red seats. All of a sudden a man sits next to me wearing an apron soaking with water, wiping sweat from his face. It’s my brother, Zachary Walsh. Zach states “ Man, I hate Saturday nights, too damn busy! ”. What was Zach doing? Zach is a dish machine operator, or in restaurant terms, a DMO. Washing dishes you say, that sounds easy! I am afraid not my friends. Washing dishes is one of the most under appreciated jobs. Just ask the manager him self, who by the way is my Uncle.
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My Uncle states, “ If it wasn’t for the DMO this place would be a **** whole. DMO’s work their *** off and their the ones who keep things running behind the scenes. ” With only a thirty minute break from washing dishes, I thank my brother for taking this time to answer questions because I know he would much rather be doing other things. Things like enjoying his food, staying hydrated and getting his mind off washing dishes. My brother is a good guy and that’s a good thing for Red Robin because the DMO’s do the most work for the smallest pay. Here at Red Robin, the DMO’s are the bottom of totem pole.
They usually get no breaks, the only time they do is if they work a double, they get paid the least and have to be stuck in the back of the kitchen where they cannot really talk to any one. “ It was the worst thing I’ve ever done when I first started, but honestly you get use to it and after a while you start making friends. Luckily for me, Red Robin is a great environment and everyone is pretty chill. ” Zach says, smiling, probably thinking back on all the days he use to come home and complain and threaten to quit. As stated before, a life of a DMO is not an easy one.
For the most part of this interview, Zach was calm, but when he talked about what a DMO does, he got intense telling what they do. “ I hate it, when I tell people I’m a DMO they usually just laugh. People do not understand that I have to wash tons of dishes and then after you put those dishes in the machine to wash, you have to go put the cleans ones away and usually you have to walk all the way across the kitchen to do this. When you have to put the dishes away, more dishes keep on coming in and this leads to a build up of plates and other things that you have to wash and it sucks!
Luckily, the other staff understands Zach’s job and they are usually nice about it. The key word there though.. ” he pauses, and looks back to what seems to be the front of the kitchen and finishes “ is usually. ” Washing dishes gets Zach paid nine dollars an hour. Zach’s been working at Red Robin for a year and half now and still has not gotten a raise. Zach says he is the lowest paid person there who has been working at Red Robin for over a year. The worst part about the hard working jobs at restaurants and farms is these types of jobs get paid the least even though they are doing the most work.
At the same time, the person taking these jobs know this information before they get employed. In tough times like the one we are living in today, people will take any job they can get. Zach has recently just graduated from college and obviously needs to pay off those college loans. Being a DMO is not going to pay those loans off but it is a start. “ I needed a job out of college right away and this was the only one I could find. It sucks but you got to do what you got to do. Before giving you the job they tell you it’s a sucky job and that you are going to hate it and I kind of took that as a challenge. As Zach goes to get a cup of water, my Uncle sits next to me and asks me what I was here for again. I explain to him the assignment and he sits there for a second to think. As Zach is coming back from getting water, my Uncle says, “ Zach is the hardest working kid I have ever seen at Red Robin. He does the dirtiest job and never complains about it. We are sure damn lucky to have him or we most likely be screwed. ” As he hits Zach in the shoulder and gets up so Zach can sit down again.
Zach smiles, and even though he knows he is doing a job that does not get any credit at all, he feels proud knowing he’s made someone proud and most importantly, a family member proud. Zach’s break is over and my Uncle allows me to go back to the kitchen with Zach as long as I do not get in the way. The DMO area is a messy one to say the least. With dishes all over the place, stains on the wall, water all over the floor, it is no wonder why people do not want this job. Zach can tell from the expression on my face that I was shocked to see the place so messy. “ I told you our Uncle wasn’t lying about it being a crappy job.
This is actually clean compared to most Saturday nights, you should have seen last weeks mess, the place was flooded and the water was up to my ankles. And guess who had to take care of the problem? Yeah that’s right, me! ” This place really did feel like the worst job ever. Along with washing dishes and putting them away, DMO’s had to do other tiny messy jobs in between washing dishes. DMO’s had to take out the trash when it was full, clean the bathrooms if there was a flood, clean up spills made by costumers because the waitress or waiters were to “busy” and the worst one, clean throw up.
To do this and clean dishes takes a very hard working kid or man to do. And luckily for Red Robin, they had there guy. “One time this group of about ten baseball players come in and two stupid clowns tried to see who could eat the most. Needless to say one of them threw up all over the place and I had to clean it up. The most embarrassing part was they were in their late thirties, most likely in a softball league. ” On a typical Saturday night at Red Robin, there would be two DMO’s. So why was Zach the only one on that night? Because people are lazy. ” Zach laughs at his own joke and states “ actually I’m just kidding, I would probably quit if I could. Plus I couldn’t give up on your Uncle. He gave me the job in the first place. ” My brother shows me his hands and they are very pruny from working with the water and the soap. During the winter, when his hands would dry from being pruny, they would often crack and sometimes even bleed. This is all the norm when it comes to washing dishes, but people never see the little things that come in to play to make a restaurant run.
Another terrible part about Zach’s job is closing. Who ever is the DMO that night is usually the last one to leave the restaurant, along with the manager. The DMO has to clean every last dish and also help put them away. Out side there are around ten to fifteen trash bags filled with disgusting food and other restaurant supplies that have to be walked across the parking lot and into the dumpster. “ Then when you are all set to go home and you get into your car, you realize you smell so bad and cannot wait to take a shower.
Man, that shower feels great every night! ” As I’m about to leave Red Robin, one of the waiters shouts to the back of the kitchen “ Hey Zach, can you clean up table 83? A baby just knocked down a glass of beer. I would pick it up but I got so many tables tonight. ” After Zach hears the question, it seems like he does not even listen to the waiters excuse. Right away he stops washing dishes and grabs the mop and heads to clean up the mess. “Yup, you got to love being a DMO” he says in a sarcastic tone and walks away, going to do his job.