(I have no idea where I’m going with this…..)
When I first started working at a winery, it took me months to fully master the art of removing red wine stains from my shoes. Blot, don’t rub, Dawn dish washing liquid soap, hydrogen peroxide, let it soak. If you panic, you might forget the rules and start rubbing, if that happens, start saving up for a new pair of shoes. You must always wear closed-toe in case you drop something on your feet like a glass or a wine opener and if you want to solve the stain issue by risking those injuries, well, spill wine on your exposed toes and you could lose traction and slip. The only way to ensure a safe and clean shift at Symphony Vineyards, is to have entered the position already fluent in pouring without shaking and serving without fumbling. As for myself, I had started after a long summer of grieving.
The tasting room manager, Nicole Savino, escorted me into the lounge when I had arrived for my first interview. The lounge was rather large, filled with art that customers could purchase, a stage for live music, and black tables with matching stools for the guests to sit and enjoy their tastings at. The walls were bright red underneath the art and through the contrast made my faded, white Keds look like they were brand new. We took our seats at the table furthest from the stage and I pulled out my resume. Before studying it, she looked at me, trying to determine if I was a good fit based on first glance.
“So, Katherine, what have you been up to this Summer?”
It had been September, not the ideal time to apply for a job that had already surpassed its peak season.
“Well, um.” I noticed she was studying my hands, perhaps for steadiness. I quickly put them onto my lap.
“I graduated college in May, from Salisbury University; it’s a small state school in Maryland. I’ve been back home applying for jobs ever since but it hasn’t exactly been working out in my favor.”
She finally looked at my resume.
“BA in writing and rhetoric? What is that?”
I took a deep breath, “it’s basically like, writing to evoke some kind of em-“
“Oh, but I see you’ve worked as a waitress before?”
I was actually grateful for the interruption. It was one of those questions I get asked a lot, but every time I started to explain I would catch people’s eyes looking in different directions and their disinterest was nothing but looming. It had been months since I had familiarized myself with the material, anyway, and I myself was starting to lose understanding of the subject.
Nicole sent me home with an employee manual and told me to return the following weekend for training. The employee manual contained just what you would expect; the policy, dress code, tax forms, the wine list, and a rundown of the history behind the winery.
“A lot of people are going to ask you about it,” she said, “so be sure to read carefully.”