I'm Cat the Cashier, Par 1 at #42 (Columbia, SC), and am due for my Par 2 test soon. I started in June, and I love it at the Barrel -- but I am unnaturally suited to being annoyingly cheerful in the face of stodgy guests, I suppose ;)
When I started, I was touched and pleasantly surprised by the acceptance & general friendliness with which I was initiated -- my old-lady trainers in Cash, our ETC sharing my name & accomplishments with all the other employees who greeted me with open arms, the servers who are patient enough in helping you figure out the Line and which one's Ranch vs. Bleu Cheese -- if you ask them the right way ;)
Other than a somewhat eccentric GM (who in spite of his brashness & occasional snarky comments is well-organized and very energetic), our managerial staff is excellent, motivating, and intelligent. And I love the feeling of being involved in a large corporation -- one for whom I feel the Prime Directive -- "Pleasing People" -- is possible, since you can afford to comp a coffee for an irate guest, and give out gold cards for a kid who can sing the National Anthem in 3 different keys. I love the idea of the Par system -- and was very happy when I got my 20% Discount Card and my new freshly-embroidered aprons ^_^ I just feel lucky to be in such a well-run restaurant, part of such a well-run corporation.. I've always loved the food & retail items, and never would have applied for the job if I didn't believe in the place.
It's also my personal philosophy that people are more likely to smile back at you if you have a sincere smile to offer. It requires a little more energy at times, sure, but it's worthwhile when that grizzled old man unexpectedly flashes those pearly whites. So I suppose if the smiling gets difficult, well, remember why you're doing it.
Nice to have found you all. Hope you have a great day -- come back and see us! ^_*
--Cat, aka "Good afternoon, this is Cracker Barrel Columbia on Bush River Road, Cathryn speaking, how can I help you?"