My experience living in Revelstoke B.C
Well, it’s now officially been one month since I returned home after yet another great adventure. It feels good to be home, to be honest, I feel happy, comfortable and safe here, which is a nice feeling to have especially right after the wild ride I just went on.
I feel like I am finally ready to talk about my experience in Revelstoke that I had this summer, because when I first arrived home from the adventure, I really didn’t want to do anything at all, and I normally need some time to reflect on the experience before I write about it… Plus I felt a little depressed for the first couple of weeks upon returning home, but I am feeling much better now, and will be writing a life update about what I am up to nowadays very soon!
If you don’t already know, I moved to Revelstoke this past spring, which you can read more about here: Life Update: One month in Revelstoke!
But basically what happened was, I moved to Revelstoke On May 23rd, 2017 as part of this job placement program called Mobilize jobs. They placed me working at the Dennys, which was located very conveniently for tourists right along the Trans-Canada highway, and it was by far the worst job I ever had…. No exaggeration.
They were the most dysfunctional restaurant I have ever worked in my entire life, and the management had no respect whatsoever for their staff, not in even the slightest way. They threw me on the morning, swing and graveyard shifts, all in the very same week, and then they didn’t understand why I was grumpy, tired and just downright exhausted. It’s like they had no clue a person can’t just re-adjust their sleep schedules in a single day like that.
Dennys is open 24 hours a day, which sucks a lot! But all my training was done on the morning shift, so I learned mainly the breakfast side of things. Once I actually was done training, I had a swing shift which is 5-11pm, and I had not been taught a single thing about alcohol, so that was not a very fun shift at all for me, I along with the one other person I was working with crashed very hard for a couple of hours to the point that I almost walked out on my shift.
Actually, I was tempted to walk out mid-shift more than once, there were several times when it would cross my mind. The only issue was I was living in staff accommodation so by walking out or quitting I would need to pack up my things and leave within 24 hours. I would have to say though that this was the one and only reason I stayed working there for so long. I hated it so very much, and I found myself constantly saying how ‘I hated my life” quite frequently while I was there.
They scheduled me for graveyard shifts too because the job placement program I came with, allowed the Dennys to basically schedule me whenever they wanted…. So I had no say in my availability. The manager one day actually told me that I had no rights… I didn’t like hearing that at all, it pissed me off royally.
So I get these shitty graveyard shifts 11pm-7am for 3 weeks in total during my two months in Revelstoke, and I absolutely HATED MY LIFE during those few weeks. The only plus side to working the graveyard shifts is that they are very slack, I could have gotten away with anything I wanted to on those shifts, but at the same time so could the customers, and there were quite a few times that I was either really mad that I was serving drunken idiots or young punk kids, or legit scared that a table was going to do something bad, like start a fight…. I also got to enjoy the nice days if I wasn’t busy sleeping, so that was also pretty nice! But for the most part, I dreaded work every single day, although my roommates were all in the shit hole with me working at Denny’s, so we helped each other through it, which made it OKAY. Plus they would come visit me on my graveyard shifts, which made it much more enjoyable…
These photos were all taken on the graveyard shifts,
I had to make some use of my time :p
In the month of June though, I watched as people started to quit left, right and center, I think we saw at least 10 people quit in the month of June for one reason or another, right at the same time we were heading right into the busy season of summer. This was not a good sign at all. Being understaffed is the worst because you end up working twice, if not three times as hard, and make no extra money for it., as a server you end up making less money because you are running around like a chicken with your head cut-off giving poor service to your tables because you are just too busy, so then they don’t leave a tip.
Plus because this Revelstoke Dennys was so tourist focused, so quite a lot of tables don’t actually tip anyways because they know they’ll never see you again. What people don’t actually realize, is that when you don’t tip your server for whatever reason you have, the server ends up PAYING out of their own money to serve you. Yes, we still have to tip out on a percentage of your bill to the kitchen staff regardless of whether or not you tipped. So I had quite a few of those, not because of bad service but more likely because they were just passing through and just didn’t feel like tipping, although sometimes I did probably give poor service because I was so damn busy, it really did suck when that happened. One lady literally told me she wasn’t going to tip because they had an expensive vacation so far and couldn’t afford the couple bucks to leave a tip. It wasn’t even my table and I was mad.
When you walk into a restaurant and see the place full, and staff running around the place frantically, why on earth would you think “Ohh, this will be a nice, quick stop!” ??? It baffled me how many complaints we as the servers would get regarding food wait times like I personally was back there in the kitchen making the food for them, or I had some special way to put the ticket in front of the 20 other tickets to make it come out quicker.
Man, I am STILL bitter about this damn Dennys. Even though it has been almost two months since I worked there!
On the plus side my roommates and I were given free rent to work at this Dennys (we still got paid minimum wage plus tips on top of that) so we weren’t broke necessarily, but we were living in a 3 bedroom apartment in what is nicknamed by the town of Revelstoke as the “crack gardens”.
It was this low-income type housing that apparently was some sort of drug/ party hotspot for the locals of Revelstoke. So that was really nice, especially for someone such as myself that is going down the personal development & spirituality path. So the association wasn’t exactly the kind of people I wanted to be around. So I definitely distanced myself away from most of the Dennys people, knowing I didn’t really care much to get to know them.
SO I realized that I needed to leave this job as soon as possible because I definitely didn’t see myself doing it for the rest of summer like I was supposed too… So I started making arrangments to get out. I waited first until I had at least $1000 saved up so that I wouldn’t have to worry too much about what I was going to do next. Once I had enough money,
I handed in my two weeks notice one morning after a long and grueling graveyard shift and instantly felt relief. I cannot explain how bad this place was to work because you really do have to experience it for yourself, but never in my life have I hated a job so much. The only saving grace was honestly working alongside my roommates, and the other staff was all really great! We were just basically slaves there, run off our feet every single shift.
I cannot explain how bad this place was to work because you really do have to experience it for yourself, but never in my life have I hated a job so much. We were just basically slaves there, run off our feet every single shift, wanting to cry half the time.
On a positive note, it was nice working alongside my two roommates, because we would come home every day from work, and spend half the night bitching to each other about how shitty our day was and sharing stories about the ridiculous customers we had, or something the management did or said… It made it all, okay, knowing that I had them to come home and bitch to at the end of my shift.
I honestly never thought that I would enjoy having roommates that much going into the experience, actually going in I was terrified that I would not like living with roommates and that I wouldn’t get along with them, but I was genuinely sad to say goodbye to them at the end. Although we have kept in touch since it is still sad because that adventure is over now. However, I did get to enjoy every minute of it, and I have some incredible memories to always remember!
On our days off we would go hiking or spend the day at the beach, or just kick around the house playing with our little Kiwi (the bunny we acquired during our time there) We did have lots of fun, and went on quite a few adventures, we even managed to go on a road trip to Jasper at one point, so all in all, it made the shitty Dennys job somewhat manageable in the long run… I wouldn’t have stayed the first night had it not been for Tamika, my first roommate because she was the only reason I stayed at the beginning.
I didn’t finish my last two weeks at Denny’s unfortunately and decided to just call it quits right after Canada day long weekend. I was bad, and just quit showing up, but honestly, screw that, I wasn’t giving up any more of my precious time for a job I actually couldn’t stand. I had too much anxiety going to work, and it just wasn’t worth it to me anymore. So from there, I stayed in the staff accommodation until they basically kicked me out, and I spent a couple of days soaking up the sun, enjoying BC as much as I could because I knew eventually I would come back home to good old Calgary.
My last few days in Revelstoke were quite sad, I didn’t actually want it to end yet, but knew that it had to. I spent as much time outside as I could the last week, just trying to explore as much as I could. To be fair I did expect to have more time to explore, but then after I quite Dennys, it became clear that my time was coming to an end so I had to do as much as possible during those last few days.
All in all, my experience in Revelstoke was one of the most incredible experiences of my life despite the job itself. I made some of the most incredible memories and went on some pretty great adventures with my friends. I am sad it is over but so grateful- that I was able to have that experience. If I could turn back the clock, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, even the graveyard shifts now make for a funny story to tell people.
Revelstoke will always hold a place in my heart, and whenever I drive through I will be sure to stop at one of my favorite restaurants for a meal, and maybe go on the pipe coaster again!
After I left Revelstoke, my one roommate also quit Dennys around the same time as me, and so we decided to go on a road trip together through B.C before she headed home to Regina, and I back to Calgary, we agreed to go to Kelowna for a couple of days cause we had both never been, and of course I fell in love with and wanted to move there right away, but knew that wouldn’t be feasible, so hopefully one day I will get to live there!
We spent a lot of time at the beach getting a nice tan going, and then spent an entire day at her families poolside enjoying the sun and a few drinks, knowing that it was our last full day together it was a bittersweet day. We had become really good friends during our time together, and saying goodbye to her the next day as she left on a greyhound wasn’t easy at all. However, we do have plans to go on more adventures once we get our finances in order again, so I look forward to that!
She actually was the reason I decided to eat a plant-based diet, which you can read more about here: My thoughts on Veganism
From there I embarked on my own solo road trip, which was about 4 days in which I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and went camping all alone for the first time in Naskusp, which was such an unbelievably beautiful town. Then I drove to Nelson B.C and stayed in a hostel for a couple days while I explored this quaint town famous for their coffee shops (which were btw really awesome) and Nelson is also a very spiritual town, so I especially enjoyed it. I met some pretty interesting people as well, who were traveling through Canada, one from Mexico, and a girl from Russia. The girl was my roommate, and we stayed up chatting both nights together. At that point, however, the forest fires were getting pretty terrible, and it was very smokey outside, so I decided to start making the journey home to Calgary.
Here are some pictures from my wonderful road trip through B.C: