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Learning about unions, sharing my two cents X 10!!

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  • jacquin1123@aol.com
    My name is Joaquin and I am a performer/writer/singer. I also own a restaurant as my primary income. I work alongside my brother and sister and we work as a
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 1, 2008
      My name is Joaquin and I am a performer/writer/singer. I also own a restaurant as my primary income. I work alongside my brother and sister and we work as a team to make our little joint unique that beats to its own drum. I am fortunate because it has humbled me and nourished me in ways I never thought. In my big little ego I was supposed to be a great big movie star. Pop goes the balloon! And I'm fortunate that my creative energy has a means of expression through music and writing. I also support theatre and donate my catering services at no cost or for a very low cost. I take pride in being able to provide a service that many times a budget isn't available for and it always brings me more business and exposure. And I truly love supporting events and organizations I believe in. It sounds too cheesy, but I've also learned that much like theater food also brings many different people under one roof looking for nourishment. Even if it's just two tacos and a coke. And when I work as a cashier I have the best conversations in passing about life and what it is to be human.

      In the beginning eight years ago, I was taking home $100 a month and working way over 40 hours a week. My family and I all lived together under one roof except my brother and we just made it work. The first Christmas we had after we took over the restaurant, my family and I were sitting in the living room laughing cause there were no presents underneath the tree! Employees and bills got paid before the family did. A business is nothing without your employees and nothing without a space. And with time as our kitchen's soul grew so did our food in taste and it reflects, business is growing. As we have gotten more successful, we've been able to actually pay ourselves a livable wage.

      As a boss and a human being, I cannot and will not ever pay anyone minimum wage. Minimum wage is a very difficult lifestyle and there is no way in my heart that I could sleep with myself knowing I am benefiting from paying others to work only minimum wage. Granted, we are a beautiful Mexican little hole in the wall without a sign on the building and people with degrees are not walking through my door asking for work, but you'd be surprised. With that said, we just recently took a risk and began offering benefits and it thrills me that I have a company that is able to offer someone a decent wage with benefits. Our employees work ethic shot through the roof and we are actually busier now and able to purchase equipment and make our restaurant run smoother. Customers see it and like the changes and our employees respect this and enjoy working there. Like every business, we have our personnel issues and all that good stuff that builds character. We have our drama. My mother who works there is a five year born again in-the-spirit Christian and I am her creative artistic gay son. And I'd have it no other way.

      This talk about unions is very important. Respecting your work and working with employers (companies/entities/private parties) who respect solid work is very important. It builds a stronger experience for the customer/client/ and I would even say audience member. And they will remember their experience. And I've also learned having been a boss now, that there are some people who may not know how to respect work. It wasn't until a colleague of mine who has a degree in labor history had a conversation with me about treating your employees well. Up until then, we labeled ourselves as a small little Mexican taqueria that could do no thing. But it simply isn't true. 

      As an artist I don't belong to any union. I do not know any of the laws and am in no way educated enough to have a conversation about them. I also know the restaurant business and being a working artist/theater company are two very different experiences. I also have a very microscopic view since I don't participate in our theater scene as a performer very often. But I do believe it is important to treat those you hire with the highest respect possible because they represent you and your business. It's important to believe you are worth your weight in gold as a worker and knowing your work and craft is paramount. It's important to communicate, respect and nurture your employees as if they were yourself.

      Thanks for the forum.

      JOAQUIN LOPEZ
      Catering Director
      La Bonita Taqueria
      2839 NE Alberta St.
      Portland, OR 97211
      Restaurant (503) 281-3662
      Catering (503) 997-2275
    • mary mcdonald-lewis
      No fair! I haven t had breakfast yet and I m craving veggie tamales! See you at your restaurant soon, Joaquin, and thanks for this wonderful email. I m
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 1, 2008
        No fair!  I haven't had breakfast yet and I'm craving veggie tamales!

        See you at your restaurant soon, Joaquin, and thanks for this wonderful email.  I'm inspired on many levels well past my yearning taste buds.

        MM


        On Apr 1, 2008, at 1:48 AM, jacquin1123@... wrote:

        My name is Joaquin and I am a performer/writer/singer. I also own a restaurant as my primary income. I work alongside my brother and sister and we work as a team to make our little joint unique that beats to its own drum. I am fortunate because it has humbled me and nourished me in ways I never thought. In my big little ego I was supposed to be a great big movie star. Pop goes the balloon! And I'm fortunate that my creative energy has a means of expression through music and writing. I also support theatre and donate my catering services at no cost or for a very low cost. I take pride in being able to provide a service that many times a budget isn't available for and it always brings me more business and exposure. And I truly love supporting events and organizations I believe in. It sounds too cheesy, but I've also learned that much like theater food also brings many different people under one roof looking for nourishment. Even if it's just two tacos and a coke. And when I work as a cashier I have the best conversations in passing about life and what it is to be human. 

        In the beginning eight years ago, I was taking home $100 a month and working way over 40 hours a week. My family and I all lived together under one roof except my brother and we just made it work. The first Christmas we had after we took over the restaurant, my family and I were sitting in the living room laughing cause there were no presents underneath the tree! Employees and bills got paid before the family did. A business is nothing without your employees and nothing without a space. And with time as our kitchen's soul grew so did our food in taste and it reflects, business is growing. As we have gotten more successful, we've been able to actually pay ourselves a livable wage. 

        As a boss and a human being, I cannot and will not ever pay anyone minimum wage. Minimum wage is a very difficult lifestyle and there is no way in my heart that I could sleep with myself knowing I am benefiting from paying others to work only minimum wage. Granted, we are a beautiful Mexican little hole in the wall without a sign on the building and people with degrees are not walking through my door asking for work, but you'd be surprised. With that said, we just recently took a risk and began offering benefits and it thrills me that I have a company that is able to offer someone a decent wage with benefits. Our employees work ethic shot through the roof and we are actually busier now and able to purchase equipment and make our restaurant run smoother. Customers see it and like the changes and our employees respect this and enjoy working there. Like every business, we have our personnel issues and all that good stuff that builds character. We have our drama. My mother who works there is a five year born again in-the-spirit Christian and I am her creative artistic gay son. And I'd have it no other way.

        This talk about unions is very important. Respecting your work and working with employers (companies/entities/private parties) who respect solid work is very important. It builds a stronger experience for the customer/client/ and I would even say audience member. And they will remember their experience. And I've also learned having been a boss now, that there are some people who may not know how to respect work. It wasn't until a colleague of mine who has a degree in labor history had a conversation with me about treating your employees well. Up until then, we labeled ourselves as a small little Mexican taqueria that could do no thing. But it simply isn't true. 

        As an artist I don't belong to any union. I do not know any of the laws and am in no way educated enough to have a conversation about them. I also know the restaurant business and being a working artist/theater company are two very different experiences. I also have a very microscopic view since I don't participate in our theater scene as a performer very often. But I do believe it is important to treat those you hire with the highest respect possible because they represent you and your business. It's important to believe you are worth your weight in gold as a worker and knowing your work and craft is paramount. It's important to communicate, respect and nurture your employees as if they were yourself. 

        Thanks for the forum.

        JOAQUIN LOPEZ
        Catering Director
        La Bonita Taqueria
        2839 NE Alberta St.
        Portland, OR 97211
        Restaurant (503) 281-3662
        Catering (503) 997-2275

      • Harold Phillips & Trish Egan
        Damn, Jacquin, you RUN a restaurant for a day-job? And I thought acting was an uncertain source of income. Thanks for sharing the name and address of the
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 1, 2008

          Damn, Jacquin, you RUN a restaurant for a day-job?  And I thought acting was an uncertain source of income.

          Thanks for sharing the name and address of the restaurant with us (La Bonita Taqueria
          2839 NE Alberta St.
          Portland, OR 97211
          Restaurant (503) 281-3662).  I'll be sure to stop in for lunch the next time I'm on Alberta.  It's important for us theater folk to support our supporters!
           
          And for the record, I don't think there's that much difference in our businesses; we both produce an artistic product (yup.  Food is art, as any discerning diner will know), we both rely on word-of-mouth to fill our respective work-places, and we both need happy workers and happy management in tune with each other to produce happy customers.  Not that different at all... except we don't have to worry nearly as much about inventory as you do :)
           
          Harold



          ________________________________

          From: pdxbackstage@yahoogroups.com [mailto:pdxbackstage@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jacquin1123@...
          Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 1:48 AM
          To: pdxbackstage@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [pdxbackstage] Learning about unions, sharing my two cents X 10!!



          My name is Joaquin and I am a performer/writer/singer. I also own a restaurant as my primary income. I work alongside my brother and sister and we work as a team to make our little joint unique that beats to its own drum. I am fortunate because it has humbled me and nourished me in ways I never thought. In my big little ego I was supposed to be a great big movie star. Pop goes the balloon! And I'm fortunate that my creative energy has a means of expression through music and writing. I also support theatre and donate my catering services at no cost or for a very low cost. I take pride in being able to provide a service that many times a budget isn't available for and it always brings me more business and exposure. And I truly love supporting events and organizations I believe in. It sounds too cheesy, but I've also learned that much like theater food also brings many different people under one roof looking for nourishment. Even if it's just two tacos and a coke. And when I work as a cashier I have the best conversations in passing about life and what it is to be human.

          In the beginning eight years ago, I was taking home $100 a month and working way over 40 hours a week. My family and I all lived together under one roof except my brother and we just made it work. The first Christmas we had after we took over the restaurant, my family and I were sitting in the living room laughing cause there were no presents underneath the tree! Employees and bills got paid before the family did. A business is nothing without your employees and nothing without a space. And with time as our kitchen's soul grew so did our food in taste and it reflects, business is growing. As we have gotten more successful, we've been able to actually pay ourselves a livable wage.

          As a boss and a human being, I cannot and will not ever pay anyone minimum wage. Minimum wage is a very difficult lifestyle and there is no way in my heart that I could sleep with myself knowing I am benefiting from paying others to work only minimum wage. Granted, we are a beautiful Mexican little hole in the wall without a sign on the building and people with degrees are not walking through my door asking for work, but you'd be surprised. With that said, we just recently took a risk and began offering benefits and it thrills me that I have a company that is able to offer someone a decent wage with benefits. Our employees work ethic shot through the roof and we are actually busier now and able to purchase equipment and make our restaurant run smoother. Customers see it and like the changes and our employees respect this and enjoy working there. Like every business, we have our personnel issues and all that good stuff that builds character. We have our drama. My mother who works there is a five year born again in-the-spirit Christian and I am her creative artistic gay son. And I'd have it no other way.

          This talk about unions is very important. Respecting your work and working with employers (companies/entities/private parties) who respect solid work is very important. It builds a stronger experience for the customer/client/ and I would even say audience member. And they will remember their experience. And I've also learned having been a boss now, that there are some people who may not know how to respect work. It wasn't until a colleague of mine who has a degree in labor history had a conversation with me about treating your employees well. Up until then, we labeled ourselves as a small little Mexican taqueria that could do no thing. But it simply isn't true.

          As an artist I don't belong to any union. I do not know any of the laws and am in no way educated enough to have a conversation about them. I also know the restaurant business and being a working artist/theater company are two very different experiences. I also have a very microscopic view since I don't participate in our theater scene as a performer very often. But I do believe it is important to treat those you hire with the highest respect possible because they represent you and your business. It's important to believe you are worth your weight in gold as a worker and knowing your work and craft is paramount. It's important to communicate, respect and nurture your employees as if they were yourself.

          Thanks for the forum.


          JOAQUIN LOPEZ
          Catering Director
          La Bonita Taqueria
          2839 NE Alberta St.
          Portland, OR 97211
          Restaurant (503) 281-3662
          Catering (503) 997-2275
          ________________________________

          Planning your summer road trip? Check out AOL Travel Guides <http://travel.aol.com/travel-guide/united-states?ncid=aoltrv00030000000015> .


        • Amy Gray
          I have to say too, that this discussion has been fantastically educational. I m so glad I joined this group when I did. I have a special folder now for all
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 1, 2008
            I have to say too, that this discussion has been fantastically
            educational. I'm so glad I joined this group when I did.

            I have a special folder now for all the messages on this topic. It's
            now over 100 messages. Obviously, this issue touches us all and there
            is a lot of discussion to be had. It's a hot topic that for many of us
            is just coming to light.

            So, somebody get to writing a play about it!
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