We caught up with Martin Chan recently to ask how things are going with his new job at the Weekapaug Golf Club dining room in Westerly. And apparently, it’s going very well. He likes the work. The club likes Martin. We call that a win-win!
Martin started at the club at the beginning of August. He sets up tables and clears them, makes sure everyone has a full glass of water, makes sure the wait staff has everything it needs, and in general is a valued part of the team.
“He’s been great, a real welcome addition to the team,” said Rob Minger, Food and Beverage Manager of the club. “He picked it up right away and he’s constantly motivated.”
Minger said members have enjoyed getting to know Martin as well.
“The membership has taken very well to him being added to the team,” Minger added. “He jokes with the members and gets along really well with the other staff.”
As for Martin, he’s happy with the work and the atmosphere.
“It's wonderful. They’re amazing -- Rob, Dan those guys are great. I talk to them every time I work. They are cool cats,” Martin said.
“There's one guy (a club member) that remembers my name and he always says ‘Hi’ and I make sure to pour him his water and he likes that,” Martin added.
Martin was working a few shifts when he started, but is down to one as the season winds down.
He’s clearly a solid member of the team, however, since Minger is already looking forward to having Martin’s help in the Spring.
“We’ve extended an offer to him for next season when we reopen after shutting down for the Winter,” Minger said.
Martin said that works just fine for him.
“I would love to go back next season -- that would be great!” he said.
Continuing these kinds of relationships is the ideal outcome for everyone, including the Center’s Vocational Program Director, Peter Boardman.
"The Olean Center's Vocational Program has worked with Martin for a while now so we have been able to help him prepare,” Boardman said. “This really was the perfect scenario. General Manager Jack Tosone reached out to us after watching a heartwarming story on the news about an Olean Center participant working in the community. He was motivated to get involved after learning about the benefits to both the employer and participant. We started with a work trial shift, and he only needed one shift to prove he’s the man for the job. He was immediately hired and took on weekly shifts right away."
Weekapaug Golf Club is new to the Olean Center Vocational Program, but Martin’s performance bodes well for future relationships.
“Our GM looked into it and it’s been a really good fit for both of us,” Minger said. “Martin has really stepped up and taken on more responsibilities.”
Those additional responsibilities include working during weddings, when the pace is quicker and the atmosphere is much different than the usual laid-back tone of a golf club.
“It’s really nice that it’s a pretty quiet place sometimes,” Martin said. “The weddings are loud, but that's OK because they have a lot of fun.”
Restaurant work is rigorous work, but Martin is up to the challenge. And at the end of a shift, he feels a sense of accomplishment and peace.
“I sleep well after work,” he said. “It makes me nice and relaxed, and it’s easy to sleep when I get home."