Food And Beverage Workers Permit
The first step into the restaurant and hospitality industry took me yesterday to the 4th floor of the Spokane Regional Heath District to take a test on handling food without sickening the public. Everyone who works with or near food in the industry needs to have a Food and Beverage Workers Permit.
The Permit runs you $10 and the test to receive said permit consists of 32 multiple choice questions. You need to answer 26 correctly to pass GO and begin collecting minimum wage. I can’t remember the last time I took a test where the grade actually mattered. It was probably graduate school.
You would think that sporting a masters degree from an Ivy League school would provide some sort of buffer against anxiety when it comes to a 32 question test on washing your hands and putting raw poultry under the vegetables in the walk-in. Wrong. Apparently any test affects me the same way. I get nervous.
I also get competitive. Before I took my seat at one of probably 16 touch screen monitors and typed in the access code from my receipt, I scanned my testing “competition.” I decided I probably had a better grasp of English than the Guatemalan grandmother two seats over and I bet I knew more about gaming multiple choice questions than the 18-year-old kid next to her with greasy hair and a baggy sweatshirt.
It occurred to me I was overdressed for this particular test in my blazer and loafers. Dang. And what if I failed? Yep. They all were probably going to pass, and Princeton here was going to fail.
By the time I’d come to this conclusion, the screen in front of me presented me with question number one. It was an easy one. So was question two. By the time I hit twenty I was feeling smug again only to run into a series of tricky temperature questions that I didn’t know for sure. Anxiety returned. Then I hit the final screen and it asked me, almost like the game show: “Are these your final answers?”
And up flashes my score: 32 correct. Sweet… and savory. Even if I did guess on five.