Friday, March 28, 2014

Marsha Marsha Marsha: 25 Years at the Uptown

I personally would like to acknowledge, admire and thank Marsha Klimek for 25 years of service. It was 25 years ago this week she started training here. The owner is never the reason a restaurant is successful, it is the staff. Marsha is the Queen of our staff.

Marsha started training here 25 years ago when I had committed to take over the "Captain's Cove" at the Starved Rock Marina. It was spring time. We had made some headway in remodeling the space. It was time to start thinking about staff. We wanted Marsha who was in charge of the dining room there to continue on with us. She was starting to learn the ways we did things. I had heard about what a great employee she was but never in my wildest imagination did I realize what a stellar individual I was getting. From her hospitality, to the attention to detail, to what she notices and sees on the floor, to her ability to move people in the same direction, she is one of the best I have worked with. She is consistent. You know what you are getting everyday.

A few things about Marsha....

  • She is the most efficient person on the planet. 
  • She is the staff Mom. Not only is she responsible for the professional development of our younger staff, she is also many times their spiritual leader too.
  • She pays an almost painful attention to detail. This is pain that she takes off the shoulders of myself and my other managers.
  • She comes from a small business family. One of the best things we can say about an employee is that he or she "Gets It." Marsha understands what needs to be done everyday and what makes a business successful.
  • That small business that her family had was a hardware store. She can fix just about anything!
  • She is the life of any party. The 20 year olds cant keep up with her. We often wonder how someone can have so much fun with rarely, if ever, having drink to enhance it. She is our dancing machine.

Going forward I am not sure what Marsha's plans are. We love to share our everyday aches and pains. This business can take a physical toll on anyone. I often joke about how we are going to equip her with a new service wheel chair and how much more efficient she will be when she has wheels. There will always be a place here for you Marsha.

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You


-Ray


Additional Staff Notes:

"Ryan and I both have had the pleasure of working alongside Marsha all these years. I can remember 20 years ago being a nervous, young kid coming into the working world as my first real job, and Marsha was the first to show me around. Whether training me how to do a task, how to handle certain situations, or asking us how school was going, she was always looking out for us.

As I grew in this business, Marsha was the first person who trained me on the floor, and I guarantee if you ask any current or past employee, they would probably say the same thing. Maybe she could answer exactly how many staff members she has had to train over the years. She has always been one of the hardest working people we have had.  Whether she is "on the clock" or not, she is always thinking of ways to improve the business. While she is here, she is a floor leader who knows how to manage the dining room, and Ryan and I have both learned a ton from her. There are still many instances I rely on her opinion when faced with certain situations. She has always been polite, honest and fair in how to handle customers and/or other employees. She provides the reasoning that a mother provides.

Marsha and I have spent a lot of time working the floor together over the years. We have also been through a lot together. We have a little inside joke that any odd situation that can happen, happens when she and I are scheduled together. Anything and everything seems to happen on "our" shifts. Our credit card system goes down, and I get to spend hours on the phone with tech support......Marsha and I were working. A pipe bursts in the basement with water everywhere....yep, we were here. A small fire...Marsha and I easily handled that. There are countless others where she and I could sit and laugh at what all we have been through. Thank you Marsha for all your time, patience and knowledge. It has been a pleasure serving with you. Here's to another 25 years!"


-Jimmy
setting up 6 marsha
To expand upon the sentiments of Ray and Jimmy, while trying to keep things short and sweet, my memories of the Kickapoo club have a lot to do with Marsha. I remember always wanting to go out there, but only if Marsha could be our waitress. Her laugh and her personality were nothing short of infectious.....and still are! Always a person you wanted to be around. And when she couldn't wait on me, well I was upset. Then, once she came to the Uptown, well that was just the icing on the cake. Reid, Rene and I, would come to 613 First Street almost everyday after school. And everyday after school Marsha would be there serving us burgers
or root beer floats, and usually stealing a few french fries along the way. You know what I'm talking about Marsha!
Running a restaurant and raising children both are, at times, unenviable tasks. Imagine doing both at the same time? With that said, being the children
of restaurant owners wasn't alwayseasy either as you get passed from sitter to sitter or pawned off in Marsha's section after school for an hour! 
But somehow, my parents found someone who not only helped make their business what it is today, but someone whom their children adored. I can speak for Reid and Rene when I say, knowingly or unknowingly, Marsha has provided their children with lessons of hard work, dedication, loyalty, respect, attention to detail, pride, and how to laugh in the face of turmoil. Marsha was, is, and always will be looked at, in my eyes, has an extension of our family. Thanks for everything you've done not only for the Uptown, but for me individually as well. I don't know how you've lasted 25 years or why, but I greatly look forward to what we have left. You've always made coming to work feel like home. 
And now.....................you can steal my daughter's french fries!
-Ryan


2 comments:

  1. Before Uptown, before the Kickapoo Club, before Ray and Rita, probably before Ryan could eat a French fry, Marsha was taking care of our family at Captain's Cove. Our now 35 year old son was in a high chair, and was always cleverly well cared for by her. She knew how to adapt the menu items to suit his tastes, and we always had a great time. It's always great to see her at Uptown. She's completely friendly, but always on the fly. We are appreciative. The Reagans

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  2. "The owner is never the reason a restaurant is successful, it is the staff." I love that! Congrats Marsha!

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