Sunday, July 02, 2006

Parenthesis - More Than Usual

Okay, so I guess I totally impressed some people at work. I had no idea how little faith they had in me when I was first hired to work in the kitchen. I mean, I know it's got a reputation for being hard work, but seriously, if a certain friend of mine can do it, I can do it! (It's not that she's bad or anything, but she doesn't handle stress well - at all - and has been known to break down and cry when there's really no excuse for it. Then again, I'm not much of one to tolerate crying over silly things.)

So, I was talking to my friend Chris, who is also one of the kitchen supervisors, at dinner a few nights ago, and he was like, "Well, I start again tomorrow" (he had taken a couple of days off) "which means that Ivo" (this kid I thought I had trained well, until he revealed the ugly truth to me that really, he was never going to survive if he didn't pick it up a notch - or 10) "is not going to get away with crap like that." (Chris later threatened to send him back to the dishpit if he didn't start doing things the way I had taught him. I haven't had a problem with him since.)

I was like, "Well, don't be too hard on us." (Or something like that, I don't remember the exact wording.)
"Oh no Mal, you're fine. In fact, you've really impressed us."
"Uhhhh, I have?"
"Oh yeah, I mean, nobody, nobody, thought you would keep up. No one knew you could work that hard."
(Okay, for the record, just because last summer I was working in information and the parking lot, does not mean that they put me there because I can't work hard. They put me there because - well, actually I don't know, but they needed someone and I was it!)

Really though, it's not that hard. I mean, yeah I have to move fast when I'm making 5 to 6 pans of popovers at a time, and running buckets to the dishpit, and getting more out ahead of time so they can warm up to room temp, and stuff like that, but it's really just a matter of timing. I don't understand how people can burn themselves every time they do popovers. I mean, I've burned myself twice this summer (which I guess is a record) and they've both been minor and on pans. (There was this thing with my supervisor not putting them in the right pile, and then this HOLE IN THE BRAND NEW OVEN MIT WHICH KIND OF TICKED ME OFF! but nothing I can blame on anyone.) The kitchen manager, John, he burns himself every time, and bad too! I don't even see how that's possible unless he's jumping in the ovens after the pans.

So, yeah, moving on. The only person in the kitchen I was worried about impressing was Barb. (Who, for a long time, really intimidated me. She's the kind of woman that doesn't fool around. She's there to work and doesn't put up with stupidity, excessive foolishness, or laziness. A lot of the servers are not on her good side.) I guess what really impressed her was that, instead of just leaving when my replacement got here (there's a 2 hour overlap and really not enough for 2 people to do) I would go where I was needed, usually the dishpit. People consider the dishpit the lowest of the lows. (The popoverpit is only slightly less disgusting.) I'm just like, hey, dishes are dishes, whether you're eating off them, or someone else. Yeah, it gets nasty, but after sweating in the popoverpit all day, it's almost refreshing to move into the dishpit where the constant wetness keeps you relatively cool. I'll even do silverware if I have to. Besides, the guys in the dishpit are really cool. (Not to mention HILARIOUSLY funny.)

Here's the jist of this whole entry, I impress Barb enough so that she decided I would make an excellent expediter. Let me explain, on the line there's hotside and coldside. On hotside there's usually two people. However, when the going gets tough, they need a third person in the middle. The expediter. That person only does some simple things: stew and chowder, veggies, and starches, and putting the order up. The over all job though, is pretty important. The expediter keeps the workspace clear of food that is all prepared and ready to go up, therefore allowing the cooks to keep going. They're in charge of not letting the servers take their food before it's ALL up in the window. They're in charge of knowing who gets what food when. It's a fast job, but a lot of fun. Again, it's boiling hot, but not too bad. Overall, I love it. I also like knowing that Barb feels like she can trust me to keep up with her. (We'll see.) Not to mention I get a TOTALLY AWESOME title: the expediter! I mean, seriously, can anyone compete with that?!


ML said...

I don't get why they didn't ask me how awesome you were to begin with and save themselves some time. Oh well, you just can't hide a good thing!! (For long anyway.)

Mallory said...

So true! I mean, they would've had to pay for a long distance call, but in the end, I'm pretty sure they'd get their money's worth!