I am proud to tell you all the infrequency of my posts in recent weeks is due to my starting a new job as sous chef for a small but busy downtown restaurant.
As some of you may know the restaurant industry is sadly a still a mans world female line cooks are rare and often have to fight hard to be considered equals to their male counter parts . Female chefs are even rarer . So you can imagine my delight to be working along side a capable Female chef as her sous , what’s more than that I was hired to replace her current sous a short English girl much like my self .
About a week into my training there came a fervently busy night on which the 3 of us were working together , the only men in the kitchen being in the dish pit . As orders bleeped in and pastas flew out the server station with precise and dizzying speed all in the puffing dragon breath heat of the half dozen burners and belching ovens. A customer peered in the window of the semi open kitchen and exclaimed “Is that 3 female chefs? I ‘ve never seen a female chef before !” It was hard I must admit for us not to burst out laughing at his crudely put though largely accurate observation. Instead we all answered quickly and almost in unison YES!
So I put it to you have you ever met a female chef ? perhaps you are a female chef if so all power to you may we see more strong women at the helm of busy restaurants everywhere.
Like what I’m doing now check out what I was up to before all this @ http://thegreathardwooadventure.blogspot.ca/2014/06/headed-south-beautiful-blue-ridge.html
There are some customers you just can’t please, if you follow my blog or have the misfortune to work in customer service your self then you have probably encountered them. They are devoid of human emotion and treat those you serve them like scum. To spite this widely known fact and my widely known opinions about such people , I often hear the praises of how patient and understanding I can be. Seriously I’m not tooting my own horn here, I hear it all the time and I owe it all to my custom made sub-personality .
I call her Synthetica and I invented her years ago when dealing with particularly unpleasant hockey coach. Developed from a mixture of the most tolerant happy people I observed as well as select cheery portions of my own personality. Her job? To deal with the outside world when I couldn’t , this way the real me can scream fuck you ! while Synthetica helps you with your meal selection.
She like most Synthetics is a mimic of nature designed with a specific purpose like an implant for my personality, and just like an implant though she may look and feel close to the real thing. At the end of the day, she’s totally fabricated , always happy smiling and up beat , you could shoot her puppy in the face and she’d ask you if would like some chamomile tea to calm your nerves. Without her there is no way I would get through a work week without at the very least snapping at some loser on a cell phone .
Like order up?
Have a look at what I was doing before all of this
We’ve all had them , and over the years I’ve whittled mine down to 5 distinct types so without further a due here they are.
- The painfully slow day by far the worst in my opinion . You’ve only been at work half an hour but it feels like a life time , no customers , no prep or cleaning to be done , why are you even here ? I find these days made even worse when you have a thousand things to do outside of work .
- The chaotically busy day , a close second to the former . Everything is everywhere and it’s all filthy you barely have time to take a gulp of water before it’s on to the next thing , your starving , dehydrated and in desperate need of a bathroom break . Worst of all you just know you’ll be there long after your shift supposedly ended.
- The can’t do anything right day. Everything you touch fails you should have just stayed in bed , you being at work today is of no benefit to anyone involved.
- The hangover work day . I do this at least once a week ( don’t judge me I’m young I work hard , I like to party hard) for some reason unbeknownst to me I can’t wrap my head around the concept of Friday night being followed by Saturday morning . The result Saturday at work suck!
- The I’m not even supposed to be here today . Dante coined it in Clerks (if you haven’t seen it do yourself a favor and download that sucker ) the day you have plans and aren’t even supposed to be there are a total drag. They are thankfully easily avoided though, I just don’t answer the phone if work calls on my day off .
I want to hear about your terrible days , got one that’s not on my list leave me a comment and tell me all about it .
I’d like to share for your amusement a conversation my co worker (and friend ) and I had today . Neither of us are what you’d call skinny girls, we’ve both been fighting the battle of the bulge as long as we’ve known each other.
I fortunately was born with crazy will power which makes resisting tasty treats at work much easier for me my friend not so much. As a result I’m always trying to encourage her away from them in todays case a particularly delicious looking turkey club.
Co worker : Ohhhhh it looks soooooo good but I shouldn’t have it.
Me : Nope put the sandwich down you don’t need it .
Co worker : I know but I want it ! but I’m so fat , what’s better being skinny or this scrumptious sandwich?
Me : Well it’s like this, a turkey club is like a one night stand, it seems like a good idea at the time and it’s great while it lasts , but then it’s gone and your left feeling guilty and greasy and wonder how you convinced your self this was in your best interest.
I’ve been in service over 10 years in that time I’ve been called into work for a medley of stupid reasons below are the 5 I thing really take the cake .
- Early on in my career I was the assistant manager at a cookie kiosk , I worked almost constantly only taking 1 day off a week during which I was on call should anything go wrong . One morning I woke to the sound of my house phone ringing (I didn’t have a cell phone yet) naturally I shot out of bed sure the place had burned down or we’d been robbed by sugar high preteens . Upon answering the phone I was relived to discover this was not the case . The 3 girls there had opted to call me because they couldn’t and I quote “figure out how to turn on the slushy machine ” Now understand this machine has 3 buttons on it 1 is a picture of a snow flake , the second is a spinning slushy machine and the third is a power symbol. Feeling that trying to explain this over the phone would be a waste of time if they couldn’t between 3 of them figure this labyrinth of engineering out I made my way down to the store . Can you guess what I did when I got there , pressed the power button followed by the snow flake (which if you haven’t guessed turns the freezer portion of the machine on) and last but not least the spinning slushy machine (it makes it turn so it doesn’t turn into a frozen block of blue ice . The girls stared at me and then at it in sheer amazement one of them commenting how she “never would have thought of that” I didn’t say a word just turned around and headed home , secure in the fact my position would never be threatened by my co workers .
- This one happened just a few years ago I received another early morning call from a co worker informed that they were to depressed to bear coming into work could I come in for them , I feel for them but seriously we all have our depressed days the world keeps on spinning .
- I answer the phone and all I can hear is a deafening alarm and my co worker screaming , “we had to open but neither of us knew the code for the alarm so we went in anyway and now the alarms going off can you come in and turn it off”
- This was actually at the same place as the slushy machine incident ” I’m really sorry to bother you put the oven exploded and I didn’t know who else to call” when I came in they were not exaggerating the entire place was covered in ash the oven door was blown almost clean off and one slightly blackened employee was there to greet me .
- The most recent but equally absurd one comes from a co worker in pre med , “I forgot my biology final is tomorrow can you cover my shift ?” I’m not entirely sure doctor is the greatest career path if you can’t remember when your biology final is .
The way I see it when you embark upon the journey of parenthood you sign a binding contract , if you can’t control your screaming child don’t bring it to a restaurant , café or other public place.
We don’t provide highchairs for a reason! Can you guess what it might be ?
You know what I was a child once (duh of course ) and my parents took me to restaurants and if I had behaved anywhere close to as the way this kid is behaving , running around the restaurant screaming walking on tables and throwing food on the floor on purpose . I can assure you there would have been consequences and we certainly wouldn’t have been staying to finish our meals . My father wasn’t being harsh or cruel he was right !
There are other than you in the café , some of them are on dates , some of them are trying to study and get some peace from their crazy roommates and some of them are waitresses trying to make a living off our tips. Reality check , people don’t want to be in a confined space with a screaming child , no customers = no tips for me = no romantic getaway to Quebec city , I am not amused .
If you insist on towing your poorly behaved child to a restaurant then make it a family restaurant , with highchairs , kids menus and waitresses paid to put up with it .
Option 2 discipline your child so it can exist in an adult setting without making fellow patrons and the staff want to rip their hair out and run out the door screaming themselves .
Or option 3 get a baby sitter , they exist for a reason!
I know I know you have a kid and you love them and don’t want to be mean , I have a dog and I love here too but what I don’t do is bring her to a restaurant . Why ? because she would run around the place , she would run around the place annoying people and it wouldn’t be appropriate . So why do you think it’s ok for your child to do the exact same thing ?