Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Yes, Chef!"

Okay, so I haven't been able to shout the inevitable words, "YES, CHEF!" yet, but it'll come.  I mean, I'm just a dishwasher; they don't have much need for me.  Yet.

The shift went very well.  I was told, "You kicked it" among other various accolades by the end of the night.  Right on.  Cause dude.. I fell behind a couple times (more than a couple).  I have a very small space to process a very large amount of dishes.  Keep in mind I'm working *in* the kitchen with everyone else - which means I'm surrounded by heat, fast movements and a lot of noise.  And I have to put away these dishes *while* they're working, dancing around them to get in and out to put something in place.  It's crazy.  Sometimes I couldn't get in to put things away and they had to pile up a bit.  #OCD

The people were fantastic and welcomed me on whole-heartedly.  We joked around a lot and they were completely open about letting me ask questions about what they were doing or letting me watch for a minute (at one point the executive chef was carving a veal heart - *so* interesting to watch, but I never got to ask what parts are served, go where, how prepared, etc.  Not my cup of tea, but interesting, nonetheless.).  And I was also served and offered absolutely fantastic food :)

Now, having said all that, I also have been forced very quickly to step out of my comfort zone (which, of course, is never comfortable).  I'm soft spoken by nature, but you can't survive like that in a restaurant kitchen.  If you don't tell someone, "Walking behind!", you or them are liable to get face-planted on a 500-degree burner and/or hotplate and/or open flame.  Not my idea of a good time.  The heat radiating off these surfaces is intense, just walking by.  So in the name of safety, for my protection and those around me, I got very used to, very quickly saying, "Behind!".  Also, there were times I had to re-direct dishes (from the servers, post-dinner consumption; when I have pans and hot items in the sink, we don't want dinner plates etc in there) and I had to tell them after a while to put them to the side.  I was letting them ALL pile up until someone suggested otherwise.

I did minor food prep and did plate a few desserts.  Easy.

I came home with an aching body.  I could barely move.  My feet sore, my hands aching from grabbing so many items.  I hadn't eaten in hours.  And I was absolutely giddy.  Despite the craziness, feeling a bit out of sorts because it was a new environment... I felt comfortable.  If I wasn't watching, I was listening.  After a while I could feel the flow and have an idea what would be called when (for pickup).  When I came home, I crashed.  Heck, I don't even think I remembered to brush my teeth last night.  I had a spoonful or two of yogurt and went to bed.  Random side note; do you know how depressing it is to come home to a fridge filled with a) barely anything and b) less-than-stellar items after spending a few hours surrounded by French cuisine?  I just stood at the fridge, door open and went, "Ugh."  Closed it and walked away.  I think I fell asleep before 1am.

I'm going to bake today; I've got some bananas to use up, so making bread.  I can't complain too much about my state today; my body is a bit sore, but not much.  Not used to all the work (I work hard at the hospital, but it's a different kind of work).  My feet on the other hand...sore.  I have a sensitive left ankle and I really should get orthotics.  Maybe someday when I get more money.

I'm back Friday and officially on staff :)

Anyways, I'm rambling.  Sorry.  Thanks for listening.  Wish me luck Friday - I'm going to have twice the amount of dishes and not a place to put them! :)


A said...

I never thought anyone could be so excited about being a dishwasher. I did that job for 7 months and I effing hated it. But I don't want to be a chef, nor did I care about the cuisine. Being the only vegetarian I often got over looked when lunch time came around (they fed us, them, sometimes me too).

I still have the habit of telling people when I'm behind them or passing behind them. Not as loudly, but still.

Perovskia said...

Sorry I haven't responded to your comment until now, A.

I'm strangely liking my job. Yes, dishwashing. Odd, eh? But I get to watch everything going on around me, yet being part of none of it (read: mealtime stress, although my mealtime stress is different). I watch, I listen, I get the 'flow'. I love being surrounded by all the energy. Of course, I like being fed, too :)

Yeah, I'm finding I'm telling people I'm behind them in places outside of the restaurant. It transfers.

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