I had just gotten back to my desk at the office after we had wrapped up a shareholders meeting when my cell phone rang with a phone number I didn’t recognize. Cautiously, I answered it. It turned out to be Sous Chef J.
“So…. I have to ask you something,” he started. “Can you come in and work service tonight? We’re really busy and we need the help.”
At first I thought, man… all I wanted was one more evening with Honey Bunny before the crazy week started. But then I thought about what Station-mate had said when he had to work eight days in a row — “At least they WANT me!” After all, it would be far worse to be known as the one they never call because they secretly think you suck… or something. So, being the optimist I am, I decided to go with feeling flattered.
I told him I would not be able to get there until 6pm at the earliest, and he said that’s perfectly fine. We talked about it later and yes, I could hear the desperation in his voice. I joked that had Sous Chef S called instead, I might have been able to muster up a “No.”
When I arrived, everyone greeted me with surprise and relief. Here I come to save the day! It turns out that, despite it being an ordinary Wednesday, there were three parties — a 12-top, 15-top, and 30-top. According to both of the Sous, Dumb and Dumber (Musician Stage and Sassy Stage, respectively) wouldn’t have been able to handle it. So I took the reigns, ran the board, and even found time to help Station-mate with his charcuterie platters and make sure Pizza Guy didn’t miss any tickets.
it was a rough night… one of those where we spread plates all across our station and a few others. After the chaos, Chef patted me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear, “Yeah. That’s why we called you in.” He thanked me as well, with a “Good job” and that wink as he says it.
Our station had slowed by around 9ish, so I went to help Sous Chef J with desserts. I got to plate the doughnuts (my favorite!) and plenty of sticky toffee puddings for one of the parties (I believe we literally had 12 all lined up in a row). He said that he was very grateful that I had come in. Apparently they were trying to get Station-mate to float between his station and garde manger, but that was NOT going to happen so they called in the reinforcements.
While the boys cleaned up the station, I did the order/prep list. Between all of the mise we used up during service today and the fact that we have a Valentine’s Day prix fixe on Friday to plan for, we have a lot of work ahead tomorrow.
But I can worry about that later. For now, I’m going to finally eat dinner. It’s been a long day.