Sunday. I only worked one Sunday in my entire time in the kitchen and it was for a special event that Chef had brought me along to back at the other restaurant. But because of the way the schedule worked out, and because we were so overwhelmed with Valentine’s Day reservations that the hostesses started asking people to defer to Sunday, I ended up working my sixth day in a row with over 400 covers on what should usually be a slow night.
My station partner and I were both scheduled to come in at 2:30 and the extra half hour really made the difference. We banged out our prep with no problem and even took our lunch break at the same time (when you’re really in the weeds, you take turns so that at least one person is still working). But when we came back to finish getting set up for service, we were in for a surprise….
Remember the handy dandy digital ticketing system I had mentioned? Well our monitor refused to stay on. If we pressed the power button, the screen would flicker briefly and then shut off again. That meant we went back to old school: verbal-only. This would have been fine if the sous chef actually called out all of our dishes, but the pass got so slammed with tickets that he would occasionally stop telling us and we’d have to go look for our items ourselves.
I cooked for most of the night, and it was so fucking awesome. In the words of my station partner, I was killing it! I was keeping track of my pans, the “all day” counts of the dishes we had on fire, the timing for our dishes… and we were busy! I felt like I had finally gotten comfortable in my new surroundings. At the end of the night, I stopped and looked at my hands to find little oil splatter burns all over my forearms. Battle scars from a successful night.
This first week has been really hard though. It sucked having to work on Valentine’s Day, as it did last year and will continue to suck for as long as I work in this industry. It sucked feeling like a single person (despite having a wonderful significant other) while browsing my facebook feed to see that just about everyone else seemed to be getting flowers and chocolate, going out celebrating with their SO, getting engaged! It wasn’t any easier on Honey Bunny either, especially with getting used to my new work schedule.
But my BFF sent me this quote on the morning of Valentine’s Day as words of encouragement: “If you throw me to the wolves, I’ll come back leading the pack.”
Onward to another week!