Monthly Archives: March 2015

Seven

Just a quick update to let everyone know that I survived my seven day stretch. Both Sunday and Monday were generally slow except for one solid hour or so when it seemed like every table wanted food at the same time so I’d get slammed. Sigh. And I wanted to show off the most adorably tiny carrots we got recently:

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Today (my Saturday) was a great day. It started with a three hour brunch catching up with a dear friend, being productive with an oil change, grabbing a bite to eat with another dear friend and her bf (and his dog), and skyping with the BFF after his long day at work. Now I’m just tidying up the house and unwinding by watching Pitch Perfect for the umpteenth time. The only thing missing is more time with Honey Bunny but he’ll be home soon and my day will be complete. :)

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Room for Growth

Just a quick post –

Updates:
– Thursday was rather slow and not particularly noteworthy.
– Friday was a long day as half of us had to come in two hours early to attend an annual safety training refresher course and then work the closing shift. On the bright side, we got paid overtime!

Good News:
Yesterday (Saturday), Chef announced that two of the Lead Cooks have been promoted to “Junior Sous” which meant that there are two openings for lead. At first I brushed it aside but the other guys said that if I’m interested I should still talk to Chef and let her know. Worse case she says no and can give me feedback for the future. I spoke with her at the end of service last night and she had a lot of great things to say — she’s very happy with my quality of work, she is always talking with the other sous chefs about how precise I am, she likes that she rarely has to make criticism but when she does I apply it right away and never make the same mistake twice, and she knows that I know my station forwards and backwards. She concluded her thought with the statement that she sees no problem with me moving up in the kitchen. However, HR policy dictates that I have to be in my current position for at least 6 months before I can apply for a “transfer” (promotions included) so we “have to be patient with that.” I take this as good news because it seems like that corporate technicality is the only thing standing in my way with this particular opportunity and that I just have to wait for the next chance to roll around (hopefully about 4 months from now). YAY!

Bad news:
My station partner is partying in the desert all weekend so I have to work a 6th and 7th day this week (today and tomorrow). Can’t wait to finally have a day off on Tuesday!!!

Kool-aid

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So the new hire orientation went well today. The bulk of it was selling us on the virtues of the company’s many brands… drinking the proverbial kool-aid.

We were done at 4pm on the dot and I drove home in daylight in the workaday traffic of the ordinary evening commute. To be honest, I kinda missed it, and I especially enjoyed spending extra time with Honey Bunny and being able to go out for a normal dinner date in the middle of the week. If only it were possible to pursue a careeer in Michelin quality fine dining on a 9 to 5…

Facing Challenges

So I’ve been taking yoga classes for a few weeks now, and even though it is a beginners class, on Monday we started doing half handstands (supported against a wall) in preparation for going straight into a full inversion, which might happen in just a few more sessions! A look of pure horror came over everyone’s face when we saw the teacher demonstrate how to climb up the wall with our feet while our hands stayed planted into the floor as our primary support. I was eager to try it but at the same time I was terrified of falling onto my head. I’ll have you know that in times of anxiety, your feet can and will sweat, not unlike getting moist palms of nervousness. My shoulders and upper arms still ache a bit but it is a constant reminder of my accomplishment. Even though I haven’t done a full handstand yet, that class made me feel like I am capable of doing anything and that confidence has flowed into other aspects of my life.

Tuesday is one of my solo days and I handled it without a hitch. I didn’t need anyone’s help to finish my prep and I managed to cross off every item on my prep list and then some. I even got to apply some skills from the old restaurant when Grill Girl found out that her rabbits arrived bone-in and needed help butchering the saddles (basically a bunny loin). Not many people in the kitchen have had much butchery experience so it was up to me and one of the Lead Cooks to guide her. Not gonna lie, I felt pretty awesome when the conversation went, “Wait a minute, you know how to butcher a rabbit?!” And when I identified the giblets (she had gotten the kidneys and liver confused). Service was slow but when I did have tickets on, it went smoothly.

Tomorrow I have to go in early for new hire training, more corporate-y stuff. On the bright side, it will be my first 9-5 day in over a year and I’m not scheduled to work dinner service afterwards so Honey Bunny and I can go out for a midweek dinner date! Woohoo!

Hump Day

Working Tuesday through Saturday means that my hump day doesn’t come until Thursday, and boy did it hit hard this week. As usual, I worked solo the past two days; we didn’t have many covers on the books but it felt busy because the reservations were all around the same time and the tickets came flooding in.

I came in today for the closing shift to find out that my station partner (and many of the other openers) was being sent home early at 7pm. We had just under 200 reservations so they felt that, despite the potential walk-ins, it was slow enough for most of us to handle it on our own. The news made me a bit nervous – I don’t like having to run the board, cook, plate, garnish, etc. all by myself with the added pressure of it being a Thursday night and the private dining room being open (we have a dish to pick up for them now, the final course of their 18-course menu).

What made matters worse was that my station partner had not yet started the harissa broth on our list even though I had already prepped out the mise en place for him the night before. It takes a long time to simmer and I was pretty upset that because of his poor planning, I’d have to finish and “drop” the stock in the middle of dinner service by myself. I didn’t have the heart to say anything about it but one of the Lead Cooks did.

But all in all, the night went well. I was steadily busy and while I hit a few rough patches, I didn’t “go down” too badly. I think it was a pretty steep learning curve to get thrown into a new restaurant and on the hot line for the first time on top of that, but I’m getting more comfortable and confident on my station. Hopefully the chefs recognize that too so I won’t get “stuck” on any one station for too long.

After what felt like an unusually long day, I came home feeling exhausted but happy. Bring it on, busiest nights of the week!