IDGAF: slang abbreviation for “I don’t give a f.” Side note: working in a kitchen alongside a merry band of misfits for nearly two years has really influenced my day-to-day speech… namely we all curse like sailors and don’t blink an eye when we hear it. Did I ever tell you guys about this one time I asked Sous Chef S for a recipe and, I kid you not, every couple of words was the f-bomb? “First you get a f-ing rondeau and sweat the f out of the onions. Then you f-ing add the cauliflower… etc.” Anyway, my mom reads my blog and for her benefit (and society’s) I’m trying to clean up my language.
Anyway, Wednesday was just an awful night. There was a private wine tasting dinner that designed their own menu and out of 15 or so dishes, FIVE of them came off my station. So in addition to working a busy 200+ cover dinner service by myself, I had to put out ten plates of each of those five dishes, coordinating so that all ten would be plated and ready to go at the same time, one dish right after the other. We all agreed that it was poor planning by whomever designed that menu (Chef is very good at taking things like station distribution into account so we knew that it definitely wasn’t under her control). Everyone was left exhausted and in desperate need of a drink at the end of the night.
Yesterday was still busy but considerably better since we weren’t half-staffed like the days prior. My usual station partner requested yesterday and today off so I had help from this other guy. He and I had worked together on Plancha 1 before, but today he was in an ornery mood. Nothing I did seemed to be correct or done fast enough. I think he came up with seven distinctly different ways to tell me I was slow: try not to take too long doing X, this should only take X minutes, you gotta hustle and get X done faster… etc. After the first two times, I was already getting angry and resentful, and as the night progressed, he just became a thorn in my side. Whether or not his complaints were valid, his overall attitude sucked and made the night seem to drag on. He finally got in my face about it at one point and I told him to back off.
Luckily, when I talked to my friends in the kitchen, they reassured me that he’s just an all-around asshole and to not take it personally. And I didn’t. I think that that’s one of the most valuable things I’ve learned through this journey: to develop a thicker skin. Once upon a time, I used to take even the slightest criticism very personally; it was good in the sense that I was very serious about taking pride in my work and putting out a high quality product. It was bad because I would often feel defeated or incompetent or just not good enough. I have since added a dose of IDGAF to my life and it has changed my life for the better. That’s not to say that I don’t care about my job or other aspects of my life. But it has proved useful in situations like this particular scenario; maybe I had a bad day, maybe he was having a bad day, maybe it doesn’t matter if we get along or even like each other as long as we got the job done. After all, dinner service still went surprisingly smoothly despite the fact that the gas was shut off to half the kitchen and two of the other hot line stations ended up having to share space (and burners) in our area.
So he can talk all he wants and keep telling me I’m too slow or whatever. I know I’m doing a good job and I have my stuff together. IDGAF.