So I said in the last post that work got better. And it did, very quickly. Who knew that flipping a lobster tail down your front could improve things so easily?
I have now managed to work my way through all 4 stations in the kitchen, 3 of which are ridiculously uneventful. These are pantry, pizza, and grill. Pantry involves a lot of salad making and a lot of standing around. Pizza is a little more involved than it sounds as it handles almost all of the appetizers and desserts as well as bailing pantry out of the weeds. How pantry EVER gets in the weeds still evades me. Grill is grill. Its hot and humid and gross, I have literally never sweat more in my life, not even in that awful wool band uniform I wore every Friday night in high school. Maybe I’ll find a picture to post of that…. Anyway, back on track. Grill is pretty easy and a lot of fun. Things are a little different over on that side because guests can substitute sides and glazes and sauces and risottos and so on. What I will never, EVER understand about that restaurant is why they chose to install a thermometer right next to the grill. Above it in fact. It generally reads between 135-150 on any normal night and when I was back there on Friday, it was sitting at a comfy 165. Boo. Boo boo boo. Talk about a sauna. Except in saunas there are signs that say exposure lasting over 15 minutes is not recommended. Here, at Macaroni Grill, we require people to stand back there at 6 hour intervals. Talk about hard labor, get Chris Brown’s ass back there.
And then, SAUTE. The greatest station in this universe. You flip pasta and are encouraged to throw pans. You clank your tongs with such force against the metal that the person next to you WILL jump if they aren’t paying attention (I think I lost at least a year off my life due to this). Making a mess is required and I have learned that when a chef yells, “Fire in the kitchen!!!” he is just lighting his pan on fire to impress the kid watching him, not trying to give me a heartattack. THIS, ladies and gents, this is when my week improved.
I wanted to take those 5 bobbypins to work and come back and type about how much morale improved that day. I wanted to be able to say, see??? Just a compliment sometimes, just a pat on the back can improve working relations a hundred times over.
But instead, I left the bobbypins on the nightstand. What an idiot. But you know what happened instead? I was being impressed with myself and my flipping abilities (Gosh, I caught on SO quick) and I flipped a lobster tail right down the front of my chef’s coat. This in itself is a feat. You see, there is an apron over the coat – I flipped that sucker straight down the middle of the two. Then I yelped. Like a dog that had it’s tail stepped on. And then immediately burst into laughter. I don’t think the kitchen guys knew what to do. I mean, first of all their boss is throwing seafood at herself and then is horrified and then is cracking up laughing. All in the matter of two seconds. Then of course, FIRE IN THE KITCHEN!!! and lots of laughing and joking and throwing of a sad, sad lobster tail.
I learned not to take Houston so seriously at exactly that moment. We were getting killed, I mean KILLED on Saute at that moment but WHO CARES. People will get their food, even if I have to flip version one of the spaghetti down my front to get version two on the table. And don’t worry, this isn’t just a high that I’m having right now because of my lobster. I’ve never been so sore – my hand was in so much pain and so swollen the next day from gripping those saute pans so tight. Working the next day was torture, it was like someone pressing down on a bruise for about 4 hours. But you know what? I won’t have to live here forever and thank goodness I won’t be at that store forever. But man, when we were all laughing like that, I really couldn’t help thinking, I wonder when they laughed like this last with the other people that work here? The next day I brought them all kolaches and the day after that I threw meat sauce all over me and Vicente when I got a littlte overzealous with my flipping abilities. The laughter was started all over again just because of the horrified look on his face. Those will be the people and the moments I’ll remember from here.
Oh, and I’ll remember these things as well, in bullet point for your convenience:
- THAT is my $4 cupcake and I tell you, it was worth every penny. That one was lemon on lemon and that little gem right there on top was a pure sugar treat. This rivals Sprinkles in L.A. if you’re ever been privy to such excitement. I mean, how could it go bad? The box and bag alone are probably worth the $4.
- the front desk people saying, What’s up girl? to me instead of “Welcome back or welcome home!” like they do to everyone else.
- the look on the dude’s face that refills my free wine everyday when I gave him his cupcake. The day before we talked about how vanilla is the greatest flavor of all – and always will be. He looked shellshocked and I am so so happy 🙂
- this little beauty; me: So did you do anything cool today? Mackenzie: No, not really. I got hit in the face with a carrot.
And on that note, it’s bedtime. Hey Pops, if you read this, glad your Cowboys didn’t choke too bad tonight.