There’s a line out the door.

There’s been a line out the door for a good three hours.


I sorta mumble to myself.

The pastry chef leaves us with cakes and tarts that are terrible for our busy lunch and dinner rush. The instructions for the overly sweet marshmallow chocolate torte, “Heat knife, then cut. Use blow torch to toast marshmallow.”

WTF!? In this rush? (And marshmallow?? Seriously??)

I’m totally in the weeds. Well, not so much as the weeds as just running on all cylinders with a line of people that will not shorten. They just keep coming and coming. All wanting to be treated with kindness. All wanting to be fed carbs and wine and liquor.

Sink or swim man…sink or swim.

So I decide to swim and just laugh it off. Being busy is not a bad problem to have. A line is good publicity. It shows people you do good stuff. I don’t see why people complain about a line. Unless people are just twirling their thumbs behind the counter, a line is something you have to deal with.

And folks, it’s just a line. No need to get bent out of shape. If you want the goods, you have to do your part too, okay?

These are some new things for me. I’ve worked in busy shops. But nothing like this where a rush lasts for hours.

To update a little, I’m moving off the front lines a little. Doing a little less front of house work and spending more time with food. At least I think this is what’s happening. This is what I came to do. To gain experience. To develop skills needed to continue kitchen/food service work while keeping my standards at a somewhat respectable level.

I’m working a little on saute, and have a couple of heat blisters to prove it. Also, the hair on my arm 2-4 inches above my wrist is pretty much singed off. Oh fire and timing and ingredients. The things we work with the most. The things that are most stressful. But there’s nothing like it.

The buzz after the rush. The cleaning up. The prep for the next rush and/or day. The feeling that your day is complete when the oven hood shuts off and the music is hushed.

You go home and rest your feet but want to do something fun because you know the next day you’ll have to do the same thing. The times after you get off act as some sort of rebellion towards the next day. When you only have two hours before 12am and you want to make them count.

It’s the best feeling, that is, unless you’re completely exhausted.

Because it is exhausting work. And you will get whooped. You can only hope that you’ll have enough time to get your shit together before you have to do it all over again.

These are the beginnings.

And once you’re in…

you’re in.

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