Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Dinner Shift

I've moved up in the restaurant world to start working the dinner shift. About a month ago, the Chef told me I'd be working nights. I took it as a good sign. Now, instead of waking up at OMG o'clock, I sleep in every day. It's lovely, and by far the best perk of the job. I almost feel like a woman of leisure. 

But the work is a bit harder, faster, more complex, and I finally feel as though I'm getting up to par. I now split my time between two positions. One position does the salads, appetizers and desserts, the other does the fryer and expedites the pantry side of the line. The latter is a bit more complex. Both require immediate reaction, muscle memory and complete focus. There's no time to daydream, or really ponder anything. An order comes in and I have to know how to deal with it. That means either waiting for the rest of the order to be ready before I fire (begin) my part, giving it to the other pantry cook, or firing it right away. All the while I have to keep watch of other orders that may be in various states of process, and keep track of other orders coming in. Sound confusing? It kinda is, but when I get in the zone of making it all happen, it's a pretty great feeling. 

Working fryer has its drawbacks though. For one, I smell like fryer grease by the end of the night. I also have multiple burns on my arms, and the tips of my fingers are becoming calloused from plating hot fries that just came out of 375F oil. When I'm not on the Fryer, I come home smelling like salad dressing. 

And then there's the transport costs of driving into work, which are considerable. I pay two tolls and for 3 hours of meter parking plus gas. I could in theory take Bart, but the cost would be about the same and the commute would take at least an hour more, each not worth it. 

I like what I'm doing. Last night I was clearly in the zone and it was both fulfilling and fun. And somehow, working at night feels less like a job. The shift goes by pretty fast when we're busy, and I generally don't have a problem getting to sleep at night. I also feel like I've turned a corner in this whole process of becoming a cook. I've noticed I'm not as sore as I use to be. My knees and ankles seem to have adjusted to the physicality of the work. I feel well liked in the kitchen and appreciated for my contributions. It's a good feeling.

Life 3.0 is a Go! I'm liking this choice more and more. 

1 comment:

Heidi said...

When I worked at Sandoval Chandler said he sometimes had trouble deciding if he wanted to make out, or have a burrito. Coming home smelling like food is not so bad. Think of the mortician woes.