Saturday, September 19, 2009


I must have sucker written on my forehead or something. There is no other way to explain why I am always the one being asked to go the extra mile: make fish and chips to order, make sandwiches when everyone else is cleaning and ready to go home, be on line at all times while others are taking breaks or washing a dish here and there. Maybe I'm being immature about it and maybe it's just self preservation. I don't like feeling like I am being taken advantage of.

I am not making this up... I would be mopping the floor while more than one colleague would stand there, watching, waiting for me to finish, instead of punching out and going home. I believe it is called milking the clock?!?

Today we ran out of battered fish for our fish and chips. Normally, we 86 it and move on. Today I was told by the Sous-Chef that I must do them to order. This means mixing the batter and have it ready -- read:in my way -- so that I can batter fish should I have orders for it. And of course, as Murphy would have it, today there were no less than ten orders of fish and chips where maybe I had three all week. So I flour the fish, dip it in batter and, holding it by the tail, I lower it into the frier but without dropping it in. By doing this I prevent the fish from sinking to the bottom of the frier. You see, when you hold it by the tail in the hot oil, the batter on the submersed part cooks and forms a flotation device of sorts if you will. It will help the fish to float when you finally let go.

As you might imagine, playing with the fish and batter in this manner is messy. My fingers become caked with batter and there is no way I can touch anything until I wash up. This almost puts me behind the eight ball. Dinner service is so tight that sometimes I barely have time to read the chits, let alone stop every few orders, dip battered fish in hot oil with my bare hands and run back to wash the sticky goop off my fingers.

The kicker? The Sous tells me, toward the end of the evening, that next time I come in I should prioritize better before starting to prep. Traying bacon and placing pemeal into inserts is not as important as making fish and chips or sandwiches. Well, maybe next time you have a board full of items for the MEP you will want to schedule someone to come in early, not with only an hour to spare before dinner. But no, of course I didn't say any of that. I nodded and left the building.

1 comment:

  1. Fish and Chips orders always have a higher chance of increasing on fridays. Old Catholic tradition (no meat on fridays, fish doesn't count). It's pretty habitual in other Christian sects too.

    I kept the habit right up to and through college, myself.