Wednesday, September 9, 2009

When the Sous-Chef Is Away

Our Sous-Chef is off for the next two days and I feel relieved. I can't really explain why, it's not like we behave differently when she's gone, but it seems to be a more relaxed atmosphere. We do the prep on the M.E.P board (and whatever other prep needs to be done) and we get ready for dinner just the same.

I think for me, personally, the difference is that I can prioritize tasks my own way instead of someone else prioritizing for me. For example, if I want to start cleaning squid for my calamari and haul the large box from the freezer, dump it in the sink and am about to begin, it messes me up that I am told to drop that and make sandwiches first (or some other thing). Or I'll be making sandwiches and then I am told "quickly, can you run upstairs and bring down such and such". It just keeps me in a constant state of confusion. No, confusion is not the right word. I just seem to never really get into a task because I'm jumping around so much and then I never get the sense of completion -- because while I am doing something else, someone will finish the job I previously started. So it just seems I am starting all these things and not finishing any. It's strange. I don't know why. I mean, I know I am there to do whatever is needed so if she feels other things are more of a priority, then so be it I guess, but it leaves me always wondering what I will be doing next instead of knowing.

Today was a very relaxing day, on all accounts. Not only was the sous-chef gone, I had come in to find there was little prep to be done and dinner service would also be very slow. I had been warned that business normally "drops off" after Labour Day but I didn't expect it to be so sudden. It was only two days ago that we got so very busy during lunch that I nearly walked out of the kitchen. I was working with a girl who is not usually in the bistro and us being thrown together for one of the busiest lunch services of the year was an almost disastrous move. Had I walked out I would have possibly gotten fired but, more importantly, they would not have been able to pull off lunch without me. I mean, we were already in the weeds, can you imagine if I had just walked out? Instead of walking out, I went and stood in the walk-in fridge for about 30 seconds to cool off, literally.

Getting back to today though, the kitchen was dead and I was out of there at 9 pm Tomorrow likely to be the same, I am not even sure what I'll be doing there from 1 pm till closing time. This is obviously not good for business, and I shouldn't be happy, but we're all getting pretty tired after a very busy August so we're thrilled to get a breather. We all know that October is around the corner and it will be mayhem again as folks try to get in their last collective hurrah before the deep freeze!

As for me, I'll be looking for work come November and in January I start cooking school. So much for hybernating in the winter...

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