Friday, November 6, 2009

I survived!

I am home after a 10-hour day. It wasn't even that long if you think about it, but I am beat. We didn't stop working, from 9 am till 7 pm. No break, no nothing. I finally grabbed some food at the very end of the day. I was tired, hungry and therefore getting crankier by the moment.

Some first impressions after today are that taking out the garbage at the end of the night at 20 below temperatures, through the snow, will be a b**ch. At the club we had maintenance folks who cleaned and took out the trash. Here, it's the job of the kitchen staff. So if at 10 o'clock at night you're driving on Bayview Ave. and you see a little girl plodding through the snow taking out cardboard boxes and yanking on a large garbage bin (you know, one of those gray ones on wheels), well, that's probably me.

Also, and this goes for all new jobs, regardless of industry, I find myself confused by my surroundings, don't know where anything is and it takes me a good minute to find such simple things as lemons or tomatoes among the many cases of produce in our walk-in fridge. There's containers everywhere and without taking the time to stand there and read labels to find what's in them I'm doomed to constant searching at least for the first week or so. The fact that it's a small kitchen, with small staff, should help as we'll likely all be putting things in the same place all the time. At the club, with a staff of about 20, the blue cheese dressing could be find anywhere from the dry storage to the stand-up fridge in the back, to the walk-in fridge of the lower level kitchen or, at times, even in the giant fridge built outside. I'm hoping I won't have that problem here.

The kitchen area is quite small and will likely give some logistic problems as we begin receiving patrons. I also fear a lot of time will be wasted walking back and forth from the dish-pit with few dishes at a time given the limited elbow room in there. We should try to put a cart there (the problem is there's no room to fit one in) so the person doing dishes could stack the clean ones on it, otherwise whoever is on "dish" duty will be forever taking clean dishes to the rack in the kitchen one load at a time. In the middle of a busy dinner service that could spell trouble with capital letters.

I'm trying to not think about any of this too much because, as cruel as it sounds, it's not my problem. It's not my restaurant and I cannot change it's layout. I don't think the owners could either, without injecting some serious cash into it. Since the place is yet to open, such cash has not yet been generated, nor do the owners know whether investing it is warranted at this time.

And so we all anxiously await Sunday's opening which will give us a sense of what will work and what won't. I do like that the open concept kitchen allows me to see into the dining room and, more importantly, glance up at the hockey going on the big screen TVs suspended from the beautiful ceiling.

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