Thursday, December 10, 2009

On Trying to Beat The Clock

The bad news: as I write this we are losing one of our kitchen staff (leaving us with three!)

The good news: because of bad news, boss is not going to Florida for Christmas, meaning I get Christmas Eve off and can go to the cottage with Jen for two days instead of just one. (resto is closed Christmas Day)

It's hard to get all the prep done when my shift starts at 3 pm and the restaurant opens at 4 pm. There's usually no tables between 4 pm and 5 pm which extends my buffer prep time to two hours but when the list is long -- such as: mashed potatoes, pull chicken, ratatouille, tomato sauce etc -- you can hardly start any of those projects. With a kitchen as small as ours where we can only prep in the front, you don't want to take up too much counter space prepping because if you happen to get a table and are in the middle of pulling chicken you have to de-glove, move everything in the back (if you can find room) and make the customer's food. By the time you move everything back to prep again you are likely to have another table, and...well, you get the picture. Since there are only two people in the kitchen at any given time -- unless it's the weekend -- the chances are high that closing time will come and your half-pulled chicken is still in the back and now you have to either deal with it or store it and continue tomorrow.

I am hoping to one day get the keys and maybe go in early to do prep by myself, see how much I get done when there's nobody there, no danger of getting interrupted and, more importantly, no distractions. Two weeks ago Chef said he might call me in the morning to prep one day this week as he has an appointment to go to and he cannot cancel it. I'm not sure whether or not that's still happening, but if it is, it'll be tomorrow. It also frees me up from closing for the first time in a month. Yay! In case you haven't figured it out, I'm still not a big fan of mopping the floor. When I see the water in the bucket get soo dirty it makes me wonder if we're really cleaning the floor though. I think that floor needs a good mopping, changing the water several times. That's not going to happen at the end of the night when everyone is tired and in a hurry to go home and it's also not going to happen when you're told to be out of there at 10 pm with the kitchen also closing at 10 pm. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, I'll spell it out for you. If we get a table ordering food at 9:30 we're supposed to put out that food. The kitchen cannot be properly cleaned by two people in under 30 minutes. It cannot even be done by three people in under 30 minutes but for two people it's impossible. Sure you can shove things in the fridge ever which way, and maybe do a half-assed job sweeping, mopping and disinfecting, but that only means when you come in the next day you'll find a long list of what didn't get done. At the present time I have no solution other than to sign out at 10 pm but stay until 11 pm to get my stuff done.

Oh well... I still love my job though. I do. Would I blog about it (almost) daily if I didn't?

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