Morning Shift 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Dare I say I’m getting the swing of things? I’ve located a toilet that’s suitable for women – it’s up five flights of stairs – but whatevah. And I’ve double checked that it’s okay to wear my chef’s uniform home between shifts instead of changing in the all boys dressing room (didn’t want to violate French health code or give my 36 male co-workers a cheap thrill). My body is adjusting to the physical demands slowly but surely and even my husband noticed that my arms are beginning to tone up. Sweet – maybe I’ll learn French, loose weight, and become a fabulous cook at the same time!
More importantly I’m actually beginning to look forward to each day. I guess you could say that for the moment the clouds have lifted. Today we had a banquet for fifty people. I plated all the amuse bouche’s and they were fun and easy: plates of fritto misto (fried calamari) piled high. I also got to plate all the main courses.
Evening Shift 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
What a friggin’ nightmare – OMG – what an effing nightmare. One of the stagiers decided he didn’t want to help my boss at the amuse bouche station. He feels slighted because I always get to do service while he does prep work downstairs. The real reason is that he’s got mega attitude and the chef’s will just keep giving him shitty jobs until he figures it out. If he figures it out.
He’s young and doesn’t quite get the fact that I’m faster, smaller and can maneuver within the small space easier, and I do my work and then redo his work because he’s sloppy. What a jerk. He’s sure it’s because I’m female since I don’t speak French and he does. Maybe it is, I really don’t care.
I began the shift behind trying to play catch up thanks to our young dissenter, and the orders just came in one after another after another after another. My boss and I were yelled at the whole night for not being prepared.
I was more exhausted than I knew and started to shake under the pressure. When I reached to grab my water bottle from the fridge a plate of sliced truffles smashed to the floor. This, of course, caused the kitchen to momentarily freeze while the chef de cuisine for the evening let me have it.
I reached down and picked it up and put in in the trash because my boss told me to, and that made the chef de cuisine even more upset because I was throwing away truffles so I got yelled at even more. I was so tired that I couldn’t help but unleash tears. No loud sobbing thankfully, just flowing tears from being pushed over the edge.
I put my head down and continued to plow through the shift. My boss let me go as soon as the last order was up and once I got outside the restaurant I think Noah’s Flood let loose. Not excited for work tomorrow….