Under Fire: Hectic nothingness

For a workplace that's notoriously hectic, it's funny how little you feel you sometimes get done. In three hours I made tapenade and picked beet greens. We have a whole menu, and that's all I manage to do?

Well, it takes a while to pit approximately 73,000 Pincholine olives. Pitting olives for an hour goes on the list of kitchen duties you don't think about until you suddenly have to do it.

This task finally ended in favor of a meeting with the chef and the two bar managers, discussing how to bring business to the restaurant. Do we lower prices, probably raising our food cost? Do we advertise? Consider shifting our concept? Just stay the course? Such discussions aren't part of the glory of the big rush -- but it could be boring to cook for NO ONE.

Following the meeting, we walked back in to the kitchen to see a man named Jose (not his real name). He was supposed to train last weekend at dishwasher, but then he had to work a shift at his other place. In a broken spanishenglish clusterfuck of a conversation, we'd simultaneously agreed that he would come back at 5 p.m. the next day even if I didn't call, and that he shouldn't come unless I call.

So here he is and of course the kitchen's plans have changed so his services are not actually required for now, leaving me making uncomfortable eye contact with him like we have had an affair.

I don't have much time to think about that awkwardness, though, because I realize that tomorrow I'll be taking on saute -- after starting the day at the farmers' market. I will probably get my ass kicked, but at least tonight was good.

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Tyler Nemkov
Contact: Tyler Nemkov