I've taken over the new position. I had four days of training, which was fine. I then took over on my own. The two big days at my station are Wednesdays and Thursdays. Wednesdays we serve taco salads and Thursdays we serve pizzas.
I never made it to my first pizza day last week because I slipped in the dry storage room and hit my head really hard on the edge of a shelf. I ended up with a minor concussion but was back at work on Friday.
Anyway, that week was OK. I hadn't trained for a Monday because we were closed on Columbus Day. Monday rolls around and I'm supposed to be being closely supervised by our head chef. However, one of our cooks didn't show up and didn't call, not for the first time so he was going to be let go.
This leaves us shorthanded in the kitchen. This means I'm totally on my own. I found out I was supposed to be serving custom salads and sandwiches on Monday. When I was training we had put out the same offerings as the deli with more vegetables and different dressings than the salad bar. Guess what? I'm supposed to be serving only the freshly roasted stuff from the other stations. Okay, fine. I got that figured out and up and served.
Tuesday is pasta salads, I get that out but not on time. I serve stuff up, clean up and then try to start getting ready for our big taco salad day. I got some stuff done and hoped I'd be okay.
I was fine until 20 minutes before service and I flew into a full on panic.
On to today. I thought yesterday was bad? Oi. I got to work early to get all my pizza stuff done. I had been told I'd be partnered with someone today, but that only meant for serving, not for prepping.
So, there I am trying to stretch 165 pizza doughs then cook chicken, get sauces together, make sure we have enough back up and get it all set up. I got set up, but then I needed to make something involving apples for our head chef.
Since we are down a person he's having to pick up the slack and do all that cooking in addition to his regular duties. He's being pulled in 87 different directions at once and wasn't able to give me the exact instructions for what I was going to make. It involved puff pastry, apples and sugar and cinnamon. He tells me to layer it and it should be squares. I have exactly 7 minutes before I have to be out on the floor so I lay out the pastry, lay out some apple slices with sugar and cinnamon and put another sheet on top, do that again and think I'll use a pizza cutter to cut it into squares after it's cooked. Chef walks over, sighs angrily and tosses all the stuff off. Then he walks off. I now have no idea what to do.
I go around the corner to where my manager is and say "I'm ready to call it a day!"
He said "Well, you can't."
I says "I know. I'm just venting. I don't know what chef wants me to make. He just ripped it up and I don't know if Dave is up front. Should I go up front or should I go back to chef and figure out how to make this thing he wants?"
My boss tells me to take a breath and go make pizzas.
Once I'm out front and serving, I'm fine. Dave and I get 130 custom pizzas out in 2 1/2 hours. I'm doing all the clean up and when I'm in the kitchen chef sees me.
"Hey, didn't you tell me you bake?" he asks.
He asks if I can ice a cake with whipped topping. Sure I can do that. Then we have an exchange that this cake is for an employee upstairs who wants writing on it. Chef makes a face and makes comments that cause me to think that he's NOT going to write anything on it.
He leaves to do something while I look around for something to put the cake on. There aren't any cake boxes or platters so I put it on a small sheet pan. The cake layers are cracked in the pan and one end is squished. I know it's going to fall apart so I transfer them as carefully as I can.
I can't find chef. My boss comes by and I tell him that I can make the cake look good, quickly and explain how I'd do it. I ask him to get chef to give me an approval since I need to be done in 20 minutes. Nothing. I can't find anyone. I make a management decision and just do it.
Everyone who walks by looks at the cake and says "that looks great!"
Chef walks around the corner, makes a face and says "I have to write on it." He also wants to transfer it to something else. This means he's going to create a cake board out of a pizza box.
I say that we can scrape the top, turn it onto the surface and reice it. He's not sure about this idea.
I get the cake transferred and he looks at it. "Is this cracked?"
I tell him it was cracked in the pan and one end is crushed. (He made the thing and has moved it 17 times in the last 2 days, I thought he'd noticed)
Then this comes: "By the way, this is the president's cake."
It's a cake for the president of the company and you didn't tell me? And you want me to frost it with whipped topping?
He announces he can't use the cake, gets one out of the freezer and ices that with whipped topping. I cleaned up my station asked if he needed any help and then left when he said no.
I'm in the car driving home yelling to myself that I've probably fucked my career before it even got started.
I'm hyperventilating at a stoplight when I think: Okay. Worst case scenario? I get fired. What then? I go back to Starbucks.
I am totally dreading going in tomorrow.
Amanda's helpful hint of the day: Don't ice cakes with whipped topping if you want them to look really nice.