First weekend

My first weekend at work was pretty good, I was able to hold my own, granted as long as I have all my mis en place the station is pretty easy. 

Friday night I trailed for the most part and by the end of my shift I had most things down pat so that the other guy could help out on saute, which by then was generally in the shits.  On Saturday night I ran the station all by my lonesome selft with only minor problems. 

Compared to where I worked before this line is much more straightforward.  The garde manger station is pretty well streamlined so that the prep work for it is fairly basic – hell, since I work lunch all days which tends to be slow I can prep the station out then to make sure the evening prep go smoothly.

As it stands now, next Saturday could kind of blow because it may just be us new guys.  The guy who took the chef position just days before I started is leaving the industry entirely at the end of the month and I believe Saturday is his last day, but really, how much can you expect of the guy?.  And the only guy who really knows all the dishes is leaving as of this Friday after working at the restaurant for the past couple of years.  That will leave me and the sous chef, plus a new chef if they hire one in time.  Add to this the fact that the sous chef is kind of douche baggy (on Friday night he got flustered and ended up sending out some undercooked chicken – not good) and you have a potential for a volatile situation.  The new sous chef seems more interested in impressing rather than learning the menu, which is not such a good thing, whereas I’m much more concerned about learning the basics of the place before I get too creative.

As for the hours, they haven’t been bad.  On Friday & Saturday I ended up working from 10 a.m. until 8:30 p.m., which still leaves time in the evening if Erin & I want to grab a bite somewhere in Chapel Hill (which we didn’t by the way, but it does leave the space available).  Our kitchen closes at 10 on those days, but my station is generally done well before that time, and considering I work lunch there’s not much reason to stay for the time being, that is until I learn the saute station and can properly help out over there.

The work itself is far less gruelling than where I worked in Chicago.  There’s no walk-in cooler downstairs or anything like that and since our volume is much lower there’s no lifting 50 pound sacks of potatoes up and down stairs, hauling vats of stock and sauces, etc.  The kitchen is much more spacious and much cooler, so all in all I can’t complain.  Most mornings I wake up around 7 and yesterday morning we went for a pretty strenuous 5 mile hike – something that would and could never have happened in Chicago after getting home at 2 a.m. after a 12 hour shift on Saturday night/Sunday morning.  My days off in Chicago were mostly about recovery, rehydrating and relaxation.

As for the hike yesterday, we drove about 20 minutes north of where we live to the Few’s Ford section of the Eno River State Park.  That’s right, 20 fucking minutes is all we had to go for this:

For the most part the hike was fairly easy, but at the beginning there was a 270 foot gain in elevation which was pretty gruelling.  It’s amazing how hard climbing is when you’re not used to it.  Even though I no longer smoke I admit I got winded and ended up calling myself a pussy for the entire climb.  I mean really, 270 feet?  But today I don’t feel sore at all, so I guess that’s a good sign.

As for the match I mentioned in the previous post, I ended up going to Bull McCabes in downtown Durham.  I’ve driven around Durham some, but this was my first experience trying to find parking, and it seems that these people just like to make things difficult.  There were parking spaces a plenty, but they were for permit holders only, and there was tons of street parking – for 1 hour only.  I ended up paying for a private lot, where it cost me $0.60 per hour.  You read that right.  Sixty cents per hour.  The bar itself was what you’d expect (maybe better in fact), but they put the match on as promised (with sound) and I was happy.  United won 1-0 and it was generally boring, but I was happy.  36 more matches to go.

And finally, when I arrived home from the match this evening, I found my social security card in the mailbox.  Unfortunately I have to wait two weeks before I get my license (seeing as next Monday is Labor Day), but that’s pretty good turnaround.  It only took almost four years for me to get it.  Hurray!!

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