Tuesday, March 08, 2005

It was the best of [nights], it was the worst of [nights]..

Last night was quite an interesting time at work.

The upside: As I may have mentioned, the owner of the current restaurant is looking to open up a new one, farther on the West Side. In preparing for that, he's employed the help of someone whose job it is to quantify everything we do and organize it in a fashion that is trainable to new chefs, easy to price out and with measurable product usage. Previously, she'd worked for corporate restaurants, so the current place, small and personal as it is, is definitely a change for her. It was great to get another perspective on the restaurant business though and to find out how much the place I currently work at is the exception, rather than the rule. Quite a few times, when talking about other places, she referred to how they do it at "real restaurants", which sounds demeaning, but I don't believe was meant as such. She does have alot of high-end restaurant contacts and offered to ask around to see if anyone was looking for someone to teach restaurant cooking to. I, certainly, don't expect anything, but it's nice to have another contact out there.

The downside: Maybe he was in a mood. Maybe having someone scrutinize his every move inspired or irritated him, but the chef was nitpicking me to no end. From adding too much pineapple to the nachos "Two! Not Four or Five!" to putting too much bleach in the sink to not adding *enough* bleach to the sink. He was driving me absolutely mad. Finally, when he accused me of having not properly cleaned greasy dishes (on a night I wasn't even there!) I had enough and told him that I'd worked there for about 2 months now and no one had said anything about it before. I'm just hoping he's in a better mood on Friday.

All in all, last night inspired me to start looking elsewhere. Again, it's not that I don't like the restaurant, it's that, it seems like they've taught me all they intend on doing. I can take orders, do dishes, bus tables, prepare the appetizers, soups and salads and close the place. All of these people starting at the new place, they're going to get about 2 weeks to do nothing but learn to cook this stuff, a luxury I will never have. Things, now, have settled into the status quo. I have my role and the chef has his and I don't foresee myself moving farther to his side. I'd also like to see how other restaurants work. I feel I am getting a very unique view, right now, and though that's great to experience, I want my view of the business to be well rounded, not limited to just one place. So, I'll hang out there for a while, until something else comes along, but I will be asking around to see what else is up.