Thursday, March 31, 2005

Last night, I worked my first shift at the new job.

The big upside is that I was given more autonomy in what I did. Instead of being shown the proper way to make something and then going back to taking orders or doing prep, I was shown the proper way to make something and then I was making it. I'd prep plates, run the fryer, stick on chicken or bread when needed, etc. In ways of production, even though I was only there for 3 hours and didn't really do much, I still put out more food than I did at my last job in a week. The fact that I wasn't being micromanaged, like at the old restaurant, gave me more opportunity to think independently and not have to constantly check to see if something is right. That's not to say things were not checked, or were wrong, I was just relied upon more to have them correct without supervision. The smaller working quarters made it a bit harder to maneuver and not be in the way, at times, but the other line cook was pretty laid back and I never felt the evil eye on me, or anything.

The big downside is that, despite not being a corporation, the new place is more corporate-feeling. I have to clock in and out at the computer on breaks, I can get "written up" for failing to keep my station clean. I have a required outfit I need to wear to work (though, honestly, that's not that strict. I just need to wear an uncolored shirt, my apron, a pair of chef's pants and a hat.) Of course, I also cannot drink on the job and though this is something to be expected, it's very different from the older place, where, not only did I drink, but also I was being offered drinks by the owner! There was also a surprising amount of wasted food going on. It would have given my old boss a heart attack to see all the stuff we threw away. That said, it was kind of a relief not to have that pressure to have every single-little-bit count and to be able to work a bit faster and freer with the food.

Overall, I can see myself getting the hang of this place really quickly. It might be awhile before I have all of the sandwiches memorized (shoot, even the line cook who trained me foo'ed up a few), but we have a cheat chart on the wall and, providing I can keep up on a Friday night, I think I'll be okay.

I'm also thankful of one thing: no music. If I had to hear more of that damn shit my old boss used to blast out of the loud speakers each day, I was going to go nuts.