Friday, July 18, 2003

Kitchen reality show
If the Inn at the Falls kitchen was the subject of a reality show, I'd watch it. It's the characters that'd be the appeal. I don't know if any other kitchen is like this one. It's quite amazing really. You'd be surprised at some of the philosophical discussions that take place. And of course there's the drama. It's like a soap opera in there. The three weeks we went without a chef or a sous chef or really anyone in charge, that's gold. That's entertainment there, folks. We went three weeks in the middle of summer, in one of the biggest (if not the biggest) tourist towns in the country, without anyone who even knew how to make a fucking order. It was constant improvisation. Trying to get by on what we had, making up new ways to cope. Ryan's (who was basically thrust into chef position) descent into madness. Here's the climax:

It was the last Saturday before the much anticipated return of Cynthia (the chef). There are weddings there every Saturday. Weddings are huge. Basically, the food went out cold, people were mad, brides were crying, Ryan was throwing things and punching walls. But we coped. Although the newly weds would have a tainted wedding forever in their memories (there's a moral dillema here, too, since they weren't warned of the fact that there was no chef). I remember three weeks earlier, I was talking to Ryan, asking him how he'd feel if he botched a wedding. He said, "I could probably handle the guilt pretty well." You see? Foreshadowing!

I had my share of memorable experiences as well, although nothing close to as heroing as Ryan. A few times I had to work horrible shifts (twice I ended up working the breakfast, lunch, and dinner rushes in one day). One day I was joking with Brent, saying, "teach me salads." Later that day it turned out I really had to learn salads. Me (having never done food preparation before in my life) and the bartender from down in the pub (equally inexperienced) had to rock our way through salads during a very busy lunch. It didn't matter that neither of us knew at all what the hell we were doing. We just did it. I've now had to do salads many times, and as a result, am much more valuable to the kitchen. It is an amazing feat to be basically moved up to the rank of "salad guy" in less than a month of employment there (it seems to usually take upwards of a year, of course that was before Cynthia took over with her "who-needs-experience" attitude).

I like working at Inn at the Falls. The actual work doesn't bother me very much at all. After an 8 hour shift I'm like, "phht, I'm not even tired." And my coworkers, our interactions, all of that, it's priceless.

Edit: Although, with Cynthia back, the demand for me to do salads has diminished, it should also be known that quite a few people are quitting in the near future. I no longer fear the ever horrifying "lay-off". Now the fear is squarely on "getting less hours" after the summer is over.