Week 21

12/06 23:33 ~ 10.58 hrs

It’s going to be a heckuva long month. And we’re all either going to hate each other at the end of it, or we’re going to come out stronger for it. I sincerely hope and pray for the latter.

I have my new cat keychain on my keys and I’m pretty sure everyone thinks I’m crazy. I mean, I know I’m crazy, but it’s interesting when other people start to discover it. The comments I get are hilarious. Zach was asking Jared if he still yelled at me, and was saying that he wouldn’t be yelling at me if he were in Jared’s position, what with all the crazy illegal sharp pointy things I possessed. (Of course, he didn’t phrase it that way, but you get the idea.) Jared replied that he just didn’t care. I started telling Zach that Jared was a very nice person. Jared made faces.

We were supposed to have a 7-top and a 12-top in at 8. The 7-top became a 5-top that required special instructions on a significant percentage of their order. I was listening to the ticket being called, and we were all pretty much waiting for a dish that was not to be altered in some way. I was also told that they spent some $500+ tonight, so ok [I guess] but it was rather comical…

Anna: Seat 3’s getting […] and stone bass-
Jared: As is? Stone bass as is?
Anna: Yes-
Jared: Holy s-, that’s awesome. We’ll send that person out a tasting or something.

Sometimes it’s actually safe to find Jared’s sarcasm amusing. I really couldn’t help laughing.

I found plasti-dip downstairs and commented to chief that Jared dipping his finger in that might prove to be considerably more effective than the liquid bandage thingy he’d been using. Chief found that amusing, apparently, and relayed my comment to Jared. Jared came downstairs and I had my back turned, and he brought my attention to… “Ais, I brought this down for you.” “Whatsit?” “It’s a slider.” “Wait… really?” (“Aww, that’s so sweet…” – Chief) “Yeah, but I think I’m gonna take it back upstairs now that I found out you’re making fun of me.” “Wha… I wasn’t making fun!!!”

We were waiting for the 7-turned-5 top’s table to be picked up and Ricky Bobby came over to pastry and just started eating amuse. As I began to express indignation, Jared reached through the window and took a shortbread cookie. “What? I’m starving,” in response to my face.

The 12-top had left a canadian number with the reservation and we couldn’t call to confirm. They never showed up. That did not help anyone’s moods, but Jared still isn’t that grumpy, or at least I don’t think he is. He came over and piped the mimosa for half of my amuse, hand-whipped the cream for my one special order of blueberries and cream, and was rather mild about it on the whole. Right before Ricky Bobby started eating amuse, I’d been saying to Jared that I just wanted him to start smirking or smiling or something. He wouldn’t, but then when I turned to discover Rob eating the amuse, Jared poked me with the metal spatula through the window. My ‘ow’ got a laugh out of him, so I was satisfied.

Rob and Sam suddenly asked me if I remembered what the 7 deadly sins were, and I named five without looking, but I missed envy and anger. That got us talking about X and Moeller and retreats and the new translation and whatnot. Good talk =) What do they teach at Catholic schools, though?? I referred to the Church as the Bride of Christ and neither of them understood me; I had to explain, and they said they’d never heard of the Church referred to in such a way in 12 years of Catholic school. We were also chit-chatting about Cinci State and I was telling Rob his term schedule between now and August and everyone was just shaking their heads at me.

See, I still cut myself on everything that isn’t sharp and shiny and pointy. I was helping unload stuff today as soon as I walked in, and I found that the back of my right pointer finger was bleeding. What the heck?! I hadn’t even opened my knife kit yet. Or even taken my coat off and put my hair up.

Jared: What time are you coming in tomorrow?
me: What time do you want me?
Jared: … 1.
me: Are you sure?
Jared: … Noon.
me: Are you sure??
Jared: … Yes.
me: 11?
Jared: … No.
me: 11:30?
Jared: Nah.

12/08 00:21 ~ 11+ hours

Today was perfectly nice, up until the last hour, hour and a half, maybe. But I am determined to focus on what was good about the day, I admit to being more than slightly disgruntled upon arriving at home – still. We can record all the fun things and spend the rest of Thursday letting go of the rest, ready for a new shot at things on Friday.

Yeah, Jared gave me the day off. I have my chem exam in the afternoon/early evening, but I meant to come in to prep still and Jared said it wouldn’t be necessary. He was given opportunities to rescind that, but there you go. And since we’re on the subject of Jared…

He took a piece of broken shortbread, and as he was on his way upstairs, I demanded to know if he’d eaten two already, because when Ricky Bobby brought my sheet trays of shortbread down, I immediately noted that two were missing. Jared half choked – he hadn’t quite gotten the broken piece into his mouth yet at that point – and replied “no” with his mouth full, everything about his facial expression, posture, and overall manner indicating the exact opposite. I suppose I ought to have let it go at that, but I didn’t, and I managed to get him to admit later that he had, though he insists that they were broken and that was why he ate them. Hmph. I still haven’t decided whether or not to believe that one.

I suppose we must make allowances, however, because Jared was nice enough to say that the tray of tarts Sami and I made did look nice. Apparently however, by contrast, I’m not allowed to pay compliments without being under suspicion.

Wednesday started out in the freezer, hunting for stuffed dates. It was worse than Receiving because the fan was blowing right in my face, and I haven’t found a temporary off-switch. Jared must have thought I was taking way too long in that freezer or something, because he did eventually join me in my search, the result of which was that neither of us could find any already-stuffed dates, sooo I just made some more.

Zach was with us again, and he will be also on Friday and Saturday. Clearly I didn’t punch him enough today, because at the very end of the night, when everyone else in the kitchen was already gone including Bang and the FoH were cleaning up upstairs, Matt brought down a very-nearly-full container of shortbread. And I’d had Sami make more because I thought we needed it! Ridiculous.

Still, aside from that tiny spot of annoyance, having Zach around again is tons of fun. It struck me more recently that he’s a bit like Migi at times… like he pushes the joke a bit too far. It feels practically disrespectful to be amused at all the things he says that come back to Jared being old. But then again, while I was breaking open boxes of bread to store in the freezer yesterday, Jared and Chief were there talking about who would be around to work this week, and Jared did refer to all of us as, “the kids,” individually and collectively in a number of sentences. So I suppose it all evens out in some sense, despite Jared’s insistence that we not call him ‘sir.’

Anyway, I was shaking my head at Zach because he had the dip out, he offered me some again, and I punched him for it this time. That got him and Sam talking…

Zach: Ow! Geeze. You have really pointy knuckles, Ais.
me: Good.
Sam: Doesn’t she?? Her elbows are really pointy, too; they hurt.

I do not recall ever elbowing Sam, but ok. Something something about me not needing my cat keychain with knuckles and elbows as pointy as mine.

Oh! Oh! I completely forgot to mention that it has been discovered that JRod is allergic to pistachios. I do not mean this maliciously at all, mind you, but WIN. He can’t make ‘broken’ comments to me and Jason anymore. Or so I would hope. Anyway, Zach nonchalantly offered Jared pistachios as he was passing by. It was highly amusing.

Fail on introducing Zach to Sami; she whipped cream and I told her to give it to Zach, and she goes, “Who’s Zach?” He was standing on the other side of me.

Honestly, I like Sami better and better the more I get to know her, and I’m really excited about working with her. I think we scared people with all of our laughing today, though, and I wonder if we won’t be allowed to work together anymore… Haha. She’s so funny, and she had the same impression that I did when I met all of the guys; I told her how, when I first saw them all on the line, I thought they could all be in a rock band or something. They just look like those kind of guys. To be fair, Steve does play the drums and did play in bands, and Jason used to do some computer music editing, but all the other guys just look so and aren’t. She agrees. She also agrees that we work with an incredibly good-looking set of guys, though we differ slightly in opinion as to which is more good-looking than another. It’s the sort of conversation I’d have with Marybeth, perfectly platonic, and completely sincere in our admiration. Haha, and Sami catches all the little facial expressions that I’ve been catching and keeping quietly to myself, because no one in the FoH is around quite enough to watch as closely; now I have someone that I can talk to and smile over them with.

Ah, that was what I forgot to blog about last week… I wore my Space Jam shirt, and pretty much everyone had something to say about it. Sam’s was the best – “Ais, can I have that shirt?” (“Absolutely not.”) Jason’s was close in second, something about remembering having Space Jam stuffed toys and such when he was little.

Today, I wore my Josh Groban shirt, and I don’t think I’ll ever do that again, because I’m going to get very annoying comments every time I do; it has been promised to me.

Matt and Garry were being particularly annoying and wouldn’t let up with their teasing. Combined, I think they’re turning out to be worse than Yards, which I would never have thought possible.  I made the mistake of appealing to Jared; his comment was that I was a really easy target.

Jared was running through Chef LaSorella’s way of making mousse with me for the dark chocolate mousse we were to send upstairs tonight, and I really wasn’t thinking at all and made a very pointless comment. See, for some reason, our mixer can go really fast if you take the time to bring it up level-by-level, but it only goes up to about half speed if you just crank it up all the way in one go. I was watching the mixer and not thinking and said out loud, “It can go faster if you bring it up slowly.” “I know, Ais,” was the very quiet reply. I did feel absolutely terrible and apologized profusely, but nothing was said. Later, however, upstairs, Chief wanted 20 chocolate cups and was telling Jared to cut off the plastic container at 20 cups. I didn’t quite catch what Chief told him, but Jared replied, “There’s five in each row, so I’m going to cut it here, and that will give you 20.” Chief gave him a reply and a look very similar to the one Jared had given me. “Jared, that was like my mixer comment.” Jared glanced very briefly sideways. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I left and cracked up once I’d made it ’round the corner.

I’m very optimistic about Friday. I mean, c’mon? Sami and Yards and Jason and Zach in one place? It’ll be a matter of keeping my head.

12/09 23:06 ~ 9.15 hrs

Hah! I am not alone. Steve also uses his server’s apron from Dining Room class. WIN.

I was greeted today with the story of Steve’s car, which died on his way to work. His aunt had to drop him off and his mom was waiting with his car for it to be towed. What makes the whole thing even more annoying/amusing is that Steve was called on to drive stickers over to the catering halfway through service and took Ricky Bobby’s car. Ricky Bobby was let off work early, but he couldn’t leave.

Jason was wearing glasses today. Seriously, Jason reminds me soooooo much of Gabe, it’s not even funny. He and Gabe have similar features, similar mannerisms, similar phraseology… and now seeing Jason for the first time with glasses on reminded me of the first time I saw Gabe wearing them. Their glasses are even the same shape! I’m finding that it’s not really possible for me to get over how alike they are. If they were to be in the same room and I had my back turned, I might not know one’s “Ho-ho!” from the other. And the first time Jason faked a lisp, I did a double take, it was Gabe spot-on. How do these things happen???

A few weeks back, some conversation was taking place over on the other side of the wall which implied that Jared was isolated in some manner. “Nobody loves me,” he’d stated dryly. “I love you, Jared!” I’d called out. I was ignored. “Nobody important loves me,” Jared amended. Jared usually throws dessert tickets at me when he gets to them before I do, and they flutter everywhere. Tonight, he handed Sami the dessert ticket. I didn’t say anything, but I must have unintentionally looked as if I might, because Sami said, “He’s nice to me because I’m new.” “You’re nice to me,” was Jared’s comment. 

Also, Jared had told me that I would be watching Sami do all the plating tonight because she would be on pastry by herself tomorrow. “Where am I tomorrow?” I asked, and I daresay I asked cheerfully. “You’re fired,” was the crushing reply. I stopped and went ’round the corner to ascertain that it was a joke. I was received with an aggravated expression and a very provoking, “What do you want now?” I went back to amuse with my head down. “So should I just walk out now?” Sauciness is not my forte. “What?” “You said I was fired. Shall I walk out now or what?” “It was a joke, Ais.” “I couldn’t tell.” “Oh, well.”

Then again, after the you’re-fired joke, I fed the other three guys on the line bread ends, and I suppose I did exclude Jared, but not intentionally with regards to the feeding, I was just keeping my head down and trying to stay out of his way for the first half of service. I guess I’ll consider it pax that he hand-whipped cream for me again and said my dessert tasting looked good.

Sami and I were laughing again. Not nearly as much as Wednesday, but we had a decent amount of fun, enough to get me through the night very comfortably coupled with hugs from Garry and Yards. I object to Garry getting Backstreet Boys stuck in my head, though.

So Steve made some 200+ chicken roulades today. I switched places with him so that he could have the whole longer back table for that, and I ended up chopping white chocolate next to Jason. Jason always asks, “Ooo, is there some extra of that?” and grabs a piece before I can say anything whenever I’m chopping white chocolate. Sam does the exact same thing, and Ricky Bobby will, also, occasionally. Anyway, today, I actually made it through half the chocolate before Jason said anything, and when he finally did, I couldn’t help laughing; I’d just been waiting for it and he took forever.

I was all over the place tonight. I was training Sami on pastry, helping Sam occasionally on garde, and helping/being trained by Jason on middle. Ricky Bobby left first, and then Jared said that either Sami or I had to go, and whoever went tonight would stay late tomorrow. I didn’t want her to be the one staying late tomorrow – she’ll already have enough on her mind starting pastry out on her own – and so I came home early for a change and I’m all ready for a very possibly near-12-hour shift tomorrow.

Speaking of which, I think I ought to hit the sack.

12/11 00:47 ~ 13.04 hrs

It wasn’t the best end to the week. I guess that’s ok. We had a pretty decent week, so I guess we had to have one day where our nerves were sorely tried. I’ve never heard Steve curse so much in one day. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever heard Steve curse at all, which is possibly why I noticed.

Dad and Yena needed to drop me off an hour earlier than JRod had originally intended for me to be there, but it turned out to be sort of a good thing, because Sami and Jason were a couple hours late due to traffic and the Reindog parade. We were all ridiculously harried; on top of having nearly 80 on the books, we had to put out two caterings, each one with counts not much smaller than our anticipated number of covers, not to mention we were starting service at 5 and were supposed to have 50+ come in before 6:45. And I’d been given to understand that there had been three more caterings that had been canceled.

All that in mind, I suppose allowances must be made for the general grumpiness all around. And yes, I’ll admit to my thoughtlessness in having started prepping the chopped salad before the brownies and the tarts before the mousse, fine, yes, Jared was perfectly right in reprimanding me for all that, and no, I didn’t hear a single word of reproach when we had to 86 the salty caramel gelato and put a very late count up for the white chocolate raspberry and he would have been perfectly right to upbraid me for those things also, and I’m still eternally grateful and admire and respect him terribly for his endless patience with me, but… oh, it just wasn’t a good day for getting along with JRod. I’m sure he was as tired of me as I was of him by the end of the night. Still, I was pleased to observe that Sami was able to make Jared smile, since I was failing so miserably.

For a bit there, it felt as if JRod was absolutely refusing to find anything I said or did amusing. He accidentally said ‘Greg’ when he meant ‘Garry’, and I was cracking up behind the corner, but when I came ’round to inquire incredulously as to the mistake, the half-smile dropped from his face and he gave a little roll of his eyes, pursed his lips and turned away.

Ok, ok, so I was giving Jared attitude by the end of the night, starting about half an hour before he left and continuing well past his departure. “Ais, want to start doing proteins?” “I dunno, Jared; do I?” “Yes.”

Ricky Bobby brought down crab.

Rob: Here.
me: What???
Rob: Did you already do crab? It’s from Jared’s station. He forgot to send it down, so make sure you yell at him.
me: Bleh.
Rob: What?
me: I don’t… feel… like yelling at JRod.
Rob: No, you yell at him, and you yell at him good and hard.
me: Yeah right.

Strangely enough, Jared said goodbye very loudly and pointedly, which I ignored completely, though usually I’m the one to say goodbye when I actually manage to catch Jared leaving; he prefers to disappear without a word and I find out by noting that I haven’t seen him for a while and asking the servers if he’s gone. It’s whatever, I guess. I meant to put it all out of my mind, but Jared texted me at 23:48 to tell me to make sure that the space heater downstairs got turned off. I went down and unplugged it to be sure, but I was miffed. How did he know I’d still be at work nearing midnight? He knew it would take me that long to cryo-vac all the tuna and burgers on top of all the usual proteins and empty the fish tubs of old ice and ice them down with new ice? Yeah, great. I really couldn’t resist texting back, “Done, sir.”

Breakdown of me’s-to-blanks: I always get along with Steve. I always get along with Jason. I get a little annoyed at some things Sam says, but we generally get along just fine, and in fact, I think we’ve grown considerably closer just in this past week. I was pretending to be all annoyed at Sam eating things off of my board [no differently from any of the other guys, of course] and he just grinned and said, “Love you, too, Ais.” I think Sami and I will be fine, too. Jared and I are up and down and I just can’t keep up with his mood swings; I bet he thinks I’m just plain ridiculous. Ricky Bobby and I are constantly sarcastic with each other, but I enjoy it immensely even if he doesn’t. Amanda and Anna Moi and Anna Webb and Adam are just awesome all the time. Matt and Garry are merciless when they’re in the mood to tease, but they’re generally agreeable no matter how harried we all get. Doug is similarly merciless, but not similarly agreeable when he’s not in a good mood; he’s fun when he’s happy and intolerable when he’s crabby. Greg and John try my patience, the latter more than the former, but I still try to avoid unnecessary conversation, and while the latter has learned to stay somewhat out of my way, the former has yet to get a feel for when to speak to me and when to stay out of my way. My board is not for leaning on and chit-chatting, especially when I’m trying to work a cheese plate, ok?

*sigh*

Ok, ok, moving on. Let’s talk about some good stuff. Highlights of my night… let me see. Hugs from Anna, Amanda, Garry, Doug, and Jason. Silly Doug objected to my hugging everyone; something about supposing he was special, to which Garry replied that his hugs were better than Doug’s. Frankly, they are; they’re considerably more friendly and less creepy. Rotfl, I use creepy lightly. If it were really creepy, I wouldn’t be putting myself in such a position. And yes! Hugs have made it into the BoH, courtesy of Jason ^_^ He was wearing glasses again today and looking too much like Gabe. When JRod and Rob get grumpy and Sam starts saying irrationally angry things, Jason and Steve are like fresh air in an incredibly stuffy room. It’s the little things… Steve being so calm and soft-spoken most of the time, it’s contagious… Jason coming over and randomly sharing the times for perfectly seared tuna, pointing out the sinew, explaining its placement to Sam and myself… the two of them testing me on First Growths… I think it’s the way they find and make time to make work more than just work. They just have a gift for it. Even just the way Jason starts conversations. Last night, after he’d packed up and changed and was all ready to go and I was still cry-vac-ing stuff, it was, “Hey. Not to interrupt your singing, because it’s lovely, but have you checked out Regina Spektor?” That led to stories of how he got into her, etc. Ah, I have been informed that the way to make Jason really happy is to give him fried chicken. He was terribly distracted by the fried chicken I brought down for him before others could eat it all. In fact, his distraction was infectious. I started getting distracted when more fried chicken showed up. Maybe I was just really hungry for a change.

Haha, I was telling Sami to get ingredients together for the tart dough, and I know the recipe off the top of my head, so I was just listing off ingredients out loud because I didn’t feel like running to get my book from my knife kit.

Steve: Is that the brownie recipe?
me: No, it’s the peanut butter tart dough.
Steve: Oh, gotcha.
Jason: So what’s the flan recipe?
me: Nice try.
Jason: One of these days, I’ll get it. Steve, have you had her flan? It’s delicious.

=) I’m glad Jason likes the lecheflan so much. So do the servers; they’re always badgering me for scraps, broken shortbread pieces, mousse spoons at the end of the night… Unfortunately for them, aside from the piece of shortbread that Zach broke, the supposedly two broken pieces that Jared ate, and the one that cracked because Rob put one baking sheet on top of another and the corner of the top one was resting on a cookie, all my shortbread remained intact this week. Sorry to them, but that pleased me immensely. Still, I try to do my best by them in terms of bread ends and such. They know my system now, which is that I leave all bread ends out of under the napkin, exposed in the corner nearer their station so that they can get to it easily when they go back for short breaks. Yards is the only one who still doesn’t trust my system; he’s forever lifting the napkin to check even though I tell him there’s nothing under their for him to eat.

Speaking of which, Yards wasn’t with us tonight and I missed him. It was the sort of night that he would have been able to make better in many ways. Oh, but that’s suggestive of negativity. ANYway…

Jason’s promised to bring in samples of his senior project. I’m hyper.

There’s a ton of stuff I’m forgetting, as usual, but I’m ridiculously sleepy, so. If anything major comes up, it will be in a Week 21; Part II post.

GOODNIGHT.

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