Editor stumbles into new job, anticipates kitchen nightmare
I’ve never spent the summer in Erie before, so when I decided to finally see what all the hype is about before beginning my senior year, I was pretty excited. A lot of my friends are staying, too, and the prospect of being able to play sand volleyball whenever I want is extremely appealing.
Then I realized I would need some sort of means for funding my rock star lifestyle. After all, late night Cold Stone runs and tri-weekly Chipotle binges don’t exactly pay for themselves.
But I didn’t despair; I did exactly what any self-respecting 21-year-old would do. I got a job. Unfortunately, it isn’t going to be something that comes naturally to me.
Not only have I never waitressed before, I probably possess two of the worst qualities a waitress can have. I’m clumsy and I can’t multitask.
Let’s start with the clumsiness. Aside from the simple fact I trip over thin air, I have been responsible for more food- and beverage-related stains in my life than I care to remember.
Last week alone, I spilled one glass of orange juice, two cups of water, and one mug of tea. I still have the burn to prove that last one, and half of those incidents were in public.
As for food, I once flipped an entire plate of freshly cooked chicken Parmesan that my roommate and I had slaved over onto the floor, making our apartment look like something out of an episode of Kitchen Nightmares.
Then there’s the multi-tasking.
Everyone has had that scatter-brained waitress at some point who always seems to get your order wrong. She’ll bring you extra tomatoes when you specifically asked for none, or she’ll start pouring the water pitcher into your half-eaten French onion soup. Maybe that’s only happened to me.
But the point is, I pity these inadequate servers because I identify with them. We are the world, or something like that. How am I supposed to remember the orders of six different tables of patrons when I can’t even text and walk at the same time? Hell, I can’t even text and breathe at the same time.
My first day of work was last Thursday, and even though all I did was shadow my manager and take a couple drink orders, I could still pinpoint at least 38 potential problem spots for me.
First of all, there are at least eight different spots I have labeled as trip zones. Bumps in the carpet, tight squeezes between tables. It’s going to be more crucial for me to memorize these booby traps than it is to memorize the table numbers.
Besides the trip zones, there are also no less than 17 burn/spill-zones. These zones occur around every corner and can’t be easily mapped. I’ll need to be constantly on my guard.
After subtracting the eight trip-zones and 17 burn/spill-zones, I’ve left 13 open for unforeseen blunders.
But honestly, as long as I spill things on myself and not on a customer, I should be okay. And I’m not totally in despair; I just find that it’s a lot easier to be self-deprecating and to expect failure than to dare to hope that I might make it out of this job without any mishaps.
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