Friday, April 22, 2005

two snails in a bucket, mother f**k it.

I started today with confidence. I strolled into work, changed, and headed into the kitchen. There I retrieved the stagiere mise-en-place list from the cooks, gathered the products and containers needed, helped organize the newer stagiere, and gathered any extra tasks or instructions from the chefs. By the time I got in the dinner line i felt light hearted. "I think I am finally getting the hang of this," I thought to myself. Then I heard my name from inside the kitchen. "That's me!" I said and looked for my caller.

"Did you pick the snails?" I heard. A simple question, but one glance at the face that was asking said to tread lightly.

"Um, yes?" I asked. Oh crap, I am in trouble. Here is comes.

"Why?" Again, a simple question, but so many answers could be wrong.

(Why because, the last time I was given a bucket of snails that's what I did. Because when I saw the bucket being handed to me I was so pleased with myself for knowing what to do with them that I forgot to listen.)

"I thought I asked you to freeze them."

"Well, yes, I guess I thought I was supposed to pick them first." I offered hoping to appease the clear signs of anger being directed at me.

"why?" such a dangerous question.

"I don't know, I guess I misunderstood my instructions." I gave as a plea really by this point.

"Well, I had picked them as far as they needed to go. Heston decided that they needed to be bigger. You were just suposed to bag them and freeze them." And all I saw after that was the back of his head walking away from me as fast as possible.

Oh crap. There it is. The progress the dish is making was halted by a stage with her head in the clouds. A chef in violation of Hestons orders because of me.

The situation was remedied when I walked up to Heston and said like a child who just took a cookie, "I picked the snails, I'm sorry." After he grasped the situation in his astoundingly reasonable manner and talked about it with the snail cooker things were resolved and I ran back to the house for more work.

Anger in the work place is often a case of anger at the situation rather than really being mad at a person. Sometimes. A lot of times. It's hard to find a place where you can stop mistaking anger towards a situation for a personal attack. Being mad at a person is vastly different than being angry at the situation the person may have had a hand in creating. The situation can allways be resolved as long as no one gets hung up on the road blocks called anger and blame. Anger is just an emotion, and blame is a game for children. Recognizing responsibility is the grown up version of getting blamed.

Well, my lofty confidence was grounded today. I have added a bit of drama to a 30 second conversation said between two professionals in our indoor voices. But mistakes like these keep us in check. They ballance out the success we have and keep us from getting aloof and lazy. The sting of this will keep me alert to instruction for a while to come, some of which may be crucial.

Anyways, tomorow is another day, right?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

my name is reuven and i stayed in exactly the same room you are staying now. tiny as a shoebox but a dsl flatrate. nice he? who was yelling at you about the snails? james? or mary anne? tell the boys a big hello and if you are interested check for my fat duck experience. otherwise is my personal email adress. say hello to ashley, jocky, you know what....tell em all...hello from the german and as i saw that you are a cute girl you can give paul a big kiss (no worries his girlfriend is overseas ;-)) from me. enjoy your time............

April 22, 2005 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Dad said...

Hey Kid

Yes, today IS a new day and it's your birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dana. Have fun today in London, Cool! I've always wanted to go to London town so have some fun for me too, remember dinner is on me. It was great hearing voice your today which is now your tommorow, Mom was so happy also. Her and I just got back from going out to dinner with Diane. We to a new place over by the Mukilteo Library called the Grouchy Chef, a hole in the hole, but the food was fantastic. The special of the day was seared halibut cheecks with spicey tomato sauce Hmm and chinese greens it started with a carrot/ potato soup that had a little zing to it (hot peppers?)Since it was just written up in the Everett Hearld and two weeks ago in the Seattle Times, it was full, not hard to do with only 5 tables and a half a dozen seats at a low bar over looking the open kitchen. All this to say that Mom and Diane got the last two specials, so I had to suffer with grilled rosemary chichen with port sauce (very tasty) and shrimp mashed potato (a interesting light taste of spice and shrimp. Of coarse they wanted mine too. It was very reasonable (another way of saying it down right cheap)$7.99 each for everthing including a bottomless drink. The japaness chef/owner says that is because no frills, order at the counter, and signs saying no substitutes. He also has signs up saying that he has worked hard to cook you good food soup and if you don't like the food soup, you can take it back and he will give you your money back and you can go somewhere else (think soup nazi)no soup for you! His sign even has a logo of a frowning chef. Diane says she is going to keep going back and try one of everything, so you known it takes something special to get Diane to out eat that often. Well what do you think of my review, do you think I could become a foodie. Like I said it is a new day, remember that at your next a bat you want to have already learned what you needed to learn and step to plate thinking about swinging at whats coming next, not dwelling about passed history. I know you know this, I got faith in you, my big, storng, smart, beautiful daughter.(sorry I've been saying that to you and your sisters ever since you were little, you know you are one of my favorit daughters)Happy 26th All my love Dad

April 22, 2005 10:20 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Is April 22nd your birthday too? If so, happy birthday!

I just wanted to say great job on your blog. I love reading about your experiences -- awesome and not always so awesome ;-). As you said, there's always tomorrow!

April 23, 2005 1:02 AM  
Blogger chicchef said...

Happy Birthday sweetie! We'll have to celebrate when you are in Seattle before I go on to the military!! ha ha!

May 01, 2005 4:46 AM  

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