There’s been a raft of departures at my workplace. The first to go a good mate and then later, my housemate, which was expected. She’s since gone to a 2 hatter in town so good for her! The one exit that stung though, was my head chef. This was a guy who I felt really happy working under; so when the announcement came from the exec that he’d be leaving shocked me even as I kept chopping away listening to it. I was perturbed due to the absolute suddenness of it all. I wish I’d have more time to learn shit under the guy. He definitely made me believe that kitchens can be fun places but still turn out proper stuff. The bastard’s now enjoying the sun, surf and eye candy on the Gold Coast as we speak.

A few other guys then went as well and it soon felt like when will it be my turn too. But I asked myself why I should leave? I didn’t have a good answer other than wanting to work at a finer restaurant. Yet, even then, I didn’t feel like the timing was right. Not to mention the situation meant a chance for me to improve things as well.

I got moved from being in charge of the fryer/larder to doing the grill and 2 days of breakfast flying solo. This change of activity is hugely welcome. The grill is basically the position the restaurant hinges on. If I screw up the grill, I waste the most money. I haven’t really screwed up so far and customers haven’t returned anything yet in the 3 or 4 times I’ve run the thing. I’ve probably sent out some decent stuff and I’ll be damned if the job isn’t cushier, just more memory, timing and judgement. You also get to see a lot more of how things work, understanding the dynamic of timing.

The only thing is I constantly find myself in the strange position of training new staff when I myself have scant experience. I enjoy it though. Particularly when the 2 kids I’ve been working with have been superb in response and heaps fun to boot. Can’t believe they’re both like 10 years younger than me! Never realized I’d ever like that sort of responsibility.

I’m also looking forward to the flying solo bit doing brekkie. At my place, breakfast is a one man job. I think that’s gonna be great experience for me, given my future intentions. Not to run a brekkie joint per se but to run a team with 3 guys at most behind the counter, most probably starting out solo. Plus I even get to do an early finish at 4pm twice a week. So I really get to see if I can do it and the practicality of things versus speed versus quality.

The important bit though, is I asked for a raise and am getting one. I wouldn’t have stayed otherwise. The next step is probably near the end of the year, when I can say to myself I gotten everything I can from this place and it’s time to move on. Which segues in nicely to my family wanting a holiday in Hokkaido or something. Fingers crossed.

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