I leave the house at 8:30 on Sunday, knowing that I wanted to get in early at work, well before the scheduled 9.30. It typically takes 2-3 minutes to wait for a bus and another 7 to get across the bridge plus 5 to walk to work. So 15 minutes. I got informed that roads would be closing because of the Sydney marathon, so I was half prepared for a delay.

When I get on the bus, the driver informs me that the bridge is closed so they’d be taking the tunnel and then detouring to get towards the city. So we go through the tunnel and at this point, I’m thinking, I’ll settle if I get in before 9.30 when I’m supposed to be there. Yea right. The dude manipulating the bendy bus has other ideas and decides to forget his directions. He goes through Darlo and then goes down Oxford street in Paddo towards Bondi before stopping somewhere around the Light Brigade Hotel flipping through a map. I work in The Rocks son. That’s like 30 minutes walk away. I look at my phone and it’s 9.05. Nice.

I get off there and then, hail a cab and tell him to take me to The Rocks. It costs me $15 from my house to work, so I figure I’ll take the hit but avoid being late. I mean, Oxford street to The Rocks on Sunday, there isn’t much traffic so… Yea roight. This bitch decides to have no clue whatsoever how to get there. There’s a blazing LED sign saying city detour and the dude thinks everything is closed and he only took me to like behind St. James Church for $17. Thanks bro.

So I walk. Past the runners, whom I’m cursing under my breath. Past the morons clapping and cheering, as if a marathon were an achievement of some sorts. Dude. Getting fucked over by the Sydney transportation system and still getting into work in time is an achievement. Yes I got in at 9.29 fast walking with my kniferoll in my backpack through Martin Place and down into The Rocks. I wasn’t fucking happy but there was more to come. The first face I see is a slightly tearful colleague informing me she’s sorry but she’s sick and she can’t work. I was like, so why you here then, go home dammit.

The night before, we got slammed like 290 covers or pretty much maxed out so I know I didn’t have all that much to play with. So step up overdrive prep time. Distracted by the disruption to my morning routine because a bunch of narcissists decide to take a long jog flying under the flag of charity and other assorted bullshit, I had to focus and fast. I had a tenderloin to trim, grill and slice plus lettuce to wash and vegetables to slice and fish to dice. Normally, I’d at least have said tearful colleague washing lettuce over 2 hours. But now, even that luxury is gone.

I make it and get ready to crack some oysters open. At this point, I get the first docket in. 6 Tataki. Ha! Fuck you Ivan! I had 4 left from last night. I had to stop the oysters, pull out the tataki and slice two up right off and went back down to zero. I get through lunch though because it’s a little slow. Finally a little respite. Then at 2.30, the guy who’s normally on sushi bar becomes my prep bitch when he comes in and slavishly cleans off saikyo miso marinade off gindara before packing them into little vacuum bags. Meanwhile, I’m trimming tenderloins and frying onions and shit. I make it, for the most part before dinnertime. The head chef gives me a hand shucking more oysters after I sold out for lunch. His wife came for dinner and ate what he shucked so I ran out again. No time to shuck new ones bro.

We end the night according to the manager, doing 240 covers a man down. I’m not sure if it was really 240 covers but I knew I was dead tired. I’d done a double on Friday, Saturday night and a double Sunday. If I did 240, great, If it was 140, I’m cool. Whatever. I’m alive. One of the good things when you work through a pile of shit, you get rep. Which I hope I got in boatloads yesterday cos maybe I proved I can hold it together, keep it calm and keep it looking and tasting good. I couldn’t have done it without a good team and willing teammates though, and that’s the thing that makes me think this is a good place to work. Peeps always trying to cheer each other up midservice when the dockets are hanging off the machine or a group of 20 stroll in. Boundless optimism? Or just flying in the face of folly. Whatever it is, I need to add this attitude to my arsenal.

Blue is the cab ride. Red is the walking. The grey shit at the top center is the bridge. Normally, all I do is cross it and walk down where the red line stops in The Rocks.

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