Hell Week is almost over and only one co-worker barricaded herself in the walk-in so I couldn’t find her.
Can we say, “Overly dramatic”?
Sharron left for vacation last Tuesday and this Tuesday can’t come soon enough. Sharron is our safety net. She bails us out when we are huddled in the corner crying, cleans up our messes when we have lost control of the kitchen and dining room, restocks when we run out of food, and makes everyone play nice. She used to be the director of a huge daycare, and it seems running a daycare and running a restaurant aren’t much different.
All was swell until Friday night when I got to work and the kitchen looked as if someone had set it on fire and put it out with dirt. Ding Dong was floating around the kitchen repeating over and over about how busy she had been all day and how stressed out she was. I looked at her tickets and she had 9 in total. That means from 11 am to 5 pm (6 hours) she cooked 9 orders. Not one of the tickets were for a table any larger than a 4 top.
I told her I would help her get things cleaned up so she could go home. She asked if she could take a minute to sit down. Then she prattled on about how stressed out she was and she didn’t get any prep done for the day because she was just “so busy”. I asked what she meant by “no prep” and she said she was out of everything.
I silently gritted my teeth and started cleaning. The grill looked as if someone had taken a shit on it. Likewise, the counters. I hauled out all her trash. I swept the filthy floor. I did all her dishes.
At some point during my cleaning, she realized that I wasn’t gushing over her and praising her for a job well done. This isn’t an 18 year old kid. Ding Dong is 37. Nine orders in 6 hours with the kitchen looking like shit and no prep isn’t a job well done. It’s a half assed attempt. Since I wasn’t patting her on the back, Ding Dong went to the bar and told everyone about her very stressful day. For an hour. While I cleaned up her fucking mess.
I started getting my own orders at 6 and everything I touched was either empty, dirty or in the wrong place. Ding Dong came back into the kitchen sometime after 6, and as she was walking out the door she said, “Oh, you are out of everything for pizzas.”
I opened the pizza cooler and sure as shit, every container was empty and dirty. There wasn’t enough cheese to make 2 pizzas and there wasn’t any in the back up container. At some point during the dinner rush I was going to have to grate cheese in the Hobart.
Time to pull up my big girl panties and see what I’m made of, right?
I had 18 tickets in 3 hours. Twice as much in half the time while scrambling to do prep. Then I had to stay 2 hours after close to restock and clean everything so Ding Dong would be prepared for Saturday lunch. Call me crazy, but I don’t leave a mess for someone else to work in.
Saturday I called at around 1 to see how she was doing. “I’m going to cry. I’m so busy and stressed out,” she told me. Not wanting another night like the previous one, I told her I would come in and help.
When I got there she freaked the fuck out, tried to throw me out of the kitchen (which was a total disaster, again), went to the walk-in and barricaded herself inside with the bread rack (this is how ding dong she is…the door opens out). She called Big Jim to come save her from me.
Before he could get there I found her sitting in the bar and I asked to talk to her. She said I got in her face and yelled at her and she was thisclose to quitting. Then she started crying.
Oh honey. I talked to you. I never yelled at you, nor was I ”in your face”. “In your face” is something you really don’t want to see.
In the end, I apologized for being mean. I told her I was wrong. I owned up to being a bitch. Then I gave her a hug and coddled her and patted her on the head and gave her a lollipop all because there isn’t anyone else to work. A warm body is better than no body.
I went back home and really felt bad about upsetting her. Some people are delicate and, well, I do tend to trample everything in my path. This is her first time in food service and she’s not capable of the organization it takes to wait tables OR cook let alone both. To put this in perspective, in Cody a person gets 5 days of training, and if they can’t handle it they are cut loose. Sharron has been training Ding Dong for 5 MONTHS. Sharron is very patient and kind. I would have gouged my eyes out by now. In Meeteetse, you take what’s available and hope for the best.
Anyway, I went back to work 30 minutes early so I could get something to eat (since I didn’t get any dinner Friday night, I figured I better eat before my shift) and I gently explained to Ding Dong that I wasn’t encroaching on her space (and I didn’t scream and pass out when I saw the mess in the kitchen). I apologized again for hurting her feelings and I’ll be damned if she didn’t say, “I know the kitchen is a mess. Nothing is stocked and you don’t have any hamburger pattied, but can I sit down for a minute and then I’ll come back and help you?”
She went to the bar and I never saw her again.
I’m taking that as a big “Fuck you, see if I care” two nights in a row. Sharron will be back on Tuesday and she will spend her free time cleaning up Ding Dong’s messes so I don’t scream in terror at the kitchen nightmare. I will keep my mouth shut because she’s not my problem. I’m just a worker bee.