Work tonight…

…was a little more stressful.

I was back on the pass i.e. taking food out, clearing tables etc. I like taking the food out, as it gives me a chance to stand around in the kitchen periodically, surrounded by all those lovely smells, but it got a bit stressful this evening because the plates were so extremely hot.

For some reason there was a shortage of tea towels, so I had to try to manage two plates with one towel. That wouldn’t have sounded daunting had I not actually tried to do it in a busy restaurant, but now that I’ve tried it I realise that there’s a significant risk that at some stage I’ll accidentally spill a plate of food onto somebody’s shoulder as I attempt to lower the other plate to the table. Um… 😦

At one stage I picked up two plates that were so hot that I could feel my fingers burning. (They’re now blistered, so I really do mean burning.) I’ve learned to press on through a fairly significant degree of pain–I am a woman, after all, and periods do have their uses–but there comes a point where when my fingers are burning instinct kicks in and I simply have to let go. I therefore had to stop half way to the table and rest the plates on another table to give my fingers a break. Unfortunately, that table was occupied. The occupants said they didn’t mind, but I can’t remember a waitress ever plonking two plates down at my own table en route to another, and I’m sure so they must have thought it was fairly odd.

The main problem is that if I have a significant overlap of tea towel onto the plate to protect myself then there’s a good chance that the tea towel is going to end up resting in somebody’s meal. Ugh. The secondary problem is that the chef–understandably–gets a bit grumpy if we don’t pick up the plates as soon as he says to take them, so there isn’t really time to try to adjust one’s grip.

The others don’t seem to have a problem with it, so perhaps I’ll learn how to do it with experience. In the meantime, though, I’ve been scouring catering websites in search of some kind of mini oven-glove. If anybody happens to know whether such a thing exists–the kind of thing that’s small enough not to look clunky, but large enough to protect my fingers–then please do let me know. I’ve not found anything yet.

There was a bit of a drama late in the evening when the chef realised that two birthday cakes hadn’t been sent out to their respective tables earlier in the evening. I happened to be in the vault (where that sort of thing is managed) polishing cutlery, so I witnessed the transformation of the chef from a stressed, slightly grumpy but still (to me, anyway) okay and actually mildly sexy sort of bloke into a raging monster, chucking cakes around and yelling at the poor woman in charge of the vault! Bizarrely–and it really was bizarre–he instructed me to follow out the waiter assigned to deliver one of the cakes and sing Happy Birthday to the unlucky recipient. Well, I think that’s what he meant… He called me by name, pointed to the male waiter carrying the cake, told me to follow him and said, “Sing!” By the grace of God, it happened that there was a female singer (not nearly as good as last night’s male cabaret–I was relieved that I didn’t have her job!) singing Happy Birthday for somebody else as we arrived, and so I didn’t have to do it. I was ready to do it, though, had it been required. Good grief…

I was quite relieved when 11pm (11.25pm, in fact) came round and I was told I could go. Poor wee Piglet became hysterical when I got home, and ran around the house for almost an hour tossing her camera case in the air and snarling, significantly pissing off the cat. I’d made bread rolls before I went out, and I’ve just baked them. They’e cooling in the kitchen as I write. I was going to make moulles mariniere for supper but I’d rather just sit back with some bread and hummous. I don’t like to think of the poor mussels sitting in the fridge and pondering their fate overnight, though, so I’ll prolly go and cook them when I’ve written this.

The good news is that I’m going to try to make some butter tomorrow. Hugh FW swears, in the book I bought y/day, that it’s only a matter of shaking some double cream around in a jam jar. I love butter and can’t resist the idea of giving it a go. Fingers crossed, please, y’all…


13 Responses to Work tonight…

  1. John Hesp says:

    “… got a bit stressful this evening because the plates were so extremely hot.”

    At the risk of sounding facetious, I really like that comment. I think the stress of carrying hot plates is a very real and uncomfortable stress, but it’s something we humans can deal with. Having to take the responsibilty for an unpromising case put before an unsymapthetic judge isn’t.

    Welcome to the real world 🙂

    • peewiglet says:

      Ha! Well, I know what you mean, but I can promise you that the stuff I had to do and listen to when my job consisted of trying to sort out other people’s arguments, problems and messes constituted the truest possible introduction to the realities of the world *g*

      I’d still rather burn my fingers for £6 an hour than return to that for the rest of my life!

      • John Hesp says:

        I see what you mean and I didn’t want to belittle what you did before – I think it’s a superb achievement.

        I suppose we all have different ideas about what reality is though. If everybody thought what I thought the western world would grind to a halt. 🙂

        BTW I had a job where I used to burn my fingers. You do become able to pick hotter things up after a while.

        ps Working on tgoc website today. Nearly finished 🙂

      • peewiglet says:

        I suppose we all have different ideas about what reality is though.

        Heh. I know you’re reluctant to be drawn in, but I particularly enjoy that sort of philosophical conversation *g*

        It seems to me that *everything* is real, as long as somebody experiences it. The world of the courtroom that I used to inhabit, for instance, was no less real than the one I experienced last night. Nor is the world of the immensely wealthy person who’s never had to go out to work less real than that of the child born into extreme poverty in a different part of the world. Some realities are more desirable than others, though.

        ps Working on tgoc website today. Nearly finished

        Your Challenge writeup, d’you mean? If so, excellent! I’m v. much looking forward to reading it.

  2. John Hesp says:

    I think it’s easy for a person to be fooled into thinking that what they’re experiencing is reality when in fact it’s not. Some people believe the world is flat.

    We seem to need to believe in something, often despite our better judgement.

    Often we seem to carry on regardless. Ivy Cann in the next village wound the church clock all her life. There were no hands on the clock, the clock just rang the bells, but the bells had broken ten years ago. I wonder how many other people are doing equally pointless tasks. Probably all of us to some extent, it’s human nature.

    Do we percieve all experiences as being equally “real”? Is studying Hutchinson vs Gooseprancer just as real as a kiss?

    I really believe that the first day of the Challenge in the driving rain was a much more real experience than my usual day of staring at a computer screen drawing a virtual 3D model of something. Certainly both things really happened, but I felt much more alive on the Challenge, and for that reason thoroughly enjoyed the rain.

    Isn’t that why we do the Challenge? Because we feel more alive, more real, than our usual day to day existences?

    Does nobody else think that behind the smoke and mirrors of 21st century life there might be a simpler more human reality?

    • peewiglet says:

      I suppose it depends on what we mean by ‘real’. I’m sure some experiences are more intense than others, but I don’t believe that makes any of them either more or less real.

      Well, that’s assumimg that any of us are really ‘here’ at all, of course. Perhaps the most interesting question surrounds the whole issue of what ‘here’ actually is (or isn’t) *g*

  3. Schrödinger’s Cat says:

    Heisenberg is out for a drive when he’s stopped by a traffic cop.

    The cop says, “Do you know how fast you were going?”

    Heisenberg says, “No, but I know where I am.”

  4. Schrödinger’s Cat says:

    That’s for me to know and you to find out, constructs! Sounds like money for old tropes to me.

    • John Hesp says:

      At the moment you’re both dead and alive. What if I find out and you’re dead? It’ll be me that killed you. If that happened I couldn’t live with myself ?!?

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