I’m back at work now, having had a marvelous time on vacation. So marvelous, in fact, that the busy Monday night I worked, which happened to be the last day of the NRA Show, I’d regretted coming back to Chicago. Not much I can do about that, though; I need the money.
By the way, NRA here stands for National Restaurant Association. Did any of you non-culinarians think of the other NRA when you read that? ^_^

Work has been fine, though a little light on my side as we’ve been having stages come in nearly everyday, searching for two more line cooks. Since I took leave, two of our line cooks have left the family. Katie is doing her Outstanding In The Field Dinners. Dylan decided to quit. These stages come in and prep and then inevitably end up hanging out on my station after they’ve finished and therefore I guide them when they try their hand at my side of the oven. Fun at first, and then sort of boring, because all I’m doing really is standing and saying, “Do this, do that, check this, that’s burning, throw a log on your fire,” etc. I never would have thought that I’d prefer to be cooking than standing around watching someone doing the cooking for me. *shakes head in disbelief*

So far, I think we’ve hired one guy. He was a good stage. He was fast, eager, friendly. We’ve also hired an intern. Yay! As for all our other stages… I don’t want to remember them. One girl kept calling me “honey” and didn’t make a very good impression on the others. The latest stage from two nights ago didn’t have much of a sense of urgency despite my saying, “let’s work a little faster!” and even had the nerve to say, “Uh, not to sound like a pussy, but when do these things [stages] end?” Definitely lost any credibility he had when he said that. If you want the job, don’t ask to leave early like that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like we won’t let stages go home. If you have to leave, you state you have to leave. But he left because he was a wuss. His statement said as much. Whatever. He was sloppy and slow anyway.

Speaking of these stages like this makes me wonder how people saw me when I first started, even as far back as when I first staged. I’m here now, so I guess there’s nothing to fret about, but still, I wonder if my stage was good or bad. Did they hire me because they needed an intern and my prep skills were good and I wasn’t going to cook anyway? Did I do okay all around and so they hired me? Am I still slow and no one’s saying anything because we’re understaffed and they need me because I’m better than nothing? The last one always makes me feel a little bad because I wonder if the rest of the guys just grit their teeth and bear with me despite all my inadequacies. I don’t want to be a burden on the line. I don’t want to be “better than nothing”. I want to be as capable as Elliot. I want to be a pillar of strength like Jorge. I want the other line cooks to feel pumped and confident and that they’re in good hands when they see that I’m on the schedule with them.

I hear that I’ll be learning station 3 sometime soon. At first I wondered if it was because I was doing well on 1 and getting promoted. But after a little mulling, it became obvious that it was because we’re understaffed and when we hire two more line cooks, they’ll naturally be on station 1 and you can’t have three line cooks who ONLY know how to sling dates. So in my case, it’s more like I’m being moved up (ready or not, but more ready than not) because it’s the only way to go. Koren says she has faith in me, but only because we all know I’m not an idiot. I have some reasoning within me. Armanzo put it like this: “Dylan and Adam could do it”. Okay, so Dylan was never on 3, but he worked his way into opening for the restaurant which is eventually what happens when you move to 3. So in a sense he meant that even half-wit monkey-boys like them could move up the hierarchy, therefore the decently capable me could easily move up.
But what makes me so sure that I’m not another half-wit monkey-girl myself?
Is moving to Station 3 what differentiates the humans and the animals?

Holy crap. Is Station 3 the Avec gom jobbar?!