marugame udon los angeles

Memoirs From Marugame: Destroyed Hands – Day 9

It’s my 9th day working at a restaurant and I’m very tired of it. I think It’s mostly cause it’s boring. Anytime I’m learning something new and interesting time passes by quickly.  If it’s boring, time stands still.

I Hate Traffic

There is a lot of traffic to get to work.  I left home 90 minutes before my shift had to start and got there just on time.  My biggest weakness is still driving in traffic. It was rare to be able to press the gas pedal.  Most of the travel was 5mph or less for a large portion of the drive.

Odd Jobs

After walking in to work and clocking in, I’m ready to start my shift. We get a weekly email regarding the work shifts and duties and that stated I would be the cashier today. Cool.

I start being the cashier but there’s two other cashiers.  Then they told me I was the dishwasher according to the day’s schedule.  I confirmed it and went to helping with the dishes.

Stocking Supplies

Since it was still early, I helped stock the fridges with the morning shipment of supplies.  It took some time to figure out where everything went and to make sure it all fit.  It was a very lifting intensive morning of heavy boxes.  After emptying those boxes, I then had to go outside and break those boxes.

Washing Dishes

After all this other work, the dishes were piling up and I had to rush over to help with the dishes.  Something was up with the dishwasher and the plates were coming out with too much soap on them still.  The chemicals in the soap slowly ate up my hands throughout the day.  I’ve washed dishes before, but today it really destroyed my hands.

hands of a dishwasher
It took 2 weeks for my hands to recover. After this day I used gloves when drying the dishes

Bussing Tables

When I was caught up with the dishes, they needed someone to bus tables so they chose me. I quickly started going around and wiped down tables with force.  You need that extra force because all the different sauces at the restaurant just glues itself to the table.

Some people didn’t bus their own trays before leaving so I had to clean that up.  At Marugame Udon, it’s cafeteria style so you’re responsible for cleaning up your own table by bringing your tray to a designated area.  That’s how they keep the costs down and the flow of people to be quick.  Think of what you do when you finish eating at a fast food restaurant, you take your tray, empty it into the trash, leave the tray on top of the trash can and you’re out of there.  It’s kind of a jerk move to leave it on the table for other people to clean up.  By other people, I mean for Dan. For Dan to clean up.

When I finished bussing tables, I had to cover the cashiers as they went on lunch.  If I had time between checking out customers at the register, I had to restock the beverage display and the backup fridge.

Some People Aren’t Very Bright

I returned to washing dishes when the cashier returned from lunch.  There were a lot of dishes to catch up on.  When I returned to the clean dishes drying section, there was a girl cutting raw chicken right next to all the freshly washed dishes.  Whoa! Seriously!? People could actually die from this laziness.

She was cutting chicken there because the table to her left was cluttered.  I removed the clutter and had her move to a safer distance away.  I had to re-clean those exposed dishes because I didn’t want someone’s death on my conscience.

Food Break

By 1:50pm, it was time to take a 10-minute break.  This was almost 3 hours in to my shift.  The other dishwasher was leaving at 2pm so this would be my only chance.  I was hungry and this was my third time to eat at Marugame Udon.

Instead of eating udon, I went with a Dan-made rice bowl. I picked up a small bowl, added rice, tempura flakes, salmon, tamago, tuna, ikura and guacamole. Pretty much all the premium stuff we had.  The cashier said they didn’t know how to ring it up and I just said “I’m taking this” and walked away. It was a pretty tough morning so I was in a bad mood. My hands were hurting from the dishwashing chemicals and trying to keep up with everything.

Clock Out For Breaks!?

Something I found out today was that I’m supposed to clock out for my 10 minute breaks.  It’s still paid, they just want to really track if it’s 10 minutes.  Harsh.

At 2pm I returned from my break and clocked backed in.  Now, the only dishwasher I had to work even harder.  It was extra difficult because there was a dishwasher salesman in the kitchen talking with the managers about the dishwasher.  There were several people in my way as I’m trying to clear dishes with food on them, wash them and dry them.

I hate being in crowded and small places.  A restaurant kitchen is the absolute worst place for me.  But, I’m working on building my tolerance through this so I took a breath and endured. By 3pm, I was out of there!

Day 9 Complete!