marugame udon los angeles

Memoirs From Marugame: More Dishes, More Pain – Day 7

Another day washing dishes and another day of traffic. Pain is a good motivator. The way I get through it is by challenging myself with how much I can endure…I know I’m making it sound really bad, it’s more like I’m just very inconvenienced.

Traffic Is Pain

The drive to work was tough today.  It took about 70 minutes.  My tolerance from driving in traffic has only slightly improved, but I still hate it.  The drive for me is much tougher than the job. I don’t like sitting around wasting time unless I’m relaxing.  Driving in traffic is tiring because it’s not a smooth pace. It’s stop and go.  At one point during the drive, I thought it was crazy that I couldn’t exceed 2mph.  I’ll probably quit soon because of this, but my goal right now is to make it to day 10.

Manual Labor Is Pain

I’m washing dishes today.  It’s not exactly why I wanted to work part-time at this restaurant but I’m going all in and will do my best.

The day started pretty slow. There aren’t any dishes to wash when the place opens so I had some idle time.  The other dishwasher and I went to stock the fridges with supplies.  He showed me where to stock the food items we receive when there’s a delivery.

Breaking Boxes Is Pain

After that, the manager had me go outside to break the boxes and dump them in the recycle bin.  I asked him if I was breaking those boxes by hand or if there was a box cutter available.  Of course, it was by hand. I shouldn’t have asked because I already knew the answer.

There were a lot of boxes.  Most of them were by the dumpster and it smelled bad.  I had to put my mind in a very zen place because I almost vomited from the smell.  It’s the dumpster of a restaurant, only the worst smells can be generated from that type of waste.  Just imagine the differences between an office dumpster and a restaurant dumpster. I would pick office dumpster any day.  It’s a weird situation to place yourself in, but I’m sure you’d do the same.

Some of the boxes had vegetables or other food that wasn’t completely emptied out.  I had to toss those rotting vegetables in the garbage dumpster, break the box then recycle the box in the recycle bin. Then I had to stack the empty oil containers in the back. It was kind of interesting since there were a lot and I was stacking them very symmetrically.  Some of the oil containers were covered in ants so I had to watch out for that and finish the job.

More Dishes

After 30 minutes around garbage, I went back to washing dishes.  The experience wasn’t too different from the other day when I washed dishes.  At one point, one of the cashiers had to go on a 10-minute break so the manager asked me to cover the register during that time.  That was a nice break from the crusty plates.

When the cashier returned, I decided to take my 10-minute break.  I was 90 minutes in to my 4-hour shift.  Taking breaks early makes the rest of the shift more painful.

My 2nd Time Eating At The Restaurant

During my break, I decided to eat a bowl of udon. This would be the 2nd time I’m eating at the restaurant.  I decided to get the tonkotsu udon, mostly because I love tonkotsu.  My coworkers hooks me up with a tasty looking bowl and I ask them to throw in some of the sweet beef on top.  I then take my udon, grab a cup of water and make my way to the “break room.”

marugame udon break area
Marugame Udon “break room”

The break room is one bench table behind the restaurant.  Four of my coworkers were already sitting at the table when I get there.  This is a small table where four people can sit there comfortably.  Six people can sit at the table elbow to elbow.  Since I’m the only one eating at the moment, one of my coworkers slides over to the other side so it’s two and three.  I can eat with some elbow space.

The next 10 minutes was incredibly uncomfortable.  Everyone was on their phones and sitting quietly at this very small table.  It was painfully silent. I’m not a very fast eater, but I was eating fast and furiously loud. I just wanted to get out of there.

I powered through washing dishes, bussing table and taking out trash for the rest of my shift.

Day 7 Complete.