Day 3 started with an optimistic attitude. Ready to learn and to cook. That optimism quickly faded away.
Dreaming To Cook, Learning To Wash Dishes
Understanding The Difficulties of Working In A Restaurant
I came in ready for more cooking and hopefully to learn more meal prep. It was 11:15am and I was 15 minutes late because of traffic and parking. My manager told me to call in if I knew I was going to be late so she could be sure I was still going to show up. I felt bad about showing up late. In that moment, I could understand the stress of a restaurant manager. They depend on people showing up on time so all job duties can be fulfilled. Not knowing if someone is going to show up is very stressful. If someone doesn’t show up, everyone has to work harder.
A dishwasher called out sick so I had to cover that position. Damn. It wasn’t too difficult to pick up, but it was HARD labor. I was responsible for drying the SUPER HOT dishes and restocking them. The dishes came out of this super high-speed dishwasher that uses soap and very hot water. Plates were still hot after letting them sit for 10 minutes. The hardest part here was picking up the hot dishes. My fingertips started going numb with an occasional stinging sensation from the constant heat. We were moving so fast that there was no time to sit around and let the dishes cool down.
I ended up breaking a dish because I was stacking bowls way too high. The other dishwasher helped me dispose of the evidence. He left at 2pm and another dishwasher wouldn’t be in until 3pm. The manager took on the role since the restaurant was short-handed and she was working hard to keep up with the end of the lunch rush. I definitely respect managers who jump into the fire to get their hands dirty with the team.
When I was caught up with dishes, I had to bus tables. Cleaning them and taking out the VERY HEAVY trash bags. Wow. This was really tough physically. I ended the day with very dirty clothes and a sore body. This was only a 4-hour shift so I have a crazy amount of respect for people who do this job.
Pain And Appeciation
I think once you understand a job the more empathy you’ll have knowing the struggle. With more pain stocked up, I had a greater appreciation for everything in my own life. I’m not rich, but I have been lucky enough to live a comfortable life. That comfortable life was earned through a lot of hard work and learning new things.
Day 3 Complete.