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Ouch! Spanked again. Yet another ordeal. When will they ever end? Will they ever end? Am I cursed or fated to be regularly overwhelmed by work? A shift is not always jut a shift – especially at the Cask.
Here we are in the third week of July. ItÕs been dead – a recessionary time combined w/bad business practices. But weÕve had some good press recently – and IÕve asked to pick up a few more shifts at the Cask - the Ranch not quite what I expected.
So Leah is going on vacation and IÕm picking up some of her mid-week shifts – Wednesday & Thursday to be precise. Normally 30 or so covers, plus or minus 10, for 2 servers. A synch. Working with hardworking patient Michele – fated to be the beneficent sympathetic Mother Superior to the Cask – sacrificing her Life & Body to make it run smoothly – attempting to be as fair as she can be.
Am already worn out from the previous week – a buyout on Thursday – complete with the normal early arrival combined with the endless setup and clearing of 80 drunk wedding reception families and friends – the young men taking shots of tequila & whiskey to get incoherently plastered enough to give long speeches where nothing is said. This strenuous shift followed by 6-course Saturday- an easy Sunday and a called off Monday. Thank you God. So going into another 4 shifts – W-Th-Sa-Su – not quite as rested as I would like.
To make a long story short: Slammed on Wednesday – 67 covers – normally 45 – just 2 servers when there should have been three – definitely stretched thin. Then Thursday 78 – still just two servers when the Ranch would have had 4 servers and 4 bus, not to mention myriad Expos and Runners. We're only backed up by 2 bus with a rookie Expo and a novice Hostess. This complicated by multiple tasting menus with wine parings – Not to mention inside-out – patio and interior Dinning Room. Bouncing back & forth hoping to take care of everyone in a timely fashion – mind turns inside out to match the geography. No complaints – accurately balancing courses with wine parings. In the meantime normally calm Michele is flipping out with an 8 course tasting menu and pairing in the middle of myriad other demands. Yikes! Not to mention our wine list is still not in sync with availability– leading to all sorts of lag time and confusion. Anyway make it through – barely – a little sloppy. But everyone is happy & we make good money.
Then comes the welcome relief of Friday off to recuperate. Then Saturday, which is normally overstaffed with lots of dead time.
ÒUh. WhereÕs Ryan?Ó – ÒGave him the night off. He didnÕt want to work. We only have a hundred reservations – 4 servers – we can handle it. Besides IÕm here – And IÕm worth three,Ó crows our persistently enthusiastic and exuberant late 20s Dining room manager. And then É Boom! 20 walk-ins – and I serve 35 more covers – running here and there – thither and yon to check on the progress of the food from an exceptionally slow kitchen. Two Deuces walked out after waiting over an hour for their dinner to arrive.
Again make it through. My feet donÕt even hurt. But I know IÕm running on adrenaline & due for a crash. So $1000 in tips serving 100 covers in 3 shifts. Perhaps the most ever in both categories.
Then Sunday at the Ranch, which has been easy of late as it is well managed and overstaffed. A cakewalk. ÒWhereÕs Brianna?Ó – ÒCalled in sick. ItÕll be fine.Ó Doing all right until midway through the shift when my feet begin to hurt again – upsetting my stomach and disorienting my Mind.
Restless adrenaline sleep leads to a sluggish morning – barely awake in the early day. And Ouch - again! Taping my feet to support my ailing arches – wait too long to remove it – pull off a huge chunk of moist and rotten flesh. Aurgh! IÕm wearing away. Which is worse – the cure or the cause?
Dying for my profession or just a Divine Test? Toughening me up or wearing me out? Providing me with challenges or exhausting my vitality? Draining me of creativity or providing me with material?
Yet here I am – communicating to the future me at least. I guess I survived, And I have 4 days off. Kalu Kalai! God bless the recession. Live off the fat of our past prosperity as I recuperate and rejuvenate. & More importantly get to spend some quality time with my dear friend and lover, the Muse.