I’ve had one of those mornings. The ones where your shift starts at 10:30, but you don’t wake up until 10:26. So the very first thing in your day is violently throwing the covers off and yelling “OH, S**T!”
Then you throw clothes on faster than you even knew was possible and run downstairs. You didn’t have time to brush your teeth, so you seize a handful of those after-dinner mints they’ve had sitting out for weeks and shove them in your mouth. And your sensitive teeth explode in pain as you punch-in on your time card.
They put you to work slicing things for four hours straight. Cantelope, pineapple, celery, carrots, strawberries, bread. Four hours. And if you weren’t wearing a thick glove there’s a good chance you’d slice your own finger off..
To make it worse, there are “too many cooks in the kitchen” today. Open House has them all running around in a mild state of panic, and there is hardly any elbow room. Often they are so busy they forget about you, and it takes them several moments of hard thinking to come up with something for you to do that will keep you out of the way. Not one of them will so much as look sideways at you if he can help it, because it’s all too common knowledge that “Stir-Fry” is having intimate relations with a student, and they don’t want that kind of infamy.
And you sneak bites of fruit when no one is looking, because in four hours no one so much as asks you if you’re hungry.
You learn that all those advanced classes and awards and good grades in high school won’t mean a thing in the real world if you can’t communicate. Because here in the kitchen they have some kind of ESP or language of their own, and they haven’t let you in on it. So you look stupid because you don’t understand; you need more explicit instructions than “All right, now strawberries. What are you waiting for?”
And your eye is always on the clock, counting down the hours, mintues, seconds.