Here's my report of my first two days of working. I have the best job in the whole cafeteria!! Yea! Seriously, there is nothing better than dealing with dessert for 6 hours - all the people are happy and friendly, the station smells good, there's no grease, and I don't have to be bumping into other people. It's a fairly small confined space and I'm the only one working in there. It does get kind of lonely, but the good thing is it's in the middle, so a lot of the hosts and managers and other people come in there to visit when things get slow.
Tuesday night was my first time and it was busy! I was practically running from the freezer in the back to the display case in the front to keep up. That is basically all I do is make sure that the display cases stay stocked. The other thing I did was answer, or at least try to answer, questions that people had. That was one disadvantage to being in the center, people come to you first. Being new, I didn't know the answers to a lot of the questions, such as "Where is the chicken?" and "Where do we take our trays?" Luckily I learned the answers to those questions as the night went along, but I always feel bad when I can't answer someones question and then learn the answer a short while later. Luckily I found out where the ice cream was really quickly, because that was the top question. I was proud of myself that I actually figured out the answer to that one by myself without having to ask someone else. They have it hidden behind this wall to the right of my station and I happened to notice it before we started.
So, here's how Tuesday went: I showed up a good half-hour early so I would make sure to have enough time to figure out where to park, (education week is crazy!) walk to the Cannon Center, find the employee entrance, get my uniform, and be ready by 4. I ended up having to park down by the stadium and walking up the street about a block to the CC. I made my way down and circled the entire building once. I saw the loading dock they talked about at the hiring meeting, but the door that I passed required an access card to get in. All the doors that I could see did, so I was at a loss for what to do. Then I saw another guy with a backpack walking down into the loading dock, so I caught up to him and asked him if he worked there. He said yes after a little hesitation, so I assumed it was his first day as well, which he confirmed. We decided that we would be lost together and proceeded to walk down. I learned that his name was Lars and he moved her about two weeks ago from Minnesota and he was staying with cousins. He noticed on one of the doors that the light was flashing green, not yellow, so we were in luck to have found an unlocked door. After we got all our uniform stuff sorted out, and met another girl named Minnie, he headed for the Expo, she to the front to be a host, and I to the grainary. There I met Kayleen, a lovely woman and very nice. She is just perfect for a pastry cook, just like out of the books: A little larger, but so cheerful! She took me right under her wing and showed me around, all the desserts and what they were called and everything in the back room. Then she told me that she had to leave at 4:30. Now, wouldn't you know, my first day of work and they leave me to fend for myself, and on top of that, I got to close! I now understand why I would hear people at school complaining that they had to close at their work. It was ok though, because Kayleen went over the closing list step by step and walked through it with me. She even gave me a "field trip" and showed me where the dishes were and the scullery, laundry, trash (she gave me a nice tip on how to get that open - it's tricky), mop room, everything. I was exhausted by the time the doors were closed, but that means nothing for the desserts because people usually come to get those last. However, I survived.
Tonight was almost a completely different story. I walked right in and punched (well, actually, slid) my card and went right in without getting lost. That back kitchen area is a bit of a maze! But I just went in, Kayleen was there and she showed me what they were serving. Apparently lunch was a madhouse, because they ran out of several things so the variety was a little depleted. That turned out to be ok though because there were not nearly as many people as Tuesday, which was mostly older people. Then she left and I took over, much more confidently than Tuesday. :) Tonight there were a lot of families with kids, so they took care of the jello, leaving some of the other things for the more refined palettes. The songs on the radio playing on the PA (which I didn't even notice Tue) were a lot more fun; everyone was singing or at least mouthing the words! :) I was also smarter this time and wore shoes with better arch supports, which made a huge difference! I am not nearly as tired and the lack of traffic provided an opportunity to get to know the others working there a little better, plus some time to actually sit down for a minute. Anyway, it was a lot of fun. I also found out my Sunday color for the fall. See, since we mostly serve the kids living in Helamen Halls, we have to occasionally work on Sundays so they can eat. They make it very reasonable and have worked it so everyone only works about 2 or 3 Sundays a semester, which is not bad at all. So they divide the staff into "Sunday colors" and whatever color Sunday it is is who comes in. I'm yellow, which shouldn't be too hard for me to remember! :) I'm not sure if the duties will be exactly the same, since education week is a bit of a special event, definitely out of the norm; I'll be sure to keep you posted on any new developments!