Yesterday I asked someone how to slice bread.
I have a friend starting a new job in a new city and yesterday she confessed that she was scared. Sure, it’s a new project, but the fundamental aspects of it are something she’s been doing for 10 years. It’s like every time we begin a new endeavor it’s the first day of school all over again–except it’s always a new school where you don’t have any friends and no one cares about you until the first time you embarrass yourself. And you’re probably wearing the wrong thing.
Of course, then you get to work and start to do the work and you meet the people and realize the people are just people and that just because they’ve been with the company longer doesn’t mean they know how to slice bread better than you do.
Perhaps you’ve gathered that I, too, have begun anew. I left the media job that I’d been engaged in for the past 2 years and am now on the line at a neighborhood spot in Brooklyn, NY. It’s taking me a second to get back into the swing of restaurant mentality, but I’m enjoying the experience. And the food is great.
So far, I’m exhausted all the time–which doesn’t really make any sense since the schedule is actually very reasonable–and K & I are on opposite schedules, which is kind of a bummer; but, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right!? Plus, I can still watch Kelly & Michael in the morning in hopes that they call me to win a trip via the daily trivia question.
The real work is in the prep: skinning & dividing a whole side of salmon, cleaning 16 portions of hanger steak several times a week. Cleaning proteins is only nerve-wracking because you’re aiming for a specific weight per portion, and I still don’t trust my judgement. That unsuredness stems from the time when my depth perception came into question as a youth, having mowed my parents lawn along with 3 feet of our neighbor’s perimeter–he was always quite persnickety about his curb appeal. Yesterday, I was dicing tomatillos for a chunky salsa verde and the pile was never-ending. In fact, I didn’t finish in the time allotted–2 quarts of dice in, I still hadn’t even made it beyond the rim of the pan. No matter, it’s for salsas of the future (like 2 days from now) and it lets me know exactly what I need to do when I arrive today–unless some other prep for tonight’s service has surfaced.
For now, I’m gonna go back to practicing my bread slicing technique. After all, a slice of bread & a curl of butter is the first impression many people will now have of me, so I’d better make them perfect. (And by perfect, I mean fine–it’s just a slice of bread, y’all.)