Punctuality and dependability I thought are important traits to exhibit as an intern, so despite my apprehension and nervousness, I made sure I turned up today and that I was there on time. One by one, the crew strolled in. No one spoke but everyone looked busy immediately. I was provided with the smallest chef jacket available and it suited me just fine. A chef's jacket is double breasted which serves to conceal stains on the jacket as one side can be rebuttoned over the other. How clever. I put on my brand new chef shoes and my $4 bandana, a good investment for a virgin chef until I remember my pay again. I stole a quick minute in the ladies to snap this for my blog. Do I look "cheffy"? Or maybe more like a Jewish woman from the labour camp.
I spent the next 5 hours cutting bags of all sorts of mushrooms - shitake, portobello, white buttons - peeling onions, sorting the mixed salads, baby spinach and wild rockets. I could decide to dump an onion if I didn't think it was fresh. Such empowerment for an intern! There was no Gordon Ramsay to humiliate with his vulgarities, no Jamie Oliver food ambassador and certainly no Catherine Zeta-Jones glam. Everyone knew their jobs and the kitchen functioned to the precision of a Swiss clock work. The sous chef clearly directed the activities of the 5-member crew and knew exactly which tables had already been served and which ones were next. Office crowd, they have only an hour, so his team needs to be efficient, he tells me later. No shouting or yelling needed, just quiet, confident, assured instructions given at the right moments to steer the crew. No prima donnas, the goal is more important than the role.
It's nothing I've ever done in my life, using so much of my hands and so little of my brains. It would have gotten monotonous very quickly if I did not enjoy it so much. Exactly what is there to enjoy about menial work I don't know but it's such a refreshing change. And I have a ferocious appetite for change. No problems to solve, no one to impress, no strategy to develop, just try to make the pieces equal in size.
I have so much more thoughts to share but I am dog-tired - my back is sore and my neck aches from looking down so much. Should have developed those core muscles as the husband has been saying. I need to maintain a good posture the next time round, which will be very soon.
It's been anything but another Monday, and I'm loving it.