Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Overtime work gets harder

Well sorry for my absence the past few weeks. With the end of spring break also comes the ending of working 60+ hour weeks. My boss is back, and we just hired a new worker, so I can "relax" by going back to my 40 hour a week schedule. Anyway if you ever think about working in a kitchen, you can expect to be working for long hours at least at some point in your career.

Looking back at working those long hours, (which I'm no stranger to since whenever someone goes on vacation or quits, I am the support they lean on) I realize a few things about myself. I jump into things full of piss and vinegar, and my energy lasts the first few days. But the toil of long hours in that seemingly harmless kitchen, really does a number on the morale of any sane person, and the middle of grind I lose all of my enthusiasm. When the end is nigh, I blast through the last few days, and my enthusiasm is back because I'm so close to that finish line.

After a week of the slow torture of complaining coworkers, busy nights, and hard work, Monday comes. Ah Monday, the one day off from the world, the restaurant is closed, and I purposely kept my school schedule away from Monday. My time off from work is spent doing the laundry that accumulated through the week, and sleeping. If only Monday could show its beautiful face more often.

*RING RING RING RING RING* the bell of my alarm tells me that the Monday I spent 6 conscious hours in is over and its nearly time for work. I turn on my music, and try to get pumped up to work another week. Walking through the door of the restaurant, it feels like someone turned up the gravity. How in the world can I put myself through this for another two weeks. Each shift feels like a day, the short hour nap in between shifts enforces the feeling of despair that this will never end, waking up twice a day to go to work, never felt worse.

Finally the last stretch of working, the dark circles under my eyes have only been getting darker, and I can almost feel my sanity slipping away. Jokes that might normally crack me up, barely crack a smile. Things that would usually make me irritated, only make me laugh and think "why me". While the moment moves at a snails pace, it feels like yesterday I was full of energy and thought I could take on this task with ease. It really feels like it all didn't really happen because I have no real recollection of it.

Its the last day of working all those shifts, my boss is back and the new guy starts tomorrow. Nothing can bring me down tonight. As luck would have it, business was never so good. I haven't worked a night that busy since the new years season. Constant orders, constant arguments, constant shouts of "ran out of this that and the other", and the constant happiness knowing that tomorrow morning I won't be here.