Ok, so life is no longer a beach. Eventually I am part of the working people again as of today after hanging around more or less lazy in various parts of the world for the last two months. What shall I say, it is 1 a.m. and I just got home, but I want to write my impressions down now directly, to be able to see how they evolve in the next weeks.
It was a real rollercoaster day. I did not want to get out of bed this morning, and was really reluctant to go. Bad ideas crossed my mind, making all kinds of plans to get back to the normal life I had before. I realize only now how much damage some people have done during my last stage to my enthusiasm about life #2, and I somehow regret, that I didn't stop that experience earlier. But fortunately this restaurant where I started today is different. No yelling, shouting, running, bumping to each other. Very friendly and respectful people, actually I would guess 60% women, everybody is concentrated and calm. I was assigned to the garde manger station, where all the starters are prepared and plated, and it seems like I will remain there for a while (instead of the fish station), which is very fine with me, as I have two extremely professional AND friendly girls working with me, who explained very patiently everything to me. So the morning service was my highlight of the day, I was soooo reliefed that it is clear that I will not go through the same experience again as during my stage. Which doesn't mean it's going to be easy.
Lucily, I have only a 12 minutes walk from the restaurant to my home, and so I tried to sleep between the two services, but I was too excited and couldn't. Then the dinner service. Complete frustration, booked out restaurant and all clients arriving at the same time. The sous chef had decided that during the service I should just do the amuse bouches, which consisted in "burning" little foie gras creme brulées, and decorating them apple sorbet. I felt horrible and completely lost. While the other two girls where plating from a selection of 10 different starters I didn't even manage to get the announcements of the amuse bouche orders correctly, not even to mention being able to help them with the other plates. If I had been the chef and observed me, I would have kicked me out. But then every first day of my so far three kitchen stages has been like this. And so I am hopeful, that after a couple of services I will understand what kind of announcement triggers what action. But one thing is clear, this is a highly desireable place to work for me, and I am glad that I made it into this team. This is a human environment, while definitely very challenging.