July 28, 2011

Food Runner (Like Blade Runner, Only Less Cool)

One summer when I was a teenager, I gained part-time employment in a restaurant. Though this may seem like a typical adolescent experience, it was anything but normal, as I became completely incapable of doing anything right once I set foot in the establishment.
During my first week on the job, a magazine featured the owner/my boss as one of south Florida's most eligible bachelors, complete with a full pictorial. Suddenly, the place became a local hot-spot and was always jammed.

Being in a chaotic and new environment caused me to forget some important and basic restaurant principles. On one of my first evenings, someone asked for extra lemon.

I just handed her some. Apparently I needed to deliver several neatly sliced wedges on a clean, white, saucer. That made sense.

On another particularly crowded evening, the bachelor boss sent me out to get 12 cartons of cigarettes. I marched down the street in the pouring rain to a nearby gas station and acted like I knew what I was doing purchasing tobacco products.

Things went south pretty quickly.

I didn't even know that was an option. I didn't recall the boss saying anything about any filters, so I ordered 12 cartons of unfiltered Marlboro Reds.

I walked back in the rain the with the goods. The rain caused most of the boxes to warp beyond being able to ever return them. When I arrived and proudly presented the loot to the boss, he was not pleased. I figured when he looked at me like I was too stupid to live that he had wanted filters.
The coup de grace of my performance in the restaurant happened when I inadvertently held the veal saltimbocca over a customer and accidentally tilted it a bit.
I apologized so many times that she actually asked me to stop. I then asked her if there was anything I could do. Her response was only to say the words "Grey" and "Goose."
Though I look back at my restaurant experience and laugh, I'd be lying if I said that thinking about the poor lady dowsed in hot meat gravy didn't horrify me somewhat still today. 
I suppose that's a normal reaction.


Carol said...

Jordie, not so bad to drip veal. I had a pitcher of beer poured down my back on New Year's Eve in a restaurant! Great story!!!

Virgiena Salsabila said...

ga ngerti ihhh!!