IN NO PARTICULAR, ORDER, OF COURSE.
1. Keep your mouth shut when you’re in the dish pit. The last thing you need is a mouthful of mustard-water shot at you with the force of a fucking tsunami.
2. Try to be nice. If you can’t be nice, be quiet. Unfortunately this is the hardest rule for me to follow since my foul mouth and generally sarcastic attitude tend to spiral out of control without my brain’s consent… sorry, coworkers. I’m working on it.
3. For the love of all that is holy, clean up after yourself. You’ve probably got time, and if someone else (who is most likely in a hurry) has to clean up your area before they can do THEIR job, they’ll probably be muttering under their breath about you for the next half hour. And no one needs that bad juju.
4. Have a sense of humor. For the first few months at this job I had a hard time getting along with my manager because I thought she was insensitive and rude. Now I know that she is seriously the funniest person in the restaurant, and if she’s on my case about something and I’m feeling the bitchiness about to explode out of my mouth, I usually just crack a joke and all is well. Since I’ve realized her glorious approach to kitchen management entails a hefty dose of dry sarcasm and fake insults, my daily interactions with her have gone from ZERO TO HERO (to quote Hercules, because I know you like that shit, even though it’s not really relevant here. You get my drift.)
5. Have some fun! Working in a kitchen is a stressful job that doesn’t allow much time to relax or let off steam. Unless you want to develop a hernia from all that pent-up frustration surrounding those last minute orders, dropped dishes, or whatever it is you’re pissed about, then find an outlet. I like to dance while singing (what are, I’m sure, atrociously obnoxious) songs about what I’m working on. Or I take a handful of ice and dump it down the shirts of unsuspecting coworkers (I swear, they like it…right?). Better yet, play with eggs! I often find eggs that are cracked and need to be thrown away, but I think it’s more fun to pummel the dish pit walls with said egg. Just make sure you aim for the splatter guard, and make sure no one else is in there. And unless you feel like getting yelled at, spray the wall down afterward.
6. Remember to wear a belt. You can try and loop your apron strings through your belt holes, but that doesn’t work if you wear your apron around your neck instead of folded over your waist. If you wear it around your neck you’ll end up with a giant wedgie and choking every time you bend over. Not hot.
7. If your boring black tee shirt required by dress code needs a little flava, just dip your hand (GLOVED hand, people, you don’t want to get hand cancer) into some bleach and flick it onto the fabric. Try to avoid your shoes. You’ll look somewhat trendy…. because, wait, bleached clothing is in, right?
8. Get to work 10 minutes early. Digital time clock technology appears to be incapable of correctly telling time and will consistently record that you were 7 minutes late when, in fact, you were punching in exactly on time. Outsmart that stupid robot and make it record that you were 3 minutes early. Every. Goddamn. Day. That’s called responsibility.
9. Avoid “taste-testing” every single edible item of interest that’s offered to you. THAT’S called gaining 30 pounds in a year, I know from experience. And it’s not pretty. Yikes! Wrangle some self control!
10. Smile more, it’ll make your day better. When I don’t feel like genuinely smiling, I will sometimes force a joking fake-grin, complete with bottom teeth exposure and totally lifeless eyes. This act alone feels so ridiculous and hilarious that I can’t help but crack up at my own stupidity. It’s good for you!