Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Cook's Life #5 - Calling In Sick

when i used to work in an office, it wasn't uncommon for people to call in sick. some did it more than others, and it wasn't a big deal. no one else wanted to get sick, and honestly, they didn't want to see you hacking up a lung, surrounded by moldy tissues, sweat pouring down your face, with snot and saliva everywhere.

then, there's working in the kitchen. i remember one of my first classes in culinary school, one of the Chefs said that you NEVER call in sick and that you got mad respect from the other cooks. it showed true dedication and hard work, and that you didn't let your team down, no matter what.

you may think that, hey, if you are sick, you shouldn't be working in the kitchen where you are cooking for people, but there is an intense pressure to not call in sick. last week i started to feel under the weather, and although i debated calling in sick the whole of Friday morning, i settled on asking if i could leave after the rush, that way i would at least be able to help prep for the weekend, and help out with part of service. they were thankful that i came into work, and i was able to leave around 8pm. however, i forgot to make a double batch of pasta dough before i left, so i returned the next morning around 10am to finish. it was okay because i didn't really get to sleep because i couldn't breathe, and because i had the damn pasta dough on my mind.

did i mention that it was also my birthday, and that i had to cancel my party on account that i was feeling crappy and didn't want to get anyone else sick? well, now it's Sunday (a lot has happened this weekend, you don't even know the WHOLE story) and i am wondering if i should go into work. i suppose it would help me keep my mind off of things, as whenever i get sick (it doesn't happen too often) i can't rest because i keep thinking of the things i need to be doing or should be doing.

you may think i'm a workaholic, and that i'm crazy, but if you are a cook, everything i've written just sounds like a regular day at work, sick or not. i think i feel some pressure because i know that help is needed, and i also want people to take me seriously. it also doesn't help that the kitchen is a fickle place; you are only as good as your last plate and even though you've put in a lot of work, once you fuck up, people will be moaning and groaning about how they have more work to do and how everything is harder because so and so couldn't handle a little cold and that they should stop being a big baby BLAH BLAH BLAH!

used to hate it when people under estimated me, but now i like that i have the option of surprising the lucky few! i'll probably mull it over tomorrow morning, drinking my morning smoothie, while i'm doing laundry, after i'm walking the dogs, and...i'll probably go to work.



-I

1 comment:

Gastronomer said...

Hello! I finally went to Euro Pane this weekend!! I had the egg salad sandwich and a caramel and sea salt macaron---they were both so, so GOOD! Thanks for the rec ;-) And I hope that work is going well.