Oh, man…..

I was completely worthless today.

Everything hurt, even muscles I forgot I had. If the stage was successful and I am offered the job, it won’t be a problem. I’ll be doing those kinds of acrobatics every day. I ran my ass off last night (which is bad… I don’t have much to begin with). I worked out more in four hours than I have in the last five years.

I woke up with the allergy attack from hell, and I still couldn’t make myself get up and take a shower. My arms and legs just rebelled. When I couldn’t find my Zyrtec bottle, I took some Benedryl and Sudafed, then padded downstairs for some Peet’s French Roast. Then, I did what any sane cook would do. I got back in bed.

After about four hours, when my allergy attack still hadn’t gone away, I got in the shower. Sometimes it helps to wash my face, because usually I’ve got dust or pollen on my skin. I also thought that hot water might ease the strain on my muscles. I, in fact, thought wrong. It’s almost 2330 and I still feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.

It occurred to me that I’m not 25, or even 30 anymore…. but I don’t think that’s the problem. I think having computer butt is the culprit. Someone who spends most of their day at a desk or in bed with a laptop is not going to feel awesome after a kitchen shift, especially when orders are coming in relentlessly for hours.

And, like most cooks, I woke up in the middle of the night- panicked because the ticket machine was going off in my head and I forgot to drop the taquitos and the pretzels were burning and everyone else had disappeared, even the dishwasher…… I ran back and forth between the dish pit and dry storage trying to find César because I was up to my ass in tickets….. If you’ve ever wondered how cooks dream, this is it…. a series of nightmare scenarios….. even after a night where everything went perfectly…. because it didn’t happen, but it could’ve.

Having worked front of house, I know waitstaff has their own version of snapping awake. They suddenly think things like, “I never did bring them their ranch,” and their throats tighten.

What I’ve learned over years and years, though, is that I’ve never heard anyone complain more than line cooks, but never, ever say to them that they could always do something else.


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