Going to the grocery store on Monday to pick up some chocolate lava cakes for wrestling, I ran into yet another memory.

I’ve talked about working at the restaurant when I was going through college a great deal (ad nauseum, I’m sure some would say), but it was a very, very awesome job for someone in his early 20’s to be working. I was constantly surrounded by high quality food, the gender ratio for working the counter was skewed heavily, and the tip jar usually had some decent money in it at the end of the day (somewhere between 10 and 15 bucks during the week and more on Saturday).

Well, anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant knows how chaotic and mercurial the kitchen staff can be (especially the culinary geniuses back there). The boss and his sous chef worked a tight ship back there and I went from being the FNG to being the guy whose name they were willing to learn to being one of the trusted employees who could be expected to maybe not screw something up.

Well, at one point, the sous chef told the boss “hey, in two weeks, I’m going on vacation back to Mexico to visit family” and the boss said “you can’t go! You’re too important! If you go, you’re fired!” “you can’t fire me, I quit!” and the sous chef went back to Mexico to visit family for two weeks. Well, two weeks later, the sous chef came into work, and started doing his job and he didn’t say a thing to the boss. The boss didn’t even acknowledge the sous chef. Like, they worked around each other just *NOT TALKING*. They would call me into the kitchen though and tell *ME* stuff. “We need more steaks prepped for the lunch rush!” and other such things that, normally, they never told the counter staff because they’d discuss it with each other. But, of course, they weren’t talking. So they told me. And I just nodded and kept quiet and the other one would do the prep for the rush.

They were like this for THREE DAYS.

They were talking to each other again by the end of the week, if a bit cold, and everything was back to normal the following Monday.

Well, on Monday, I was picking up the lava cakes and I heard “hey, Jaybird!” and I turned around and it was the sous chef! Seriously, I hadn’t seen him since… 1996? 1997? I gave him a big hug and asked him how he was and he told me about how he opened his own place (with 15 or 16 cooks) but that got too stressful after a couple of years and so now he had a business repairing restaurant equipment and now he is *MUCH* happier (though, he pointed out as he gave me his number, he does catering) and I told him that I use the stuff he taught me every time I cook meat or make salad dressing. And I thanked him for teaching me those things. And he smiled.

So I’m probably going to stop by the restaurant this weekend while I’m out running my errands and see if the boss is in and tell him “thank you” for teaching me all of the stuff he taught me. I don’t think I ever thanked him.

So… what’s on your docket?

(Image is “Play” by Clare Briggs. Used with permission of the Briggs estate.)

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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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8 thoughts on “Weekend!

  1. Sat:

    Jujitsu and kick fit. There there is some “progressive” party with the GF. Actually it’ll be 2x progressive since everyone will be left to far left of center–and gay. I expect the booze and food to be “top shelf” I shall consume mass quantities and enjoy myself.

    Sunday: kick fit, jujitsu, drill and roll (gotta get batter at maintaining poster in guard) then dinner with a friend.—hmm thai…

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  2. This Saturday is The Day of Doing Whatever I Want.

    Last weekend was editing (plus a six-hour drive to do it)
    The weekend before was recuperating from the long trip for Thanksgiving and being in too small of a house with too many people.
    Before that was grading and other work.

    I think I’m going antiquing. And will try to pick up allllll the groceries I will need for the next ten days (after which I’m on break and will be traveling).

    I’d go this afternoon but we have (Law and Order “dun-dun”) Mandatory Title VII training we must all attend.

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  3. An interesting weekend for us:

    I have started my traditional year-end organizing binge. This week I purchsed $50 worth of various storage bins from the dollar store and have been mostly focusing on the kitchen and under the sinks in the house. The labelmaker is working overtime and the spice cabinet and pantry have been brought to heel. It’s also happening at work as I clean out my desk, the desk of my coworker (with his permission) and the various work areas my team maintains around the operation. There is just something about putting clean, labeled edges around things that makes me happy.

    On Saturday we will be going to beautiful Cave Hill Cemetery to discuss a final resting place for my wife and myself (hopefully many years from now). Her parents have forced our hand by doing the same last year and she wants to make sure we are close by. I’m happy because I have Great, Great-Great and Great-Great-Great Grandparents all buried there, and it has always been my intention to do the same. If we actually move forward, it’s roughly the price of a decent used car, also with a multi-year payment plan. I told my wife that purchasing these plots feels like a very serious reaffirmation of our intent to stay married forever.

    Lastly, the chef from are all-time favorite restaurant, which moved to a swanky location and then had to close because they couldn’t afford the rent, has opened a new restaurant in the original location and we’re going to go try it on Sunday. It promises to be the best cheat meal I have had this year.

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