Kitchen Complaints, Part 2: Man vs. Dishwasher

30 Aug

Here’s another reason why I turned away from my old plan of being a journalist. Deadlines. I like writing, and I get all my work in on time, but when the two come together, I fall short; the end of part one made the claim that part two would follow later that same day.

That was a week ago.

But whatever. Here we go again.

Doing As I’m Told

I’ve been pretty lucky with my employers. Everyone says that you can’t get on with your boss, but for the most part I’ve been pretty gifted with friendly employers who tend to treat their employees like people, rather than their lackeys.

Not all of them, mind you; there’s been several irritating incidents when I’ve been talked down to as if I’m a child, when really, I’ve not been doing anything particularly wrong.

I like to think I can admit when I’ve made a mistake. Which is why my biggest employment-peeve is when someone else has a slight misunderstanding, or makes a mistake, which then leads to me taking the brunt of the telling off.

I mentioned how in one of my previous jobs no one would wipe down the plates when they dropped off dishes and leftovers at the sink. Well, at said establishment, there was a system. When you brought your plates in, you’d wipe off the leftovers into the bin (which no one did), and then stack your plates in the correct size-dictated pile (also something no one would do), so the whole organisational process would flow that little bit smoother.

And as the new guy, who was left with the brunt of the washing, I would usually be sent back to the scene at the exact moment when the manager would walk by, and ask me why I hadn’t stacked ‘my’ dishes in the correct order, despite the fact that I would have literally just got there. The condescending tone would return to their voice, and the urge to smack them upside the head would re-enter my mind.

I didn’t do that of course. And luckily as time went on, I did more shifts in their subsidiary cafe than I did in the main restaurant, meaning I had less contact time with my manager.

The Scientifically Made Sandwich

Specifically though, I like order when it comes to a job; it gives me an set of objectives, and something to try and stick to whether others do or not.

My current job, in the deli, also has a system. You take orders, make said orders, check for customer satisfaction, and exchange currency. When you’re not taking an order, you clean. Whether that be the shop or the dishes, there’s always something to do.

It even shows in the way I make sandwiches apparently. Yesterday someone asked if I took science, because she believed the way I constructed my sandwiches was rather formulaic.

However, at my other job, which I kind of feel a bit bad complaining about at the moment since I’m typing this post out from behind the counter, there seems to be no order.

It may be because I’m still pretty new here, but from what I have seen, I couldn’t sleep easy if I ran this place. Again, that’s not a jab at the management, they’re perfectly good people, I just like a little bit more organisation than they do (which anyone who has seen my bedroom will probably find ironic).

On my first shift, the only extra task I had was some lamenating, so I took it upon myself to clean up the shop. I found the spare alcohol was in no particular order, meaning restocking the shelves took ages because I could never find the bottles that were missing from the shelves amongst the jumbled mess. That had to change.

Then there was the fact that the biggest clock in the shop, and the only one visible to the customer was off by 15 minutes. That was next on my ‘to change’ list.

Then there’s the fact of washing up. I’m fine with washing up. It’s basically my other job. But for some reason, rather than just cleaning up after yourself or as a team as we do at the deli, the responsibility of dishes around this place falls to the shop keeper.

This is irritating for three reasons:
The first is that I don’t actually use anything here that needs washing, so I’m purely just cleaning up after others, who just leave stuff all over the place. I found a bowl that at some point contained pasta under the counter. How long it was there, I do not know.

The second is that as the shopkeeper, it helps if I’m in the shop, not the furthest point away where I can’t see who’s coming and going, which is where the dishwasher is.

The third and final problem is the fact that once I take things out of the dishwasher, I’m never entirely sure where to put them. After locating the cutlery, I noticed there was nowhere for forks. I asked a colleague where I should out them.
She just laughed at me and said “You could probably just put it wherever you wanted and no one would say anything”. Which, obviously, was not what I wanted to hear.

The Titular Dishwasher

Now I realise it might sound like I’m complaining about rather menial things, and not appreciating the simplicity of the job I’ve been given. And that is true. I am complaining unnecessarily, but there’s a reason, and that reason is the titular dishwasher.

It’s been broken ever since I started here, and probably quite long before. The top shelf is literally hanging off its hinges, ready to break at any moment. This also makes loading it rather difficult, as, with things not connected to the pulley system, you run the risk of breaking everything every time you pull a shelf out, or push it back in.

Still, as always, today I persevered, only to find that since I was here on Tuesday, it’s been broken even more, as now it doesn’t even close. So everything has to be washed by hand. But it just so happens that this week in particular, everyone else has done even less washing than usual, leaving more dishes for me to do. Not only that, but the boilers broken, so there’s no hot water to do the dishes. Add to that the usual fact that the dishes and cups are still half full, grimy and dotted around the place, and you have a series of trivial little matters that this morning I was too tired to be dealing with, and thus have subsequently put me in a foul mood, not helped by the fact that all my jobs are otherwise done and there’s no customers to take up my time.

There’s only so long I can faff around on my phone without feeling guilty.

Heart Radio’s music choices are currently the only thing keeping me calm enough that I don’t head out to find a sledge hammer so that I may finish my grudge match against the dishwasher.

This isn’t over.

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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Life


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