Monday, July 19

The Perfect Job

At this point it's not a secret that I've accepted a position as assistant pizza chef at a local pizzeria. I gave my notice to Chain Store on Saturday and I'll be working out my last week there this week with next Saturday night being my last night. This isn't my farewell post. This is to tell you all about my first shift at my new job.

I got there early. I could have sworn during my interview Boss said be there at 4:30, but when I walked in he was expecting me at 5, so I sat outside and read for 30 minutes.

Once I got inside, I started by observing. I got the official tour (they compost and recycle almost everything) and was told to watch as they made pizzas. I watched, I learned the menu and then I started topping pizzas. I learned a few things:
  • goat cheese and blue cheese get all over my hands and there's no wiping them on my apron to relieve that
  • caramelized onions look and feel like worm guts
  • prosciutto is the most frustrating ingredient because it never wants to come off the paper without tearing
  • fresh basil, torn off the plant, is heavenly and not related to the shredded cardboard crinkles that other restaurants try to pass off as basil
  • when Boss yells "Hot Olives!" freeze in place, wherever you are, don't move unless you like the idea of face-melting hot grease (fortunately didn't learn this one the hard way)
After a while of making pizzas and despite being intimidated, they let me start to make crusts. I'm not very good at it yet. I tend to overstretch them making the middle even thinner than it should be. But, I'm sure I'll get better at it with time. I only messed up one dough beyond use through overstretching.

And here's why it's the perfect job. I actually had fun while working. Everyone is friends and friendly, there's joking and helping and teaching going on at all times. The pizza is amazing, I'm proud to be making it. I get a free meal per shift, which could be a pizza of my choice or a salad OR if I don't do one of those, I can have a beer.

Let me tell you why that last option is beautiful.

Friday night, my first night in a long long time that I've had to be on my feet for hours on end, my back was killing me. I wasn't sure that I was going to make it to close... until that beer, which took all the tension out of my back and made me bright eyed and bushy tailed again to clean the store.

I know that every night won't be perfect (I have yet to learn to work the wood-fired oven which I'm sure will come with a share of frustration), but I'm glad that my first night was.


liquidcross said...

Glad you're enjoying yourself so far! Can't wait hear the nicknames for your new coworkers, either...

Unknown said...

It's funny, because one of them is named Basil and I can't for the life of me think of something else to call him. The people at this place aren't interchangeable like the people at the chain store, so nicknames might be difficult. They all really love and care about the restaurant.

Sadako said...

Eww. I'm never ordering carmelized onions!