For those few of you who actually read this, school is done, except for a few classes in the next few months. I've started my externship, finally, after having two places fall through. I'm about a month behind my classmates, but since I'm working full time, it shouldn't be hard for me to catch up and I will definitely be done before graduation in June. There's a reason that people start out in restaurants when they're 20 - it's grueling work!
I'm working as a prep cook in the restaurant. It's just like it sounds - prepping for that evening's service or a banquet. I chop potatoes and celery, peel onions (150 pounds of them in 2 days!), carrots and tomatoes and clean and debeard mussels. There's more to it than that, but I'm the low man on the totem pole, so I get to do a lot of the most grunt work. As I start to learn the ropes, I will be making stock, soups, roast beef and the like, in addition to the chopping tasks.
I still have all fingers attached, although all of the onion and tomato peeling have left the tips of my fingers very sore. I also have the customary blister on my right index finger from chopping so much. Eventually it will callous over.
Today is Sunday, so it's pretty slow for the prep cooks. There were two of us on, so we got things done pretty quickly and then we were sent home. Nice to have the time back, but, unlike my salary-paying job, if I don't work, I don't get paid. My biggest job of the day was to pass about 30 pounds of cooked potatoes through the tami (it's like a huge fine-mesh strainer) and make mashed potatoes. In addition to the callouses, I'm going to have huge forearms if I do that a lot.
The people who I work with are nice, for the most part. Many don't speak much English, which makes it difficult at times to communicate, especially when I have a "why" question, but it'll work out. As I didn't have a day off between leaving my old job and starting this one, I've now worked 7 days in a row and have 3 more to go before having 2 days off.
Do I like it? Well, it's ok. I knew that restaurant work wouldn't be my dream job, but I think I'll learn a lot that will take me in other fields.
Stay tuned - I'll try to keep you up to date on my adventures.