October 26, 2023

Busy, Fast Work

So far, there are things I like about my part time job at the high school and being in a kitchen setting.  School nutrition, the protocols, regulations, schedules, basically how the entire kitchen system operates is pretty eye-opening.  I have to say, it’s a busy, non-stop and repetitive job but you’re finished by 1pm, everything is cleaned up, prepped, and ready to go for the next day.  The high school I am at does seem to have a pretty seamless process ,things are where they should be, everyone has their own specific task, and it this type of work definitely screams teamwork.  It’s literally from soup to nuts from I what I do between 9am and 1pm.  The day just flies, but I love that aspect of it.

There are cookies to be baked, prepped for next day, taken out of oven, bagged, stored for the students for purchase at .75 a cookie, window boxes to be made.  These boxes I believe are for popcorn chicken or fries, I could be wrong, but I know we can never have too many window boxes.  Dishes, cleaning, wiping, drying, and school breakfast prep for the next day, as well as  pre-made items for specific events occurring within the next week or so.   It can be loud, there’s music, but I like that.  I need music when I do any kind of busy work, doesn’t matter where I am, music helps.  And sometimes it can feel too chaotic, like there’s too many cooks in the kitchen- pun intended.  But it happens in that kind of environment. So far, I’ve learned a good tip, and that’s to focus on the task at hand and finish that task before moving onto the next task.  I struggle with this because I enjoy multi-tasking.  But sometimes that’s a bad thing because I’ll start one thing, and then notice something else that needs to get done, and I’ll shift my focus to that task instead, neglecting the first task I started.  No good.  One thing at a time.

Communication is also a big deal in this environment.  When the oven is being used, you must shout out , literally, that “the oven is HOT and open”, so that someone doesn’t get hurt walking in the direction of the oven coming from around the corner.  If you hear the oven, go off, it’s happening for a reason.  Someone is cooking something. Turn it off !  If you’re walking behind someone and they don’t see you, you must say “behind you”, just in case.  Better safe than sorry.  I have no issue being loud in front of new people, or strangers, however, I still feel a little weird shouting out that the oven is hot and it’s open, be careful!  I’m getting used to it though.  Asking questions is so important too.  If you don’t know something or are simply unsure, just ask.  Speak up- as hard as it can seem sometimes.  If you’re confused or didn’t understand an instruction, speak up.  It’ll only help you more.  I do that all the time, because I have no shame in saying that I don’t understand something.  I’m only there 2 weeks so far, but I do like it . Any kind of experience is an experience. So for now, let's see what this is about. 

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