March 9, 2014

I'm In School!

Well, not the traditional school you might be thinking of...

I started a new job and pretty much knew veerrryyy little about most of what my job would entail. 
It is at a fine dining establishment. 
A private club at that. 

When I learned all that I would have to do and learn, I started to feel overwhelmed and inadequate and all the other synonyms that could follow.
The only food I recognized on the menu was baked potato.

Then there were the two pages of the "basic" wine list and that doesn't even begin to get into the other liquors and all that can be mixed up with that assortment!  (Which is pretty mind boggling to someone who has never taken a drink of alcohol and has only worked with children for 40-some years-I know, the children part alone should of drove exposed me to drinking...)

And the trays...carrying meals out on the big oval trays stacked high with expensive food- that takes time to cook...if I accidentally dropped it...
And the little trays for transporting martinis without spilling them.  What liquor is used in a martini anyway?  And who would want their drink dirty?!
Just a couple weeks prior, I had decided to go back to "real" school to learn a new "trade".
So I told myself if I was in that school, I would not know anything there either (or very little) so I was going to approach this job just as I would school.
And I would give it my best effort to get a "good grade".

I started by copying  the menu and then typing foreign (literally) words into the computer under dictionary and found you could click on the little speaker icon and it would audibly pronounce the word for you.
Who knew?!
Well, probably you guys did, but it was a magical moment for me! 
(And then I would write it how it sounded to me next to the word.)

Then by visiting the food sites (I still do), helped me to understand what ingredients are in a dish and how it is prepared.  (It almost makes me want to start watching Food Network and take up exotic cooking....almost.)

Then I made make-shift trays to help me with the drinks.  Like this:
This was o.k., but I would eventually practice at work with real glasses filled with water and would learn that the secret is to not look at the tray when walking.  (I heard that works with pumpkin pies too.)
And I also brought a large tray home and carried quart paint cans and old milk jugs filled with water.  
Finally practicing at my work site with real dishes piled high while opening the swinging door and getting through before it swung back.

I still have a lot to learn as this rough ol', small town, sheltered girl, is getting refined and cultured!

"It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies...."  ~Jacob Bronowski

But I must say, I am enjoying school and being a student and knowing that yes, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

"Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study.  Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life."  ~Henry L. Doherty

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