The second and third day around I was supposed to be trained more, but in the end I ended up getting stuck with frying chips and working the line like I did on day 1...and learning what types of foil to use for the elusive quesadillas and to-go tacos. I was still having trouble discerning which side of the foil was shiny. I flew past those days going through what I naively thought were tough peak times during 12 AM-1.
By then, I had become proficient at the tortilla station, which is the station where the hot foods are. The script I say is “Hello, what can I start for you? Any rice, beans, or meat?” They reply with burrito, taco, bowl, or the more complex kid’s meal options, or something in between. Then you repeat the customer’s answer to yourself, or maybe ask them to repeat themselves. If they don’t speak good English or are unfamiliar with Chipotle you go “brown or white rice? Black or pinto beans? Any meat?” While pointing at said foods. Then after three or four fast scoops, you’re done, and that entree is off to the races at salsa station where the cold foods are and all the difficult stuff happens.
Learning tortilla station didn’t come without its grievous workplace injuries. At first when I tried switching out deep pans to refill them on food, I’d end up burning my fingers horribly. Again. And again and again. I eventually learned later online you should pick the pans up with the big spoon or tongs inside the respective pan to let steam from underneath come out first.
My arms were also really sore from lifting things all day: boxes of food, the big frying pan, the salt shaker, the lime squeezer, the limes I put into the lime squeezer, the tortilla chips, the spoons to put food on people’s entrees, and the rice grains on those spoons shoveled onto people’s entrees. You end up having to serve 8 oz of rice rather than the corporate standard of 4 oz, so it’s a lot of rice to lift 400 times a day. The rice is long grain Spanish rice too, much different from the sticky short grain rice I’m used to. My legs were also sore from standing all day, save for the 30 minute amazing paid break. It was a shock to the system since most days I’d be standing at most for only 30 minutes...to take a shower and get food from the refrigerator.
After my three long days of whining and being sore from lifting long grain rice, I spent two days in recovery before returning to work again to lift more rice of the same heavier, long grain kind.
During my time working I’ve noticed some employees aren’t the excited, motivated, can-do, eager employees you see in the company’s orientation videos. One of them just talks and jokes around with a manager and gets a pass from doing work most of the time.
One of the other managers was scolded by another manager for not closing properly which included not cleaning the men’s bathroom. As it turns out it’s not cleaned 85% of the time. Then they just stick that job to whoever wants it the least. And another manager is known for coming in late a lot?
And during prep some employees blast lots of rap music with a lotta n bombs that glorify all sorts of sexual organs and materialistic objects of the...consciousness altering kind. Most of the time it’s just some teen pop though.
In the whole resolving workplace disputes video for orientation they advised to speak with a manager if the music made you uncomfortable. I’m not uncomfortable with the music, but I’m trying to imagine myself actually doing that and seeing how it’d play out...
Zoom into the post apocalyptic present: my manager is an hour late to opening while Ive been stranded in the desolate cold left to fend for myself. I have no food, water, or shelter. Im only surviving on meal replacement powder I ate this morning for breakfast. There does happen to be a heated room A few feet from me that I could easily stay in but I want to feel inconvenienced and strong...and cold...and committed...and there’s a good chance I’ll be able to make enough chips, but won’t bag them. I also gotta poop real bad but I have a bad feeling that he’s gonna be unhappy about it. It’s 80/20 for happy/unhappy. How did things get so bad? Well, you’ll just have to keep reading future blogs to find out...coming soon. Oh, I also decided to write all of this during that one hour lateness. it’s gonna be a long day.
5 minutes later: I gave in and am now in the warm room. Life is good.
Some minutes later: an hour and 20 minutes later the manager is now finally here. The new hire who is on his third day just put in he got in at 7...even though it’s over an hour past that. The cycle of life continues.
Edit: I went to the bathroom. The manager was not unhappy.