Friday, August 27, 2010

Life Lessons / Earning My Ears

I don't remember if I've told you or not, but I am working at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Restaurantosaurus. Well, my training in the restaurant started on Thursday. My schedule was really weird, they had my first day there as training day #2. Confusing, I know. I didn't understand why it was like that either, usually on training day one they walk you around the area, show you where to find everything, take you over to do computer e-learning and finally start you off easy busing tables and closing down the dining rooms. That was what I did today (second day at the restaurant, training day #1..... hahaha!)

So there I was, not sure how to clock in or where anything was or who I was even suppose to talk to find my trainer. But lucky for me, there was another girl who was just starting out, too. For our first day there, after our trainer, Mary, found us, taught us how to clock in, gave us our maroon ribbons that say "Earning my ears" to attach to our name tags and then she informed us that we were on Broiler duty. It was the scariest thing I've ever done. We were in charge of putting the two different kinds of burgers through so they can cook. Then you also have to remember that when you send burgers, you have to send buns, too. It got confusing when they used terms like "send a set of babies"... translation "I need 12 small burgers". Or this one, "kitchen is on a three foot"... in other words "when the last row of burgers are under the third burner, put in another set (12 burgers) and continue until further notice." It's all so confusing, people yelling, you responding that you heard, trying to remember that only the big burgers get salt and pepper, and while you are doing all this you have to make sure that you have enough meat in your coolers and prep area so you don't run out. It's stressful and confusing and I didn't like it one bit. But I made it my goal to ask questions and repeat back answers to my trainer so i could learn and remember all the information she was giving us. I kept telling myself that my shift was nearly over and that the more I put the burgers on, the faster and more proficient I became. So at the end of the day I felt so good when we closed our area because I didn't give up, I stuck it out.

At the end of the night, we had to take the broiler apart and scrub it clean. It was so disgusting! We had to be very careful taking the doors and burners off as they were very hot. We had to use not only rubber gloves but also towels to get the different pieces off and onto the cart to go to the dish room. There was grease everywhere, and we got the honor of scrubbing that monster clean. And yes, I called it a monster because it was HUGE! It was taller than I am and it was around 5 feet long, maybe even more. So here's the scene, one trainer and two trainees against one overly gross and extremely hot machine. But don't worry, we were victorious! By the time we were done, the "monster" was sparkling and ready to be put back together, which is comparable to a jigsaw puzzle. A really hard and confusing one. But when it was time to clock out, that thing was back in one happy, shining piece, happily back at home at it's spot in the kitchen.

The first two days have been hard, but I have faith that they will continue to get better the longer I an there and the more things I learn. And if that's not reason enough, this is a once in a lifetime experience and I have the opportunity to learn many life lessons while I'm here. I signed a contract, I'm in this for the long hall. I will make this the most wonderful time I possibly can, even if it means there are some rough days along the journey. Like my parents told me on the phone, this is a learning experience, when I make a mistake and I learn from it, I know how to do it correctly and more efficiently the next time around. This is the time to grow and develop. I'm well on my way, taking baby steps still, but I've come a long way in a week!

I also wanted to mention that tonight when I got home from work, I was greeted by a lovely surprise. Amanda, one of my roommates who loves to cook, decided to cook dinner for all of us tonight. It was so delicious. She made purple chicken (cooked in wine), a cooked noodle salad with cooked peppers and onions and garlic bread. Then we all had a nice roommate sit-down dinner, because you know "a family that eats together, stays together!" I love that I already feel like theses girls are like my sisters, we are becoming a family! Then we all spent the evening talking, laughing and playing on our laptops in a big circle in the living room. It was a great Friday night!

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