It's not even two weeks into the new year, but things couldn't be more different. I've been getting better hours lately, cruising at a steady 34 per week, and it feels like things are going a lot more smoothly. A few of my less-desireable, time-consuming tasks (and similar ones of other stations) have been delegated to the prep cooks, leaving me free to get more done in the time I'm given. I've worked for Champps for 6 months now, and looking back I can easily say that each month has been different. In the jobs I do, the employees I work with, in the feel of the place. In the last six months, we've seen people come and go, assignments change, feast and famine side by side. And I've stuck with it through it all. At times I'm surprised that I'm still here, with all that's been going on.
Fortunately, I was able to hang on, and now it seems that better days are ahead. We've been busier, I've even put in some double-shifts, and I think the other people on salad station and I have come to an agreement to leave the station in better shape than we have in the past. Sometimes I've come in to find that the station hadn't been restocked or cleaned up very well, so now we're all trying to be more conscientious of people who share our stations. I can understand if things get busy, we run out of stuff, it happens. But it doesn't take long to fill up what you can and leave it in somewhat decent shape. Or find someone who isn't busy and say "Hey, could you help me portion out chicken" or something. We've gotten a better feeling of teamwork, and I think that really shows and helps everything run smoothly. It seems that each day when I get home from work, I feel like things have gone really well, almost like I hadn't worked at all rather that I had enjoyed a nice leisurely day in the kitchen. Even when things got hectic, I can stay cool, accept help that's offered, and work cleanly and efficiently. Since time management was a failing of mine back at school, learning to do several things at once is important. I'm looking back at how I was when I started, and where I am now, and I definitely see improvement.
For the past few days after work, I've been treating myself to making my favorite Thai peanut chicken pizza, having finally bought my first bottle of sriracha sauce (hot stuff, crucial ingredient in the peanut sauce). I haven't made pizza dough since my internship, so it's nice getting back into it. It's pretty inexpensive to make, takes little more time than it takes for the oven to preheat, and is so much better than storebought or delivery. To celebrate my reintroduction to pizza-making joy, I bought my very first pizza stone today at the mall. I'm sure I'll notice a huge difference in crust quality versus my sheet pans I've been using. If anybody's reading this, what are some of your favorite pizza recipes?