I pull into work today, noticing that my lead cook's car is not in it's usual spot. A quick surveillance of the parking area proves that, unless his car is disquised as a minivan, Angel is not at work.
I mount the stairs as a string of expletives rolls off my tongue. I ride the elevator up to the kitchen engulfed in the aroma of charring eggs and overdone bacon grease. Barely time for the 'good morning' pleasantries I head straight for the cook's alley and see the grill cook and a dishwasher cooking eggs in the swiss braiser. For visual effect, this is not a two man job. I've seen it done successfully where just one man can heat the braiser AND manage to scramble the eggs all alone, without any other pair of hands involved. Jose and Pascual were joined at the hib, pouring and scrambling in tamdem like they were running the three legged race, only upside down. I'd have congratulated their efforts if not for the fact that, as I mentioned earlier, they were burning the eggs
. I've never seen two sets of eyes light up upon seeing my countenance since I brought cupcakes home with little snowmen stix for my kids. I suppose they imagined they were relieved of further egg burning.
A new string of expletives escaped when I discovered that Guadalupe, my 'deli lady' called out sick. I was also informed that Angel called and would be late. Seems that someone blocked him in and he was waiting for the police to come and tow the offending car. I immediately thought "I gotta write that one down so I could use that feeble, lame excuse the next time I over slept.
I looked over the menu and saw that on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being something a 4 year old could put together and 10 requiring skill and concentration, I was looking at easily an 8. (for the record, when I create the menu, I do so with the belief that no one will ever be late or infirm, and it will always be 70 degrees in Pleasantville)
I told Jose to stop burning the eggs and that he was on his own for breakfast. If he required any back-ups, he'd have to lay the eggs himself, let alone scramble them. The eggs he so deftly burned were the last eggs till the delivery guy arrived.
At this point, I'm still holding my bag and wearing street shoes. After a change to black vinyl clogs (very shiny!) and a sweep up of my hair, I grabbed my knife and donned an apron. No sooner do I reenter the kitchen than my cellphone starts trilling that song that only means one thing: My mother is calling
. I discourage my staff from using their cellphones once they are clocked in, so I walked back towards my office to take the call. Did I mention that it was only 10 minutes past 7am? Doesn't the woman sleep? Does someone need to reintroduce the two of them (because my father is just as guilty) to the concept of retired?? Do they not know that now, they can sleep as late as they like?
So, I proceed to answer the phone, saying "Ma, I really can't talk now, I'm in the weeds and I've only been here 2 minutes" She proceeded to tell me that she has to tell me why she has to talk to me now....So, I sit down, waiting for her to continue.....Luckily, it wasn't an illness or worse, a death (they seem to happening a bit rapidly in our little extended group of liliputians, lately)..but that she had 'words' with my older brother. And she was upset. And she hung up on him. And he deserved it. and on and on and on for almost 20 minutes while I'm thinking in my head of ways to change my 8 menu to something along the lines of a 2...something like chicken fingers and fishsticks.... When she said "so, call me back when you're not so busy and I can tell you the whole thing"
I was able to call her back about 2 and a half hours later. Naturally, I had to get the whole story and she was just dying to tell it. In the end, we both agreed it's all my sister-in-laws fault and we proceeded to discuss how difficult it is to make a decent cream puff in the state of florida.
Gotta love her.