Summer has always been my favorite season. Summer means beach trips and watching the sunrise. Endless binging on books and movies and the most delicious fruit. There is something fresh and exciting but also reflective about it. This year I feel like I am in the essence of this season.
After almost two months in my new job, I feel like I'm finally settling in. When I walk into the kitchen I no longer feel like I'm out of place. I know most peoples names. I'm making a few friends.
Right now I'm on the night shifts, usually working 3:30-11. This shift usually goes by pretty quickly, at least when my station keeps me busy. In coffee, even when I was running my machine, I had someone else to keep me stocked. Learning to run a station on the line has been an adjustment to a more independent system.
When I started at this restaurant, I was brought on to work as a floater to help out on the pizza line. When I became full-time, I started working the toppings station. It feels sort of unglamorous and I struggle with a small identity crisis not being able to call myself a barista anymore
But learning to run my station is something I'm proud of. There is definitely less coddling in the kitchen but the systems I learned and developed as a barback and barista have helped me adapt. I've made my own mental checklists and applied the concept of bar flow to pizza toppings. I get into a rhythm of dine-ins then to-gos then restock before it starts again.
I've learned to close down my station and I'm usually out 5-10 minutes after the restaurant closes. I've developed a terrible habit of grabbing a chocolate chip cookie as a reward almost every single night. As much as I am looking to keep growing and learning, this brief place of routine is comforting. It feels good to know what I'm doing.
After my shift I come home, have a snack, stay up too late and sleep too late the next morning. This more than anything brings me back to summers without responsibility.