Tonight I ran and closed the kitchen all by myself. Which sounds silly and less impressive once I've written it down, but trust me, it's harder than it sounds. See, normally when I work closing shift, I have someone working with me until 8:00. Since the kitchen closes at 9:00, I only have an hour to cook solo. On top of that, the days that I usually work are the days that we have our dishwasher, Lauren, closing with me. So even though I am doing all the cooking for the last hour, I have Lauren to help me clean and shut things down.
Tonight though, I worked all by myself from 5:00 to close. No Lauren to do dishes, no Buddy or Eric to help cook. Just me. And honestly, working the line by myself is weird in how it stresses me out. One ticket comes in, fine. Two tickets, no worries. But as soon as I have three or four tickets filling my board, I start stressing out, because there is only so much I can do at one time without fucking up (burning things, forgetting things, timing things poorly), and I hate having a long pickup on a ticket. Part of that might be carryover from working at The Garage, where the pickup on any ticket was never more than ten minutes, and usually closer to four minutes. I'm sure that most of the stress is needless, but it still got to me.
But despite the stress, despite the fact that we had a party of 30 people hanging out from 5:30 to 8:00, despite the fact that Kristen ran FOH all by herself from 7:00 to close, and that just the two of us had to close everything, I still managed to get out of work at about ten past 10:00, which is earlier than I usually get done. So, that's pretty fucking cool.
BONUS BEER UPDATE!
I had an awesome conversation with Chinzi yesterday, and one of the things I talked about was how I probably spend too much money on beer, and don't brew my own beer often enough. The problem with that is I also want to start getting serious about getting certified as a Ciccerone, and doing so involves sampling lots of different beers to better understand different styles and variations within styles. So, to compromise between not spending too much money on beer and the need to study different beers, I've come up with a few rules to govern my beer consumption:
1. The only beers I will drink are the free beers I get from work (shift pint and weekly growler), and beers I've brewed myself.
2. The only exception to Rule 1 will be beers purchased for tasting/studying. Beers bought for this will have to be the same style as the last beer I brewed, and can only be bought when my beer is ready for consumption. This way, my own beer will be part of the tasting, and I can compare my own efforts to similar commercial beers.
I might buy a beer when I'm out at a bar with friends, but this doesn't happen often, and the money spent in this fashion is close to negligible.
Also, I'm brewing beer tomorrow. I'll write a post about it, if I remember to.