Focus has been a primary concern, and this was more than evident yesterday at my part-time job.
So I was prepping chicken for the restaurant: crunchy chicken and chicken slice. I completed the crunchy chicken cutting and marinade in an OK time, though I could have been a lot faster. The chicken slice took me a ridiculous amount of time. A seasoned prep cook there could have done what I did in one-third of the time at least.
Quite frankly, I was embarrassed for myself, and the frustration brewed in me for the next few hours until dinner service rolled around. By then, I had to collect myself to bounce back and get things back in order. So I may not be ridding the world of cancer, but what was preventing me from competing this chicken-cutting task in a timely fashion? What I did notice was how my mind would inadvertently wander and think about very random things, particularly in regards to my future.
I would space out a bit and daydream about what I needed to do on the side to keep the wheels turning (technically a dangerous thing to do when you’ve got a knife in your hand, but the proper claw technique keeps the fingers protected from being hacked off.)
Though I fortunately would regain my composure later on, I am someone who can get really bogged down by mistake after mistake. The first few hours at work made me feel pathetic to say the least. Sure, I may be a college grad who is a writer at heart trying to do prep chef-like things in a successful restaurant, but I still desire to devote as much effort as I can possibly muster for a given shift. Feeling incompetent is one of the worst feelings in the world for me. I am extremely critical of myself when something makes me feel stupid or inept, even when it is technically out of my area of expertise to care so much.
But I am someone who believes in being a team player. When the whole operation is suffering because you are not pulling your weight, this just means a few more reasons to keep on truckin’ to balance out the universe. It’s not how you start, but how you finish, as they say. And I did end the night on a decent note. It was not perfect by any means, but I dug deep and found some tenacity to motivate me until it was time to clock out.
I do not intend to stay at this particular restaurant for the long term, yet I owe a lot to this place in countless ways. It will be a sad day when I will have to move on with other things, but in the meantime I will devote as much time and energy that my mind and body can handle. It’s the right thing to do, after all.