Inspired Thoughts

BK Chronicles: The Beginning of the End 17-08-15

Eleven days have passed since my last blog post and for that I apologize. It’s just that my days have become quite routine and so there is nothing new or noteworthy to talk about — in detail at least.  This blog post though, should give you some indication that I do have something to talk about now.

Let me mention the one  significant thing that happened last week; I received a commendation from my supervisor. It went something like this: “I want to commend you for the work you have been putting in. I see where you have been doing things without being told most of the time…Keep it up!”

Enough of that. Let me move on to the real point of this blog entry.

So…this week is my last week at Burger King. Yeah. I know. Time flies. I still can’t believe that three weeks have already passed. It’s a bit surreal. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was talking about my first day and how I learned how to prepare lettuce. Ha! The memories. I remember how I was so flustered one day that I had to go and take a breather. When I would prepare onions and it would burn the hell out of my eyes. When I prepared lettuce on many a day and grew to hate the “green” scent it had when it got cut (Thank God that will soon be over).

This experience has taught a few lessons, some of which I had knowledge of, but through this job, I’ve been able to experience them on a practical level. I will just mention a few of them as they will be discussed in detail in my final blog entry. It has taught me :

  1. You can do anything you put your mind to.
  2. Think more about others.
  3. Practice makes perfect.
  4. Be grateful for what you have.
  5. Nothing can keep you away from what you really want.

At the end of this week, I will sum up my BK experience, discuss the lessons learnt and why I would recommend doing a summer job at any fast food restaurant.

Thanks for reading.

Inspired Thoughts

BK Chronicles: Just Take a Breather 3/08/15

Monday was not a good day. Not a good day at all. First, I left home early to get a hair cut. When I got to the barber, he was not there. I gave him a call and he said he was on his way — he arrived about an half hour later. By that time I had to head to work, so I did.

Got to work, did what I had to and went to the kitchen to pan out bacon. I was soon called away from that to prepare tomatoes because they had none under the board and what was on the board was almost finished. While preparing tomatoes, I was constantly being called to drop fries, chicken, burger and whopper patties, to refill the fries dispenser and to restock the meat wells. It was very hectic.

My co-worker (the one who I think is crushing on me) would usually be there to assist in those tasks, but she was doing something else, so I was left all alone. Alone to do all that work.

It was finally break and I must I say I was relieved. Forty-five minutes of freedom. Forty-five minutes to rest my feet. Yes, we only get 45 minutess for break. My lunch mate had lunch at an earlier time so I was alone again, but this time I didn’t mind. As usual when you are enjoying something, it seems to go by faster than you realize. My break was over. In anguish I climbed down the stairs back into the kitchen area, emptied my tray, put it by the sink, then went to wash my hands.

It was about after 1 to 2 there about. I don’t quite remember. What I do remember is that it was the lunch hour rush. I went to help out at the board, as well as to man the frying stations. Orders were ringing up like crazy and so were the requests for meats and items for the board. This is where my day got a worse.

When I was taking out the fish out of the fryer, it broke off. When I was making a sandwich the bread broke. When I went to the refrigerator to take out whoppers, the bottom of the two bags ripped open, so I had to get freezer bags to put them in. When I was putting the whoppers into the broiler, they overlapped and ended up not being cooked properly. In that very moment, I could just die.

Everything was going counter to what I wanted. I was annoyed and completely flustered. I could even tell that my co-worker who was stationed at the board was not pleased by disagreeable the look on her face.

There is a saying that goes “if you can’t take the heat, then get out of the kitchen” and that’s exactly what I did. I got out of there. I went upstairs and went to the bathroom. I had to take a breather. I calmed myself down and in the short period of 3 minutes I was back at it again, but with a positive attitude.

With a change of attitude the time went by quite quickly and soon it was time to go home. An explosion of joy of enormous proportions went off inside my body. My worse day on the job was now over. I was now free. Free from the oppression of the broiler and the fryers;free from the confines of the BK kitchen…for now.

Inspired Thoughts

BK Chronicles: Cleaning Day! 2/08/15

I got the Saturday off and so I went into work that beautiful Sunday morning. I went very early because my internet at home wasn’t working and I wanted to use their WI-FI. I wanted to catch up on what was happening in social media because I felt so very left out.

When I arrived at work, I did the usual thing of changing, washing my hands and then reporting to the manager’s office. I asked the supervisor what my duty was and she went in to tell me that Sunday is cleaning day and that she would tell me what do soon.

In the meanwhile, I was given a pan of tomatoes to prep. I’d rather prepare tomatoes any day than the green smelling lettuce. I just hate the smell.

Soon the supervisor came back to me with my duties. I had the lovely task of cleaning all stainless steel things in the kitchen. That included the top of the fryers, the broiler, the hand sinks, the board and the refrigerator.

Before getting to my duty, I decided to wash all the things in the sink, which took a considerable amount of time to do. When I went on to my duties, I took a much shorter period of time to complete them.

It was now 4 o’clock and the night shift was now arriving to do their cleaning duties. I was helping out a co-worker to man the board, but soon she abandoned me.

For most of the day, there were very few orders, but as soon as I was left alone at the board, the orders started ringing up like crazy. I was so flustered, so confused, but I managed. And not only that, it was sort of a crash course for learning the sandwich recipes and now I can say I know how to make most of the sandwiches for the specialty board.

Today was a great learning experience, I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of it.

Bk Chronicles

BK Chronicles: Kitchen Work Ain’t Easy 31/7/15

Can you believe it? I sure can’t. One week down, three to go. I am tired and worn, my legs are fatigued, my hands feel battered and my back is in pain. If at any time I doubted how tedious kitchen work is, then I was totally wrong.

I ran late this morning. Arrived just before nine. My manager noticed. You can just imagine how that panned out when I went to her office.
The day’s activities were typical: prepping vegetables, manning the fryers — the works. I was tired. Felt like I was having an out of body experience.

I had to prep 30 lbs of lettuce today. I truly hate the scent that emanates from it after it’s cut. No matter how many times I wash my hands, I can still smell it on them– all the greenery. It smells like you just cut your lawn and rain fell right after. Very green.

It was break time and this day was different. Why? Because I had lunch alone. My trusty co-worker had a later shift than I did and so had break at a later time. I really missed her company.

Break was now over. I grabbed the broom and proceeded to sweep the kitchen area. After which I got the mop and mopped the area.

When I was done doing that, I went in to my usual task of manning the fryers.

Soon my time was over and I rushed out of there, wanting to go home to get some well-needed, well-deserved rest.

Bk Chronicles

BK Chronicles: Day 4- Busy busy busy-30/7/15

It was my fourth day in and I’m exhausted. Preparing fast food is really taxing on the body, but ironically you don’t feel it until it’s time to go. My legs hurt like I ran a 10K marathon, but I’m not complaining.

My day was good (as all my other days), but a more fitting word to describe it would be tiring. I was running back and forth, getting various instructions from the persons who were at the board. One person shouted “Nickoy a pan of chicken please”, the next “one pan of Whoppers ” then another “make 16 chicken tenders for me please.” I was truly in demand today.

Today, I learned to do something new- to cook and pack bacon the Burger King way. Yes, I know bacon of all things. I was tempted to partake. Lol. It took me a while to pack them. I credit that to my inexperience. I also cut lettuce today. That seems to be becoming an everyday thing.

For lunch, I had the American sandwich. It certainly hit the spot. My co-worker (who as I said before I think she has a crush on me) accompanied me. She had the Whopper Junior with Cheese. When I was finished eating, I retrieved my phone and took a browse through Instagram. No sooner I started enjoying my break than my break was over. As is customary, the persons who go on break check the dining area after their break is up.

I went out into the dining area with my broom to do a spot sweep and with my table cleaner and rag. I went around did what I had to and took up the used trays. When I got to the door, I had to turn back to pick a tray someone just left on the table, then when I reached the door again I had to turn back for another tray left by someone. I carried the trays in and to the washing area then I was back out in the dining area to wipe of the tables again. After doing that, the security guard hinted that I should not forget to clean the glass and guess what? I was back inside then back out to clean the glass. It was finally done and so I got to go back inside for good this time.

I continued manning the fryers until the night shift arrived, after which I pre-prepped some lettuce with my co-worker. I made her laugh. Soon the day was over and it was time to say good bye until 9:00 am the next day.

Bk Chronicles

BK Chronicles- Practice Makes Perfect 29/07/15

I love food,I love restaurants and I love working in one. This was my third day working at Burger King and I must say it was a good one — even better than yesterday.

I arrived at work at approximately 8:45 am. Just enough time to change into my work clothes and to clean to my hands.

My first task for the morning was to strip and bag onions — I was using a knife. Being someone who has very little culinary skills, you can only but imagine how awkward I felt, but more so how awkward I looked. But soon the horror was over…for now.

After completing my first task, I was directed to the person who would be in charge of me for the day. I will call her Pat. She was very pleasant. During that time, Pat was manning the board (The board: where the various food items and condiments are kept for the preparation of sandwiches;where the actual sandwiches are prepared). She showed me how to make the regular chicken sandwich. First, you put mayo on the heel (the plain part) and then on the crown of the bun (the part with sesame seeds) . I made an attempt, but as my credentials as a chef are nonexistent, that didn’t work out very well. You then put on the lettuce on the crown, which also didn’t work out so well and finally you place the chicken patty on top of all of that and flip that over on the heel, which I did better than expected. I swiftly wrapped up the sandwich and sent it down the shoot. There! I made my first BK sandwich.

I figure more or less that many of the people who I work with were probably clumsy at their first several tries at making one of the sandwiches, but they soon became adept in the art of sandwich making. I guess I will be one day, after many many many tries.

For the morning I mostly observed her movements and cycled between making fries and meat products. It was soon lunch time and my co-worker (who I think has a crush on me) and I took the Whopper Jr. with Cheese combo (yes you get “free food”) and went for lunch. As usual (because me just craven), I completed my meal way before she even started to eat. We talked about how to make the different sandwiches and how to mark the wrappers which prompted me to get the training manual. It’s a huge book, but only because the pages are laminated. It has everything in it- from making sandwiches to operating the equipment. I used it to memorize how to make the Whopper Jr. with Cheese.

Lunch was soon over and we were back to our regular duties. Not much longer after,  I was told to prep tomatoes as there were none under the board. I was now back in the awkward position that I was in with the onions. The horror began again. But I had a different mind set about it. I said to myself “you know what, I might as well make an effort to be good at it.” Soon I felt like an expert, slicing the tomatoes with skillfulness. No one could tell me I wasn’t a chef  in those few short moments.  Soon I was over and it was back to the fryers.

As the day was nearing an end, I was asked to clean the mini fridge and that I did. Following that I continued manning the fryers until 5:45pm, then it was time to leave.

Today was a good day. It really was. As the days go by, I know that I will get better and better in prepping the various vegetables as well as in making the various fries. In fact, practice makes perfect.

Bk Chronicles

BK Chronicles- Second Day 28/07/15

So…I thought it was a good idea to keep a record of every day I work at Burger King. I think it will be a good a piece of writing to look back at in the future, just as a reminder about where I am coming from in order to see how far I have reached. A piece of writing that will help foster an attitude of gratefulness when I may lose sight of reality and get too caught up in my self.

Let me begin. I arrived at work at about 8:50 am. By this time, restaurant operations were up and running– they open at 7:30 am after all. I quickly changed into my work clothes, then went to the sink to wash, brush and sanitize my hands. From there I went to the preparation sink (we call it ‘prep sink’), where I met up with a co-worker. She taught me how to prepare the lettuce and from there she left me to it. After I washed, cut and dried the lettuce I had to dish them out and put them ‘under the board’.( ‘Under the board’ means putting it where the sandwiches are made.)

After all that, my trainer showed me how to make the fries and how to fry the chicken patty, chicken tenders, spicy chicken and the fish. She then showed me how to use the broiler which is used to cook the burger,whopper and steakhouse patties.

For the remainder of the day, I cycled making fries and the various other things mentioned. For the first time in my life, I feel like I can cook, although I really didn’t do any of the cooking– the machines did. LOL.

Soon, my time was over and I had to leave.

Today was a great day. Today I had an extraordinary, overwhelming sense of self. It was amazing. I am expecting tomorrow to be a even better day.

**Here ends the first chapter of my BK Chronicles.**