Simplygourmetbistroandcatering’s Blog


I dropped a 1200 pound safe on my legs
January 17, 2009, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Why I am where I am

Ok, so about 16 years ago I was driving a truck for a living. I used to deliver heavy equipment and photocopiers, my idea of cuisine at this point was a box of cheez its and a two liter of coke or a gas station hot dog special. I had just started doing catering work on the side and really looked forward to leaving my day job to go scrub pots and pans and narrowly avoid being hit in the head by “said” pots and pans. Why did I do it, I sometimes got a chance to cook or at least set up a cold food display and I loved that aspect of it. If I got to design a fruit tray, it would be the most amazing fruit tray that crowd had ever seen. If I got to even help with the plating line, I would diligently make sure everything was in its place and that their wasn’t a smudge on any plate. I was an anal perfectionist, and everyone arund me let me know it.

So one day after working 10 hours at one job and then another 8 catering I went into work after downing as much iced coffee into my system as I could handle and began the day. Litlle did I know that that day would change my career path forever. As I began loading my delivery truck for the day I had the boss come up to me and ask me if I could deliver a safe to a home in Brookline, MA. “Of course”, I said (I was never one to say no, even to this day I mean I catered an entire Thai wedding, food and all) Well that eagerness was a blessing and a curse because as I went to lift the safe on the dolly, the young kid helping me underestimated either his own strength or mine and pushed as hard as he could. A combination of the inertia and force caused the dolly to rush towards me and cause me to fall over and have all that weight and pressure land squarely on my calves snapping both of my ankles out in the process. Well that’s just great, I had just gotten married(since divorced) and we were pregnant and the guy I was working for was one of the shadiest individuals I had ever known and I knew disability or workmans comp was gonna be out of the question.

Well I was right and he told me to take a week(unpaid) and then be back or he would have to fill the spot.

So a week later I hobbled into work and just felt abused and couldn’t seem to get motivated. But I needed the job and I kept plugging along waiting for that challenge or spark to get me going again. Nothing. Then I received a phone call from my boss at the catering company and he said he was desperate and he needed help feeding the Shriners, a plated Roast Beef dinner for 3,000 people. Again, “Of course.” What i walked into that day was one of the most intense experiences of my entire life. Four plating lines, 25 kitchen staff, 35 waitstaff, 12 coolers of mashed potato, four coffin chests of ice cream balls and more. And despite the fact that I was scared shitless and completely overwhelmed I forgot about the pain and just went to town. I felt great, reinvigorated, alive!!! The next morning I woke up to go to my regular job and just drove right past and went directly to the catering company and begged for a job, any job and I got it, starting position, dishwasher. And I felt great!!!

Next Chapter: Dishes to garnish to more dishes….or how I learned how to make swan melons with dish pan hands

https://simplygourmetbistroandcatering.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/swan-melons-to-sheet-pans/

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2 Comments so far
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I have to say, as much as we dislike the “catering company”, it was my very first real job and turned me into a working machine. Before “catering company” I had never experienced real work. I was slow, lazy and weak. But the adrenaline rush of having to feed many hungry people overcomes all lol. I think we both learned a lot from “catering company”. I know I won’t forget the experience and don’t think I will ever work harder in my life (I mean until WE do a 300 person job) rofl!.

Comment by tom S.




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