Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kitchen Kapers

When we were living in St George I worked at Dixie Regional Medical Center in the kitchen. I loved working there...loved all the people I worked with....I really miss them! So, when we moved to Lincoln, Aaron and I decided I wouldn't work and I didn't...for almost a year. In August we noticed things at his work started to get worse and worse..sales were just down and were going down further and further. In October I got on the internet and on a whim I looked up the hospital where we took Matthew for his broken arm. They were indeed hiring for a position in the kitchen. So, I filled out the application right then and there...didn't even discuss it with Aaron. I got a call 2 days later and went in for an interview shortly after that. I was told as soon as they checked my references they would like to hire me. I told them I could start when I returned from my trip to Utah. I started on November 5, my mother in law's birthday. On my first day I cried all the way home. I HATED it!!! I've not told many people about that day..it was such a terrible day and I just didn't want to complain. But now that I actually like my job I can talk about it. My first day I was training on trayline. This hospital is so much bigger than the hospital in St George. At Dixie we did a cold trayline and then took the trays upstairs to reheat them...and then delivered to the rooms ourselves. Here at Bryan LGH we send them up hot and the nurses deliver them. So trayline....imagine a large oval ( a real skinny, long oval) of metal trays with a clip thingy on them to hold the tray ticket (each person's meal list). There are six stations ( start, salads, desserts, beverage, cooks, and B and B)..on one side of the oval is what's called a cold deck, the big metal surface you serve from gets turned on and it becomes all frosty and cold. The other side of the oval is the where all the hot stuff is, lots of steam tables. You stand in your station and as each tray comes around you put the items in your station on the tray. My first station was the B and B (bread and butter) station. Where we toasted bagels, english muffins and bread. We also served up the hot cereal and added whatever muffin/donut/breakfast bread that was on for the day. I seriously thought there was no way I could ever become adept at this job....remember the I love Lucy where she and Ethel were at the candy factory? Well, that's what I felt like! After trayline (anywhere from 100-150 trays!) we clean up the mess left...fun fun! We also get interrupted umteen times to take late trays upstairs. Then we have a much needed break. After the break we go into the dishroom where the real fun begins. There are three of us and we get to unload the carts with all the trays we just sent upstairs. Now imagine an even bigger oval...called dishline. We stand at a spot that has a big trough of water running under the spot that the trays run along. We take off the dishes and silverware and then take all the trash and leftover food and throw it in the trough where the sea of dirty water takes it the "pulper" where it is pulverized and dumped into a giant trash can. The dishes are put into one of the racks going around the giant oval where they are taken to the giant dishwasher. They come around and someone from the dishroom takes them off and sorts them to be put away. This is by far my least favorite part of the job...this was the reason I cried all the way home. It is sooo gross! It's bad enough doing my own dishes at home..but having to deal with other peoples half eaten food...it's just yucky! After dishline..we go to lunch...at 1030! After lunch we come in and do another trayline. This time the B and B station does butter and margarine, soup, veggies, and bread. After that we have to deep clean the steam tables, make and run up late trays and restock the milk. Then we get to go and do another dishline...woo hoo for us! It takes a little over an hour to do dishline by the way...and it's so tiringbecause you are trying to move as fast as you can!!! One of us unloads the carts and takes off the plates and cups while the next one takes off the mugs and bowls and then the last person takes off all the garbage and the silverware. If you happen to be in the middle and run behind all those trays start backing up and it's just a mess....so you have to go fast fast fast!.....again...this was the biggest reason for my tears on the way home. After the second dishline it's time to take up snacks. There are two sides of the hospital...the hospital side (six floors) and the phych side...where they keep all the mental patients. So, one of us takes up the hospital side and one of us takes the phych side. After that the big whirl wind of a day is over. My legs usually ache and I'm so tired...but it does go by fast. That first day I got in my van and called Aaron and just cried. I thought I'd never be able to do this job! (I've written just about B and B but I also do the salad station and the beverage station and the Start station (my personal favorite...no dishline..but lots of paper work and lots of deadlines...very stressful...but again, no dishline!)) But, it ends up that I like it. I like the people I work with ( I will have to post about that another time), I like being so busy that an hour is gone before you know it, I like knowing that what I'm doing is helping someone who is sick, I like being able to provide good medical care to my kids through my insurance. I love my hours, either 630am-300pm or 5am-130pm. I still don't enjoy dishline a ton but it's better...I'm faster now and can keep up with those who have been doing it for years. I still don't like it when someone's milk flies up and hits me in the face but instead of wanting to cry over it...I tilt my head to the side shrug up my shoulder to wipe it off and move forward.

6 comments:

Julie said...

You should call Mike Rowe from 'Dirty Jobs'. You're one of those behind the scenes people that we all take for granted. Good for you!!!!!!!!!

Michelle said...

Wow! That sounds dirty. However I do like jobs that go fast too. And having insurance is a major bonus. Keep up the good work.

Lia said...

Wow, that's so funny that you refferd to Lucy! I've had a couple of jobs like this one. The lumber mill and the kiwi fruit factory. I hated the assembly lines at first too. Then I grew to love the hard work. I think all teenagers should work in a setting like that. I'm proud of you and your hard work and I know how grateful you are for the insurance right now.

~Michelle Schafer said...

I agree with Lia!

I am grateful every day for your insurance!

Alison W. said...

I'm thankful that we are all able to adapt! Insurnce is good too! Love ya

Julie said...

Funny thing, I dreamed about your job last night, except it was me doing it. :)