October 10, 2005

2nd Impression of Hell

According to the others in the kitchen, Jean complimented me at least 6 times when I worked with her on Sunday. Dan says that she blatantly favours Precious and I over all the rest of the lads.
The strange truth is I actually like working with her breathing down my neck. It makes me feel that it is actually worth putting effort in work. In fact, I feel like I'm back in the day when Deborah Hayes the Able but Nasty was manager.

Rob and Alan are getting along very well ever since we found out Alan used to be band management crew and for a time worked sorting out F. Mercury's band before he came down to pub management level. And since Rob is a #1 Queen fan, he has finally found a brother in the workplace. Apparently, Jean and Alan are Ember Inns' trump cards and since Frank and Matt (supposedly) devastated the GM's profits, Ember has now called in them two to shape us up.

Precious and I have decided we will stay on after all because, the bottom line is, it takes too long to look for other work now.

October 03, 2005

New Management

The new management at the GM is a husband-and-wife team. Jean bit everyone's head off yesterday. She even had a go at Alan, in front of us! There came a point when Rob told the woman to stop shouting at him because it would only make him less inclined to hurry. The way I see it is that she has too little faith in people. If she would just let us do our jobs, everything will be fine because we are most definitely not the incompetent fools she thinks we are. The bar tells me that she is just trying to let us know who's boss but that she overdid it and now everyone is just not motivated to work anymore. In fact, she told me to sell Rhubarb Crumbles as Caramel Apple Tarts, claiming that customers will not know the difference, and told the bar to recycle larger! She told me and Precious to stop working against each other when she clearly cannot cooperate with her husband at all. There were numerous occasions when Alan told her to leave the kitchen alone because we were already doing everything we were supposed to do but Jean merely raised her voice even higher.
Dan says he prefers I stop working weekends altogether because if he sees the manager lash out at me again, he'll do her in for real.

September 30, 2005

Bad Luck?

Dan's flat got broken into on Wednesday. Cash, a laptop, a digital camera, a thumbdrive and a badass calculator went missing. The telly was unplugged but they decided not to take it. The stereos and VCRs were also left alone. Dan and Dirk saw this as very peculiar for it was as if the burgulars knew what they were looking for…
The police came half an hour later and a copper came up to look at the flat. The forensics came in the morning to take pictures and do other CSI stuff.
Dan and Dirk tidied the house in the afternoon. They threw the old sofa set onto the grass facing Shannon road. Dan is persuading his dad to build him a bookshelf.

I went to complain against my landlord yesterday. The Students' Union peops were very understanding and helpful and I do think that I am finally getting somewhere.

I am afraid to go back to work on Saturday. The new management is unreasonably strict and rigid and we are all now rulebound. I hope Dan is cool with the manager today because he rushed out of the kitchen on Wednesday without telling the woman.

Paul is in alot of trouble now because he owes certain people alot of money. Dan says he has put himself in potential mortal danger. I fear for him.

Rob is kitchen manager now and if Dan decides to stay, he is likely to be made assistant kitchen manager. The new management sacked Tamar but is apparently letting Mike MacD stay. I think it ironic but Dan supports their decision. If Dan accepts the role of assistant kitchen manager, he will be looking at a 60 – 70 hour work week. He isn't too sure of that because he needs rest too…

September 26, 2005

Green Man Kitchen Revamp?

It has been approximately three weeks since Scott has been sacked. Paul lost custody of his kid and he stopped coming to work after he and Gina broke up. Frank is gone and Matt leaves today. Precious has decided she would quit the french restuarant and come back to the GM after all since the GM offers more work hours although the tips we get are absolutely worthless. Kitchen costs are still high, apparently, and the top management peops are coming in today to size up the stiuation. We think they are going to sack all the chefs and bring in their own M & B staff. Rob is trying to fight them.
This summer has left me absolutely nackered. But I have learnt to calm down the Angry and work around the Pissed. For the next five days you will never catch me saying, "Is everything alright? I see, so what would you like me to do about it?"; "I'm sorry you didn't like that. Can I get you anything else?"; "Is this finished? Sorry mate, just checking."
Ugh! I know Matt put me on from noon til eleven this coming Saturday. I hope Rob orders enough stuff to last until the weekend.

July 25, 2005

Please Don't Hate the Kitchen.

Paul didn't come in for work at all. Andrew was on his own from 10 a.m. and Robert, who was supposed to be off today, crashed in at noon and we only started serving Sunday lunches at 1 p.m. Scott was late, as usual, but I think I sympathise with him, although I do know that Paul is a single parent and his daughter is still very very young. Robert left the kitchen to Scottie then. Scott has been working this past week with a fever building up and I really worry for him. I think that although I've been working with Robert for longer hours, I understand Scott more.

As the day wore on, the kitchen ran out of soup, ham, tuna (because no one had time to make any more), cod (although we managed to forcefully defrost a few towards the end), gammon (also meaning no mixed grills either), stir fry (so no chicken shitake or minted lambs), salad (lots of other things on the menu we couldn't do) and we had no chocolate cheesecakes. Anthony also had to refund some thirty quid worth of food because people were tired of waiting (more than an hour) for their food. So in a word, the kitchen was properly slammed and gutted today. What can I say? I mean, we were seriously working hard to make things work out right.

Today is the third day I did a thirteen hour shift (11:30 a.m. to 09:00 p.m. for the kitchen, 09:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. for the bar). I think that by working with the bar, I get to experience how tough it is to be bar staff. The truth is, in the worst times (i.e. half an hour before last orders for food everyday) the chefs seriously hate the bar (for making them do special taliored orders) and the bar properly loaths the chefs (for always telling them they're crap).

It was still raining when we locked up. Matthew, Sabrina and I were in Anthony's car since we needed a lift home, Sarah was waiting for her Mom to come pick her up. I told Anthony I was sorry he had to give so many refunds today.

Anthony: "For what? It's not your fault. Don't worry about it."
Sarah: "Aww, you think about that? That's really sweet, Wai."
Me: "In any case, please don't think badly of Scott either."
Matthew: "All I can think is what a bad manager Frank is. Debbie'd never stands for this."

Perhaps not, but then Debbie would probably sack Paul and Scott staight away too. And what would become of the kitchen then?

July 18, 2005

Begone, Horrible World

Scott commented I am getting more hardcore everyday. I don't disagree. It's just that the people I see is making me moody. Karen says the kitchen turns us all a little mad after a while.

Two new chefs, Richard and Michael, came into the Green Man on Saturday because both Scott and Paul needed time off that day and yesterday. Richard specialises in Mexican food. On Sunday, I managed to get Richard to buy me a drink. I think I will go to Mike next and when I've exhausted the circle I'll start with Robert again. I asked Rich how degrading it feels to be reduced to reheating plastic packs of Rourquefort Tortellini after having acquried more than 15 years of culinary experience from all over Europe. The man just smiled wryly and said the irony is killing him.

Robert says he's telling on Scott if he comes in late again today. The thing is, Scott and Paul are great chefs. I just don't get how they almost always manage to get themselves held up for work.

I got myself a little more leather from the Priory Square today. When I'm richer I will get the shiny stuff too. I don't know why but I keep getting chatted up by the most random kind of people. I was sitting alone, sipping on a milkshake in front of St. Philip's Cathedral when this bloke came up and showed me his precious art collection (he colours the black and white pages in old Marvel comic books). I told him to watch out for himself and advised he try to break out of manic consumerism. After showing I was even more messed up than he was, he scurried away like a confused ferret. I then finished my milkshake in peace and caught the bus home.

Tomorrow I will man the restaurant alone again. Fortunately, I can always bribe James into leading me a hand by offering him candy. Besides, the manager has put Precious in with me this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday so there you go. I have already learned to wire my public relations smile on my lips so I reckon I'll survive just fine, and hopefully get a pound tip from someone too. I also hope Mr. Smoking Anorexic Crackpot comes in tomorrow. He is the only complete stranger I am putting up this amazing front for. Oh yes I hear your screams, "Whore!" Haha, perhaps I am. I am so sold to the real world.

June 20, 2005


22 15 hours. Batman has infiltrated Stonehenge. Not a guard nor druid in sight. Flapjack supply still going strong.


Consuming too much of a good thing is the worst thing you can do to yourself. The track-repeat function on winamp is the bane of my existence. The wine glass is probably the most brilliant vessel ever to be mass-produced because one glass of alcohol is just the right amount to get me high but not deadly enough to turn me into a hyena. I went to the Green Man to see him yesterday. And he looked so happy to see me…

On 19–06-05, 11 48 hours, time froze. It did. My mind is trapped in that moment of yesterday with no hope of release until, perhaps, I don't know…

I pretended I didn't see him and talked to Precious instead. Why did I do that? Why do I keep doing that? Sometimes, I wish he would ask me. Probably then I'd know. He gives me so much grief, it's infuriating.

June 18, 2005

Welcome to the Apocalypse

Writing about Tony Kushner's Angels in America (2003) (mini)

I've just stumbled upon this since I was into the whole Are You There God I Mean Um Really thing ever since Jostein Gaarder's Through a Glass, Darkly (1993), Gainax's Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995) and Kevin Smith's Dogma (1999) and all the rest that spues out of it. Now, the funny thing is that I started by watching disc 2 of part one first (silly little mis-download) and as of this moment, I have only watched three of the four discs (the one I've yet to watch is the last installment which marks its end).

Now, the second thing I need to declare is that I am now fiercely terrified of, if they do exist and I sure hope they don't, angels. Yes there is a thing in the air! A thing! So if this is a bulletin board that Heaven can somehow read, then let it be known that I solemnly beg to be spared, at least within my lifetime, from seeing, hearing, reading and/or knowing about angel(s) decending upon earth.

The Angel:
Surely you see towards what we are progressing before life on earth becomes finally merely impossible it will for a long time before have become completely unbearable!
You have driven him away! You must Stop Moving! You cannot understand; you can only destroy! You do not advance; you only trample!
Poor blind children abandoned on the earth groping terrified misguided over fields of slaughter over bodies slain!
There is no zion save where you are. If you cannot find your heart's desire in your own backyard you never lost it to begin with.
Turn back!
Til he returns again!

Thirdly, it is about Lou. At the end of part two disc 1, Lou is stuck in a pretty dilemmatic situation. For the moment we put aside the issue of how he ended up so trapped (and I am sure we all have our own petty opinions on this) and focus on the dilemma per se. For my selfish sake of seeing more SA goodness, I narrow the question to:

Will It Be Joseph Or Prior?

Now, surely Prior deserves Lou more than Lou deserves Prior. But because the vote of decent human compassion demands it, Lou really ought to find it in his heart to go back to Prior! And for all I know since he's the word processor wiz, he could make himself useful by becoming the official scribe of the Prophet of Death!

At this stage, it may seem ludicrous that Joe has any chance, but then think about it this way: Joe has imprisoned himself in this good, ethical, Mormon shell for over two decades, believing that so long as he does what is right, he will be free of sin. With Deception building up and eating away his heart, Joseph has only chosen to deviate at the very last moment before he is crushed by his own nervous breakdown. In a way, he is actually more ill than we see him as. In a way, he is actually more ill than Prior and Roy put together. Is this still ludicrous then? Is it still ludicrous to think that Joseph may actually deserve to keep Lou?

Two of your friends are very very sick, Lou. Who will you choose to save?

According the famous dictum attributed to G.B. Shaw, "Life is a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel". Kushner's Angels is both, and profoundly political as well. It has been four days and still I dare not watch the ending.

June 17, 2005


Speak not of my will when I am in bed.
And speak not of anything you've already said.
My heart pumps polluted
blood to my brain.
But my money will go into easing my pain!

(Jun '95)

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