An email from a friend let me know we're not the only ones experiencing mechanical weirdness. She attributed hers to the full moon. Anyone who works with the public knows the effect la bella luna has on us. My younger brother's first sign (he's deaf) was "moon" and he would absolutely flip when he saw the full moon, hopping up and down and making the sign excitedly.
Let's hope the weird stuff has passed. Yesterday I did what should have been a relatively simple test of our previously mentioned Micros machine and rapidly reduced it to a state worse than its original malfunction. Fortunately my habit of saving little scraps of paper, in this case the cell number of a Micros programmer, paid off. We're now down to only one working terminal, when I started we had one fully working and another working if you didn't need to see the display. I'm not touching it again until Monday.
The night before in the middle of service one of the ovens went out. I got it back up and wrote a note to myself to get a thermocouple. I checked it yesterday, it was running and I was in the middle of computer hell so I didn't do anything. Of course at 5:15 the oven goes out again with two full trays of bread baking and orders coming in. I run across the street to the hardware store to buy a thermocouple and hope that is the problem. Mind you, I'm no repairman and have never installed a thermocouple.
I quickly yank the oven apart and as I'm lying on the floor wrestling with the thing I realize I have turned into my friend AK. I used to work for him years ago and the joke among the kitchen staff was that he would decide to take some piece of equipment apart right in the middle of service. So there he'd be lying on the floor, fiddling around with god knows what, orders pouring in, I'm trying not to step on him and figure out how to cook with equipment out of service. Now it's me lying on the floor, wishing I had been smart and gone to school to become a banker.
Voila. It works. The oven seems better than ever. One of my Mayans is getting a tan every time he reaches into it.
Oh, did I mention we changed the dessert menu last night? Really more a restructuring. Strawberries are finally approaching flavor so we're doing a shortcake with balsamic-pepper ice cream. I had to put that ice cream on the shortcake because it's odd enough to throw a good portion of the clientele. If that wasn't there we'd sell nothing but shortcakes. Our buttermilk panna cotta is now getting roasted pineapple and fried angel food squares. This will only last until the panna cotta which was already made is gone. The bruleed cheesecake is now getting candied ginger sauce and diced mango. We're also running a forbidden rice pudding with white chocolate mousse and mango-mint coulis and a coconut-banana cream pie with caramel. At any rate, I'm training the pantry guy as orders are coming in. He's a dishwasher who's recently been promoted and he's doing really well. His replacement on the other hand is s--l--o--w. He seems to have a backlog of dishes all night.
The GM is getting ready to go to Idaho to visit family. Lucky her. Her mom isn't speaking to her sister and it's her sister's 40th birthday. I get to stay here. Lucky me.
So, she's gone. The full moon is here. We have our least experienced waiters on the floor tonight, one terminal, and a hopefully repaired oven. I will have to offer some fabulous feast to Selene, Artemis and any other moon goddesses you can think of in the hopes of clemency.