30 January, 2007

New gig on the docket

I mentioned in a previous post that I started working a second job, one which does not require me to type anything, or work a piece of machinery more complicated than a microwave. I am now employed on a very part-time basis at the Flying Monkey Patisserie, a bakery right in the middle of Reading Terminal Market. Basically, I wash dishes, ring up customers, make coffee/cookies, put orders in boxes and frost cupcakes. At least, that's what I've done thus far.

While there, apparently, I also exist for a time in the 'vortex of crazy' (owner's words.) Just last Sunday a man came up to the counter at 10:00 AM and inquired as to whether the adjacent beer garden was open for business. I looked over, and being that the lights were off and the entrance was shut, I said that no, it was not open. He asked how soon it would open. I said I didn't think it was open on Sunday. He looked dejected. I repeat: It was 10 AM. On Sunday. What the hell?

On Saturday I was interrupted helping a customer by a man wielding a belligerent Italian accent, demanding cannoli's, which to my knowledge are not made there. The use of the word 'knowledge' when applied to this particular man I should add, is suspect at best.

Last week I was told by an out-of-sorts woman that I frost cupcakes completely wrong. Apparently the best way is to dip my hand in the frosting cup and smear it with my fingers. Right. I know I'm relatively new at this (I can't really count things that happened in high school anymore, can I?) but I'm not going to take advice from a woman whose head was seemingly affixed to a spring when the perfectly competent staff of the bakery already told me how it's done there. Apparently this sort of advice is doled out by many Reading Terminal shoppers on a regular basis.

Anyhow, the job is going well. I work either Friday, Saturday or Sunday, or a combination of two of those days. I really like working there thus far, simply because it's something physical that I can just do, not something I have to conjure up out of my own head like writing. Additionally, there is no clock in the bakery, nor one visible from behind the counter. Since I don't want to mess my phone up, I put it in my jacket pocket while I'm working, so I don't know what time it is. On Sunday I was ploughing through some dishes, and the girl with whom I was working said "can you believe it's one already?" I couldn't; it felt like it was about 10 at the latest. The people I have worked with are really decent, chill folks, but with a caveat: they all work really, really hard.

Example: Sunday I worked from 9-4. The moment the lights came on, there were people wanting things. I hadn't made coffee yet, much less unwrapped things in the case. Or done anything but take off my jacket. This continued until 4. I didn't take a break, though I should have. There was one other girl working, and we didn't get finished everything until 4:30. I literally did not stop working save for 5 minutes when Drew stopped by, and once or twice to use the bathroom.

Near the end of the day, another guy who works there stopped by to grab a coffee while he was in the market. Seeing that were were really swamped trying to finish up the orders, work the counter and clean at the same time, he stuck around and took care of the people wanting stuff from the case for about 15 minutes while we got caught up. He could have just gotten his coffee and been like "I've got to run, good luck," but he didn't. Seems like most of the people I've met who work there are like that.

But that's how it goes. We listened to CD's like U2's 'Joshua Tree,' The Beatles 'Revolver,' Sylvie Lewis 'Tango's and Tantrums,' The Pogues 'Hells Ditch' and several others. There is a host of pretty decent CD's sitting on the counter. And we worked. I packed orders and did dishes, she baked. We both worked the counter. When the day finished, I felt like I'd been at work, like I'd done something. It was nice.

It seems as if Flying Monkey is providing a nice Yang to the Yin of my other desk-oriented, clock watchin' job. Plus there is no Holiday Bush in sight. Thankfully.

Speaking of, the large vase has been removed from my desk, leaving only the small strand of lights in its wake. Pathetic thing doesn't even light up since the batteries on which it runs are dead.


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