It’s January 27th and I finally mailed the package of Christmas gifts home. It’s very late, it’s true, but not entirely my fault. The gifts were all ordered nice and early, but complications with new addresses and post offices that automatically return mail created a snarl of confusion that I didn’t have the time or energy to tease out until after the new year began. Then, there was the sprained wrist interfering with planned crafting projects, time spent awaiting refunds and re-ordered items, and the wrapping paper sending itself to my billing address instead of my shipping address. I’ve had too many changed locations in the past years and it confuses Amazon, apparently. Sadly, the gift box is not expected to be received at home base until Friday, which means that the brother and sister who are driving out to Washington that day will likely experience even further delay in gifting arrival. At least I’m not burdening them with the items just before they’re trying to move their household?
– short break from writing to greet my chef from last winter, who unexpectedly appeared in the Starbucks I’m currently using as a writing base. It’s always strange to run across chefs in street clothes, and even stranger to see them outside of their restaurants. But it’s nice to run into former acquaintances here and there in this wilderness of strangers. –
After several weeks of avoiding the cold that my roommates and co-workers have been passing around, I’ve finally succumbed. Fortunately, I packed my handkerchief drawer and am well prepared for this mini-crisis. Work has been running at a very relaxed pace during my sore-throat days so far and I’m trying to use my days off to rest up as well as possible, since the schedule is up for the first two weeks of February and looks a bit scary. The Alpine World Skiing Championships may not affect our restaurant very directly, as we are nicely exclusive and the public can’t get in – but since our paychecks come from the mountain dining department here in Beaver Creek, we’re expected to pitch in with some out-of-restaurant work. It’s all being managed by our chef, so there isn’t much adjustment from my perspective, although the added stress on the management team is not always reassuring.
February is also going to be a much busier party season than January was, so the possibility for switch shifts and doubles is much increased. As it is, for the first two weeks, I have a nine-day stretch with three doubles, followed by a single day off, then a five-day stretch with three more doubles. 90% of the kitchen staff will be working six-days-a-week and the chef has scheduled himself for seven day weeks. As long as the restaurant continues to serve lower numbers, the double shifts and outside tasks should still remain under Christmas stress levels, although if I had my choice, I would not be headed into this fortnight with sneeze attacks hitting every half-hour. At least the cast is off my wrist and I’ve regained most of my right arm functions. I even took the trash out at end-of-shift yesterday, which proves I am greatly recovered. And no, I am not re injuring it, when an activity truly hurts or even irritates it, I back off and find alternate approaches.
This seems to be another work-focused post, but there isn’t much going on with me right now that isn’t work-focused. Midwinter doldrums come and go, although there has been a great deal of blue sky warm weather here this month. Sadly, it causes more whining among the skiing enthusiasts than joy among those of us who would prefer that slippage chances continue to decrease with the ice sculptured lumps melting off sidewalks and staircases.
Work at least passes the calendar days quickly and I can mix my excitement over visiting parents, new babies, and final trips home into one grand countdown. On the other hand, between ramping up and down from busy stretches and my personal health issues, I have yet to accomplish any of the CAP homework that I am due to complete this winter. I should bring that up again with the chef, I suppose? Some of it is true homework, which means that as long as he can supply me with the raw data, I can convert it to a finished project on my own time, if I happen to have any available. Other parts have details which require the chef’s participation or use of software that is really only present on work computers. Hopefully I don’t end up needing to sacrifice any of my days off to visit the work computer interface, but this may be the rotation where I have to present a planning schedule to the chef, since even on the slow days when I’ve suggested beginning to look over the materials it seems to slip his mind. He has remembered to ask me to stay for the summer and/or return to work at the cabin next winter, which opportunities I have more or less declined while attempting to conceal my enthusiasm at having no commitments to live away from home base after the mountain closes in April.
It’s about time to start serious job-hunting/living-planning for my post-Vail adventures. My parental figures have never yet seemed poised to kick me out to starve in the streets, but sometimes pre-emptive maneuvers are the best defense. The best defense is a good offense? Or is it the best offense is a good defense? Either way, while I’ve counted down almost every day of this two-year contract, it has certainly kept my post-college life and career path choices down to a minimum. Now I have to re-evaluate and reconnoiter and other words beginning with ‘re’.