“They will hold.”

Big stuff going down at the Harrison Gr1lle. We now have replaced our entire front display, which used to hold potato salads and fresh fruit. Now it holds about a hundred cans of Rockstar and two containers of yogurt. We finally got our priorities straight.

With the start of the new semester, we get new shift assignments, new coworkers, and new supervisors. I’m now shifted for every Thursday and Saturday. The coworkers are the same pretty much: ordinary college freshmen who probably would rather be somewhere else. I’m the exception. I get a little too “into it”. (When I ask for a “sitrep”, the others look at me like I’m crazy.) The new super is a little more eccentric. He put the Team America soundtrack on the stereo. We were singing it the rest of the shift. I like that the song “Everyone has AIDS!” is incredibly contagious.

We still have some issues left over from last semester. Lately, there have been ridiculously sized pizza zits forming while the pizzas are in the oven. You know what I’m talking about; when the cheese develops an air pocket and swells up. I’ve seen em up to the size of an ostrich egg, almost extending beyond the bounds of the crust.

Popping a pizza zit is so heartbreaking. It’s like killing a unicorn. To prevent such tragedy from befalling us again, we are sometimes required to use a jagged, serrated knife to mercilessly stab the unbaked pizzas to pop any air bubbles and abort any potential unicorns (if prep has not done so already).

Now, I cut my teeth on last semester’s Sunday night Hammer. So Saturday night shouldn’t be that bad, right? The heat’s off of us. The dining halls are open and any potential customers would take advantage of that. It’s a damn babysitting mission.

They made me eat those words.

How? Well, I had to make food for them to eat. They got to eat food; I ate words.

We had to triple team the wraps station to get things out on time. Hope was in the vital behind-the-front-window position. (Think of it as Captain Picard’s big comfy chair except instead of a starship all you get is a touchscreen, a knife, and a spatula.)

Ordinarily, the prep work would gradually cease as orders came in and the “engine” revved up to speed. But we hit a couple of hiccups on the way, like how I “misappropriated” some chili and the unwelcome bacon presence (UBP) that sent ripples through the order circuit by necessitating remakes. Yeah… my bad, guys.

The touchscreen flared an angry red for all the order listings that had persisted for more than 10 minutes. We spent the better and most frantic part of 2 hours fighting to get back in “the white”. The white was salvation. The white was safety. The white was the second shift. The mounted cavalry that routes the enemy. Air support that terminates a battle. Gandalf and the Rohirrim. We needed to survive until 2100 hours or risk perishing beneath a mountain of order slips, buffalo chicken and nacho cheese.

Bit by bit, we fought. Toasting, mixing and frying, we clawed out of that crimson damnation. Finally, the second shift flooded into the kitchen to help push back the onslaught. We emerged from the battle oil, cheese, and syrup-splattered, but we had survived. We’ve done the impossible. And that makes us mighty.

And then we did dishes.

9 Responses to ““They will hold.””

  1. Tommy says:

    Nerd points to whoever can ID all the nerd culture references.

  2. Chris says:

    gandalf and rohirrim – LOTR
    captain picard – star trek

    i can give you “everyone has aids” if you bring a jump drive down to my room

    o, and im pissed that you guys took the chicken cordon bleu flatbread off the menu

  3. Tommy says:

    I already have everyone has aids, I don’t need you to give it to me. And the reasons we took the condon bleu flatbread off the menu was that the revenue from it didn’t justify the long-term retention of swiss cheese and garlic mayonnaise in the refrigerator and flatbread station. I’m sure Eric can show you some charts if you ask him.

    and you missed some.

  4. A Match Keel Kiwi says:

    Everyone has aids is Team america’s parody of RENT…

    Don’t know the rest. Pizza Zits are amusing…

  5. Dylan says:

    Killing the Unicorn, that’s a Harry Potter one there. That’s all I can add to Chris’s.

  6. Chris says:

    killing the unicorn is a reference to harry potter?

    …oh yeah…

    that was kind of obscure, thomas

  7. Neal says:

    It’s a damn babysitting mission,
    That rings a bell but I can’t quite seem to place it.

  8. Tommy says:

    “They will hold.”
    -Aragorn, assuring Gandalf that Theoden’s forces will hold Helm’s Deep.
    (I didn’t expect anybody to get that one. It’s worth triple nerd points)

    “We’ve done the impossible. And that makes us mighty.”
    -Malcolm Reynolds; Firefly, Pilot

    Neal, you had a false positive. I didn’t verbatim quote anything, but I did use the idea of a “babysitting” mission from one of the marines in the opening cinematic of Half-Life: Opposing Force. His exact words were, “Smells like another babysitting job.”

    BTW, favorite phrase from this post was, “abort any potential unicorns.”

  9. […] in case you haven’t noticed by now, I tend to overdramatize things at the Gr1llé. Even going so far as to tell the tan-shirts, “A Eruchin, ú-dano i […]

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