I worked for a couple of days in Galway Ireland at a restaurant called The Malt House.
Two weeks before, I had missed the bus to Kilkenny, where I had wanted to go to ask about work so I went to Galway instead.
I stayed in Galway for about a week, leaving on September 11....
Why Kilkenny, I hadn't known anyway, and I wanted to get out of Dublin. Dublin is frenetic and expensive. I didn't like my job nor my apartment, so it was logical to go elsewhere meaning approximately "anywhere else."
In Galway, I'd spoken with Brendan, the head chef of the Malt House. He'd suggested I contact him after a couple of weeks. The prospect was not the most appealing of those I'd examined, but it was the most promising.
About two weeks later, I quit my Dublin job, packed up, and went to Galway. Ten minutes off the bus, Brendan hired me to begin working immediately.
"You'll get used to it...."
I had my doubts about that part.
During the night after the first day, I had a brilliant dream....
In the middle of the lunch hour on the second day Brendan said to me "Don't make any more salads" (side salads, in small bowls).... There were four of them left. A few minutes later, he called for four salads now there are none. Of course this was unacceptable.
I think this was when I decided, aloud, that Brendan was a true wanker.
On day three, I arrived at ten a.m. and started to make a bit of coffee. Brian said "Don't worry about the coffee."
"You need to get to work. If you'd wanted to make coffee you could have come in ten minutes early. [fair enough...] "In fact," he continued, "that seems pretty cheeky to me." And he didn't stop there. He went on about how that was really the height of something or other. I just stood there looking at him.
He told me that it was too early for coffee, and that there would be time for a break later. (This was bullshit; there would be time to stand and drink coffee while working, just like there was then.)*
He asked me why I was just looking at him. He told me I could get to work or I could leave.
I went to my work area. But no; I turned around, got my sweater and bag, and said goodbye to Francis.
Brian said "It's a tough industry."
I said "Yeah, I know that's not the point."
It wasn't my greatest comeback ever but then again, you don't have to say much when you walk out of a job.
* I've learned since this Galway day about the tradition of workday tea-time. It consists, in any particularity, of a time to stop working and have a cup.
Many kitchens will be unable or unwilling to accommodate such a tradition but the pertinent knowledge is that a cup of tea or coffee is associated with a period of the day in which the work pauses.
In this context, it must have appeared cheeky of me to brew coffee straightaway.
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