Thursday, August 22, 2013
We had a little emergency the other night.
Really, in the grand scheme of things it was equal to one-tenth of a blip,
but it got all my horns honking and sirens wailing.
Somebody ordered an extra long-stem red rose for a cruise,
and it was very last-minute.
Yes, like I said, not a matter of impending doom, but the timing was key.
I had to jump in the car, drive like a madman,
buy, bunch, bundle and bowtie in a short amount of time.
There was lots of stress and frustration.
I arrived at the docks with the vital floral arrangement, and I was all in a huff.
Everything went seamlessly from the passenger's standpoint - he probably didn't even know there was an issue (then again, I think he was about to propose -
so he had other things to think about).
I handed the arrangement to the gondolier who needed it, and the job was done.
Small disaster averted.
As I looked over his shoulder, I noticed that the tide was very high,
so I went over to take a look.
What I saw, what caught my eye and made me stop and stare,
was the other side of things.
I saw our "dining room".
I've been in and out of restaurant kitchens since I was in high school,
and I've noticed that in a lot of restaurants - the dining room is relaxed,
and the kitchen is chaotic.
I stood there watching three beautiful gondolas, with happy, relaxed couples and gondoliers tending to their needs as they prepared to head out towards the setting sun. As I took in the serenity of it, I realized how very different things are between the dining room and the kitchen.
Normally these details are arranged well ahead of time, and there are no emergency procedures required, but even then, when guys come in to do their thing, the gondolier's office is very much like one of those kitchens.
We love what we do, and I'll take the kitchen-stress to be a waiter in such a grand dining room.
I'm reminded of something President Harry S. Truman famously said:
"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen"