Ruth's Diary


It turns out that the only reason the bins in the kitchen (at work) have magnets in the lids is to catch any cutlery that fall in with the rubbish. The pots from the little lids of jam (and honey) are caught on the lid, but are then collected and chucked into the bin. Grrrr. On the other hand there is a strict don't-put-unused-pots-into-the-bin policy. You'd think that'd be obvious but when I've checked through the trash left on room service trays I sometimes couldn't tell if the abandoned pots were opened or not...I had to check the seal.

In the restaurant and lobby a continuous round of music is heard, again, and again...and again... und noch mal...und noch weiter (I felt putting it in German would express my feelings better-sorry 'bout that). It's starting to irritate me (can't there be new music?). But it's not so monotonous that you know every single track and its order, so it's either all on one CD played in a CD Player in 'random track' mode or a computer is doing 'random track'. I have deduced that it's the former because if it was being done by a computer there wouldn't be random gaps of silence.

I've also started a small game with Martina-a German waitress who usually doesn't share shifts with me. Today I said "Morgen" and "Hier gibt es ein Apfelsaft" (Here's an apple juice). As far as she knows I'm just English and speak only that but when I said those 2 phrases above (a couple of hours apart) she didn't react at all. Too familiar a language I guess. I'll just carry on 'til she realises^^.

I'm also impressed with how clever the restaurant's laid out, which was done for maximum efficiency. There is a separate entrance and exit to and from the kitchen-health and safety obviously, since I can imagine the disastrous accidents with one door: a person going in with a large tray of dirty dishes and a person going out with a tray of hot food for the buffet...oh the horror if they collided! Also the restaurant itself has 4 'stations': stations 1, 2, 3 and the Gallery. They're opened and closed appropriately to allow enough room for all the customers (we know it will be quiet if we're told only station 1 will be open). So what is a station exactly? And how are they closed? Well in most restaurants they might close an area by a barrier...not in mine. The Restaurant Manager (usually Mustapha) will decide which stations will be open and tells the staff at which ones they will be on duty. If no one is on duty at a station then a customer will not be seated at said station. Nothing tells one apart from another of course, so if a customer wonders why one set of tables has no one seated there they can only try and figure it out.

I bet you're still asking: well what is a station?! Basically, it's a section of tables plus the actual 'station', which consists of a table, 2 heating hobs, 2 drawers and 2 cupboards. A clear sign that a station is 'open' is when both hobs are switched on. Always on one hob is a coffee pot, which is served (the coffee that is) straight to the customers after a meal. If they want tea a small pot is prepared for them in the kitchen (the same goes for coffee at breakfast, the coffee pot is only kept in case customers want refills). On the other hob is a pot of hot water, which is used to clean tea spoons, salt and pepper and is used to polish all the cutlery. In the drawers and cupboards are the cutlery, side plates, saucers, cups, pen, order paper, bowls of sugar, empty milk jugs, packets of sweeteners, after meal chocolates, candles, wine glasses, finger bowls, serviettes, table cloths and sometimes napkins (which are usually kept in the store room). On the table you would find rags, trays of varying sizes and baskets of bread to be served automatically to the customers when seated-excludes breakfast. It is at the station you will see a waiter/waitress standing if they're doing nothing.

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