"Where did you get that?"
"Vietnam ... ese pho place."
"But not only is it physically brutal, it's mentally brutal. I worked at a resort that sat like 200 people in the dining room. We had a 5-foot flat top, a six-burner stove, and two deep fryers for a menu that had everything from full breakfast to burgers to lobster pasta. Imagine juggling this:
"Fifteen burgers and buns, eight ribeye steaks (three rare, one medium, two medium-rare, two well-done), four Mediterranean linguine dishes, one order of steamed mussels. And that's only three tickets. More are printing out that you haven't even seen yet, and two servers are asking for an ETA for the appetizers on them. The dishwasher broke the damn machine again, and you're the only one who knows how to fix it, and your sous chef has somehow managed to deep fry her hand and is bandaging herself while the fries for your 15 burgers are starting to burn.
"Fuck it; call them Cajun-style. Next!"
"Now, a ticket comes back -- your last order went out wrong because the server heard/wrote it wrong. That order has to be fixed ahead of all the others that are still cooking. And, speaking of still cooking, are your rare steaks ruined yet? Those bastards are 14 bucks a pound, and you just fucked up two of them. Hopefully, another ticket comes in the next 10 minutes or else you'll have to figure out what else you can make them into -- (soup?).
"Congratulations, you just made it through the first 15 minutes of your shift.
"Perhaps because of all that, the redundancies that most businesses have in place are nonexistent in the kitchen. There's simply no one else to do your job. I've run a 102-degree fever and couldn't call in sick. Now, imagine I'm cooking all that food I just described for all those nice people ... while having strep throat."
"Just put your head over the pasta station. Steam that shit out."
Or ... don't imagine it. Thanks for all the hard work, John and Justin -- but, ignorance is sometimes bliss, and we'll take a little disease and a lot of bloodshed if it means we don't have to boil our own hot dogs.
Jason is an editor for Cracked. Like his Facebook page, and he'll cook you a lavish four-course meal. (Spoiler: Every course is Top Ramen.)
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