Dishwashing This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   It breaks your back and asks for more. If you idon't give, it will take. If you try and fight it, it will swallow you. If you let it swallow you more than once it will swallow you no more, because you will be pink-slipped right out the door.

My colleagues and I have determined that the only job worse than dishwashing is slaughtering cattle. And since none of us has had the opportunity to slaughter cattle, we may be incorrect in our assessment that ours is one of the most evil jobs on the face of the earth. I envy toll booth attendants. I would kill to be a garbage man. The person who must put sick dogs and cats to sleep, especially cute puppies and kittens, is a luckier man than I could ever hope to be. So take my word for it, there is hell on earth.

Imagine, if you will, a steam room. About seven feet in width and nine feet in length. Now imagine being in this tile-walled hell for four straight hours, maybe leaving for air for a total of ten minutes. Imagine opening a metal box every few minutes that spews steam up into your face and adds to the already absurd humidity level in the room. Besides getting the most out of your sweat glands (it is useless to wear deodorant), you are working as hard as you ever have in your life. Just when you think you're caught up for a second, BAM! They bring in two full trays of dirty plates and glasses. It is an endless cycle, the dirty stuff is escorted in by a seemingly endless stream of bus boys. Finally, around ten o'clock the pace slows down for twenty minutes and then hordes of coffee cups, dessert plates and glasses start flowing in like a mountain river in the spring. After getting rid of all that junk, it is about 11 p.m. Then the entire kitchen must be swept and the trash taken out. The 40-pound barrels are full of uneaten food and much other nasty stuff from the chef's refuse bucket. Then the floors are mopped. This is not a light rinsing, but rather a backbreaking scouring. Every ground-in sticky unidentifiable glob on the floor must be washed away, which often calls for a hands and knees position with a scrubby in hand and a frown on your mug. This is usually the end of the night unless the Board of Health is on the war path. When an inspection is near, it calls for an all-nighter. The last one went from 10: 30 p.m. until 5: 30 a.m., but that is a whole other story in itself.

As you hear this tale from the dark side you are probably wondering why I would subject myself to such a vicious occupation. That is one answer I will never know. There is some strange perverted satisfaction that is unique to it. The pay is all right and I have met some great people in the kitchen, but I just can't figure out why I stick with it. Maybe it isn't so bad at other eating establishments. Maybe I'm a wimp. The only thing I am sure of is that dishwashing stinks. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback