The strong roar of Chinese words being blasted across the kitchen, the continuous ringing of the telephone, the blare of the fans above the cookers, yup, welcome to the typical Saturday night Chinese takeaway! *Special behind the scenes edition ^_~
You probably clicked on this post thinking, what are you thinking Plum?! I guess it's a little random, but I thought it would be fun to jazz up the blog a bit with a wider diversity of posts! ^^
A few days ago, I worked at my father's takeaway as an emergency because the usual counter girl had taken ill. I worked there a handful of times while I was at high school but not while I was at uni so it was definitely a bit weird being back!
It's very insightful every time I work at the counter because I get a chance to engage with customers and also witness first hand what the others are doing 'backstage.' One thing I realised after working at the takeaway is how amazing and how inspiring the chefs are. (I can totally imagine your face now! haha)
There are so many assumptions about chefs who work in takeaways. (even though people may not admit it) Sure, people may know chefs have to be quick at cooking and what not, but do they really know to what extent their skills are?
Firstly, chefs in takeaways have to able to make sound predictions. Predictions about when the delivery driver will arrive so they know when to prepare the food to ensure it isn't too soggy or cold for the customer. Their time management has to be top notch as the delivery food times have to blend in well with the collection times or the food is in trouble. Not only that, they have to have a fantastic attention to detail, looking at orders precisely to see if foods have to be made without onions, gluten free, no nuts for example. Any one mistake could cause havoc, messing up the times, and cause complaints which could affect future business.
They have to be able to cope with stress and pressure, processing several orders in their head at once. They have to work well in a team, so there's no double orders made and so the orders are made together swiftly.
Even before all this, I don't think I would be strong enough to throw things up and down in the wok! ><
Image not mine.
I overheard a customer say (it's an open kitchen), that they were a little intimidated by the loud Chinese chefs and consequently say it was rude. With so many orders being shared through the chefs, plus the loud sound of the fan, plus the loud telephone at the front, plus the sound of new customers ordering their food in the front, can you expect the chefs to still have to think and communicate in English, often not their first language? It's easier and more comfortable for them to speak their mother tongue, so if you want your food quick, hush! (I didn't actually say this!!) ^^
The reason I post this is because I was a little disappointed in the downgrading manner in which one particular customer spoke to me in which actually changed, as soon as they knew I was at uni. What?! I t reminded me also, of the few times when I could tell by the people's faces they looked down on takeaway workers or by actually mocking them.
Essentially these chefs need some of the main qualities that a 'professional' needs to possess to get into large multinational companies: hardworking, quick thinking, a team worker and able to deal with stress for example. Thus nobody should ever look down on someone based on their career, whether it be a chef, a cleaner, a binman ,a singer, or a model for example. I'm sure all careers have their own unique skills required, than one can learn from and adapt to their own career! Moreover, you never know when one person could end up being your future employer or even your mother in law. ;) So have a more positive attitude lovelies!
Remember to treat others how you wanted to be treated, similar to a mirror. If someone bugs you, or insults you? Success is the best form of revenge! Muhaha. Work hard and get to the top of your game, whatever career it is. Don't just try, DO IT! ^^
Happy Sunday Chummies!