“Off line to hang myself with a rope made of burgers!!”

Food — Tags: , , — By Crust on February 25, 2009

I always feel hesitant to write directly about restaurants that I’ve worked at. I would never want to offend or upset someone unintentionally. Feenie’s is closed, so writing stories about my time there has become my guilty pleasure.

After garde-manger I moved to the pasta station. It was a very interesting station, but it was also pretty easy so I began to get antsy and insist that I should move stations. I remember the sous chef looking at me with what I now understand to be an evil grin, “Next week Kyle will train you on Grill”.

“Okay,” I said. Happy that I had gotten my way. We both looked over at Kyle who was in the middle of the Saturday afternoon burger rush. His head wasn’t visable through the smoke coming off the grill, a string of the worst profanity you could imagine coming out of his mouth, “I hate this station!!! I came here to cook! not burger, fries, fucking, fuck, COCKSUCKER!!!” I had to duck as he whipped a raw burger across the kitchen onto the wall behind pasta station. “I could be getting paid $16 dollars an hour at Cactus to do this same fucking thing!!!”

As soon as he had a break in bills he mumbled to me, “I’m going out for a smoke.” Then he yelled loudley to the rest of the kitchen, “OFF LINE TO HANG MYSELF WITH A ROPE MADE OF BURGERS!!!”

I walked over to my friend Minjae who had already worked grill and told him about my new station and how scared I was. Just then Claudia the beautiful Guatamalan garde-manger girl was cooking staff meal on the grill. “Minjae! is so hot over here!” she yells across the kitchen. “Oh, zee smoke! Is so hot! Owe! my arms is burrrniiing!!”
Minjae quickly looks over at me, my mouth is open my eyebrows furrowed in dispair. “Claudia!” He starts making the cut it out gesture towards her. “Don’t listen to her Crust!”

I remember the first few times I tried to lift the fryer baskets full of fries I had to use two hands to lift it and tip it into the bowl. But by the end of my training I was using one hand for frys and the other to flip burgers. My first lesson was “L-TOP”, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle prep.
Kyle held up a slice of tomato out of the insert that was done by the morning guy, it was a centimeter thin on one side and and inch thick on the other, and the thick side still had the produce sticker on it. “This is what not to do”, he said. He showed me how to slice the pickles and the cheese and make the spicy mayo. It didn’t take me long to realize that this station sucks. Kyle explained to me how this station takes people who were previously good cooks and then turns them into POS’s (pieces of shit). It is also the station where you stick the hopeless skidballs and cocky pricks until they either quit or prove themselves. Ouch, I just realized why I was there and it wasn’t because I was a skidball!

I tried so hard not to snap, but I could see everyone watching and waiting. Finally one night four months in, I begged the sous chef to move me. “Please, please get me off that station! I don’t even know why I’m a cook anymore! OFF LINE FOR CRYING!!!” I yelled. Kyle Brian and Minjae all followed me out to the back loading dock. “I’m moving back to Saskatoon!” I cried. “I can’t stay here any more!” I had said this on the back loading dock a couple times before. Bryan said what he always does, “Oh suck it up princess, Saskatoon’s a shit hole, if you go back their you’ll be pregnant and living in a trailer in 6 months!”
“Hey! I love Saskatoon! Someday I’m going to go back there and open a restaurnat! My dad did try to get me to buy a trailer once though.” I said
Then Kyle said, “you know what? I think you’re right and you should go back to Saskatoon.”
“What? No I’ll stay.” I whimpered.
“Ha ha, works everytime,” he smirks. “Reverse psychology Crust.”

After that I was getting moved to entremat and I only had a week left. It went smooth except for one thing. The buger bus. It was Sunday brunch and It was 3 in the afternoon. Luckily, the night guy had taken over the station and I was doing prep for tonight. There were still lots of brunch bills coming in and suddenly one of the servers ran up to the pass and histarically said, “A bus of Japanese tourists just pulled up to the restaurnat and they all want the Feenie Burger!!”
We all laughed, we had heard that one before. Bryan comes around the corner from the dining room, “Um, their not kidding”. Sure enough the printer starts going and it doesn’t stop, “Ordering, 50 Burgers! Five no cheese, one just the patty, 3 no mayo, one no pickle, one no bun…” I ran over to tag team the station with the night guy. “Oh wait, Ordering 51 burgers, they want one to go for the bus driver!”
It was not smooth of coarse, with all the people involved trying to help the special order burgers got all mixed up. The Burger Bus!


  1. Owen Lightly says:

    Wow, a tour bus has always been the worst-case scenario in my mind – and it happened to you! Priceless!

  2. carlos concha says:

    uggg tour bus , i did a stage once at Sequoia Grill they get several of those , its like the restaurant is empty at 5 but at 6 they have 200 customers on pick up , cant think WTF brunch would be like mmm …

  3. Colleen says:

    That station was a soul-destroying station. It just ate people up and spit them out. I felt guilty when I left, that I couldn’t do anything to make that station better for the staff.

    51 burgers. That is like suicide. The grill couldn’t hold more than 14 burgers at a time…..and the smoke was unreal when it was that full.


    Tour buses should order ahead. Period. Been there. It’s stupid.

  4. Bill says:

    great piece Crust, when i worked in Whistler the tour bus would come regularly and hated it every time. For me it was doing pizzas at Araxi’s during summer lunches. We had a small pizza oven that held maybe 5 pizzas one lunch shift I did just over 70, I hated that station, fucking pizza.

  5. mum says:

    you are so funny, you made me lol with the remark about the trailer! you r a great story teller and u have good friends, it warms my heart! xoxo mum

  6. Ciaran says:

    I’m glad I came across this blog. Funny stuff. I used to work with Claudia in the story mentioned above. She was hilarious to be around.

  7. Tamara says:

    Dear Brian,
    Saskatoon is beautiful and not a backwater trailer ghetto. Fuck you.
    A Saskatonian
    p.s. Sorry, the f-bomb was a little harsh – we are fiercely proud yet polite in these parts. 🙂

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