Today is the day. It’s here.
A leisurely start at 11:30am. Time for a double espresso at the coffee shop before heading in. Tomorrow is not so sweet. A full day with an 8am start and we’ve been advised to arrive by 7:15, no doubt to allow for a degree of faffing by us unfamiliar students.
18 people quickly completed biometric registration in reception, then headed to one of the lecture rooms. Intranet and email systems were introduced—Microsoft technology—big sigh. The head chef gave a friendly welcome speech. As expected he made a big thing about attendance and punctuality. It was a surprise to hear that the turn out of our uniforms will be assessed, apparently as part of health and safety. There’s even an iron and ironing board in the student room. Turns out I’ve joined the Army’s Catering Corps. We are also to be assessed on our organisation and preparation, and our food on taste and presentation.
I now know there are 8 of us studying intensively for the Diplôme de Cuisine. 4 girls, 4 boys, hailing from Germany, China, India, Vietnam and Wales. I’m the oldest. I’m guessing everyone else is in their 20s.
One of the teaching chefs walked us through the study timetable. I’m still trying to get the damn thing showing in Google Calendar. Tech support is not in the UK. Quelle surprise. We then pootled off on a tour of the facilities and finally got inside one of the kitchens to get a feel for the layout, equipment and protocols. Fire procedures were reviewed.
We received professional knife sets in rather fetching Jack the Ripper carry-cases. Strict instructions were given not to open them until tomorrow. Boo. Uniforms were handed out. We were told they’re a new design this year. If we weren’t already recognisable as the noobs we can be easily identified by our different uniform. Haha.
Down in the basement we found our individual lockers. Of course my padlock didn’t work. We got to try our uniforms on with the option to exchange any items that didn’t fit. My garb seemed ok. Let’s see how it stands up to trial-by-kitchen tomorrow. I can’t wait to don the cravat.
I was homeward bound by 1:30pm whistling [we’re] In The Army Now.
On an unrelated note, wanna hear a funny story?
When we had the flat remodelled we got one of those swanky American fridge freezers. Ever since we moved back in—that was some 18 months ago—the bloody thing has beeped at us every time we opened one of its doors. Anyone who has come around knows how annoying this gets. For some reason I aways dismissed it as a green feature; a reminder to close the door and conserve energy.
Turns out our fridge has been trying to communicate with us. The beeps are a fault code. Like some deranged R2D2-wannabe screeching 17 ear-piercing beeps. Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep—Beep.
It never ever occurred to me that there was a fault because the fridge had literally always done it. I mean, the chance of an appliance being faulty from delivery is pretty slim so I thought. I should’ve known better. There’s an acronym in the tech world: RTFM—READ THE FUCKING MANUAL.
How dumb do I feel. Lol.
Now it’s fixed and fridge life is stress free.