Externship Whining: Working the Line is Terrifying


Freaking out about a culinary school externship is so lame. Please keep this secret because I am none other than the student freaking out. I went to a hip restaurant at the beginning of the summer with the intent to successfully work there for three months. This would mean graduating in January with all of the other responsible students. Thanks to cancer treatment problems, I had to have one more surgery. After leaving the hip restaurant for the final surgery, I feel like there’s no way to ever return, which means finding a new externship before August.

Maybe the hip restaurant chef doesn’t want me to return anyway, so I’m doing him a favor by being a baby about working in a real restaurant on the line. Look, I’m a server or a bartender at best. I have never worked the line and it is not something I’m looking forward to. There’s nothing to do but complain to everyone on the internet right now.

I gave 100% during every class at Le Cordon Bleu. This does not guarantee a person will not suck on the line. Production schedules and recipe cards are my life. Knowing knife cuts and the basics mean nothing without a production schedule! The problem is there’s no way to work in an actual restaurant using a perfectly prepared production schedule protected inside a brand new sheet protector. Birthday wishes and penny wishing won’t help. It’s the end of the cooking road. How am I supposed to work the line when the line causes feelings of head trauma even more than Restaurant Rotation class at Le Cordon Bleu? These line thoughts are unbearable.

Who goes through every single class in culinary school with a massively high GPA only to be a loser during externship? Me, that’s who. Remember, all of this is a secret. I’m supposed to be the bomb. Afraid of nothing but bag lickers and pen clickers. That’s who I am. There isn’t a restaurant in the city that doesn’t frighten me when it comes to— the line. Maybe I should work the line at Jimmy John’s. I’ll be in charge of lettuce and mayo or maybe challenge myself by being in charge of meat selections and toasting cheese in Jimmy John’s toaster.

Who is afraid of the line? Maybe soldiers on the front line are afraid of the line. Why would anyone be afraid of a restaurant line after two years of culinary school training? This is all too much to think about. I’d rather do laundry and then actually fold clothes fresh from the dryer. I’d rather stop watching the Bold & the Beautiful. Maybe have an actual— job. I’d rather eat a bowl filled with non-organic dog food than work the line of one single restaurant in the United States of America. The bad news is no one graduates unless they complete their externship, which is 30 hours a week for 3 months. Stop what you’re doing and play a sad song right now. Start crying. It’s the right thing to do.

During the one whole week I externed at a secret location, I was secretly running into the cooler asking Google what the hell the chef just told me to do. They probably thought I had some kind of stomach problem because I would also hang out with Google in the restroom to watch a quick youtube video about WHAT THE HELL the chef just told me to do. Failure is knocking on my door. I must face this knock of failure with a starched chef coat, new chef shoes, and Google by my side because the line will not defeat me. No matter how many cooks laugh out loud while rolling on the floor, no, this will not stop all conquering of the scary line.

Just so everyone on the internet remembers, I never cooked before culinary school and never worked in a kitchen. Prancing around writing about restaurants, huh? It totally serves me right to be in a kitchen shaking in my brand new chef shoes. Oh, the pain. Only two more weeks and the line is coming to get me. Please, pause for a moment of silence.

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