Reposted from June 3:
I talk about the craziest shit, don’t I?
I kid you not. The dirty disease-laden rodents scare the hell out of me. I don’t care how small the little bastards are, I don’t want to touch them.
I have been fortunate not to have had to grown up with mice running around our house.
But some people aren’t that fortunate. They raise their families in and around mice and even larger rats.
It really makes me cringe.
In this country.
The Greatest Country in the World, right?
I can tell this story now, because the players in the story are all dead by now, and the casino it happened next to was demolished.
I had moved up to Las Vegas to play soccer for the UNLV Runnin’ Rebel soccer team and continue my schooling. I kind of got waylaid into a chef career when my Dad made a phone call to one of his cronies in the Culinary Union to see if he could “help out his boy.”
I had wanted to “do it on my own” when I first got to town, but soon learned how stupid yet noble that gesture served me.
Next thing you know, I go from grill cook to Chef apprentice at one of the world’s most famous Las Vegas casinos.
Oh wait, I just stopped and took a hit and off I go on that Las Vegas tangent.
Before I wised up and let Dad do his nepotism-thing and give me the hook-up, the very first job I took when I blew into town was as the graveyard cook for a national pancake house chain restaurant. It appears that the aforementioned casino the pancake house was sidled up against was being prepped for the aforementioned demolition. This city was built in desert country where mice and other little animals will run from their homes to the next source of food, and so on, and so on.
So, they are prepping the casino and hotel for demo and where do the mice run?
Try in our walk-in coolers.
I shit you not. Every time I would have an order to cook a cheeseburger, I would literally have to knock on my reach-in cooler door a couple times to startle the mice who were eating my American Cheese slices.
I had yet to start working in the resort-casino system and their immaculately appointed kitchens, but I knew this was bullshit.
So, it just so happened, I was born with a bad temper and you combine that with these crazy-sick job conditions. Add a dose of an extra busy Friday night on the Strip and even that wasn’t enough to quit this job.
BUT, the final ingredient was a frustrated middle-aged hag of a waitress who was the only one stupid enough to take the job of night shift manager.
Tickets completely covered my wheel, wrapping around as cook times climbed. I am having to move my cheese out of my cooler mid-shift SO THE MICE WON’T EAT IT and the “manager” starts laying into me about speeding things up.
To my credit, I did not utter a word.
I folded my knives in my towel, took one last look at the tickets and the “manager” and the priceless look she wore. Then I walked out and enjoyed a wonderful night at the crap tables.