Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Paper cuts and other injuries

It's a jungle out there
I could have died

Every job has it's dangers. Construction workers can fall from great heights or have stuff fall on them from great heights. ER workers get abused and threatened and attacked as much as the guy who works in the late night convenience store. Waiting tables has it's dangers too. Why just the other day I got a nasty paper cut on my hand whilst writing out the booking sheets for October. I felt quite faint for a moment and had to sit down. It was a difficult few minutes I can tell you. But the blood and pain doesn't end there. Here are the top 5 waiter injuries:

Busted Wristitis. Your wrists take a battering all day every day carrying plates and bowls and trays of food and drink. Crockery was all a fairly uniform size and weight years ago, but not now. Now even the most insignificant of product has to come in a bowl that has to be ten times the size really required. I would wear one of those jobbies that bowlers wear except they look really geek and I cant see the Glorious Leader going for it. Arthritis before I'm forty? Yippee!

Blue Finger. Blue Finger isn't an actual injury. It's the result of an injury. It refers to the colour of band aid that we have to wear when we cut ourselves whilst cutting fruit or polishing cutlery or when we go mental for a moment and smash bottles or glasses in a fit of rage. I couldn't possibly comment. But you can always tell how bad the waiters day has been by how blue his fingers are. Anything over two and you know it's been a rough one. Anything over 5 and there is probably a body stuffed in the bins.

oh the humanity,
the horror...


Chefs Arse. I can assure you it ain't just chefs that suffer from this nasty condition. Urban dictionary defines it best I think,
"Medical condition to describe the horrific chafing of the butt cheeks caused by long hard shifts in a hot sweaty environment. Is often exacerbated by tagnuts, winnets or dangleberries . Although there is no cure for this dreadful ailment, many chefs I know swear by cornflour, well known for its high starch content. Some shave their asses to lessen the pain, others smear Vaseline between the cheeks to lessen the friction, but the real masochists slather their ass in witchhazel upon the onset of symptoms."
Now, chefs can get away with having a bad case of the "arse", waiters cannot. We are out there, on the floor, in full view of the public wincing with every bloody movement. So if you see a waiter moving uncomfortably around the restaurant for the love of Jesus only call him if you really need him. His arse is literally on fire and your needs are very much second to his discomfort. We don't, as a rule, talk about the "arse" at work, for obvious reasons.

the most vivid & horrific example of
chefs arse

Fucking Blisters. That's their full technical term as found in all the best medical journals and dictionaries. Fucking Blisters are a constant pain in the ass, well not on the ass thankfully. But definitely on your feet and hands. If you make the wrong choice when buying shoes or opt for the wrong size cause you can save ten quid by getting a half size smaller (I've never done that honest) then you will pay for it with your feet. If you are going to be on your feet for 10 or 12 hours at a time you may as well go the whole hog and buy a decent pair of shoes. The very first thing I do when I get home from work is kick my shoes off and rub my sweaty, raw red feet for ten minutes until they are feeling normal again or until I cant stand the smell any more, which ever comes first. Most waiters have hands like princesses. We aren't used to "mans" work so when we have to do some we suffer ever so much. Our well manicured and moisturised hands can't take a lot of manual work and will blister at the first opportunity. Plus chefs are sadists and will, in a fit of bastardfulness, heat plates up to a degree or two under melting point just for the craic.

chefs are bastards that do bastardly things

The "I can't come in to work I feel terrib
le and have been sick all night and is in no way connected to the fact that today is pay day/the amount of beer I drank last night but should be fine tomorrow" flu. It happens and I believe it isn't confined to waiters either. Anyone ever catch it?

We waiters suffer for our art. We never know when we head out to work in the morning if we will make it home or not. Everyday is a minefield of broken glass and paper cuts. And hey how many jobs outside of porn do you have to shave your arse?

26 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Anonymous Boxer said...

There, there, we were only joking about the tips.

Conortje said...

I'll never be able to look at a waiter's arse in quite the same way again. Not that I was busy staring at them before you understand...

tallulahbloom said...

Although not strictly a career I was always very very freaked out by my Dad's runners nipples.
I get paper cuts all the time and I swear they the most painful thing, nobody understands.

Is it just me? said...

Chefs arse....hilarious!

fatmammycat said...

I thought it was cirrhosis of the liver that got you foodie types in the long run? That and 'consumer rage.'

Manuel said...

Anonymous Boxer: you promise?

Conortje: HA!Look but don't touch....

Tallulahbloom: I understand and share your pain. Dad's runny nipples eh.....?

Is it Just Me?: Nothing funny about it. And who can you tell when you get it? Who could you trust with that information? Who would care? It's a lonely condition...

FMC: Liver cirrhosis eh, number 1 killer of wait and bar staff and Belfast born footballing genius'

Conan Drumm said...

Surely you have years of ulcerated varicose veins to look forward too? They'll make you hanker for the days when you thought Chef's Arse was a curse.

Manuel said...

Conan Drumm: Thanks, thanks for that. Varicose veins, oh what a joy.....

Conan Drumm said...

Sorry, it's the curse of the standing professions. Check your legs. Support tights or stockings could help, as might keeping your weight down.

Manuel said...

Conan Drumm: Yes mother.....Keep your own weight down then huh, kebab for lunch anyone? I'm having salad....

Conan Drumm said...

That's it, good man... focus on the case of chef's arse + crotch rot you'd get if you had to wear support tights all day...

Manuel said...

Conan Drumm: Oh the chaffing and blistering and the hair all tangled up......MMMMMM tights though..

Anonymous said...

Why just this morning my very own line manager phoned into the office to say he was "sick" and would not be in the rest of the week. Thinking maybe a large manilla envelope had slashed against his skin, resulting in untold pain and blood loss, I soon realised that it was merely a few days since pay day and the pubs are always open....sweaty butt he definately doesn't have, he sits on his ass all the time, mainly in the pub, did I mention that...?

Manuel said...

Anonymous: A chancer and no mistake. But then again those Manilla Envelopes can be deadly.....

The customer is always right said...

Chef's arse? You could always just wipe it properly.

Medbh said...

How about athlete's foot, Manuel? Wearing dark socks or stockings and always creates a problem with foot fungus.
I always washed my feet before bed to get the stank off them.

Very funny post.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Baby botty cream? Would that help? The heat and humidity might make it melt, mind you, meaning some sort of absorbent underwear was necessary.

Going commando? - oh dear God no. I'm just imagining a chef I know. Plus preparing king prawns would be a hazard (notice how I said "king" prawns there so as not to cast any aspersions).

I once went out with a boy who had trefoil nipples. Each nipple was divided into 3 sweet little portions like tiny strawberry gateaux.

finn said...

what brave soldiers you and your comrades are, manuel!!

I pledge that next time I go out to dinner I shall tip at least 25% and leave a fresh box of corn starch on the table.

Freshblade said...

Hilarious, Mr Waiter, Sir. Much more informative than most of medical school!

Manuel said...

Fresh Blade: You can quote anything you need for your thesis and that sort of thing.....hehehehehehe

The Phantom Griller said...

Some bastard didn't show up today so I was on grill, prep, all dishes, and telling the new kid how to cut cucumber on the busiest week of the busiest day in a bloody gastropub in prime location with a huge menu, twice the size of Wetherspoons if you're familiar with it, for 14 hours today, and every single minute of that 14 hours the ticket board was full.

So when my floor staff friend(you're not really a waiter if you're in a gastropub, just as I am really a microwave technician) witnessed me slash my hand open on a plate, a PLATE, he laughed and said "hurhururhur, you've cleaned 600 knives today and you cut yerself on a plate, good going" I threw a cup at him, to fool him into thinking that was all my rage could muster. Of course it wasn't. I put the next five or six orders plates into the dishwasher, kicked it in for the "blast the buggers with 400 degree steam" cycle, pulled them out before the "rinse them a little bit so at least they're not glowing" stage, and whacked the orders on them. He was being a smartarse as usual, and did the "ooooh these are all the same table? Watch me balance them all the way up my arms and saunter over to the table, this is where the real work is" thing.

I've never heard a more horrifically tortured whimper in my life, and never seen that fella move faster in my life. Hahahahaah.

It's not our fault we're sadistic, it's all that D10, it does something to the brain that equates to pure, sweaty, shouty evil.

(The reason I'm posting in such an old entry, though, is I'm looking for that cure for chefs arse you were on about, the powder stuff? I'll understand if you don't help as an act of brotherly waiterly justice, but he was asking for it. Who needs fingerprints anyway?)

Manuel said...

phantom griller: I should leave you to squirm but I'm not that evil.....
it's called monkey butt powder...

SlouchPod said...

You should take alook at www.chefsbum.com

Manuel said...

slouchpod: fan-fucking-tastic!

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big.col82 said...

im a chef sack and crack dude it is so painful and unless you get it you wont understand i found the best thing to get rid of it for a bit is a bag of ice sit in the mens and cool the area for a while then give it a quick clean and dry best you can its not a quick cure but it helps for about an hour or so