Thursday, December 17, 2009

Our work as psychologists 2/08/09

Drama and melodrama continues in the heat. All the talk is of the ferragosto (the August bank holiday on 15th) and the return of the Milazzese who live abroad for the August holidays. At the same time la cameriera and others lament the fact that there are less people than normal because of the pollution from the sewage treatment plant and the rubbish problem.

Our cuoca has had to take time off because her mother is unwell and she has to accompany her to Milano for an operation. The aiuto cuoco and mia suocera are convinced she is just making it up as she never said anything to them before about her mother. Whatever, we are one cook down and it is the peak time so we need to fin someone else. We interviewes a gril who responded t our ad on the internet and she seemed so promising but then ddn’t show up and we had to call her number. Her distressed mother replied that she had returned to her old employment (which she had told us she left because they were exploiting her, paying her as an apprentice but having her work long hours as cooks really). The other person who answered the as was a 19 year old who said he would do anything we asked but had no experience. He wanted to make some money before going to university. So he was brought in as aiuto cuoco to chop and prepare food for my mother-in-law and the aiuto cuoco. But no one likes him; he asked for more money because he had to wash some dishes and asked everyone else what they were getting paid!

The aiuto cuoco texted mio marito also asking for a raise in September and wanting to know how much he would get paid for the Mondays we would be open in August (we are not closing though August which is apparently standard practice in the holiday season, but for me is not feasible. To have to work in this heat is surreal, but to hae not even one day off would be impossible. I need that day to recover form the madness. But everyone does I think, especially the cooks. I think we will all be ‘esauriti’ as they say here, wrecked physically and mentally, by the end of August. But we are very dubious as to whether to keep him on. Our friend says the tapas are made without love, and mia suocers said yesterday, he is made for work, like a Trojan horse but he doesn’t have style or passion, it is a routine of productivity. He can’t manage his stress either; last night he couldn’t find the prawns he was marinating; he had all of us searching for them and in the end mio suocera spotted them on the top counter under his nose! He had left them thre just an hour before … My medication causes memory loss ! he proclaimed immediately. I never saw anyone with so many excuses. All of them are like that, with justifications and excuses, even la cameriera – who has asked us for three days off next week; 7, 8, 9 August. But everyone knows you can’t have time off in August, and how difficult it would be for us to find someone a this point of the summer. Anyone who wants to work has got themselves a job for the summer, and everyone else is on holiday. She says she needs a break and her back hurts though she is hoping to go camping … she has only been working a couple of months and only works 3 or 4 nights a week..)

The latest disaster was the dishwasher – while cleaning a wineglass it broke and he speared his hand. Mio suocero rushed him off to A&E while the kitchen staff quickly wiped up the bllod off the floor. The dishwasher was very upset because he needs the money, but he will get insurance cover anyway, thankfully we renewed it this week. The aiuto cuoco told us that this mother is dead and the father doesn’t look after him and his siblings have all moved out. Honestly PM is like a psychologist's clinic, everyone has issues. Mia suocera, being the great mother she is, is prime counsellor. The aiuto cuoco is messed up, the dishwasher is an abandoned child; the cameriera has to maintain herself (which for her is a problem, but at the age of 28 it should surely be normal and expected???) , the ex-waiter was divorced, two kids, two lovers, drink problem; the barman has his ego, the cuoca’s mother is ill, and our new younger male waiter had to leave at 12.30am yesterday because his grandmother is dying … everyday there is a new staff issue!

Lola

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