I am starting to get the hang of what needs to be done and which stations use what product. My biggest challenge is still my lack of good knife skills. It has been a slow and arduous process for me to get through my knife cuts. There have been several days that were especially frustrating for me. I would try to work as fast as I could while still being as precise as possible, but all I saw was everyone else running circles around me. They completed several tasks while I still remained on one. It is extremely frustrating since I have that sense of urgency, yet I find myself taking forever sorting through my work making sure they are the proper size and shape. I need to find a balance between being thorough with my work and doing it quickly. I want to be known as the person that can be depended on to get things done correctly and in a timely manner. All of the frustrations that I’ve had will be my fuel to push myself more to hone my knife skills to the point where increased speed will come shortly after.
Friendly competition with the other guys (Nick, Devin, and Mac) on the prep team has been a helpful way to push me harder and get things done faster. They share their ways of doing things so that I can start working up to their speed. We will definitely have to keep this up so that we can all work faster and smarter as a team. I want to be able to show Chef Miya that we can finish the prep list tasks before the pre-serve meeting and open ourselves up to assist her with any additional projects she may have.
Now that New Year has taken off, we have been busy noting down our goals for 2014, both professionally and personally. Chef Alan and Chef Miya emphasized the importance of setting goals to continuously grow as an individual. Chef Miya mentioned the “5-P’s” (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance) in one of her pre-service meetings. The 5 P’s means that creating and sticking to a plan to reach that goal is just as important as setting one. We also need to set deadlines for our goals so we can judge whether or not we’ve met our challenge. Before working at Alan Wong’s, goal setting to me was simply a to-do list for the first few months of the year. Life would get so busy that the goals would easily be put on the back burner so to speak. This year will be different. I noted specific deadlines and organized them to be stepping stones for my other goals that are set later on in the year. All there is left is to put in the time and effort into making these goals become a reality!