Monday, September 13, 2010

Life at the Bakery!

Attention Ladies & Gentlemen:

I work at a bakery.

That's right, it's true. I've completed my first week and have had a blast, which I think my boss finds hilarious. I'm amazed at how tired I am at the end of the day, mostly from standing for four hours straight, but also from making change on-the-spot for, say, a $12.68 purchase out of a $50 bill.

In full disclosure, here was my first week:

Monday: Bakery closed! Pass go, collect no income.

Tuesday: Arrive! Notice everyone else wearing cute aprons, make a note to bring my own (thanks Nina!) from home. Hair off the face and back in a ponytail. Sporting my Merrels, a denim skirt, and the purple Polo shirt my mother-in-law bought me for this year's family picture. I'm winning no fashion awards, but I seem to fit right in.

Perch on a stool and observe most of the day. Success? Do not spill or break anything, do not offend anyone. Failures? Forgetting to have a customer sign a credit slip, confirming B's suspicions that the hardest part of my job would be figuring out the cash register.

Wednesday: Do my legs hurt? No, should they? Oh boy. Spent the day sporting my cute apron taking care of basic practices: cleaning up the front, decorating the front chalkboard, putting away clean dishes, helping customers. My in-laws were in town, so they came by and purchased a yummy pecan praline bar. And yes, took lots of pictures. Yea! Will share later. Complete first transaction with no error messages. Actually cheer for myself (after the customer leaves). Unfortunately, it was the third transaction of the day (did you know that cash registers work on a four-digit system and that the little "." button does nothing? I did not.).

Thursday: Stop the presses. I baked cookies. Granted, someone else made the dough and someone else took them out of the oven, but it's my first official foray into baking. For real. Come home on a cloud. Screw the Merrels. Am not in tennis shoes. And yes, my back hurts.

Friday: Forget cookies, now we're talking! I'm in charge of the front, so that means I keep things neat, sell to the customers, and package goodies for the call-in orders. But, when they need help in the back, I get to help, which means that I helped with individual chocolate cakes with raspberry filling. Yum, yum, yum. Made a delivery to a local hotel on the river and, no, I didn't take off the apron to do so.

Things I've learned:

* Bakery espionage is real. When you come in and order "one of everything," we're on to you.

* Cash registers are easy, you just have to understand that $.65 is actually just "65", so I suppose a $70 purchase would be "7000". Learning. It's what the cool kids do.

* Bakeries are not there specifically for you. They get most of their income from orders and contracts. They just like to share with you!

* Bakeries like orders. If you want to make sure you have a specific cookie, cupcake, or muffin in the store for you the next day when you're coming by, you can just call. Just call and say what you want. And they'll have it. It's amazing!

* As suspected, good bakeries use nothing but the best ingredients, but they aren't special, super eggs, they're just fresh, delicious eggs. And no preservatives.

* Some things you don't want to know about bakeries. Nothing on that column comes from my bakery, but I did hear how some of the other goodies around town are made and let's just say I'm ok with Crisco in my pantry, but not in my icing.

Week one at the bakery? Huge success. I'll let you know if I go back on Tuesday and find that they've locked me out.

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