Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Work for a week

Last week I pounded some pavement and went to a few interim offices, Belgian's version of a temp agency. Monday rolled around and my phone was ringing off the hook from 2 out of the 3 I inscribed with. Through one of the interim offices I got a job for only this week. I'm working at the kortrijk expo-center, which is exactly what it sounds like. A giant building where they hold exhibitions, and sometimes concerts aswell. I'm working in the kitchen, making sandwiches.

this morning was my first day on the job. Had to start at 7am so we got up at 6. I had packed a whole bunch of goodies the night before for me to eat at work. Stuff for the morning, stuff for lunch, even a little after lunch snack. A soda for lunch and a sports bottle of water for me to sip on throughout the day. Little did I realize I wasn't going to need all that today...

I had a map of the place given to me by the interim office pointing to where I needed to go. I was instructed to go through the "meeting center" door, go up the elevator and go directly to fabiene (which is a girl by the way) so at 6.45am I'm at the door where I was instructed to go and I cant get in!!! Its security locked 24/7! There's a door bell there and it reads: ring here. Ok, so I ring. Twice. And no one comes. I've walked around the building one way but all signs are pointing to the 24/7 locked door I just came from for the "meeting center". At this point I call Gregory in a panic saying I cant get in, what am I suppose to do, and all that other eeeeeeek! Type stuff. Then a car pulls up and luckily the woman inside is going exactly where I need to be so she shows me the way, which, by the way, the "door" I was suppose to enter through was actually a loading dock. And this fabiene chick I was suppose to go see directly, didn't get in till 8.30.

but anyway, despite the early morning drama, I made it in and was sent directly to work making sandwiches. We worked in teams of 2 and knocked out a bazillion sandwiches all morning long. The ones I mostly worked on were the 4.00 euro, high priced sandwiches of 1. Brown bread, lettuce, mozzarella cheese, sun dried tomato and herbs; 2. Brown bread, lettuce, salmon, cucumber and tomato; 3. Brown bread, lettuce, cream cheese, radishes and herbs; 4. Brown bread, lettuce, bacon, mozzarella cheese and sun dried tomato and 4. Mini sandwiches with a variety of spreads and lettuce.
towards the end of the day I worked on other types of sandwiches but those are the ones I did until about 1pm.

by mid morning break time started. A standard 15 minute break which is the same in Massachusetts. But that's as far as that goes! 15 minute break at 11.30 for me. I figured this was just a sit down break, or have breakfast if you wish. No. This was it. I didn't eat at 11.30 because I thought my lunch was coming up soon. But it wasn't. If you want to eat, you better damn be sure its done on your 15 minute break because that's all your eating. I mean, you're allowed to pick at the sandwich fillings. As one woman said "you don't have to just look at the food, you can have some too" but you cant make yourself a whole sandwich! And I didn't really want to pick at the food I was handling to shove into sandwiches because I felt funny. I did have a piece of apple tart though. So from 6-3pm all I had to eat was a fun sized box of honey pop cereal, a slice of apple tart, a couple of slices of egg and a piece of cheese. Hello!! I was dead by 3!How was I to know that they were going to slave drive me and not let me have a lunch break while I break my back making sandwich after sandwich after sandwich that never ended.
I'll be better prepared tomorrow.
I just want to sleep now, though.

oh and ps--the "chefs" in that kitchen are all French and they're all assholes too!

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