A Comedy…..

March 18, 2017

I ordered a new work top freezer for the restaurant kitchen in January.  Our old one was starting to suffer and the repair man kept shaking his head.  There were things he just couldn’t fix. It has been a work horse in our kitchen for close to 20 years.  It is referred to as the “desk freezer” on our inventory sheets, because it used to be my desk in the old building. It’s been around.  After much research into what was available on the Atlanta market, and learning way too much about HC gas versus 404 gas, I ordered one and was told it would take 6 weeks.  The factory was behind. Now I could have ordered another model or brand, but I liked the thickness of the gauge of stainless on the top. I like the handles that stick out instead of being recessed and hard to grab.  It’s manufactured by TRUE, one of the best.  The old one was still breathing so I waited.

Our Manitowoc Ice Machine died last weekend.  Again a different repair man kept warning me that it was about time to get a new one instead of repairing the old.  The original was purchased in 1995.  He gave me a deal on one that was in a hotel for 8 months, but didn’t have enough space around it for exhaust.  It would work for me and I got a deal.

Sad to say goodbye.

The Ice machine was installed on Wednesday.  That afternoon I called around to locate our work top freezer that had been drop shipped somewhere in the Atlanta area.  It was coming Thursday between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Around 2:30, I called the delivery company.  I had wanted to get the new one up and running before we transferred all our ice creams and puff pastry into it. They were coming soon. After 3:30 and another phone call, we were told it would be here by 4:30.  Chef Justin wanted me to send it back because we couldn’t have both freezers in the kitchen at the same time.  My husband agreed, but if I see its eyeballs, I’m going to keep it.

So in it went and a six foot prep table went down to the office for the night.

It’s 5:00 PM and we have a  sold out wine tasting starting in an hour.  The LED display says the freezer is now in defrost and then 10 minutes later, the temp started to climb instead of cool down.   I spent the next 30 minutes looking the manual up on line and found the freezer comes with 6 different options for the display. The temps and defrost cycles were set at the factory so I let it ride because now it’s time for the wine tasting.

The wine rep is stuck in horrible traffic and is running really late.  I start pouring the first wine, reading off some overly descriptive information that he had left me and told the kitchen start the first course.  The wine rep shows up, but the delivery of some of the wines for the tasting did not ship.  We add another wine at the end of the tasting.  I am in this weird spiral of greeting guests, running food, passing out appetizers, actually having fun, when I am told there is a little problem with the point of sale system. Seems to be running slow.  This is where it really gets funny.

The system crashes.  I try to open up the server from the computer downstairs and it keeps kicking me out.  I call customer support.  By now the waitstaff is using manual checks and the credit card authorization is down. Justin looks at me and laughs saying the things we were worried about earlier in the day seem kind of trivial by now.  That’s the comedy part.  Wine tasting is finishing up and I am working with the remote customer support on using our second terminal in redundancy mode.  I’m switching out CAT5 cables, checking connections, reminding myself of the old joke, Department of Redundancy Department.

I happen to get the #1 customer support person for the POS system, the Guru, Matt Levy.  By now I’m giddy because I only get to work with him when everything else has failed.  I know he will have it all under control, which he does.  He gets one of three terminals working but it’s enough to ring in the manual checks and process credit cards.  The hardware people will take over in the morning along with other software guys who need to recreate check files and get me through the weekend.  I must admit that they handle me with kid gloves now because things haven’t always gone well before. And I like it.  Thank you Kevin and Joe.

The freezer is freezing.  Now it’s smooth sailing.  I’m starving.  I ask the chef if we have any leftovers and he shows me a bowl of fava beans that have been sitting under the heat lamp since the wine tasting.  I say why not, with some fettuccine, parmegiano- reggiano, garlic and olive oil.  It’s delicious paired with some leftover white wine.  I have a second and third glass because I think I’m upgrading my computer system next week.

As it turns out, I am.  Can’t wait.

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