Saturday, September 11, 2010

Yep... Heat Rises

It's the anniversary of the Twin Towers crumbling as we all watched in horror and that in itself set a somber tone for today... 

My day started at two this morning as I walked into "The Twilight Zone". I call it that because it is the strangest place that I have ever worked. Sometimes I feel like I'm on a different planet surrounded by aliens... They look like regular people, but they aren't. 

I... do...NOT... fit... in... So, I try to keep my mouth shut as much as possible and just do the best job I can. 

It was a nightmare this morning. There were thirteen racks full of finished product still sitting on the floor... freaking racks everywhere... which poses a couple of problems for me. The first thing I realize is that I'm going to be short of racks. I need EMPTY racks. The second thing is that I have to find a place out of the way to put these. 

They are all covered with thin plastic rack covers so I need to get them away from the ovens. Once I start my morning bake, 450 degree racks will be coming out of the oven. I can't park them beside racks of finished product that're covered with a large PLASTIC baggies... you know?

Newbie came in at four. He's an apprentice baker and I am trying to train him. He's a nice kid. I really like him even though he... is... also.. an.. alien.

I was frying donuts when one of my oven buzzers went off. I had a rack of danish and a rack of croissants in that one and they were ready to come out. I'm the "senior". Newbie is the.. umm.. "newbie", so he gets to go fetch. (answer the oven)

I had moved most of the covered racks into another area but there were a few still on the floor. There was space. I had warned Newbie about putting any hot racks too close to the covered racks. It was all good. 

A few minutes later I walked by those racks and... immediately turned on heel to go back to the production area. "Newbie, WHAT did I tell you about where to put the hot racks this morning?"

He gave me this huge, stupid grin and said, "Yes! That's why I made sure I left at least six inches of space,"

Six inches of space... yeah... That's when I led him back up to the ovens so he could see what he'd done.

You see, there is actually a lot of science involved in baking. Heat rises. A lot of heat radiates from these racks when you pull them out of the oven. The rack covers are open on the bottom. So, of course what happens when they are too close to a heat source? 

They balloon. 

This one had ballooned enough to touch the hot rack, melt instantly causing large holes in the bag which then sucked the melted plastic right back in on top of the product.

The look on Newbies face was so priceless that there was just no way that I could be angry anymore.  


  1. Your story is proof that truth is often more bizarre than fiction, Kim!

    You didn't mention how old "Newbie" is, but it's been my experience that most young people up to age 20 or so need to have instructions and orders written down for them in order for them to retain the information.

    Hope he gets more settled into the routine; give the lad time!

  2. I really don't know how old he is.. He's kind of an old man in a boys body in a way. I'm sure he's 21 but doubt he's much older than that.

    He likes to wear a fedora and he carves pipes as a hobby. (tobacco pipes with wood he orders from Vermont.. can't recall the name of the wood.. but quality stuff for an expensive hobby)

    I really like him and he's usually pretty bright so I really could not have been more surprised! HAHA!