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Kate, you probably ARE capable of more than salad bar. But it's hard to develop a rhythm when you're not doing the tasks day in and day out. However, yes, until you get yourself well organized, you will continue to have problems, no matter where you are working. If you don't always have your mise ready on time, that just takes practice. But if you forget items, you should be working from a prep list -- which, if the establishment doesn't routinely do for you (very few will), you should do yourself: every day, check off each part of your mise as you have it ready. That always helped me, yes, even me, the obsessive-compulsive super-organized person!

You mentioned earlier being a clock-watcher. The only good aspect of that is making sure you're on schedule for getting your mise ready. But once you're into service, BE IN THE MOMENT, plus a few "moments" ahead.

One last, sad thing I have to tell you: even after you graduate, and have 5 years of experience, it is still possible that the first offer a place will make to you is for "salad girl." Whereas a guy who just graduated with no experience may be put right on the line. Sad, but true. It's not you. It's the system that we still are working to change.
 
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