What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Chip in the Ice May 17, 2014

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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There are certain things that we are all taught from a certain age. Look both ways before you cross the street. Don’t eat the yellow snow. Only take candy from strangers on Halloween. And as we go through life, we learn more specialized warnings from our peers and superiors. Black panties and white pants are bad. White t-shirts and water are bad. Better yet, just never wear white.

In the restaurant biz, one of those great lessons is never ever dip anything but metal into the ice bin. No glass, no plastic, ever. Ever, ever, ever! I personally have never committed this awful server sin because I have seen the Hell it can cause. If you dip something other than metal, you run the risk of it chipping. Then there are clear chips of death mixed in with the ice. This equals badness, cut throats, ambulances, death, and lawsuits, and who has time for that when there is a new Game of Thrones on Sunday?

I have never worked in a restaurant where your tooshey didn’t get crawled for dipping glass in the ice, but I was working once when we had a chipped glass. I was hosting at a dinner theatre. Since all the patrons would come in at once, we would pre-set ice water on all the tables. Ice would get pushed into giant trays of glasses. The glasses would get set on the tables, and then we would go around and pour water onto the ice. It was all very efficient and sanitary and blah, blah, blah. Until one day when we got halfway through pouring water into glasses, and someone found that one of the glasses had a giant chip.

We didn’t know when the glass had been chipped. Was it chipped in the wash and no one noticed? Was it chipped during the icing, and did the glass next to it have the missing chunk? Or had the shard of glass fallen through the rack and was now in a glass that had been riding on the tray below it? There was no way to know.

With ten minutes left until we were supposed to let the patrons in, we had no choice but to pull every glass from the floor, dump all the ice, and run the glasses through the dishwasher. Needless to say, we opened late. We never did find the piece of glass. Chances are it was broken in the dishwashing process, and the clear chunk was thrown away with food residue and no one ever saw it. But the risk of someone swallowing glass was far too dangerous to allow patrons to drink from the possibly contaminated beverage holders.

The moral of the story is never dip anything but metal scoops into ice! And tip your servers. They go through more than you know to get you home safe and happy.


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