The Blue Bonnet Cafe Interview Part Three

  • [BEGIN INTERVIEW] [00:00:00.00] Jennifer Doane (JD): This is Jennifer Doane, and I am here at the Blue Bonnet. Today is the 28th of February. And I'm going to do an interview right now. And if you could just introduce yourself? Maria De La Joya (MD): I'm Maria De La Joya. And I don't know what I can help you but I'm here you know, you can, you can ask me what, whatever you want and I can, I can talk. JD: Okay. Could you tell me about what your job is like here and what you do? MD: Well I, I don't speak a lot of English. But I, you know, if you can help me a little bit and, and what I don't understand, you know. And, but your talking about, what is your question? JD: What do, what kind of things do you do when you work here? MD: Yeah, okay. I love cook everything. So in the mornings, I start to, ah, with opening here in the mornings at five o'clock, we start to make gravies, and um, um grits, and oatmeal for the people. We prep all the morning you know, in the first hour. JD: How many hours? MD: Everyday I work nine hours, from five to two. And sometimes we need to stay longer, we, we are, I do. So, but I cook eggs, you know, pancakes, hash browns, omelets, you know. All the kinds of breakfast we have. We have a lot of breakfast. And I love cook for everybody, you know. I like to see the people happy, and I love to serve here. I'm so happy and [Unintelligible]. JD: How are you able to cook so many meals? Because I, I see that they get quite busy here in the mornings. MD: Well, we, um, everyday you know, we start to, with, get sometimes oatmeal or a lot of eggs in the mornings, everyday. But on the weekends, we cook a lot of omelets you know. We, we start broke eggs, a lot of eggs, like maybe nine hundred or a thousand eggs for omelets and French toast, and a lot of scrambled eggs, you know. And we tend to the, tend to the kids you know. With, [Pauses] I don't know--over easy, over mediums, over hard, poached eggs, and a lot of things you know. JD: How many people do you work with in the morning? MD: In the morning we start like, four people for break. But a little later, two or three more people come in and help us. So, just in the kitchen, you know. But we have people on the, make bread, you know and pies. JD: Do you make bread or pies? MD: No, it's two more people that, they do that. [00:03:54.26] JD: What, do you have relationships with the people that you work with? Are you friends with them, or what is that like? MD: Yeah, you know in the kitchen we are. I, I have my aunt, and my cousin, and I have my sister. And my daughter is not in the kitchen but she working on bus tables, you know. I'm so happy for that, you know, with a lot of people. And everybody in my family wants to, wants to work here! Because they, they know we are happy here so. JD: What makes you so happy here? Because you've been here for quite a while. MD: First thing is for, my boss is a good person. So is, a wonderful person. I don't have another one like him. So, is first thing. After, is because we have a lot of, you know, good things here. And they don't charge for food. They um, he's um, very, very good with us, you know. And we have insurance. We have a bonus in Christmas. And week vacations. And one week for every five years, you know, we, we are here. And that's, I think that's why we, he pays overtime and not a lot of restaurants didn't do it. So, we're so happy with that, you know. We are a lot of people for a long time. We have people for thirty years, working here, in the kitchen. So, and the other ones, my aunt, she have a, twenty years, twenty-one years here. And my, cousin she has like maybe twelve or, twelve or thirteen years here. And I'm seventeen so. I think it's a long time but I like it. JD: No, it sounds really great that you have a good support system here. MD: Yeah. JD: What do you think it's like working with, like all the different foods and stuff? What's your favorite thing to make or eat? MD: Well, I make, I like to make everything, you know. But I love serve in the kitchen. Make eggs on weekends like Saturday and Sundays. I make eggs. Now I serve on the line, you know, like all the food. But I help in all the places I can. I can do that. If I don't have nothing to do on, on my space, I can help everybody, somebody else, if they have more, busy than me, so. JD: So, when you start here and you train, do you learn how to do all the different stations then or? MD: Yes, I start to, on fry station because it's the first, the first place we, we can you know, it's easy, easy to start there. But later you, you, when watching every, every station, you know, and when you, if you like it, like me, I like it, another place, I can move there, you know. And serve, that's, that's why we need to learn everything, and every place we have there, every station we have. So I love that, you know. I love that not a stay always in the same place. I'm moving all day, you know. So. JD: It helps to break up your day-you can do some various different tasks then? It's not the same thing the whole time? MD: Yes, it's very good, you know. Because on, on like a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I work on the line. And Saturday, my Friday and Monday off, so Saturday and Sunday I work and making eggs. Sunday watching who is working and better and each place. So they say you are going to be here but if I can help somebody else, I, I go there. So, that's what I like, you know. They move it so you, where [Microphone noises/static] then they need it. So. [00:08:21.11] [Microphone noises/static] JD: Sorry. MD: It's okay. JD: Are you ever able to move from the kitchen in the back of the house to the front, to be a waitress or? MD: Yes. They, they special for say you can be here or you can be there in the kitchen. So, but they have people working in the kitchen and sometimes working on, not on waitress but um, bus tables. But waitresses as you know, so, is special people. They contract, when they start, they start, start there. If you want to be in the kitchen, you start in the kitchen and still there. So, it's not, it's not a switch or sometimes work there or sometimes here. But we have people working sometimes in the kitchen and sometimes working but just bus tables. Not, not waitress. JD: How, why do you think that is? Why do you think that you couldn't be a waitress if you wanted? MD: First, because I don't like to be a waitress. But if like a, I think um, young people, for me, it's my, it's just my opinion, you know. It's um, young people is much better if they serve in the front. You know, the appearance or, you know. But we have a lot of people, old people. They work good as waitresses but they stay there for a long time so. They start when they young, so, now, it's okay. But I think, for me, but maybe I, I don't think somebody working in the kitchen wants to be there. Maybe in, in, I think sometime somebody said, want to go there, with the waitress. But they said no. You be in the kitchen. So, they start. They stay there. JD: Do you have any other funny stories or something memorable to tell from the time? MD: A lot of stories. Well, Christmas parties, I love it. And um, we, we make a lot of things you know. We, we cook a lot for, for this time, you know, and this Christmas party. Everybody makes something different and brings there. And yes, we are happy because it's going to be Christmas and, and ah, we are going to get a bonus. And you know, and, and ah, our, our families are happy when we go there because they come with us. Then we can be there, all the people, you know, the family. And um, um, a lot of, we have a lot of times you know, when, where we try to work and make funny, you know, in the kitchen. It's not, not to make a problem or something like that you know. We try to work in groups. We make good teams, you know. In the morning I love the team. It's my team. On the nights, they work a little, little bit different. But sometimes I work all, all day and then work on the nights. But I love more my mornings. So, that's and then we bring some food for everybody everyday, you know. We make something different. And we get from the stores something different for everybody. We cook some different things for us, you know, just different. We cook in Blue Bonnet, it's a long time eating the same things but we cook different things for. JD: Are you ever able to make different items to serve on the menu at all? Or any variations to the menu items? MD: Yeah, sometimes, you know. And, and sometimes we have on the menus, you know, something special. But they say change this, and cut this, and put this, or add different things. So sometimes they ask for things, we never do that but if they want it, patron [el patron, Spanish for boss] say, the boss said, "You can make it." If they, if he said, "You can make it." We can make it. If he said is not, we don't make it. But the people ask for a lot of, a lot of things different, then we cook it. JD: Ok, well I think concludes our interview for today. Thank you so much for helping us out. MD: Sorry, not very good. JD: No, it was good! MD: I, I want to help. I love to help when I can do that. So. JD: Thank you so much. Ok. MD: Thank you. [END INTERVIEW] [00:13:55.09]