Sunday, January 31, 2010
The woman behind the scenes, washing every plate and small dish that goes out of the kitchen doors and into the beautiful dining room at La Fontaine Aux Perles is one of the hardest working women I've ever seen.
Her name is Carol.
I wish I could explain in print how to pronounce her name because it's one of my favorite things about her...and I suspect I'm not alone in my sentiment judging by everyone's greeting to her when she arrives at the beginning of service walking through the chaotic kitchen saying, "Bonjour Carol!" or "Bonsoir Carol!"
Her name is always said with the greeting and every time with an amazing thick accent. I love how much they appreciates her.
Carol is a petite woman with jet black hair that she always ties back with a blue scrunchy, drives a scooter (yes, a scooter) to work, I suspect is in her 40's and knows absolutely no English. This girls tough. She never wears gloves (the water is scorching and when plates come out of the dishwasher they are an unfathomable temperature) and runs back and forth from the dish pit with stacked piles of plates weighing some ridiculous amount. When I had to fill her place when she was sick I couldn't believe how heavy the stacked plates were! To top is all off, Carol's been working at La Fontaine Aux Perles for 10 years. I suppose that's why the noise from service and screaming chef never seem to phase her.
Above all though, she is incredibly thoughtful. She won me over the first day of work when, during service, she came around the busy kitchen with a tray of espresso and offered some to Gina and I along with the other 12-15 people working. How sweet! The next day she had already memorized that Gina likes her cafe black and I like mine with a cube of sugar. Truthfully, I only want my coffee maybe 1/5 of the time, but I always tell her I want one when she offers and I'm always so grateful. It's really the small things in life, the random acts of kindness that make such a huge difference. I don't care if I feel like coffee or not when she comes around, I just love that she takes pleasure in giving us a treat and connecting with all of us on this unique level.