Up, Up, Up, Up
I moved to the UK in 2016, I got two babies, and I'm not thinking about jobs. Then my friend tells me Flo’s have an opportunity for the Assistant Chef position. I’m applying but someone else got the job. So I say okay. And then you can't believe it, after two days they are calling me and saying, are you able to do this job, because the lady is leaving, she's saying it’s too hard. So I say yes, why not? And that day till now, I'm working the kitchen.
Daniel, the Chef, trained me and taught me. I quickly learn everything. And after four months he’s leaving the job because he is going to Italy or somewhere. He told me can you cover for a couple of weeks until we hire the chef. But slowly he realised, and I realised, that I’m perfect for this job. They ask me can you carry on the chef job? Oh my God I'm so scared. But Pippa, she pushed me. She said: you can do it. And I'm happy I did it because after four months my life has changed totally. Cooking is my passion.
Before Flo’s I’m working at home, I'm so stressed. I'm alone, kids are in the school, my husband start work. End of 2020 I got stressed too much. And slowly, slowly, I depress. When I go back home, I'm staying three months and I'm totally fine. Back home the system is brothers, sisters in the same house. Get togethers, parties, every day sit down in one place and eat. Everyone have time for each other. The main difference in this country is no one have no time for anyone. But then when I start at Flo’s, the team is really good. Everyone talking and laughing. Everything is changing, because I'm coming to Flo’s. I meet lots of customers, different types of people, and now I’m absolutely fine. No problem. No issues. I'm so happy to work in Flo’s.
My boy has got asthma and eczema and sometimes, like in the winter, he gets an asthma attack. When he's sick he need me 24/7, so it’s difficult. But then I tell my manager this is happening and she's saying straightaway you can go. So I'm just shocked. My husband shocked. It’s so kind. You can do your job and really appreciate everyone because if something bad happening, they're saying go back home, look after yourself and look after your kids. At Flo’s everyone looks after everyone. I'm so happy, honestly. In March I got my miscarriage and everyone help me too much, too much. Annie and Pippa and everyone. So they are really kind. When I start my job they give me a chair to sit down every second time, and they check every second time that I am sat down and okay. There’s teamwork here. No one says oh, it's not my job. Everyone helping each other.
I'm so proud because when I was Assistant Chef, I was quiet and just doing my work and that's all. But when I started the chef job, I speak to everyone I need to, like what we need, how can we order and everything. And everyone respect me. They are not rude with me, or if I say anything wrong, they are not telling me you are wrong. Everyone is really kind and nice. So I'm really proud of this. In my old job I met lots of customers, like 160 customers in six years. Some were really nice and kind but some were really rude. If they are saying anything wrong, you can't say oh no, you are wrong. You just smile and say okay, you are right. So in any job, you need to calm yourself. Be happy.
Before Flo’s I wasn't really confident when someone asking me oh, can you make up 40 people’s food? But when I start here slowly I realise oh my God I'm making the food for 100 people at a time. And more than 100! I start making the soup. A small pot is like 22 people. But nowadays, on Monday, I'm making the soup for 100 people. I learned lots of stuff before, cooking at home, but it’s a different scale here. I start making and then we have no time to do anything. Like when I start making curry and there’s no space on the stove. So I'm thinking, maybe I cut the aubergine and put it in the oven. I start doing this and it makes my life easier and I learn lots. And when I start making the soup, I cut everything else that needs cutting, put it in the oven. Then it is ready. I learn how to cater quickly at Flo’s.
When I started at Flo’s, I’m feeling zero. And after two months, I'm on two. And now I think I am on a 10! When Daniel left the chef role, I thought oh my God, how can I manage the cooking, making a list and all the stuff? Daniel did everything. I am a mum of three kids, how can I manage everything? But slowly, slowly, as I got more involved, I learnt everything and now 100% I'm doing everything. Pippa was sick, and she didn’t come in for two months. I'm doing the bun orders during this time and when she come back she's saying oh my God, you did the best job! So my confidence is really up, honestly. Now I feel I can do everything. And nowadays I'm thinking, I’ll start to learn coffee things, and then multi! I’m a multi person in here.
I'm most happy when someone is coming and telling me the food is delicious. When people like our colleagues come and say they’re happy. Last time, one lady come, and she's asking me who made the curry? And my assistant saying I made the curry. And the lady hold my hand, kiss on my hand, hugged me and saying, oh, brilliant! And then I'm really proud of myself. I shared with my husband. Oh, you just joking he say. I say no, no, no, I'm not joking. The customers’ feedback is really good. In 14 months, I didn't see any complaint or anything. Everything is positive and going up, up, up, up! I'm thinking maybe I'm starting my own business, a small Asian stall, in my own time. Maybe breakfast things, or maybe it's dinner, in the weekend. I'm not leaving this job!