It's like time stands still. You watch all the commotion around you. You hear all the noise; tickets printing, pans clinking, food sizzling, people talking loudly. Everyone is frazzled; turning circles, moving fast. Their bodies spin at the same rate as their brain, yet they are lost. If you tried to talk to them, it would be like trying to talk to a man on a ledge, or a crackhead on their knees digging in the carpet for that dropped crack rock; desperate. I walk out to the field with fifty thousand people, bright lights over head and I hear nothing. I can hear my heartbeat. Everything around me is fuzzy; blurred. I am in the moment. I am in my element. I eat, breath and crap this. I feel like everything around me is in fast forward, yet I am able to see things in normal speed. I take a moment to read the tickets, plot out my next dozen moves, reach over to the guy next to my station and toss his almost burning saute, turn to the guy on the other side, and remind him to check his steaks in the oven, quickly save the expo from sending out a wrong plate, all while taking control of the situation. I have every burner going, oven filled, and am plating every plate I have to fit in front of me, thinking of my next ten steps, all while walking everyone around me through their next ten. Like little kids in winter with mittens on, unsure of the snowy path ahead. Now that I've set the tone, and others are feeling more confident and starting to relax, I will turn to them, and remind them that I'd like to screw their mothers and sisters. That's how we role in the kitchen. Everyone wants to be a chef. Only the truly great are actually good line cooks. Can you work in an environment that is equivalent to a pressure cooker, and thrive? Day after day, year after year? No one pats you on the back for the hundreds of good plates, but one slow ticket or mishap and ten managers, who do diddly squat hover over you. The stress can eat you alive, if you let it. What is my payoff? Self gratitude. I know I can walk into any kitchen, anywhere and hang. Not only hang but kick some butt, and garner instant respect. And with that respect, I will trash talk them, and talk about their moms and sisters...AWoooooooo! I am a wolf!