After ten years in retail I figured I had seen everything, dealt with all the crazy customers, and dealt with all the high stress situations of Rush and Holiday and very angry customers. However, after reading Kitchen Confidential, I realized that I would be absolutely miserable as a line cook, or a chef.
Here is the main difference... in a single day I can help 300 customers, but we always encourage all of our employees to focus on a single customer at a time, that way you don't lose your focus and you can help people more efficiently. I always try to help people as they arrive. In a kitchen you need to focus on helping multiple people, you need to make sure that all of a tables meals are up at the same time. Oh yes, and that is just one table, you actually have multiple tables at once, so timing is key, and multitasking to the next level is necessary. Whenever I go into a new job, I am confident I can handle it, I am generally confident in my abilities, but man I don't think I could handle working in a kitchen. That definitely seems to be really hard work with some really crazy people.
I have to say, I did enjoy the book, I got a new appreciation for the restaurant business. Anthony Bordain is an interesting character as you may know from his television show. Quite honestly, he comes off as a bit of an asshole, but a lovable asshole, who you are rooting for. It was a good read and a veryentertaining read. I am now on to reading Blindness by Saramago, it is much different than Kitchen Confidential, but i have heard many positive things about it.