Hello, we are the people of The Tiramisu Hero.
THE BOSS a.k.a Very Fierce Boss
Dedicated to the staff, friends and family of The Tiramisu Hero
for your unconditional love and support
And most importantly, to my life partner, my soul mate
and the co-owner of The Tiramisu Hero, Peggy Chang
– – –
It’s 9am. I wake up to a strange digital tone. I cannot get used to it.
It’s 9am again. I hear a familiar tone. I cannot get up.
Time to change the alarm tone again.
The bed is not even warm yet. It has only been two hours.
Life has been on fast-forward and rewind all at the same time. The spaces in between are those of consciousness. Those made up of hordes of strangers, the aroma of fresh coffee
and the unmistakable blinding heat of a commercial oven.
“Up rank again” We laugh it off as the searing pain of a fresh burn pulses through the entire arm.
“That’s gonna leave a mark”
No time to dwell on the newly acquired rank. No time for any burn aids or toothpaste treatment.
There are still dishes waiting to be served.
I envisioned a place all shiny and new, my chest swelling with pride.
“This is mine.”
Truth is, your body aches at places you never knew could ache.
A to-do list that never gets shorter.
And sleep. Oh what did that feel like?
Years ago, like any other young ambitious wannabes, I dreamt of owning a café.
I envied those who could.
I wanted to be them. How nice would that be?
Amidst the congratulatory messages, I looked into my partner’s eyes and thought,
“My, what have we gotten ourselves into?”
Our first day of operations began on the 29th September 2013 at 10am.
It was a nice and sunny Monday morning.
The smell of fresh paint still lingers.
It has been 36 hours since we last slept.
We are now opened for business.
Like getting sucked butt first into time, two months went by.
Two months of being “Boss” backed by almost half a year of pre-planning, frustrations and anxiety.
I have decided that I like unimaginable amount of bills, heaps of responsibilities, uncertainties and lack of sleep.
Yes, I do not like to sleep. I joke to my co-workers that often, I forget that I own this place.
It feels more like I am working too hard for someone else.
I relied heavily on my friends and family.
Too much in fact. I am lucky that they still have my back.
Friends and family, I tell you, are the basis of what makes a place work.
Not money, not an idea, but plain, simple unconditional love and support.
I am also blessed with a crew that I can count on, whom inevitably,
has become part of my little extended family.
THIS is hard work.
I have never worked so hard in my life.
I am the proud owner of a spanking neat café but it sure isn’t close to what I’d imagine it would feel like.
Soon, I always tell myself.
Soon, I will be able to feel like I really own a café.
As our baby start taking its little steps towards independence,
I will continue to sacrifice every known comfort to men till then.
I am running out of alarm ringtones to change.
x x x
THE BOSS a.k.a The Blogger
I remembered having a classmate who wanted to have her own pet shop,
and another who wanted to be a President.
The one who wanted to be the President of Singapore was pretty adamant about it.
I cannot really remember who was the girl who wanted a pet shop but the “President” guy is now a doctor.
Not too bad.
Gone were the days when deciding what you want to be is just an essay topic.
As I got older, ambitions started changing and people were settling for more regular occupations –
engineers, graphic designers, something in the public sector, sales executives, marketing executives and a whole bunch of other “something-executives”.
I was one of the many caught in the rat race trying to climb up the corporate ladder.
I graduated from varsity as a big failure because I was retained for 2 whole years.
My peers were all ahead of me and were already making good money.
I was one of the thousands of marketing executives in Singapore and was drawing a mediocre salary which will only allow me to own a car and a house after 10 years.
I was bored but I felt safe to be the same as everyone else.
Now that I’m a boss, sadly, life is still not as rosy as some people imagined it to be.
I am now in the biggest debt I have ever been in.
I am now a waitress.
I am also a barista, a cashier,
and the logistics person who runs to the supermarket every time the salad greens run out.
I work for a ridiculous number of hours at ridiculous timings.
I have to smile at nasty customers and try to make everyone’s day at my own expense.
When customers scream at me, I wish I could scream back at them and tell them they are not the only person having a horrible day.
But I can’t.
The word “Boss” sure doesn’t come easy.
Can I just blog for a living please?
x x x
THE MOTHER a.k.a THE CASHIER
Working here is busy and sometimes I work like a cow because there is a shortage of manpower.
Well, but it’s fun.
I am often drained after a long day at work but somehow always look forward to more work because
of the people who works alongside me.
“One slice of lemon cake, please”
There are some benefits working for/with my daughter –
I no longer have to be mindful about my opinions and can be more vocal about my thoughts, both positive and negative.
After all, I’m her mother.
Sad as it sounds, I get to see my daughter more often because of work now.
And I think we have gotten closer because of work.
(I invited my Mom to next year’s Pink Dot and she said YES!)
I learnt more about different kinds of coffee, how to steam milk, and how to make different kinds of drinks.
Now when I see a glass of beer with too much head, I think of a Cappuccino.
Despite how high tech our cashiering system seems, it gives me a big headache every time the amounts “doesn’t tally”.
I have been cursing at the system so much that the rest of the crew are laughing at me.
“This one BUEY TALLY!”
“BUEY TALLY again!”
The kids don’t know.
It’s not good to have more cash in the cash box than it should actually have.
It HAS to tally.
x x x
THE WAITRESS a.k.a Nutella
I’m very glad to have these two cutie pie bosses.
Sometimes I feel like I am really a SUPERHERO ( yes, MiniHero, MommaHero…),
because we really have to do everything.
From serving food to washing plates to mopping the floor after closing.
It’s really tiring at times, but I had fun here because I have met some new people at work!
OH, one thing I always do at work, plate washing!!!!
I feel like a human dish washer, haha.
Somethings I don’t really like –
Chocolate lava cakes cause if we don’t serve it in time, the chocolate inside will overcook!
I always panic when someone shouts “LAVA CAKE COMING!”.
I’m short sighted and always can’t figure out what table number the kitchen staff is signalling,
I’m so sorry!
Cuts and burns are nothing new.
And I was the one who got asked if my name was really called Ngoh Hiang.
Hmm, how am I supposed to react to that?!
x x x
THE EXECUTIVE CHEF a.k.a The Colourer
It started with vandalising on wall, just simple colouring,
and occasionally outlining of Sir Antonio with the help of the projector.
We always laughed at ourselves being night “bangala” worker (voluntary one some more).
This cafe is filled with love from friends and family and also a 2nd home to me.
There were many late nights in the kitchen exploring new food and
preparation for the next day with Boss and Chef Chef.
Thankfully, I have The Little Chef a.k.a Skinny love helping me out in the kitchen lately
(although she is a very messy helper! Ooops!) so we can finish our work earlier!
PS: We are still hiring! Join us with an environment thats fill with lots of fun!
x x x
THE LITTLE CHEF a.k.a Skinny Love
This journey started with my friend introducing me to the cafe.
That was a month ago.
Now you can find me amidst the mashed potatoes and salmon in the kitchen.
I have gained super-muscles from the mashing of potatoes – there’s so much love and sweat in it.
When I first started working in the kitchen, the chefs were all going, “So messy!!!”
But its all better now! I guess.
I have never imagined myself working in the kitchen so it’s been a really fun experience for me.
Met really nice people here and cool bosses who are always giving me new nicknames
I hope nothing funky pops up next!