Life

9 Signs You Definitely Work At A Bakery

Flour smell. Flour smell everywhere.

Working part-time at a bakery is a unique experience. One that comes with a lot of unique quirks.

Here are some things that only bakery workers will understand.

#1 The “Work Shoes”

It’s common knowledge that after you sign your employment contract for a bakery job, you also sign away at least one pair of shoes that will forever be covered in flour, coffee grinds or food spills. (R.I.P blue Nikes, I miss you.).

#2 The Early Shift

The first reaction I get from friends and family when I casually mention my 6am start the next day is shock, and then comes the sympathetic nods and murmurs of “oh, what a good job you are doing well done”. But really, it shocked even me how easy that shift has become, partially thanks to the amazing coffee machine at work — it’s the real MVP of early mornings.

#3 The Flour Smell

The post-work shower is a glorious thing, but note that without it, you will smell of flour for hours afterwards. And not only will your skin have a faint paleness and floury texture to it, your clothes will become stained by a white powdery residue. Moral of the story: never skip that shower.

#4 The Battle Scars

Burns, scrapes, cuts — we know them all. While all are super painful (and create looks of dismay from unsuspecting customers), none are worse than the dreaded slicer cut. That bad boy can cause some serious damage and blood loss, but most of all it makes for some pretty epic scars after the fact. Think twice about asking for your loaves sliced. (Kidding.)

#5 The Knowledge

Full disclosure: I had no clue what sourdough really was until I started at my bakery 3 years ago. Now I’m a walking encyclopaedia of sourdough culture, yeast and different flours. The amount you learn at a bakery is pretty remarkable, and can not only help customers find their perfect loaf, but can help you find yours! #winning

#6 The Almonds Everywhere

A weird one, but for my bakery, the chef’s seem to go nuts (pun intended) for almonds. They’re on everything! I’ve been startled to take off my apron after a shift to find hundreds of the things, and one look at our shop floor would confirm this.

#7 The Fake Smile

Ah, those customers who not only want to change the prices of products, but believe their desires are at the forefront of all of our minds. No, Sharon, I cannot cut you a bigger slice of cake just because you want it. Sigh.

#8 The Regulars

On the flipside, regular customers are beacons of hope to bakery workers! These lovely people greet you with a smile, ask for your name, and are genuinely interested with how you’re feeling. Believe it or not, these regulars can really make your day.

#9 The FREEBIES!

And the best for last… The amounts of free food/coffee you will receive from your bakery job is AMAZING! I suddenly became the golden child in my family when I’d return from work with armfuls of bread, cake, quiche and pastries, and also bumped up in the ranks among friends who can come visit for free coffee and goodies. I’ve truly got the goods.

(Lead image: Franklin Heijnen/Flickr CC)