I (30), Who Works for a Black Company and Died While Regretting My Gloomy Life, Started Over From High School! - chapter 23
In the crowded classroom, wearing a happi coat and a twisted headband, I was standing in the middle of a terrible battlefield with three girls from my class who agreed with my decision. My decision was that we couldn’t call someone who has already made plans and that the four of us will have to do our best without backup.
“Six Bakim, six Shiso pork, and six Anko! Seat 2!”
“Roger! Six Bakim! Six Shiso pork! Six Anko! Seat 2!”
(The current takeout orders are three normal takoyakis, three Russian takoyaki sets, and three Anko takoyakis. It will take 20 seconds to bake! The new order is six Bakim, six Shiso pork, and six Anko takoyakis …… the ingredients are set, and the dough is poured!)
The trouble is that you can’t tell what’s inside the food once it’s baked, except for the Akashiyaki menu.
Normally, one person is in charge of one takoyaki machine, so it’s not so difficult to keep track of the ingredients. However, when one person is in charge of all three machines, they begin to have a nervous breakdown in a vast sea of dough, relying only on their ‘s memory.
(Damn ……! The reason for the difficulty level being this high is definitely the sheer number of items on the menu! Oh man, I’m such an idiot! I originally had five menu items from my initial plan, and now our class added another one, that’s just too many!)
“Shijoin-san, please bring the plates! One white, one rainbow, and one black!
“Oh, I got it!
Shijoin-san, who was busily pouring juice into paper cups, brought out paper plates.
Since you can’t tell the taste of the food from its appearance, the color of the plate is used to identify the flavor: white is for the normal takoyaki, rainbow is for the Russian takoyaki set, and black for those with anko.
Then I put the corresponding flavored takoyaki on the plate, and Shijoin-san put bonito flakes, aonori (dried seaweed), mayonnaise, and sauce on all but the ones with anko, and it was done.
By the way, the Akashiyaki is served in mini bowls filled with soup stock.
“Fumihashi, three normal, one Russian, and three Anko, here you go! It’s for seat number 5!
“Yes, yes! I’m coming! Ugh, it’s still too hard!”
The only person in charge of serving the food, Fumihashi, whined as she carried the newly cooked takoyaki. The customers take care of the task of throwing away the plates and leftovers, but even so, it must be very hard for one person to cover the entire classroom.
“Yes, here is your 20 yen change! Next order! Six bakim, six normal, one cola, one ginger, all for takeout!”
“Two Orange for seat 1! Two Cokes and two Ciders for seat 3. Please!”
“Here you go, sir! Oh, excuse me! All additional orders must be ordered with meal tickets. Please put the leftover drinks in that bucket over there!”
Kazamihara, Shijoin-san, and Fumihashi are doing a very good job.
To be honest, they’re working harder than I ever imagined they could, but …… the burden hasn’t decreased at all!
After all, the customers keep coming.
The reason for this is probably Shijoin-san.
She’s wearing a shiny yukata, but now she’s sweating, which makes her look very attractive to men, and even though she’s in the kitchen, she’s drawing more and more male customers into the classroom.
(Damn it! Hey, hey, hey! Don’t you guys look! It pisses me off to see anyone but me looking at Shijoin-san’s glossy figure!)
If you look closely, you’ll see that it’s not only Shijoin-san who is attracting attention, but also Kazamihara and Fumihashi.
They are both quite beautiful to begin with, and their sweat-soaked yukata outfits are like a magnet for boys.
That’s what high school boys are all about!
“Hey, isn’t it a little late?”
The faces of me and the other three girls stiffened at the sudden muttering of one of the customers.
It was not directed at the shopkeepers, but a small murmur with no particular malice.
But …… people get even more impatient when they feel the things they want to suppress are beginning to blow up.
When I looked in the direction of where I heard Fumihashi’s voice, I saw that the short-cut girl had gotten her foot caught in a chair and lost her balance, scattering the plate she was carrying on the floor.
A number of takoyaki rolled on the ground and the sauce stained the floor.
“Uh-oh, …… I ……!”
Looking at the devastation on the floor, Fumihashi was at a loss and tears welled up in her eyes.
This is …… not good! I need a cover!
“Fumihashi! You just dropped a normal takoyaki, right?
“Eh, uh, yeah …….”
Before the feeling of guilt for making a mistake in a busy environment spreads to Fumihashi, I stop the flow of emotions by asking out in a loud voice.
“All right! I’ll make it up right away! Don’t panic, just clean up there!
“Okay, okay, ……!
Quickly delegate the job with clear words and stop the guilt with a sense of responsibility.
It’s important to take care of them at the moment like this, because a mistake will have a deep and lasting effect on a serious person.
“Shijoin-san! Please make the usual call!”
“Yes, yes! Hello, everyone! It’s very crowded right now, and we’re running late to give out the takoyaki and drinks! Please wait just a little longer! ……!”
When Shijoin-san, the beautiful girl in yukata, asked loudly for attention, some of the customers who were waiting for the takoyaki that Fumihashi had just dropped, as well as some impatient customers who were annoyed by the slow delivery, relaxed their expressions, and the atmosphere in the entire classroom softened a little.
This was something I had asked Shijo-in-san to do beforehand, aiming to soften the customer’s mood by telling them that the store was sorry for making them wait.
This didn’t stop the flow, but…
(Guh ……, even if the seats are filled, we still have takeout, so we’ll get endless orders ……! So far, we’ve been able to serve the food at about 80% of the normal speed, but if we don’t do something about it, the customers might start saying things like “it’s too slow” or “please speed it up!”)
And if that happens, the mental burden on the three girls, who are not used to this kind of situation, will be tremendous, and the current flow we are maintaining will collapse.
No, …… calm down.
It’s up to me to get through this mess.
In the end, the bottleneck is the production speed of takoyaki.
(At times like this, if it were a cooking or business management manga, the protagonist would probably come up with a secret plan to turn the tables, but …… there’s only one way an ex-company slave can think of.)
If I alone can’t keep up with the speed at which the three of us in the regular cooking team can make takoyaki–
All I had to do was make the takoyaki three times faster than normal!
(Crush efficiency, ……! We need to eliminate unnecessary labor and optimally process the orders that come in! Making takoyaki, working in an office, setting up a venue, and handling events are all essentially the same! I’m just trying to get the task done!)
The consciousness of my company slave days that is slowly coming back to me accelerates my pick handling.
More ……! Faster!
The process of taking orders falls to Kazamihara.
Put them in a folder on your computer that you have imagined in your brain and manage them.
Execute them in the order in which they are on standby.
With a bird’s eye view of the three takoyaki machines, I quickly calculate where and what type of takoyaki will be most efficient for the current order, and start baking immediately.
Oiling, putting in the ingredients, pouring in the batter, baking, and finishing.
I can’t believe it. My arms hurt from all the lactic acid buildup. … I mean, my back, my spine, and my whole body aches ……! But …… this will work!
By tracing the movements for maximum efficiency, without taking into account tomorrow’s muscle pain, I manage to reach the desired production speed.
All that’s left is to do is ……!
“Oh, hey, look at that …… one guy making full use of ……three takoyaki machine.
“What’s that …… guy doing? He’s already putting in the ingredients the moment the order comes in!”
“What’s with those smooth, creepy movements …… like a human takoyaki machine?
Hey, stop calling people a takoyaki machine!
Who would want to do such a fancy acrobatic stunt?
(Yeah, but in my previous life, I was definitely like a machine. ……)
In my previous life, I had to be efficient and work in the quickest time possible to get everything done on time, and my bosses still would always call me useless.
That’s why I became a livestock that did nothing but work without thinking, a company slave.
I became a cog with a gloomy face, just processing work with a dispirited mind.
(Huh ……? But now I’m ……)
Suddenly, I realized.
I’m just as busy as I was back then, working myself to the breaking point.
My mouth had been hanging open for a while now.
“Hahahaha ……! I’m so tired! My head is going to be a mess!”
Right next to me, Shijoin-san grumbles as she quickly pours juice into a paper cup.
She’s been moving around since the start of her shift and is already drenched in sweat.
“But it’s weird! I’m really enjoying this…… even though I’m so tired ……!”
In the midst of intense work, Shijoin-san smiles sincerely, saying that this fatigue and elation is pleasant.
The beads of sweat on her forehead are as dazzling as jewels.
“How about you, Nihama-kun? Are you enjoying …… this time?”
Without resting her hands, Shijoin-san asked me a straightforward question.
And the answer came out of my mouth before I could even think of it.
“Yeah, ……! We’re so busy, but …… I’m having a lot of fun!”
My brain and body were creaking with exhaustion.
But in contrast to the cold and gloomy feeling I had back then when I was a machine at work, I now have a burning sense of elation and joy.
I was truly enjoying this time where I could work hard with everyone.
“Oh, I’m glad! I’m glad you feel that way Nihama-kun!
Shijoin-san smiles in delight when I responded that it was fun.
And so the struggle continues.
The four of us, connected by a strong sense of unity that could be called a comrade-in-arms, struggled to cope with the onrushing stream of customers.
I simply keep working through the end of the festival.
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