Their is a hierarchy in bakeries, at some point we'll get into this in more detail, but in most cases, on a bakers first day on the job, they usually will have to work the bench.
Working the bench can mean anything from scaling doughs to hand forming a variety of different dough shapes (i.e. hoagies, steak buns, bagatini's, hamburger buns, baguettes, boules, batards - etc).
A valuable Bench Worker (also known as a Roll Mole) typically has fast hands and is good with numbers.
Throughout history a bench worker has been known as a Bakers Apprentice. This entry level position can be most critical time in a bakers career, people above you will watch you during this time just to check your attitude and aptitude.Only 1 in 5 bench worker will ever advance.
Bench Workers don't work 8 hour shifts.....they work until the job gets done. 10-12 shifts, and 6 or 7 day weeks is pretty common.If you can't handle the bench, you'll never make it as a mixer or an oven man
To get through such drudgery one has to strengthen and empty their minds at the same time. The best way to do this is for whoever is bench foreman that day has to pick a topic of the day. Once they have....it will not necessarily be the exclusive topic of the day, but the main one.
Listed below are just some of the day long topics I have heard discussed -
Is Kevin Bacon Gay
Black Irish People
Where You've Done It
Puking Out of Your Mouth and Nose at the Same Time
Guns & Roses or Motley Crew
Kirby Puckett's Girl Friends
Who Your Gay Boyfriend Would Be (the crew proffesed to be straight)
Hands or Feet
Ginger or Mary Ann
Who On the Crew Would Be the first to Die
Stabbed or Eaten by a Wolf
If You Were on a Island (Would You do It with Susan Lucci?)
Warner Brothers or Disney
DC or Marvel
Which One of Charlies Angels (and where would it happen)
The list goes on. The list I shared with you is pretty tame, there were some topic that even made Danny Klecko blush, but if you ask anybody who has worked awhile in the Food Show, I'm gonna guess they would laugh at this un politically correct list, because they probably have had many of the same discussions.
Sigh.........just wait till you hear what goes on in the minds of the mixers and oven-men.