1980's at Hoito
Date: Mon, Dec 06, 2010 2:25 pm
To: feedback@finlandiaclub100.com

It seemed to be in the 80's as a Finn growing up in Thunder Bay a rite of passage at some point was to work at Hoito.  Back then it was preferable to speak Finn.  The Tv room was there for the people to gather in between meals, as there were regulars who had all three meals of the day and coffee in between.  Part of the training as an employee there was to get familiar with each regular's needs as far as what they meant by what they ordered.  One could write a book about each of the characters and occurrences we had happening at Hoito.

One particular hilarious now, but near tragic incident stands out in mind.  During one of the many busy business days at Hoito, waitresses running back and forth with trays of hot meals and hot coffee and so on, we also had to watch out for little customers running under foot, or under trays rather.  Children running at play slipped in and out of sight for the serving staff.  The bussing staff, bless their souls, were the ones trying to keep tables cleaned, high chairs in place and anything else the waitresses could abuse them with.  They'd warn waitresses as yet another child might be running towards a waitress with a full tray.   Imagine how freshly brewed coffee, hot tea water, and soup would be on a child's skin!

Swiftly walking out of the kitchen was I when "BAMM", to my surprise I ran into someone's child running across the doorway of the restaurant from the kitchen.  With my tray in front of me I never saw the child at all.   First instinct was to not let any of that hot fluid land on any customer.  The tray was sailing towards a crowd of people sitting immediately at the first tables there so the stuff on the tray would've soaked the child too. I gave that tray a hard embrace towards me, to pull it away from the disaster about to happen.All the hot stuff landed on me and soaked my nylon/polyester uniform dress we wore back then.  I saved the cursing and screaming for when I got to the back room where our dressing room was.  While I peeled off the uniform, very kind co-workers cut off some Aloe vera plant leaves and gave them to me to soothe the burns.  Another co-worker gave me a spare uniform from her locker to put on after I got cleaned up.

The kitchen had a large Aloe vera plant just for this sort of use. It was a large plant.  Barely any of its spikes were ever full grown. Rather sad looking plant.  But very much appreciated for our use.The collision, the changing of the uniform and all maybe took up 8 minutes at the most.  At least not one customer complained about my service being too slow that day. Of course it was assumed by anyone Finn that I would continue working. 

Is it old fashioned to have that sort of Sisu?

Eeva-Maria Kontuvirta