A day in the life of a Galley Utility

Good morning everyone. It is 3.30 am and I am surprised that someone else is up at the same time as me? Well, as you're here, why don't you come and see what I do in my job as a Gallery Utility.

First, I need a quick cup of coffee but breakfast will have to wait until the crew mess opens. By now, the bakery is already busy and the breakfast cooks are starting their duties. I need to sign in with the Assistant Kitchen Steward, who will give me my assignment for today.

You may or may not be familiar with some of the United States Public Health regulations so I'll exlain them to you. There is a bucket system, where on all work stations there needs to be buckets prepared with a number of different mixtures to be used for cleaning. It's nickname is the 3 bucket system, 1 bucket has soap and hot water, 1 has just hot water for rinsing in it and lastly the bucket with the water and chlorine to sanitize the just cleaned area.

My first task is to fill up all the buckets. We have measuring cups so that we can measure the right amount of chlorine and the buckets are marked to show us where the water level needs to be filled up to. Each bucket gets a new, clean rag every time.

When one of the cooks starts or ends using the preparation table in his/her section, they do not only need to clean the area, but also sanitize it with the chlorine and water mixture that we have just prepared.

Some of my colleagues are assigned to clean the floors around the hot counters, before the breakfast cooks starts to prepare the breakfast orders from the guests.

In the areas where work will start later on in the day, such as the cold galley, pastry workstation and the fish, meat and poultry work stations, it is our task to clean the walls, floors and the walk-in fridges.

While it is the job of the cooks to keep their walk-in fridges organized and in order, we have to clean the shelves and the floors. In this area we again have to do a number of cleans using different mixtures so firstly we clean with hot water and soap, then rinse with hot water and then sanitize with the chlorine/water mix we prepared earlier.

We carry out these cleaning duties until 6.00 am and then we get a half an hour break to go for breakfast in the crew mess.

Of course there is more than one galley onboard the ship and today, I have been assigned to the galley of the speciality restaurant, which only opens in the evenings. Also there, I need to clean the walk-in fridge and floors. The equipment, such as the convection oven, stove and grill would of been cleaned last night after service.

Next week I will be on an evening shift which I like much better. On the other hand, my duty ends today at 15:00 and then hopefully I will be able to go ashore for a few hours.

I hope you enjoyed your day with me, see you soon.

Rasyid Musa, Malaysia