December 24, 2023 at 4:36 am

Manager Insists Cook Rinses Rice “Until The Water Runs Clear,” So They Teach Them A Cloudy Lesson

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA

It’s usually the case that the people doing the work every day are the ones best equipped to know how to get it done.

Too many managers seem to forget this, though, and need to be reminded.

OP worked at Chipotle and knew exactly how to keep that neverending line moving, even when things got busy.

Years ago, I was a cook at a well-known fast-casual restaurant known for their large burritos and charging extra for guac.

I worked hard because the place was very understaffed given the number of customers that came in.

Management was understanding when we had to cut corners to make sure people did not wait for food.

Sometimes that meant technically cutting corners, like the instruction to rinse the rice “three times and the water runs clear” before cooking.

They rinsed the rice a couple of times and then cooked it, keeping everything running smooth.

One of the rules we had to follow before cooking the rice was to “rinse the raw rice three times until the water runs clear”. Vague? I know.

How clear is clear? What if, after three rinses, the water is not clear? Three times AND runs clear? Or three times OR runs clear? Who knows. I did not ask.

Most of the time we would give the rice one or two rinses before throwing it into the cooker. Never had any problems with customers complaining about it and we never ran out of rice.

Since there were never any problems, management did not care. Everyone was happy.

That is, until a manager came along who knew just enough to get herself into trouble.

That is until, one day, Miss Manager decides it is time to enforce every single rule exactly. Not sure why. To get to the position she was in, she knew how to do all the individual tasks in the kitchen, so she knew the rules.

However, she did not know how to conduct the symphony of the dozens of simultaneous tasks at the speed and accuracy required to keep customers moving and to never burn anything. I did.

She did not know which corners were okay to cut and which ones were not. I did.

She wanted OP to rinse the rice until the water was clear, and to show her the proof of this.

As I was getting ready for the busy shift, but the kitchen was not in busy mode yet. I am rinsing rice and Miss Manager approaches me. “Make sure to rinse the rice until the water runs clear.”

I look at her and respond, “I always do.”

She knew I was lying, but she knew why. She knew that it would take longer to make the rice. But I was the only one who could make sure that rice never runs out.

Her life would be harder if we ran out of rice. She had a chance to let it go. She did not, though.

“Mister Cook, I know you don’t follow that rule. Keep rinsing the rice until the water runs clear and before you put this rice on the cooker, come find me and show me that it runs clear.” I looked at her with a straight face and replied “Keep rinsing the rice until the water runs clear? Got it.”

He rinsed and rinsed and rinsed. The rice was falling apart. The line was backing up. The water wasn’t clear.

I begin. Fill the pot of rice with water, agitate the rice, pull out the perforated part of the pot, and dump out all of the cloudy water.

After three times, the water is still resembles water skim milk.

I look up. She is watching me.

She asks, “Does that water look clear to you?”

It was rhetorical. I see how it is.

I start rinsing again. Satisfied, she walks away.

I continue repeating the process.

A while goes by, and yes, I am counting the number of times. The long grains of rice are breaking apart and the entire pot is turning into a strange mushy mixture of white rice.

Given the time I am taking on this dumb task, everything else that needs to get started in the kitchen is falling behind.

Finally, Miss Manager appears in the kitchen again.

“You’re still rinsing rice?”

The timing was perfect. I dump out the water in front of her and ask, “Does that water look clear to you?”

As I dump out the precursor to slightly watered down horchata, she softly says, “no.”

I step away from the sink.

“How many times do you think I’ve rinsed this rice?” I ask.

“Seven?” she answers.

“No, try thirty-seven.” I wasn’t joking. “I have rinsed this rice thirty-seven times and the water is not running clear to your satisfaction, should I continue?”

She finally had to eat her words, but you know she wasn’t happy about it!

She looks at the rice, knows it is unusable, and that she has lost the fight. On one hand she cannot tell me to keep going because the ground up rice was only a few rinses and a cook away from becoming grits.

On the other hand, she cannot tell me to stop rinsing because then she would be in violation of the sacred rice-rinsing commandment.

Additionally, she cannot fire me, otherwise the store could not open – she scheduled me to work the entire day – and she sure knows that she could not do what I do in the kitchen.

“Fine.” she relents. “Get back in there and make sure we’re ready when it’s time to open.”

I laugh to myself as I went back to work. I win.

Is Reddit? I’m betting so!

Other people have had bad experiences at Chipotle.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Some people are trying to work out the rice, though.

Source: Reddit/AITA

The manager should have known better.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Everyone knows the third rinse is as clear as it’s gonna get.

Source: Reddit/AITA

We all have questions.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Personally, I found this story pretty dang funny.

I’m sure the manager didn’t, though.

If you liked that post, check out this one about an employee that got revenge on HR when they refused to reimburse his travel.