Friday, December 4, 2009

Timing Is Everything

Not long ago I would have been the happiest woman in the Village to have first dibs on a Sous job at Slack's. Instead, the reality of a long commute, cost of parking and other considerations have taken a front seat and rendered me unable to be excited, or even accept the offer. To put this simply, I could work at Slacks if I was willing, the job is mine starting tomorrow. The trouble is I don't want it. I don't want it because I live 60 kms away and accepting the job would add two unpaid hours to my shift, not to mention that I'd be getting back to the very thing I ran away from when I moved up to York Region: a long commute. Finding temporary residence in the vicinity could be doable I suppose, but I'd be away from my partner and my dog and the thought of that is unbearable. I left my previous job because it wasn't making me happy and it would take a lot of convincing for me to take another that will cause me to do any juggling whatsoever of my home life. In my old age I find I am all about the quality of life and have little patience for anything that comes between me and it.

I'm trying to picture where I will be two years from now and I can't. I would flunk the interview that had the question: "Where do you see yourself in five years?". I'd like to say, for the record, that I hate that question. Always hated it. Am happy to be in an industry where I no longer have to put up with interview questions. A lot of the jobs in the food industry are found through word of mouth, referrals and staff taking each other along. For example, one of my sous chefs that was moving on to another restaurant asked me if I would be interested in working for him (he was moving on to be Head Chef and wanted to take me with him). Since the job was in Barrie I declined (again, the 40-minute commute) but -- and I think I've said this before -- through networking I've been offered more jobs during my year as a cook than in my seven years as an insurance adjuster. I've now worked in three kitchens and none of those jobs were obtained as a result of an interview process. I can't tell you the relief I feel to have a job where I don't have a phone, a computer, I don't have to apply and go through an interview process with structured interview questions (although there are exceptions I'm sure).

There are also no performance reviews where you are asked "would you say you exercise good judgment in your decisions?" I remember being asked that very question during my last performance review as an adjuster. Having already made the decision to leave, although I hadn't announced it yet, I looked at my boss and asked, with raised eyebrows, "does anyone actually answer 'no' to that?" I can't remember what her answer was but I do remember her being taken aback by the question.

Some say cooking is a mindless job. Maybe I'm just tired of being smart and I want to do mindless things for a while or, with some luck, for the rest of my career. I care about people thinking I'm stupid but not enough to give up cooking and go back to being an intellectual.

1 comment:

  1. It's only mindless if you loose the passion for it.