Musings

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by phaedrus, May 10, 2017.

  1. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I will drop this into the Cafe for a couple reasons.  First it's not strictly related to business.  Second, there probably isn't any answer.  So I guess it's a vent/rant/ramble.

    I'm kind of at a crossroads with work.  My present position has some pluses and minuses as all jobs do I suppose.  I'm the chef of a 100 seat bistro/bar-and-grill and have been for a couple years.  I have almost complete control over the food, save for a few things the owner does as set promos (think burger nite, etc).  I have a pretty strong reputation locally and am kind of BMOC in this small town.  The locals love having me here and they're really nice folks.  Part of the job involves getting some face time in FOH informally to hobnob with the regulars.  Overall I like putting a face to the guest check but obviously sometimes it's hard work to put on my smiley-face at the end of a hard nite./img/vbsmilies/smilies/redface.gif   The pay is okay but less than I would make for the group I used to work for.

    And that's the next part.  I recently took a road trip to meet with the president of the company I used to work for.  Lots of years with them, basically all good ones and my stock with them is pretty high.  They're offering me the Exec job as a much larger property than I presently manage (but not as big as the others I have run in the past).  The money would be better but it's a little bit more formal/corporate in structure.  I would still drive the food but not to the degree I do now.

    The present job I have has some frustrations that I won't go deeply into now.  Some are part and parcel to being in a small sole proprietorship (limited budget for upkeep and new toys, etc) and others are unique to this particular place.  The new job would require a relocation to place I don't love, but I really don't care much for the town I'm in now and head back to my home town whenever I have a couple days off.

    The kicker is that I really don't want either job!  I love cooking and being a chef but this isn't the part of the country I want to live in.  I'm getting close to fifty now I'm getting the itch.  Part of me is genuinely thinking of taking any kitchen job I can in the part of the country I want to be in, then figuring out as I go.  On some level that's idiotic, or at least it seems that way.  Here I have a strong reputation, there I'd be unknown.  Here I make pretty fair money but I can't say for certain what I can make there.  I have some money in the bank so it wouldn't be a big hardship but I'd be leaving a pretty secure life for something uncertain.

    I guess I'm not even asking for advice since there probably isn't a perfect answer.  Just venting I guess.  The shadows are getting longer though and if I am going to relocate I want to do while I'm still young enough to take advantage of the things I'm moving for.
     
  2. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Go. 

    You don't mention wife and kids so I'll assume you don't have that concern. And family of any other kind isn't an issue apparently. 

          Reputations are funny things. I have a  pretty good one where I live, yet more from the name of the place I earned it than mine although plenty of folks, especially those in the business, know and think highly of me professionally. Even so, I'm hardly a household name and there are plenty of people who don't know or care. And the proof is in the pudding. Or the resume, more specifically. 

         Which is to say that when you move, your resume speaks for you. While I am looking for work here, I still need a resume to apply for jobs, even with people who know me. Paper work I guess.  Just like you'll need yours when you move. 

         I've had the good fortune to live in several parts of the country in my life and now find myself where I like best so at the moment I have no intention of moving. But family is mostly elsewhere so relocation may become a concern at some point. When that happens, I'll do what I've always done. Polish the resume and back it up in action. 

         Getting a foot in the door is your only concern. Once in, your abilities will show themselves. Good cooks are hard to find all over the country. 

            As for satisfaction, the place/company I work for now offers me nothing but good pay and benefits, at least for a cook. But no creativity and I wouldn't say I was happy. On the other hand, years ago I built what reputation I have working endless hours every week with almost full creative control for extremely little pay. But I was very happy. 

         Now I need the good pay to afford the mortgage and student loans I've acquired but I think if I could rid of the debt, I'd go back to being a starving artist in a heartbeat.  

    Life can be brutally short and you have to do what you can, while you can. Go Now. 
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
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  3. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I got out of the box years ago...they wouldn't let me back in...best thing that ever happened to me.

    At this point in my life, I have no wouldas, shouldas, couldas hanging over my head. Seems to be working for me so far, so I ain't going to fix it.

    I am an adrenaline junkie. I get my fix in situations that are uncertain. Comfort zones are over-rated. Nobody ever talks about a "comfort rush".
     
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  4. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    Out of the blue one of the feelers I put out has resulted in enough interest that they want to at least speak to me on the phone.  It would be a Sous job in Wallace, ID.  They lost their Sous abruptly due him being injured badly outside of work.  Obviously this is just a conversation right now and even if there was some mutual interest I'm not sure if the time frame would work out, but...Wallace is one of the most beautiful places on planet Earth IMO.  I was only there once but it looks like a little Swiss village was plucked out of the Alps and gently placed in the Rockies.  Even if it doesn't lead to an offer I'm kind of nervous and excited to even take the baby step to speaking to them./img/vbsmilies/smilies/redface.gif
     
  5. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Congrats on the job lead!  As far as everything else, my bit of advice would be to go.  The great thing about being a cook/chef is that no matter where you go there will be jobs.  Sure, you may have to take a lower paying cook's job for a while, but there is almost always places looking for quality cooks.  That's one of the reasons I got into this business in the first place-I was pretty much guaranteed to find a job no matter where I traveled to.
     
  6. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Cool beans on the potential opportunity!

    What's the worst that could happen out of a phone call?...Although I learned not to ask that question a loong time ago. The universe has a weird sense of humor. :~)
     
  7. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    ... but when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money— booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
    •  
    Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.

    Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!

    W.H. Murray from "The Scottish/Himalayan Expedition" 1951

    Have fun in Idaho.

    And Congratulations.