What would your response have been?

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by w.debord, May 13, 2002.

  1. w.debord

    w.debord

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    I interviewed with a old family freind from my catering days. He's managed to really succeed and now has one of the biggest and best catering businesses in my area. I had mailed him a resume and photos, etc. looking for a pastry postion and he contacted me offering me a new position he had at a large upscale park district type area he has a concession lease on. Basicly as kitchen manager and a property manager, rolling into a sales position. This would be his location offering to clients for large picnics and weddings who weren't going thru temples, museums or settting up their own tents.

    Although it was a great offer I declined for many reasons. Mainly my heart is in the kitchen and I'm still really fasinated with baking.
    When I told him I really didn't think I was the right person for the position (which I'm NOT, I suffer from foot in mouth problems) he responded with "what do you want to spend the rest of your life in the corner doing production work?"

    I feel very insulted by that remark and just responded that I really love baking and feel that it's what I'm best at.

    Just curious, how any of you would have responded? I thought it was an insult to all of us in the kitchen. I guess I need to hear some support that I did the right thing.........
     
  2. thebighat

    thebighat

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    Recently I made a decision not to interview for the job of bakery team leader at the earthy crunchy grocery store where I work part time, because I am not a numbers person, or a marketing genius, or a people manager. I am a skilled craftsman who takes pleasure and pride in his work and there is no diminishment of me because I choose not to pursue "loftier" aims. Of course you did the right thing. "To thine own self be true"
     
  3. anna w.

    anna w.

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    I think that was a great response. There is a huge difference between being a pastry chef and being a manager. Better to have a job that you love. Just MHO!
     
  4. anneke

    anneke

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    Wendy, this is how a lot of insecure entrepreneurs get validation for what they do. It was probably not about you, but about him. Try not to take it too seriously and move on. You're the gal with the grand plan after all. No one will ever have to 'play on your insecurities' because you know exactly what you want. Keep yourself focussed on that.
     
  5. w.debord

    w.debord

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    Thanks! You all make great sense....I just needed to hear I didn't make a mistake.

    I really do want to remain a pastry chef. Good qoute David I do try to live it ...right now I really need to concentrate on it, because I sometimes do loose focus.
     
  6. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Visualize what you want. It will then be easier to go after.
    I've turned down restaurants time and time again.....it is not what I choose to do....I don't want to do or be one thing, each feeds me in some way, whether teaching, consulting, running the farmer's market or catering.
    It hit home again this past weekend when I was teaching a private cooking class and the couple were older and said how wonderful it was for me to be able to make a living at something l love doing.....I said it was a choice that anyone/everyone could make. They did not agree.....that is sad but a reality for many out there. Do what you love, it is your choice.
     
  7. breadster

    breadster

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    Wendy- i think you would have hated it- that position is anything but what you are interested in- and wouldve pulled you further from what you want to do- esp. with such a big company-

    i admire your response- you held yourself in check- im afraid i wouldve snapped back in some fashion unbecoming to a human
    (sorrry i havent gotten back to you )
     
  8. angrychef

    angrychef

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    Wendy, I think your answer was truthful and consider yourself lucky that you know what you want to do! I would have done the same thing because...well....I'm not exactly a customer-relations-be-nice-and-smiley type of gal. I lasted 3 days at a bakery job where they originally hired me as pastry cook only to tell me I had to take over the register everyday while the cashier went out for a break or delivery.
     
  9. panini

    panini

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    Well you know I will have to disagree with everyone. I don't think he meant anything by it. I have interviewed many with great qualifications but lacked the drive to jump. I think he was trying to establish ground. After declining he tried a little slap in the face to make sure you weren't stepping backwards while wanting to go forth. He would have never offered you that position if he thought any less of you. I personally feel one needs to be selling themselves and the correct responce would be" I don't think this is the right job for me at this time" not "I don't think I'm the right person for the job" this indicated maybe you might not be able to handle the job,hense the little slap to tell you you could. as usual, my 2 cents.
    don't get me wrong I know you made the right decision. Just waiting for you to move here and we can open another shop, I think I could work for ya!:D :bounce:
     
  10. w.debord

    w.debord

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    Na I think Anneke is right. There were alot of negative comments toward my former catering business and how weird pastry chefs are....and alot of how great he is and throwing around alot of numbers and chest pounding behavior.

    To thine own self be true, to thine own self be true, to thine own self be true......
     
  11. jill reichow

    jill reichow

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    Wendy, do what you love and love what you do. You do both. That is what matters in this life.

    What an insecure man........don't waste energy on him. What's the line? Being angry at someone is allowing them to live rent free in your mind and spirit......
     
  12. compassrose

    compassrose

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    I think that was ABSOLUTELY the right thing to do. So many people seem to think that managing is The Big Reward, and deserves the Big Money. I think the people who DO stuff are the ones who really deserve the rewards.

    In my "real job," I see this all the time: people who are really good at what they do, and get promoted for it. Then the sad majority end up as lousy, non-people-person managers, who hate their jobs, make the lives of everyone under them miserable, and have nothing to show for it except an extra couple thou a year and high blood pressure -- not really worth it, in my opinion.

    If more of them knew their own inclinations and calling, as you seem to, and were brave enough to follow them instead of being seduced by the siren call of "power," we'd have a lot more happy people in the world!
     
  13. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    The fellow sounds like a case of the "Peter Principle" in action; you know, that people get promoted to their level of incompetence. Good for you W., that you are self aware enough to prevent it happening to you. Try not to let it bug you, though; he's one guy and it's one job among many other possibilities. He's just speaking from his perspective; you have another. He probably wasn't aware that his comments were cutting--again, the Peter Principle.
     
  14. ruth

    ruth

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    reading the beginning of this discussion I feel that when someone says that you are too ..whatever...to persue loftier goals .I say persue them yourself.why should i make monet for you,where is the reward for me.More work,more hours,less pay for me bleep that.do what you want when you want and with the motivation you have
     
  15. plum

    plum

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    My husband has had a similar experience in a different service industry recently - education - where he has relinquished management responsibilities even though he's good at them, because he knows he doesn't want to live like that. It's a really tough choice to make because the media, your family and peers are all set up to tell you that more responsibility/money is the only way to progress but look what you lose as well.

    It's a brave choice, but you'll have creative energy to spare if you're spending the day doing something that gives you satisfaction and excitement enough.

    I'm trying to summon the courage to look at my own 'career' with as much bravery in giving up the money and the perks and find something that I actually enjoy. We spend enough of our lives at work don't we; let's at least spend it doing something that makes us happy :)

    Plum