I have no idea how some people can manage to stay in the food industry for a such large part of their lives, especially ones that work 80 hours a week and do so for years and years. If I were to have been in this industry for even a decade, I think all my hair strands would be white, I’d look like I was 50, have wrinkled up grandma hands, have all kinds of health problems, and ummm I would probably end up in the nut house.
I love food. I love to eat. I once loved to cook. Maybe the industry killed the passion that was once there. There are things that I just can’t tolerate anymore.
I am sick of working with tattoo covered prison bitches that are always boasting about their time being locked up. Okay, to be fair, I have seen some of these guys rock out some of the most beautiful dishes. But the fact that I am sometimes surrounded by ex cons is not always settling. I have no issues with tattoos. I think some of them look cool (though I would NEVER get one myself). I can look the other way if you tell me you have been locked up for a minor crime. The kitchen is one of the places that offer former inmates to do something more productive with their lives. People do make mistakes and reform. But geez…don’t bring the prison lingo and mentality to the kitchen.
I am also sick of working with illegals. It’s no secret that this industry thrives on its illegal workers. Your restaurant meal would probably cost more if it didn’t. They play a big role of the accessible “foodie” world. Many of them work very hard for very little pay, keeping restaurant costs minimal. I can respect them trying to find better opportunities and all. But if you have ever been back there behind those swinging doors, you may run into some of the um…ones you might want to call Immigration on.
I am sick of bourgeoisie ass customers with their $3 million dollar kitchens who think that just because they watch Foodnetwork everyday, it makes them Iron Chef worthy, – you know, the type of people that get suckered in to buying the most expensive and ridiculous kitchen tool just because Rachel Ray (hypothetically speaking) said they should get one when the same job can be done with a basic knife. And they have like 50 different knives, one designated for very specific tasks. God forbid if you (the professional) are to slice a tomato with a serrated knife. She needs to spend about ten minutes scavenging through her knife collection to find you THE tomato slicing knife, according to Foodnetwork. But let’s get real. Most of us in the work kitchen really only need three knives to get through the night, -the chefs knife, a serrated knife, and a pairing knife. When I picture anyone having 50 different knives in their kitchen, I automatically think of a ditzy housewife that the Cutko sales people and the likes thrive on.
I am sick of not being able to eat when there is no time. There have been times when it just gets so busy that I didn’t get to eat until I got home….and we all know how Miss Kim gets when she’s hungry. When this was happening a little too often, I even started getting stomach/digestive issues.
Yeah, the industry sucks and can drive a person crazy. I hate the industry. I’ve grown to hate it. BUT….I have to admit that there are some things that I don’t hate, things that made me stay in the industry longer than I had planned.
Learning something new – Sometimes things can become quite repetitive and boring. You get sick of the same shit. But it’s not like most places are going to feature the same items month after month, year after year. Menus change, new items get added, old items may get dropped… And it’s fun to learn a new recipe or a new plating style. The more you learn, the more that is added to your repertoire.
You don’t have to bring lunch to work. Okay, sometimes I do but that’s usually because I get so sick of everything I see, smell, and taste all day long. Sometimes family meals are like prison food. When I don’t have time to whip something up or don’t want to eat family meal, I bring my own food. But it’s nice to have the option of having food accessible and not necessarily have bringing lunch or going out for lunch be the only options. Going out for lunch lol…never seen anyone do that. We wouldn’t even have the time. We eat standing up.
The Adrenalin Rush – it gets me pumped up and I guess I learned to thrive on it. At the end of the night after a crazy rush, you feel exhausted and satisfied, -happy that you survived such madness, glad to be done.
Compliments – This is the biggie……the thing that we thrive on and motivates us to be better. When compliments are sent back to the kitchen or raved about on social media, it makes you realize why you do what you do.
Hearing the two words, “Well done!” And no I am not referring to how people order their meat. THAT “well done” makes everyone in the kitchen cringe and wonder why anyone would deem such an unthinkable act. When the big boss comes around and tastes your creation and says, “MMMM Well done!” or after pulling a double and about to pass out, the two words, “well done” fuels you to go on.