Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I need help

My career has been turned upside down and I don't know what to do.

Today, I got to the restaurant to open and the air conditioner was out. I called the owner and let him know, thinking nothing of it, it's an old building. The repair guy was on his way moments after we hung up. Then the walk-in went out. Then the hoods went out. We were forced to close for the day to fix an electrical short that killed the motors on the air conditioner and the hoods. Thankfully not the walk in. My day was spent trying to rescue food by shuffling it from cooler to cooler, putting everything on ice.

Dread filled me. We are in the process of moving the restaurant to a building across the street. We are currently renting from someone who wants the space to expand the bar next door. It is a difficult situation I cannot talk about here, but it is possible we will be evicted before the space across the street is renovated.

Money is tight. And today cost close to $10,000. I am afraid I will not have a job in a month. This job is my dream job. I love it. I am loyal to the people, the owner, our guests. I do not want to leave my current job. 

But, working for a small business has it's drawbacks and the place is open in spite of the owner's ridiculousness. As much as I love that man, he will be the downfall and I am afraid that the writing is already on the wall.

After being screamed at for no reason, I expressed my anger to one of the servers. She went on and on about how I am too good for this place and she was going to find me a job. 

She did. Hours later, she posted said job on Facebook and then commenced having a probably not appropriate conversation about leaving on my wall. Whatever. This is what is great about restaurants. I would never get fired for having that conversation.

Moments ago, I got a text from her telling me that she described me to the chef and she wants me. In fact, needs me. I would start back at line cook, but kitchen manager would be in my near future. Better pay, benefits, job security. 

At a corporate fucking restaurant. Granted...a good one. A very high end one. Price point in the $30 range. It would be good experience. It would be very good for my career. But, how I loathe corporations. Anything corporations.

I texted the general manager of my current restaurant and he said not to worry, everything would be fine. And I trust him, very much. But, I am scared. Really, really scared.

And, honestly, I just don't know what to do. Do I leave for stability or stay for passion? Because I sure as fuck won't  be coming up with daily features and changing the menu if I take this job. I will probably be manning a fucking fryer and dropping fries for 10 - 12 hours a day. Working nights. 

But, I would know I had a job. And I would learn from a very high end steakhouse. Learn things I desperately need to know. Because there is no chef at my current job to teach me. 

Ugh. I might have to make Bearnaise. I loathe Bearnaise.

What do I do? I know that none of you can tell me, but I just need advice. Like I have never needed advice before. 

I could be executive chef in a year at my current job. A job I am not sure I am ready for. Or I can take corporate job and get ready. And never have any hope of being creative. Of creating food. 

Ugh. Fuck being a grownup. 


Rachael Heiner said...

I wish that I could tell you what to do, because this kind of choice sucks ass so much. There are good and bad sides to both, and it is SO HARD to weigh them against one another. It does sound like this new opportunity would give really good experience. But I totally understand hating the idea of working for a corporation, because I have done it and never want to again. I'm totally unhelpful, but I guess I just wanted to say I feel your pain and I hope it all works out.

Phnx65 said...

For the sake of argument, say you go to the high end chain, and learn. I'm not in your business, but who's to say after getting the training (and the job security for a while...) you can't leave and go out and get something like that which you're doing now, BUT be hired in higher up, b/c you'll have some experience? Your current situation sounds great, in terms of your passion, but play out the worst case scenarios, just so you have them in your mind.... evicted, no new location, no job, plus no one to train you, no promise of getting to top dog as soon as you'd like, vs. lack of passion, chain restauant, initial step backwards... weigh your cons, THEN consider your positives and you'll know what to do.....

monique said...

I would stay at your current job. If that does not work out for whatever reason, something else will. Anyone working in a kitchen has to like working at that particular job. My husband is an ex chef. The work is a bitch but you have to be happy where you are to get thru the long hot days. You need to be able to show your creative side and use it to grow in that profession.
Good luck!