“There’s a fine line between assertiveness and being a bitch.” – My former contract purveyor.
I toe this line. A lot. At times, I dance on the other side of it. Cooking is a man’s world, still is. And before you start with the pffts and watevs, it’s true. It goes along the same route as clothing design and hair. We’re catching up. Being a Sailor and a Chef are two jobs where I could yell when I needed to, make demands at the drop of a dime and fully expect shit to get done the way it’s supposed to. In my defense, I’ve worked in offices, factories and all sort of other jobs, and there’s coddling and PC shit to think about when you talk, and I’m just not that person.
You have to have a thick skin when you work in any kitchen. It’s fun, we’re all pervs and jokers and haze the hell out of the sorry fucker that walks in the door. But as good as you’re going to give, you better get ready to take it. If I’m going to be standing beside you sweating my tits off for upwards of 16 hours on a line, you better not get your feelings hurt easily, because it’s going to happen. On that same note, after those 16 hours and endless line of plates go out, I’m going to be downright ready to take a bullet for you if the need ever arose. Chefs have a camaraderie that doesn’t exist anywhere else in a professional field. We talk shit, backstab, ploy for jobs, but when it comes down to it, when asked for help, you jump in the pot and cook with your comrades for better or worse. Then you drink it all away to wake up and do it again the following morning.
I’m sure I come off as a bitch. I know I do. But you have to be when you have a task sheet that stretches 5 pages and likely to change at any time throughout the day, you kind of have to be. I don’t call anyone out of their name, I just make sure things are done the way I expect them to be done. And people who work for me know that. If you’ve ever been in this field, you understand it and don’t take it personally. Way back in the beginning, I didn’t get it, but being up here on this end, it makes sense. If you’re not confident in what you ask for, you’re not likely to get it.
Anyway, welcome to my blog. I’m sure later posts will make more sense when my hangover wears off, and I may actually get to talking about the food I put out. Eventually.