You know that situation when someone asks you to suggest someone for a gig, and you rack your brain thinking of people and names and contacts, all the while thinking, “I could do that!”
Then you spend 15 mins talking yourself out of suggesting yourself for it because you panic and think “well, what if I’m not qualified, good enough, etc.. etc…”
Well, that scenario has come up twice in the last month. the first one worked out well. (one little bobble) So, what the hell, I went for it with the second one!
I am currently on a train, heading to Oshawa, to meet up with my “team” for the weekend, where I will be sous chef/kitchen assistant for a hospitality company servicing 5 racing teams.
If there is one thing you all know about me, it’s that my happiest place on earth is at a race track. So the capacity in which I am “working” really matters very little.
If there is another thing you all know about me, I fricken love food and cooking! Deep down inside is a chef that never had the guts/money/time to hone her craft. Once upon a time I wanted to have my own catering company/cafe. I’ve waitressed since I was 11, have worked in restaurants, cater-waitered, managed, and even helped out in craft service on movies sets.
So, this weekend, I get to say “yes chef” a-la top chef/masterchef/hells kitchen (hopefully not the latter!!) and get my cooking mastery on!
I won’t be doing the actual cooking! I’m more KP duty me thinks. Lots of chopping/prepping/serving, etc… hard fucking work I know. But man, what an adventure!!
You only get one go round at this life, and the older I get, it seems the braver I get, because really, what is there to lose? It can all be taken away so suddenly.
I was never the girl in the cubicle. I was never the “secure” job with benefits and retirement funds. I’m the grab life by the balls and hold on for dear life girl.
I’ve been a professional singer/dancer, restaurant manager, event planner, office manager, professional photographer, and now, for 4 days, I will be a sous chef.
My inner Julia Childs is geeking out!!
*one week later*
Ha! How wide eyed and excited I was…
How fucking deluded I was…
Will I do it again? Probably not.
But not for the reasons you might think.
Yes it was fucking hard work, but the “stress” of it was mostly due to lack of proper organization more so than the actual work itself.
Put it this way… there were a lot of “Captains” wandering the deck, but no one was actually holding on to the steering wheel and directing the ship. I offered a few suggestions on ways to alleviate some of the problems and got blank stares, and “thanks, we’ll take that under consideration”
ya. So unless I’m brought back in a capacity of logistics, it ain’t happening.
Luckily for all involved last weekend, I’m pretty much self-directing, and I will get the job done, no matter the situation, and deal with the consequences later. So that is what I did, to my own detriment.
Those consequences turned out to be severe heat exhaustion, physical exhaustion, and severe dehydration after the fact. 12 hrs of vomiting and passing out once I got home, followed by an additional 2 days recovering and desperately trying to get anything to stay in my system.
It was GREAT! *note this is sarcasm*
oh, and insult to injury, after going above and beyond the call of duty daily, I was shorted money on what I was quoted. (second time in as many weeks/paying gigs that has happened) Note to self, get everything in writing for future endeavors or just continue to work for free…
*excuse me while I whine for a second, cause the more I think about it, the more it pisses me off*
All the other staff was flown in from as far away as California and Texas, and provided either rental cars or passage from their point of entry. I had to make my way to another city on my own dime, and take a cab to/from the hotel on my own dime. I also took all the kitchen rags back to the hotel and washed them on my own dime and on my own time so we would have something to wipe our hands/wipe down counters with.
In addition I was quoted a day rate for a 14hr day. (6am-8pm) It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t awful.
Well… let me just tell you, those hours were a fucking pipe-dream. Never happened 15-17hrs was the norm. Nor did any form of substantial break (see previous lack of organization comment) So what was an “acceptable rate” based on the original quote turned into slave labor.
So ya when all was said and done, I almost died, I got docked a half day of pay, and was out of pocket over $60
Oh, and further insult to injury, the chef never had the courtesy to say “thank you for all your hard work and for saving my ass these last four days” Unbelievable. Simple manners people.
On the bright side, the other support staff from the company in Indy that provided the trailer were awesome! (thank god)
Hard working, fast working, organized, I would work with them again in a heartbeat. In fact I will be seeing them again at my next race, but as a guest, not a worker 😉 (not that I wouldn’t pitch in a lend a hand if they needed me)
The funniest part of all of it, that it could have been in a field in the middle of nowhere for all knew. Other than the occasional sound of cars on track (that I could only hear when I left the kitchen ) and bumping into a couple of drivers I knew while bringing the food out to the line, I had NO sense of being at the race track. Hilarious.
Chalk it up to one more life experience…