Friday, September 22, 2006

Order Up!

I suited up, double checked that I had everything, did one final look in the mirror to make sure everything was in place and then it was off to work. I was officially a man in uniform. I mean I’m not one of New York’s Finest or even one of New York’s Bravest…I’m one of New York’s Ninja’s!

That’s right I was wearing, and will continue to wear the uniform at least three or four nights a week, all black from head to toe. To the untrained eye I may look like a manic depressive, but no, in fact the all black uniform is usually a staple at most trendy, hot, sexy, (insert more adjectives here) restaurants in this city.

The first day went well but seemed a bit overwhelming at times. That’s usually the case with a new job. There seems to only be two different speeds at first. There is completely ludicrous speed accompanied with so much information your brain starts to swell and then there is slug speed because you’re a bit bored due to the fact you don’t know how to do anything. I guess that as the hours start to pile up, the two speeds seem to meet somewhere in the middle.

I spent most of the night in the kitchen, working and learning about the food from the executive chef. It’s the first time I’ve been in a restaurant kitchen in over two years but they’re all the same. They’re fucking crazy! There are a million moving parts that all seem to work together so that every Tom, Dick, and Jane in the dinning room gest what they ordered in a timely manner.

Throughout the night I did cruise through the dinning room. It’s a beautiful place with great lighting, great fixtures and the attractive clientele to match it. I’d be lying if there wasn’t a little tug at the reality string while I glanced at each table. That was me enjoying my cocktail and petit filet just a few weeks ago while talking business. Not anymore my friends. And after a minute of reminding myself why I made the choice I did, I was right back in where I wanted to be (mentally speaking), after all I was still at work.

Thanks for listening

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Diving Encouraged

There is not a clear cut straight path to follow anymore. I gave that up weeks ago. There are no nicely painted signs showing exactly how much farther to the next destination. Hell, I don’t even have those lights that will illuminate in the case of an emergency directly me to the closest exit! (Don’t forget the closest exit may be behind you)

I supposed that’s one of the biggest changes I’ve had to accept with the new the life choice I’ve made. Sure, there are thousands of books and probably just as many experts offering their advice and expert opinions of how to get where I want to go…It’s not like I’m following a junior leadership program set up by the top management, all the time knowing I’m on the right track for success. That luxury ended just as fast as my former company’s contribution to my 401(k).

I have to admit it’s equally as excited as it is scary. My time in the corporate world was great, I did really enjoy it, up until the very end…It always came natural to me. How to act, how to carry myself, what to say, what not to say, it was all pretty easy. I think the biggest factor behind that was growing up with my mom playing the role of Mrs. Corporate America.

The story is a bit different now. Talk about uncharted waters. I have jumped into a world that is about as foreign to me as Christmas carols are to the Jihad! I’m guess the plan is to just keep searching, reading, asking, anyone, anything I can get a hold of to try and gain more knowledge about this industry. I guess I could continue to bullshit my way through this chapter in life too, but that might start to run out…

Thanks for listening

Monday, September 18, 2006

Keep on Keepin' on

It’s good to be back. I know I should have been back sooner but just couldn’t seem to get my ass in front of my computer with the intent to write. God knows it wasn’t because I haven’t had the time.

A lot has changed in the past few weeks. All the changes were certain and I knew were coming my way. I don’t deny that…only that I’m not sure if I knew exactly what these changes would actually feel like. We make changes in our life all the time. The small changes seem to happen quite frequently…new shampoo, a different flavor syrup at Starbucks, new hair style, while the larger changes, for obvious reasons are spread much farther apart.

My last day in the corporate world was August 30th, a Wednesday which means it’s been almost three weeks now. The first week was a wash as that Friday I flew to Houston to see the family and decompress before coming back to the city I love so much five days later. That means it was the middle of the week once my return flight landed and I sprinted out of the gates to pound the pavement to find myself a job!

I had for the previous few weeks been sending out resumes, cover letters, hell even pictures (New York restaurants are quite image conscious) to just about every restaurant from the Hedge Fund flooded Financial district to the Over-Stroller Populated Upper East Side. All of this really got be a whole lot of nothing…

The low point, as I’m sure it was for the rest of the city for much more heartfelt reasons was September 11th. It was a clear day, exactly the same type of weather that fell upon the city 5 years earlier. I woke up late after drinking too much the night before (the last thing I needed to do while being completely unemployed) and it hit me!

I quit my job, hit the eject button on my career, and honestly didn’t know when or where the next check was going to come from…Doubt started waving his nasty pointer finger from side to side all too close to my face. “What the hell was I thinking? How the hell am I going to be able to do this?”

All of these questions bum-rushing my brain set the rest of my body into a huge panic. Maybe not a huge panic, but just the “nothing tastes good, why do I keep waking up 55 times a night?” kind of panic. You know…the fun type!

However by weeks end and thanks to the amazing group of people I have in my life all was settled or at least much more manageable than Monday. My family and close friends have been more than I deserve. It’s like I have a 24 hour phone-a-friend line I can use whenever and however often I need it.

That day was a good day looking back because it was a real day. I needed to realize that this wasn’t going to be easy. If it were, wouldn’t more people take the chance? I don’t remember ever hearing an interview with a well established writer, singer, actor, producer who said…”ya know, the whole thing was pretty easy. It just sort of happen with very little effort or struggle.”

I now know that there will be bad days and probably even gut wrenching days where I might second guess my choice, but I also know there will be great days to follow. I made this life changing decision and plan on seeing it out to the end…

Thanks for listening