Hello, O-HI-30 readers! I bet you thought I forgot about you. I wish I could say “ha, you were wrong!”, but in fact I did “forget” about you there for a few weeks. Between Thanksgiving and work and my 9th Annual Hanukkah party and more work, I just decided to lay low on my days off and watch the entire first season of “Master of None” on Netflix (for the record, it’s only 10 half-hour episodes). And not blog.
(Side note – can you spy two miniature cat figurines in the second picture below? There were at least 100 hidden all over my apartment by my clever friends during my Hanukkah Party – still finding them and it makes me laugh every time!)
Every time over the past few months that I’ve taken a break from blogging, I think maybe I’ll stop writing it all together. I think, “I’m writing so infrequently, who is even still reading?”. But then I find myself drawn to the computer, itching to put some words on the page. My new job doesn’t afford me the opportunity to write much – or do anything particularly intellectual, for that matter – and I miss it. So low and behold, here I am again. You just can’t shake me.
Tonight I thought I’d take a post to share my thoughts on the topic that so many interested parties have inquired about these last few months: my new job. And more specifically, the hot button question: “So, Sarah – how do you like your new job?”. Now that I’m three months in and about to begin my final month of training, I feel as though I’m equipped to answer that question – sort of.
The last three months have been some of the hardest of my life. I’ve worked longer and more demanding hours than I ever have before (except for while getting my MBA, but that felt different). I’ve spent weeks cooking on the line of a busy, bustling, fast-paced, high-quality restaurant, getting constant “coaching” on my burrito rolls, salad heights, pizza crusts, and bun toasts. I’ve mopped floors, carried 50 lb bags of flour, gone ten hours without eating a thing, and stood in the same spot cutting squash for hours on end. I’ve even made biscuits and cookies – a real feat for someone who hates to bake!
Having worked at the same company for over eight years, I forgot how it feels to be “new” somewhere. Being new is hard. Very hard. Not having worked in a restaurant before, the learning curve for a brand-new industry has been (and still is) steep. What some might take for granted as basic knowledge – like what “86” means or what a ninth pan is – was (and in many cases, still is) completely foreign to me. Add to that the common challenges of being the “new” person – building relationships, navigating the company culture, deciphering communication styles – and it’s a lot of change to manage.
So when people ask me that simple, inevitable question, “do you like it?”, my honest answer is – I don’t know yet. But here’s the thing – I also don’t think that matters. It’s all much too new to really assess whether I like it or not. What does matter, however, is that I have zero regrets about leaving my less-than-inspiring corporate job behind and making the leap into an industry that excites me with a company I love.
I recently read an article that really spoke to me. The author wrote about the difference between following your passion and following your curiosity. She talks about how “following your passion” is such a tall order. After all, how many of us really know what we’re passionate about? I sure don’t. But I do have curiosities – the biggest being food, and restaurants. I was curious as to what it would be like to work in a restaurant, specifically my favorite restaurant, and I followed that curiosity into a job. Is restaurant work what I’m truly passionate about? Probably not. But it is what I’m curious about – and that’s reason enough to take that road.
With every shift, I feel myself becoming slightly more comfortable, slightly more confident. I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel – that one day, maybe three months from now, maybe six months from now, maybe two years from now – I’ll really enjoy working in the restaurant. I’ll be running my own shifts, making hundreds of little decisions throughout the day, forming meaningful relationships with my fellow partners and team members, and creating dining experiences for our guests like the ones that made me a Northstar fan for years before I became a Northstar employee. And who knows what other doors will open – but I’m confident that with a growing company like ours, they will.
So for now, I’m taking it a day at a time. I’m about to finish my training at the Beechwold (Clintonville) location and head to the Short North, where I’ll be working as full-time partner starting in January! I’m thrilled to be working in the Short North, for a variety of reasons – the least of which is that I get to WALK TO WORK! How cool is that?! I’m nervous to start fresh with a whole new team, but I’m confident that given time, it’ll all be good.
Maybe one day I’ll get this blog back to what it was. In the meantime – thanks for being here! See you in the Short North in 2016!