Saturday, July 31, 2010

Burning Bridges

A bridge has been burned. It was a pretty good bridge, too. Sturdy ……. not so old …… not so new. It was a bridge that you knew was going to go on to be a great bridge because of the sturdy foundation. A bridge that could take you places. A bridge that is also very hard to burn.

It is not particularly a good idea to burn any bridges in my industry. I don’t care where you’re from, what your rank, or how much money you make. Whether you are in New York, L.A, or culinary-crippled Columbus Ohio, you never burn those bridges. With the small culinary circle that resides in the Columbus area, it doesn’t take long for things to come full circle. And with this economy, it is becoming more and more obvious to more and more people. Who knows? ……. Maybe that General Manager you walked out on a few years ago could be your inside man at the new hip restaurant in town……… Oh, but you walked out on him a few years back……. “I wouldn’t hire that guy” ……… “He doesn’t have any respect for the job.”

This is a hard job. You work long hours……. You never get to see family and friends that are not associated with this industry …….. You are always working when all the rest of the world is having fun ….. You’re overworked, overextended, underappreciated, and underpaid. You smell like food and crap so bad some nights, that an army of stray cats will follow you home (true story). But the terrible qualities and particulars of this business is no reason to diminish your integrity as a chef, manager, cook, or just a person in general. Be a man (or a woman, if the instance is warranted), and own up to your responsibility. Respect begets respect. Not only are you burning the bridges and loosing respect from your superiors, but also everyone you worked with. From servers, to line cooks and on down the line. Work out your notice, especially if you are a manger or someone in charge.

Now, all of us in some way or another have burned a bridge or two. Whether it was getting someone fired to further your own progress, or just not showing up anymore (Even after you told your boss numerous times that you would be there in the morning), there are times in all our lives where we screwed someone because it was easy….. Because it was a way out……. Because it was warranted. I challenge everybody who reads this, to look within and recognize those bridges that you have burned. Identify those people that you screwed over, and try, somehow, to make amends. A “My Name is Earl” list, if you will, of those persons that you may have not treated with the respect and honesty that they may have deserved. Because Karma is real…… and that shit will come back at you.

Notes and Randoms
- On a lighter note, we have a great spread in the new, August 614 magazine. Check it out here at MTM Review.
-Number two’s lease has been signed. 1400 Grandview Avenue. April 1 is the tentative opening date.
- Banter of the week:
“Chef you’re like the ballerina of chefs.”
“Why cause I’m so graceful on my feet?”
“I was thinking it was because you were gay.”