For those of you that don't follow me on twitter or missed my tweets about it, as of April 14th, I will be unemployed. Unless I find a job by then, in which case, I will not be unemployed but will have a new job.
Yesterday I was informed that since when the gelato shop/bakery reopens it will be tiny and the restaurant will be the primary business focus and I am a baker, it just didn't make sense for the business to keep me on anymore. Which is 100% true. I had started sending out resumes in February when it became apparent that the bakery was going to drastically downsized but then there was a lot of talk about expanding the wholesale business and I figured I'd stick with it a while longer. Oh universe, you're so funny sometimes. The pastry sous chef position and what that roll entailed were created for me, to get me to come back to work when I had left last Summer and it was a really great fit for me then. With basically no bakery, it's not now. I can't disagree with their reasoning for letting me go when it's the same reason I've been thinking about leaving. It doesn't mean it doesn't suck though.
"Stability" was my word to work towards in 2012 and that was part of the reason I stuck with my job. I wasn't in love with it, but I thought sticking with it would allow me to push work a little more to the backburner and focus on getting the rest of my life back together, figuring out who I am outside of being a chef, do some volunteer work and maybe have a more regular social/love life. My job has always been where I put the most focus in my life and I wanted to let go of that a little bit. Now I'm trying to figure out whether or not that's an option.
I'm trying to figure out where the balance is between not selling out my artistic integrity and having medical benefits. Between making enough money to live comfortably in New York City and making food I can stand behind. I read these job descriptions for new bakeries and just opened cafes and most of them... I just, I just can't. I can't do it again. I've poured my heart and creative energy into so many struggling small businesses that weren't mine for too little pay and too much of my life given, and all I can think is that I just want some motherfucking stability. I just want enough money to live off, benefits and sick days. That's it. I know it's not the cool thing to say, I know my generation is supposed to be all about entrepeneurship and doing our own thing and going after what we love but fuck it. I've been doing what I love since I started culinary school at nineteen and I'm tired of being a starving artist. I'm tired of it. And I'm tired of people telling me my job is awesome without realizing that I've never worked somewhere where I could afford to regularly eat if I didn't have an employee discount. Or the look of shock at the lack of paid sick days. You probably tipped your server at your last meal more than I make an hour when I break down my shift pay even though I'm the one with the specialized trade skill.
I do something that I love, that I'm good at and it hurts my body and I can't go see a doctor about my inabilty to hold a knife for an extended period of time without part of my hand going numb.
Right now, doing something purely because I love it, seems unsustainable but I'm not very good at compromising my values and working for the man. I'm not even sure who the man is in the culinary world. I'm not sure where that leaves me in job hunting. I can't really afford to be super picky but I'm feeling really picky.
And frustrated. I'm just so effing effity eff frustrated.