Tiffin Project


by Jacob Galbraith on January 26, 2011

Post image for Honeymooning

So I’ve managed to change some pretty sizable pieces of my life in a short amount of time, among said changes: place of work. The details aren’t gruesome, typical even, but I’ve landed where the grass appeared to be greener only to discover that it is indeed greener… for now. By that I mean that there’s an inevitable dissolution when one takes a job, with the whens and hows and whys all representing X in the equation for food and beverage chaos. What lies after the end is always different, and that’s what makes the grass so wonderfully green. New faces, new food, new customers, new place to stand, and most importantly a new smell to carry around with you. A new job isn’t about getting everything you always wanted all at once, because, except in the most rare of cases, you will get a mixed bag of great, good, bad, and awful. In the very beginning, however, things are blissful, and anything even remotely different from your previous workplace will be regarded as terrific, and it’s this period that I want to talk about right now.

The transition into my new digs has been smooth, mostly due to a pre-established rapport with the staff, one of whom worked with me at my old job. The tone is dialed down on the serious meter, which suits me fine, and it’s an altogether more social atmosphere, a given because of the open kitchen. The change is not unlike going from being trapped in that tiny castle to swimming with the rest of the goldfish in a less oppressive yet still oppressive environment. The jibber jabber is constant, covering a vast range of topics including: the local sports team, music, anatomy, and “would you rather” based quizzing. Things are kept light while expectations remain reasonably high, all to a soundtrack determined by whomever laid their ipod down first. Certainly there’s a complex social arrangement in any workplace, but the new person is always left to be comfortably numb; never absorbing anything negative, only positive, oblivious to anything that could ever be wrong. Chances are I’m getting “the treatment”, and it’s only a matter of time before shit gets real. I’m not accusing anybody of being false, it’s just the way things work, and eventually I’m going to be confronted by the true nature of my new surroundings sometime in the not too distant future.

Everything is so novel a new workplace, and whether it’s technically wrong or not means dick, it’s new, and therefore it’s refreshing. The slam is different, so it’s fine. Same with the customers; allergies which would elicit explicit responses are just part of the job. I’m drinking it up, willingly, though I’ve come to realize that it has less to do with the thing itself than it does with the repetition. The same shit happening day in day out has a way of bringing a person to the brink, so a way of getting around that is finding different shit every now and then. There’s no escaping the cycle, so it’s a good idea to learn how to manage it to suit your own sanity and that of the people who have to be around you whether they like it or not.

When becoming oriented with a new job, it’s certain that you’ll fuck up, big time, at least once, and moderately quite regularly. A new person’s mistakes, albeit annoying, are accepted as inevitable and are treated with unbelievable grace. Unless the gaffe is entirely ridiculous, the new body escapes pisstakery based on their newness alone. This buffer is not to be abused, only appreciated, as it disappears without warning at some point in the future. The expectations are realistic, and slip ups are expected and therefore treated gently.

All of this adds up to a feeling of being wanted and appreciated. I’m aware of the cycle and hope that I can prove myself wrong by keeping things clean as long as I’m at this new place. Contamination is almost certain, though, and unfortunately oblivious and obvious are just a couple of moves apart. This stage is wonderful, rejuvenating, and relaxing all at once, and I thoroughly recommend a change for the sake of change to anyone feeling in dire need of a shake up. I’ve learned that the place isn’t as important as the act itself, and most of what is to be gained is gained by having the gall to make the jump at all. What appears as abandonment to those you’ve left behind could be anything you deem it to be: a vacation, a change of focus, or the first step on a path that takes you away from cooking and into something else.

~ Jacob Galbraith


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