choices, decisions, fate, food and beverage, hospitality industry, indecision, job offers, Job Search, Jobs, Manhattan, New York City, NYC, NYC jobs, NYC restaurants, plot, restaurants, story, writing
Maybe fate is ultimate, and our lives cease at the same conclusion, regardless of the plot. But what is the end goal, how do we get to where we belong? There are fatefully calculated moments of my past, which altered details could not have exempted me from certain fates. But where the does plot begin, and which story?
Which job do I want?
I know which offer to accept:
- Celebrity Chef Owned Restaurant (Improves Resume)
- Guaranteed 5 Shifts Per Week, Paid Hourly (Overtime: Yes)
- Flexibility on Morning or Evening Shifts
- Higher Salary + Gratuities Per Each Shift
- Full Benefits, Paid Time Off After a Year
- Potential for Career Advancement (either on this property, or at related properties within group)
- Positioned Under Good Management
- The opportunity to apply for this position is somewhat broad
- Quant Neighborhood Spot
- Paid Per Shift (Guaranteed ? Shifts Per Week)
- Flexibility on Morning or Evening Shifts
- Owner/ Management Routinely Absent Throughout Key Service Periods (Requires Higher Expectations of Staff to Problem Solve and Delegate Tasks as Necessary)
- Lots of Personal Freedom (Arrival/ Exit Times, Decision Making, etc.)
- Outstanding Inner-Staff Dynamic (Lots of personalities on this staff = so much fun at work)
- The opportunity to apply for this position is very rare
Let’s not dismiss Option 2 so quickly. Although considerably less money, Option 2 offers a high satisfactory return on my day-to-day living. This happiness translates into my affection–and therefore intentions–for the space. When I was at Garibaldi in Savannah, I started in a position that was low-paid but offered a lot of freedom and personal happiness (I could read at work when it was slow, I bonded and then fell in love with the staff, who later became my staff, under my direction). This personal happiness lead me to realize and act upon a potential for growth, when at first glance I was in a dead-end job. That petty day job is now the highest point on my resume, and it has allowed me to be here, in this expensive Manhattan apartment (the lease: under my name), calling shots on which opportunity to accept, and which to decline.
Option 1 is so obvious. Although I enjoy everyone I’ve met in management, I’m not thrilled with the head maitre d’ who trained me today. She is part insecure, part possessive, and that’s a worrisome combination. She’s been at this job for years, she’s seen the space change, the staff change, she’s remained at the restaurant beyond a GM transition, and although she liked me at first, she’s sized me up and isn’t keen on my pre-existing knowledge. Yes, I am competition. Yes, I came here not to simply act as maitre d’ but to take possession of the space, to transcend my title, and management already knows. Although her higher aspirations are for the stage, mine are for the floor of a restaurant. I’ve done it once, I’ll do it again, it’s only a matter of time.
Quite frankly, I’m uncertain that either of these jobs will be enough of a challenge. With no management routinely present through evening services at Option 2, there is an opportunity to become that, but the other side is this: it’s a staff that doesn’t need to be managed, or they already would be. But who knows what opportunities therein lies. Who knows. Big things come in small packages–the better path may be through 60 seats.
But the money. The story is set in Manhattan, so besides the astronomical rent and general cost of living, I must also be manicured and stylishly dressed and decked with nice things to be taken seriously. And as the face of the restaurant: I must be taken seriously.
(Years ago, when I was trying on glasses for my first prescription, the only thing I required of my frames was a no-bullshit, serious look. If I get into an argument with a stranger (highly likely), I must be taken seriously. I now own and wear a pair of narrow librarian-like tortoise shell glasses. Now, according to my former banquet captain, I’m the most intimidating person you’ll ever meet.)
The mathematician in me thinks, don’t you dare take that little job at the House. It doesn’t even cover your cost of living expenses. Hardly, it will cover the cost of your rent.
But the writer in me contests, Make the bad decision! Place yourself at financial risk! Go with the option for more fun, all of these things are better for the story!
About being the writer, the thing is this: I can make shit up. Also, I want a new designer handbag, new shoes, Veuve Clicquot, dinner at Gramercy Tavern. Preferably, I’d like all of these things at the same time, not throughout the course of my life. And whoever knows how long that is, anyway? Stop making up excuses to take the low-paying job. Call them to cancel. Go into tomorrow to the place that’s going to pay you, to the place you suspected you belong.
I don’t know, seriously, I do not know. I am stalling at the choice between two very different lives.