“I Do Not Dream of Labor”- The Difference Between Labor and Industry, and What It (Should) Mean to Work

I spend way too much time on social media. If it wasn’t the best engine for reaching out to my readers and sharing what I do with a global audience, I would have wiped my accounts ages ago for the sheer amount of half-assed “hot takes” people are encouraged to belch out about everything from Sudanese economics to Dr. Seuss. It really is the dark side of the democratization of knowledge that anyone with a keyboard thinks “I have an opinion and a way to express it, therefore it is just as valid and important as any expert.”

Yes, so says the pastry chef and food writer with a blog who is about to expound on the psychology and philosophy of labor, but stick with me for a minute.

As a guy who works for a living, is trying to create a work environment that his employees can thrive in, and is having difficulty finding qualified help, I think I have some insight into the whole “no one wants to work anymore,” “quiet-quitting/working to contract” kerfuffle fiasco mass whining discussionthat has been making the rounds lately.

This quote is actually tacked up over my desk at the bakery- just in case I ever forget why I do what I do.
Continue reading

Worth The Time- What To Consider When Picking A Job

Job hunting is exactly that- job hunting. When you are seeking a job, you are looking for one that’s the right fit for you as much as employers are looking for the right fit for their business.

Interviews are a two-way process. If you’ve been job hunting for a while, it’s easy to start letting desperation and panic creep into your search. Take a breath, and try to keep calm- desperation to find any job can land you somewhere miserable, and missing out on opportunities you might enjoy (and that might pay) better.

I’ve already written a list of the “red flags” to look for at bad jobs, so this post is a few of the “green” flags that earn a job a more considered look from job-seekers.

Remember, this list is not comprehensive and you should always go with your gut. Your goals and priorities are your own- make the moves that get you closer to them!

Continue reading

You’re More Qualified Than You Think: The Case for “Soft Skills” In The Kitchen

On paper, I am not qualified for my own job.
In the bakery, that is. The good thing about being a blogger is that, working for myself, I’m always the best (only) man for the job. In the bakery, though, I am technically not qualified for the position I hold, but I’m there and I’m pretty good at it for reasons that don’t easily show up on paper.

They are called “soft skills,” and you probably have some too that don’t get mentioned on your resume. Let me explain…

Continue reading

How To Blackball Yourself in the Culinary Industry

He was brand new. We had trained him for a week- he had a ways to go, but he took his tasks on, did the work asked, and didn’t make a fuss. He asked questions about the nuts and bolts of recipes, he asked about when we took breaks, and how he should clock in and out for them.

“Ten years in the business,” he said. “Started as a dishwasher at 16, worked up to prep, then line cook.” Covid took him out of the kitchen he’d called home and the bakery had work that needed doing. He wasn’t picky- he just needed to work.

Wednesday night, he went to party. Thursday morning, he never clocked in- a hangover made staying home more appealing than showing up for his shift.

A no call/no show. He can stay home as long as he likes now.

Close up of a burning match
Don’t go burning bridges kids…
Continue reading

Calling It Quits- When and How to Change Jobs

Omnia mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis.
“All things change, and we change with them.”

I don’t think anyone just wakes up one morning and decides that they’re going to quit their job.

Unless a solidly impressive series of stars have aligned that let them casually drop their (usually) primary method of making money, the decision to quit a job is something that people set up the dominoes to for quite a while.

Perhaps they’ve had a side hustle going for long enough that they’d like to see if it’ll fly on it’s own. Maybe they need a break and have a support system in place while they do just that. In volatile instances, the stress, anger, and indignation they feel at their current situation finally explodes and they walk off the job on a lunch break with no end.

In any case, leaving a job voluntarily is a major life change and the process of finding a new one can be nerve-wracking. When it’s time to move on, it’s important to know why and how.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com
Continue reading