Sunday, September 20, 2015

Conflicting Values

I write to you troubled today, dear reader.  I have been brought to the ultimate juxtaposition in my current life (stage).

It's proving very quickly that my body is not ready for this job.  More specifically, my body and current health status are not ready for 11-hour days (which turn into 13(!) with commute).  Aside from my current health issues, I'm just recuperating being off work sick for a week.  I had a cold from hell and some sleepless nights (admittedly, due partly to anxiety).  The last shift I worked before falling ill (overnight) was 11 hours.  That did me in.  My body was trying to tell me something (and has been since, in other ways!).

I said I'll be able to return Wednesday this week.  I was warned they will be long days, at 10-12 hours each.  Maybe they can let me keep 9 hour shifts.  Maybe I can start off slow and ease into it until I'm used to everything.

The problem is... in the food industry, this isn't acceptable.  The food industry has a pretty big macho, "Suck it up or get out" mentality.  There's no half-assed.  There's no doing things only half way.  There's little to no "meeting in the middle".

This isn't the only industry who has mandatory long days.  Healthcare is another prime example.  Nurses work 12 hours and doctors even longer.  It's ironic that positions in the health industry aren't condusive to good health, but I digress.  I don't think it's healthy to demand so much of ourselves while we're serving others.  Long shifts don't benefit anyone; you get tired and mistakes are made.  I realize these are my values and not the industry's.  How do we find time for ourselves (also important for personal health and well-being) and our family?  Why are we making it okay to just get up, go to work, come home and eat and go to bed - day after day?  How does someone with chronic health issues work in an industry they enjoy that otherwise wants to shut them out?

So... how does one work in an industry they enjoy when it clashes with one of their values?  Such a big question with a seemingly impossible answer.  But there has to be a way.  I'm too stubborn to admit otherwise.  I've always wanted to bake and I've always wanted to make a difference in the world with my baking - but I've never had the answer how.  Maybe it's not the baking itself, but the path.  Maybe I'm keeping my thinking too narrow.

I don't know.  And I don't know if there's ever an answer for what I'm asking.  I always want to jump 10 steps ahead; I know what I want in the end, but I never know how to get there.  My creativity falls short along the way and then I lose momentum and it's gone.

Aaaaand..I'm losing battery on my laptop.  I take that as a queue for dinner time.

I don't know if my rambling has made any sense.  Maybe someone identifies with it (in which case, that'll be a miracle).  Otherwise, I'll see you on the flip side :)

Happy Sunday!


Thursday, September 3, 2015

On the Up!

Remember that depression I wrote about before?  Gone.  I think it was a combination of things; low Vitamin D levels, hormones, etc. both of which have been ammended or passed.

There's been a lot of change lately (and as usual, all at once).  A lot of good change.  First: W got a new job.  Decent hours, I think (contrary to his last job) and even if he doesn't get the proper hours it's more per hour, so that'll help out (either way).  He's off this week before he starts his new job (Monday).  He was off for a couple weeks for vacation a couple weeks ago and it was nice having him home.  Now?  Now I'm ready to have him back out again :P  Said with love, of course ;)

Second: I got a job.  Finally!  After 2 years I was ready to kill myself.  Listen, one can only occupy oneself for so long.  It's so great and I'm really blessed.  It's with a small catering company (who seem to do a lot of business, even in slow season) and the people really are fantastic.  I talk to my boss on the phone more than my friends!  Usually we'll start talking business, but lead off to other things.  I think we're around the same age, give or take a year (or two? or five? I really have no idea).  I work in the kitchen and while it's only been a couple days, I seem to be doing more sweet/dessert stuff than other things.  I think I'm their gluten-free and dessert consult (which isn't her chef's specialty; he's more of a meat/mains/soup guy).  I mean really, I'm asked about what I think they should do for / this / or / that /.  It's... weird; I'm asked my opinion and it... matters!  I'm still in shock! :P  My passion for food is embraced and encouraged (as the owner & chef also have said passion) and mistakes in the kitchen are okay; it's how you fix them (and I usually do).  I was a bit down about how a couple recipes I made didn't turn out (really, I stressed about this cause it's time and money/ingredients, right?) but I was encouraged not to stress out about it.  Just fix it and move on.  Taste everything; ingredients, almost-finished product, finished product.  I can ask for ingredients for recipes with no questions.  They'll even go high and low to get them (and she has).  I gave her a list one day on the phone and W. said after it's like having my own personal shopper *lol*.  So far it seems I'll just be working a couple days a week and that's fine with me until I get back into the rhythm of working (it's very taxing physically, as with most kitchens.  Most days are long, 9 hrs +/-.  One day was 11!).  And part-time lets me still concentrate on my business on the side (which I still need help setting up a webpage..arrgh!).  We can do the webpage, but it takes time, which neither of us really have.  Okay, find someone who can do it for free..and...go!

Also something to note; jobs are a little different here.  Or, the process at least.  Temp agencies are used 75% of the time, or more.  It's rare (but not unheard of) to be hired directly.  Why?  I haven't really understood yet.  There's pros and cons to each (and for the employer himself).  So yes, I'm employed through a temp agency to work in the kitchen at my job.  W. is also hired by a temp agency for his (try to get a mortgage when you're at a temp agency, I dare ya) :/   Travel expenses are also covered by the employer here, usually in full.  Imagine that; your travel expenses, by any medium (car, transit) is (usually) completely covered.

It's odd to share stories w/W. and say, "At work.. this happened.." or "I have to work Tues and Wed next week." Just to say the word 'work' is so..weird.  W. says after a couple years (of being out of work) it's allowed to be (weird).  Some things some people take for granted, like a job, is easy when you have one.

We were accepted for a (rental) house in a town we want to live in, but had to decline as it was not desirable at all (no fence or bike shed, which would have cost a couple thousand easily.  Can you imagine that?  Spending that much money on a rental property?  No thanks.).  We want to buy (and incidentally found the perfect house), but with starting new jobs is not realistic right now.  Why is life cruel like that?  You find the perfect house and then .. nope, sorry, you can't have it yet.  /frustrated

Well, I can't think of anything else to write about right now, specific to the topics at hand.  I want to write a post about diets and healthy eating (and how the information can be overwhelming), but can't seem to find the time for that yet, sadly.

Well, I think I'm going to bake some cookies and find time for dinner (romanesco tonight!  Very good for you, and good for the ladies; hormone-balancing).  I'll have mine with rice.  W. will be having his rice with salmon.  It's aaaaaall for him.

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