One of my first jobs in the culinary industry was at the Toronto Christmas Market 4 years ago. It was the most interesting experience that helped me get a feel in the workforce. I say “interesting” because it taught me both good and bad stuff about the industry. I’m going to explain the bad part since this is me talking about the bitter parts of the culinary world.
It was a busy Saturday night at the Christmas Market. I was working since 10 am and its about to be 12 midnight. My shift is about to end. I need to get home and get ready for work again at 10. When I was leaving my kitchen I saw a group of my co-workers standing in a small alley in the Christmas Market; smoking, and talking about better days and shit. They invited me to join them for a bit and chat. We chatted a little bit. Well, more like they talked and I’m just there just to hear the conversation. Later one of those guys offered me a cigarette. I obviously said no, but they kept forcing me into it. Suddenly another co-worker defended me and the guys backed off. But for some weird reason, they keep inviting me to go with them to a bar and go clubbing; knowing that we got work the next day (I was also underage that time). Me and my co-worker defended myself and eventually they backed off. Thank god I have some people that actually care for me. But when I was on the streetcar home, I was thinking “Why are they like this? Are they doing this because they’re addicted to it? Or is it because they feel lonely?” It turned out to be both.
I feel like every cook has that dark side of them that they know what it is, but can’t get out of. Whether if it’s an addition to alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or porn, it’s all a liability in our lives. I feel like mine is the fear of losing everything. My friends, family, everyone I love. I feel like this thing is caught by my parents. All my relatives know that. They’re so focused with work that everything just fades away. I almost had that happen to me. I went completely off the radar for a whole year and when I came back, I’d felt like I didn’t belong here. It took me so long to catch up with my friends since I’d been away for a year. I really hope I won’t make the same mistake again.