// November 7th, 2010 // 3 Comments » // Cooking, HIV and AIDS, Homeless Outreach, Me Time
It’s Sunday and once again I have another week in my review mirror. It was a blessed week, but also a trying week at times when it came to work, but I made it through it and I am so thankful for where my life is and how things have been going for me.
As I have said before I am so happy to be working again and to be able to pay my bills and have money to do things for myself without having to depend on others to help me. However being back at work brings a whole new test for me. The test to continue my growth and to see just how much i have really changed.
As I said in my last blog, the director and other chef can be hard to deal with. They clearly don’t like each other and they both try to put me in the middle. Well this week I worked on not allowing this to happen and in two cases it caused problems in the kitchen between me and the other chef. She clearly does not want to be there any longer, but she clearly can not afford to not have this job. However this week she has done all that she could to make the work environment a real pain in the ass.
When she shows up she brings this energy that brings the entire vibe of the kitchen down, she also brings this “I have aculinary certificate and you don’t” atmosphere with her. She is constantly ordering the wrong items or just not ordering things I need for the two meals I prepare, which causes me to make last minute changes. The director simply says nothing and allows this to happen, but will then sit back and complain when she is asked to go to the store to correct the problems.
Friday it all came to a head for me when she came into work simply walked around for 10 minutes, set up the chaffers for lunch and then left the kitchen. Now this was after she pulled the very same thing on Thursday when I came back from break at 12:30 only to have her leave the kitchen and stay in the basement until 2:00pm. Both times she did this meant that the dishwasher and I were left to run the kitchen alone with no help from her.
When she finally came back to the kitchen long after brunch was started, walking in like she is the last Queen on the planet and then ordering the dishwasher around, I stopped her dead in her tracks. I asked where she had been, why she would simply walk off leaving work that is to be shared by both of us to me and the dishwasher. I asked her what her problem was and shy she always comes to work with such a “stank ass” attitude.
She acted as if she had done nothing wrong, but later asked me if we could talk and this is when she broke down into tears telling me that she would rather work alone. She said she was angry that I have come in and done a great job while she has been there for 8 weeks and still continues to struggle and have a very hard time. She is angry that the members seem to like me better then her and wonders why my two meals are always gone, but her one meal always has a ton of leftovers.
She went on to say that this is her problem and has nothing to do with myself and the other staff members, but she had no answers as to why she treats people on the staff the way she does, no answers for why she cant seem to do her job and no answers as to how she will correct any of this.
However before leaving I did mention to the director that the atmosphere in the kitchen must change and since the other chef has said that the problems in the kitchen are not the other staff members, but her. Since she said that she is not a good fit for the kitchen and does not want to work with me or anyone else, then I feel it is up to the director to make the decision to let her go. But once again the so called director is simply allowing this to continue.
The good news is that I love the work that I have been able to do. I love the working relationship with the dishwasher and the maid. The members are happy with my meals and are happy that I am in the kitchen. it is cool how they come into the kitchen to talk with me and how kind and polite they are when I am in the dinning room.
Overall I would say that I am 95% happy with the job and I am 100% pleased and happy with the meals I have been cooking and simply thrilled at the fact of the members being very happy with how I am working in their kitchen.
When I took the job I knew it would be a challenge to not just return to the high paced forever changing food service in this area of cooking, but I also knew I would be challenged by someone who has a culinary certificate and feels that since they have this they are some how a better cook and better leader then myself. However what she has learned from working with me is that she is not a better cook and certainly is not a better leader. Her so called degree has not prepared her for a real kitchen where you must be on top on everything from top to bottom without fail….well very little fail.
Her degree has fed her ego and now it is so big she can’t see that she is causing herself so much harm that she could be fired. Her ego will not allow her to allow me to help her with order food and even doing inventory. She must control all of this, because she has been taught that she is not supposed to ask her team members for help.
It’s already November and Thanksgiving is right around the corner and this year I want to give complete Thanksgiving boxes to at least 5 families. So far I am pretty sure I will reach that goal. I am also pretty sure I will surpass this gaol. My friends Tina and Andy have already donated 10 boxes of dressing mix, now that I am working I know I will be able to buy 10 turkeys and the rest of the items to go into a box that will help to make this Thanksgiving a time for a a family to be a little more thankful for how their life is truly blessed.
I am also gearing up for a large Do Something Saturday outreach for homeless people battling HIV or AIDS by preparing to give Do Something and Life Kits to Common Ground in Santa Monica, The Jeff Griffith Youth Center in West Hollywood and AIDS Project Los Angeles.
Thanks to the help of my friends Darlyna, Kai, Audrey and Courtney I am already off to a an awesome start for this outreach. Once again, because I am now working I will be able to round out what I am not able to get donated and even add to the total as well.
There are some homeless people right near my job so I will make a point of making certain they have Do Something Kits and when it is possible I will also make certain to see that they get meals and someone checks in on them. There are also a number of homeless people I see on the bus ride to and from work, so I will try to keep Do Something Kits in my backpack to offer to them.
After I get off from work my main focus is on me and Dodger. I make sure that I am spending time with Dodger when Icome home from work and then also making certain that I take great care of me as well. Bubble baths, long walks and chilling out with friends has been so key for me to unwind and chill out.
Twice this past week I had the chance to hang out with my friend Jason, but I have also had to make sure I was hanging out with him because I wanted to and not because he was bored and has no other friends. Jason also tends to be broke all the time, so I am not about to start treating him each time we hang out.
Wednesday night I had the chance to see a friend that I have not seen in over 8 years. He now lives in New York, has a lover and two kids. Our community work is pretty much the same thing and this is how he found me. Someone in his office reads my blog and watches my YOUTUBE Channel and mentioned what I do. After two months of hearing about me her went to read the blog and then watched a his first YOUTUBE video. He then saw that the person people were speaking about was someone he use to know very well. He reached out and a week later we had dinner. It was great seeing him and hearing all about his life and the work he now calls his mission in life.
Friday I hung out with a new friend Dustin who I have known for a very short time, but when I first met him I was taken by his maturity and how well he seemed to have a full idea of who he is. Dustin is in his early 20’s and doing an internship at APLA. Not many straight Black men at his age grasp how real life really is. He seems to know this very well. it was cool to hang out with him and also have the chance to meet his friend Reecie (I hope I spelled that right)
Saturday was a day with someone who is such a huge inspiration to me and someone I have come to love and admire a great deal, someone who has become like a big brother to me and someone who I know is truly my friend. My friend Donald and I went to the movies to see ‘For Colored Girls’
Let me just say that the movie is awesome and one should be prepared to laugh, cry, laugh and cry again. One should leave feeling inspired to be a better person and live a more healthy and productive life.
It’s funny how for me this movie represented the 90/365 journey I have been doing with my friends from YOUTUBE. it also reminds me of just how vital I am as a Black man and how I have the honor and opportunity to reshape how Black men are viewed by Black women. It’s a great movie that I think all people should take the time to see, but know that many wont because of the title and the all Black cast. This is a shame because we miss out on so much when we allow a title or an all Black cast prevent us from gaining a new perspective and new hope.
It’s Sunday and I am washing clothes while I type this blog. I woke up on Saturday and all of the sudden of felt like Falland Sunday brings this feeling even more. There is a chance for rain later today, so I am hoping to be done with the chores around my apartment, head over to Borders to get the last E. Lynn Harris book, spend some time talking with someone I also think of as my brother, only little brother this time. I woke up to texts from Travis, so I want to make sure when he calls I have time to sit and talk with him. Our conversations are always so funny and so fun of life. If he lived here I know he and Donald would also be friends and we would be Black, Bold and Beautiful.
I hope you all have had a great week and an even better weekend. I pray that your week brings both joy and peace into your life and that along the way you stop to take time out to be thankful for the life you have and find peace in the love of God.
I deserve some flowers and I wont wait for someone to feel the same thing. I will buy them for myself, because no one can love me or appreciate me better then me.