I love looking at chefs ads in the various papers. Between, them and sales reps, they’ve always been great source of information to the state of play within the hospitality industry.
It’s interesting to read the hooks used to try and lure people to that place of employ. ‘A surfers paradise’, ‘Sea-tree Change’ and ‘No weekends’ often cited as bait. It makes me giggle as elements of the job and its responsibilities are often way down on the list, it’s as if they’re targeting only the positives aspects of such a position and not examine what they’ll be expecting from the successful applicant. In fact many ads are actually repentant in their tone, making apologies for their trading hours, conditions of employment and location. I don’t understand this tact, I mean primarily the business want a worker not someone who expects to be enjoying life as a tourist in Club Med. There’s no denying the fact that it’s a challenge to lure people to a job but emphasising these facets only leads to both parties not being entirely clear as to what expectations each has of the other.
I read some of these ads and expect that between bouts of surfing, bushwalking, kayaking, diving, hobby farming, playing sport, following ones hobby and generally enjoying a carefree life, one is ‘fitting-in’ the demands of the kitchen and one employment obligations.
Anyone who knows kitchen, the kitchens that make most of their food that is, will attest that there’s very little time for other pursuits and days off are often spend recovering from long bouts of work. In fact, I don’t know of any kitchen staff working in busy environments who have time for that work-life balance that we hear so often recited.
The reality is that in rural locations, if you have a job in a restaurant or café it means that the place is one of the rare businesses that is busy. This remarkable in its own right, that a country business is defying national trends and managing to swim against the tide that many regional areas are suffering. The irony then is that you’ll be working very hard and often harder than your city cousins because the business cannot afford to hire as many staff. This then has a knock-on effect on your time off, meaning you’ll more than likely be doing extra shifts when it gets busier or if someone is sick or on holidays.
So, although working in the country definitely has its benefits (after all its what I have chosen to do so I’m speaking from experience here) it’s not all meandering down country lanes foraging for Death-Caps you know!