In one week I'll be handing in my uniforms, badge, name tag and keys. I'm leaving Zion, having cooked for employees and then on the Line for fine dining. This was my goal. I really loved and hated it.
The love is all about the fine food, learning new recipes and skills. Hiking on days off, meeting new people. I walk around the kitchen realizing it all will soon be memories:
all the dirty rags and the "dungeon" where we have our own kitchen washer and dryer.
The walk-in cooler, rapid chill, freezer and produce walk-in.
The various ovens, each with their own idiosyncrasy. The warmers , each set correctly, but having different levels of accuracy.
The co-workers with their skills, moods, and peculiar tendencies.
I've worked in many kitchens in my life time. Some are so large, it really takes awhile to figure out where everything is kept. Some so small, it all fits on one side of a room.
Its not the amenities of a kitchen that make one happy. Its the camaraderie of the employees and the pride taken in a job well done.
Without that, and with a clashing of egos, everyday becomes a battle. I have hated the battles and the belief that to raise up one's selfesteem one must lower anther's.
One does not have to fight the battle. One must learn to disengage.
I read Every Step is Peace while here in Zion. A Buddhist munk from Vietnam wrote it. He teaches how to smile, and believe in interconnectedness.
I'm taking that to work with me this last week.
I'm collecting memories for the rest of life's journey.