Thursday, December 4, 2014

Desire and Desperation

It has been almost a month of unemployment and I'm going a bit stir crazy. It's not like I haven't been looking for work, as I have been sending out resumes almost daily. I just haven't had any desire to want to be a cook anymore, and with that massive obstacle in my way, my desire to job search is obsolete. It's been hard for me to even enjoy food itself, meals only being used for fuel, rather than enjoyment. I have spent over 25 years in this restaurant industry and it has run me dry. My last experience open wounds that won't heal and I am reluctant to find another similar job, in fear that those scars will reopen immediately. Everyone knows the infamous line: "Same shit, different pile" - I know that it is true and avoiding it is impossible in this industry. 


Passion is one thing I have been looking at in myself lately, trying to search for something I would love to do that would always motivate me no matter what. I know that here is a large chunk of passion missing in my life and it has been manifesting in other forms to replace that void inside of me. I spend an enormous time being a caregiver in my day-to-day existence. Currently I have spent time caring for the little birds that come to my balcony, making sure they are fed over these cold winter nights. I have to make sure these little creatures have their feed, especially the hummingbirds, as they are dependant on animal lovers to help them through the tough months. In return, I get to see the wonderful little "munchkins" visiting me daily, if not hourly, and enjoy photographing them if they stop for a second or two.


This love I have had for animals has been with me all my life - owning 5 cats, 8 fish, 3 turtles - and I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was a kid. As I got older, seeing my pets pass away, I may not be able to divide the compassion for the animals and still do the job. It was simply moved off to the back of my mind, hidden behind other past memories. I currently do not own a pet, as my last cat - Princess - was put down in the summer after an amazingly good and long life. My apartment, except for my balcony, is devoid of a furry companion and although I do enjoy not needing a lint brush, or picking cat hair out of my coffee cup, I do miss caring for a fur-ball and would love to fill my space with "Number 6" on my long list of feline friends. I often look for outdoor kitties on my walks around the neighbourhood, giving them my own private names. For some reason animals are naturally attracted to me - dogs always walking up to me, cats rubbing their faces on my legs - and I am wanting to use this natural skill in my next line of work.


I did apply twice to the same pet supply store in the last decade, both times successful in gaining the job yet, I was always afraid of leaving the comfortable surroundings of restaurant cooking. Jumping out of my comfort zone into a new alley of work is not easy for me, but I was surprised how easily I could sell myself in these interviews, to the point of having the job served to me almost on a platter. The only things stopping me was timing and loyalty. I am loyal to a fault and when a job is offered to you in the busiest time of the year, it is hard to cut those ties without losing the relationships you have made over the past years. I know from experience, watching ownership deal with resignations in a very immature way, taking it personally, instead of wishing the employee well in their new venture. At the time, I wasn't ready to leave my comfort zone or make enemies, so I hunkered down and stayed. I think since that last passed opportunity, I have been internally storing disappointment in myself for not taking the plunge.


So now, I am looking for work, attempting to avoid the inevitable, hoping another opportunity presents itself, while still knowing I may have to cook again to make ends meet. While perusing Craigslist I came across an ad looking for a store manager in a raw food pet store, and my eyes lit up. I applied immediately as I saw the requirements were definitely in my repertoire of abilities. Not only am I familiar with management, but there is some knowledge of the product sold and its proper storage. I can easily be self educated on the importance of feeding raw food to pets, and the other minor tasks involved. I have waited patiently for a response but after a day and a half I sent a follow up email, just to sell myself a bit more. I now have to continue to look for other work while I pray for this job to work out. Animals are a passion of mine and making this a new career could be just what I have needed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Jen McIntyre | Create your badge

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