Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday's Thought of the Day

Welcome to Thursday's Thought of the Day!
I am starting a new tradition for Nature's Cradle and hope that we can all enjoy it together.

When you get in a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. --
Harriet Beecher Stowe

Oh my goodness, how right she is...hope you all have a blessed day, with love, Charlie

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shame On Me!

It just dawned on me, reading a friends’ blog, how truly blessed I am, whether I feel it or not.

Who do I think I am? I have been wallowing in self-pity, become totally frustrated with my life feeling stagnant, and constantly wondering if it’s ever going to get any better. What gives me that right? Nothing!

My life isn’t so bad…I have 4 beautiful children who are healthy, and fairly happy. I am in decent health and am still breathing. I am nearly homeless, but not totally homeless. I may not be able to give my children a grand Christmas celebration, but I CAN make it a happy and warm one. I may not have room for a large Christmas tree, but can find room for a little one (like Charlie Brown).

I have managed to lose sight of what is truly important, and I am ashamed of myself for that. I used to see the “glass half-full” all the time, and I used to smile no matter what. Shame on me! I have become a depressed, lonely, and very sad woman. Shame on me! I have to shake of this little pity-party I have been having, by myself, for myself, and wake up. I have to participate in my life. How can I possibly expect things to get better if I just allow life to happen TO me? I have turn things around and start making life happen FOR me.

I am supposed to be the “Leading Lady” in my life, and at this point, I have failed at even a small, supporting roll. Life has been just going by…wreaking havoc, and I haven’t bothered to do a darn thing to stop it. All I have managed to do is cry and seek sympathy and beg others to change it for me. What a fool!

I am not ignorant. I am not uneducated. I am not incapable. I am not inexperienced at living life. So, today, I am going to reclaim myself, and take responsibility for my own life. I am smart! I am educated! I am capable! I am a good mom! I am a beautiful woman! I WILL make it! On my own, one step at a time…I am woman, hear me roar!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

So Sorry!!!!

I apologize for not writing just keeps happening and I can't seem to stop it. Since my last post I have moved, quit my job at Moon Bay and at McCormick's and am now employed at another new restaurant called Rosa Mexicano... great food, great fun and having a blast. However, I am in the process of having to move again and have not had a whole lot of time to be online. So be patient and as soon as things settle down, I will be back with a full update... Take care, Charlie

Thursday, June 12, 2008

He Rocked Her World, Twice, In Less Than 8 Hours

Have you ever met a person you just could not get off of your matter how hard you try??? BANG!!!!! It hits you like a sledge hammer and just sends you reeling??? You weren't looking, but it found you; and you try to push it away because the situation you have met in is far from ideal for a personal relationship. You have conversations, and even though you try to keep it professional, the other person seems to want to move to more personal subjects. So you keep talking, and learn a little more about each other and realize that there truly is a personal interest, on both sides... so then what??? Do you do the "smart" thing and keep it professional or do you say "f--- it" and see what might happen? Can relationships in the work place really work; or are you asking for trouble?

I really want to be careful here, because this post has absolutely nothing to do with me and my job at "Moon Bay". A friend of mine has asked for some input and I thought I would explore this issue here, to see what other people have to say about this.

My friend informed me that she is completely confused and trying to figure out the best way to handle this situation she has found herself in. She has been working at her job for a while now, and while she has been attracted to her boss for months, she tried to maintain herself and keep things professional. Then, the other night, she and some coworkers, including her boss, all went out to have drinks after work. She said they had a blast, and that she and her boss, really hit it off...personally. At the end of the night, when she and her boss were alone, he initiated a kiss, and she let him. They are both single and unattached, so she figured what the hell...she'd waited a long time for that. She told me that the kiss was incredible and that they made out for like 30 minutes. The hunger was very apparent, and she asked him, more than once, if he would be able to handle their situation at work. He assured her that he could and, according to her, neither of them really cared about that at that particular moment. She expressed how strange the connection was, how she felt like she was home, finally, and how happy she really felt. She said "it was perfection". He expressed, to her, that he thought they seemed to be extremely compatible, how much he liked her, etc... They stopped before they couldn't, and she tore herself away, but she left happy and looking forward to more.

The next day, he told her that it never should have happened, that it wasn't smart. It wasn't that he didn't like her, and didn't want to be with her, it was that he was her boss and that he would be breaking one of the biggest cardinal rules of their employer. She was blind-sided and felt like an idiot. How could he say that to her? They connected, so intensely, and she knew that he felt it too. She told him that she would rather quit so they could explore this new thing, than keep her job and lose what they had found. He told her that he needed her, at work, she was a strong employee and he did not want to lose her. He said they had to be smart. Rumors start, and it would jeopardize her career, as well as his. If she got a promotion, how would anyone know if it was due to her earning it or just because she was sleeping with the boss. She said he seemed very sincere, and she appreciated that he seemed to be looking out for her, as well as himself, but she just didn't care. Jobs are a dime a dozen and she doesn't care.

So, what do you think? Think they could make it work, or is he right? Where should the priorities be? Would you be willing to risk your job for love?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What Is It With Men?????

Ok, now I KNOW that I can not be the only woman out there who goes through phases of being crabby, not feeling well, and just "not feeling in the mood". So here is my question... Why do men, end up doing their best to, make us feel guilty when we are going through these phases? Can they not understand that we need to just take some time and recharge? Are women really supposed to coddle them every minute, of every day, like we do our children? What is this?????!!!!!

Aren't our partners supposed to be understanding and supportive? Aren't they supposed to be who WE get to lean on when we just have no more to give? There are times when I wish I had never been with anyone. That my life would be just a little less stressful if I did not have to worry about someone else's every whim. If we don't feel like talking (like most men most of the time) then we are neglecting them. If we don't feel like being intimate, then we don't want, or love, them. If we need some space, then we are seeing someone else. On, and on, and on!!!

A friend of mine, who inspired this post, has just gone through this with her live-in boyfriend. The poor thing works ALL of the time, usually a later shift, has 2 small children and she came to me to vent, because she discovered that her boyfriend had been "chatting" with some chick online and seemed to be making tentative plans for a "secret" meeting. She had found some emails and even read his chat sessions, thanks to the "archive message" function on their particular IM server. She was not happy. She asked me for advice and I had no idea what to tell her. She asked me what I would do, and I told her that I really had no idea. The truth is, I lied to her. I know EXACTLY what I would have done, had I been in her shoes, but she is not the type of person who would like, or appreciate, how I would respond. "Get your shit and go!" What on Earth makes anyone think that it is ok to behave that way?!?!

Don't get me wrong, I am not naive, and know that women do the same things when men are going through these types of phases. My concern is that, as a whole, we are losing sight of what commitment means. We seem to be forgetting that "our word is our bond" and people are getting hurt. The worst part is, that many times children are involved and they seem to be paying the ultimate price. It seems to just be getting worse with every new generation. I feel like we are sending the message that "It's ok, just leave if you are not happy". What happened to trying to communicate? What happened to being patient and empathetic? What has happened to "you can lean on me"? When did being selfish become the norm? The majority of today's women, are working full-time jobs, are mothers and seem to be more exhausted, and burnt out...stretched too thin...pushed too far...and it is very disheartening to see.

Our partners are supposed to be our "pillars". When we are with them, we are supposed to feel uplifted and recharged. We are not supposed to dread going home, a place that should be our sanctuary. But I think many of us find "going home" to be a bigger pain-in-the-ass than "going to work". For a working mom, the crap never stops. We bend over backwards to keep our bosses happy, our co-workers, our subordinates, etc... then we get home and it is the same thing... whining kids, hungry kids, whining partner who wants to "fool-around", laundry, dusting, vacuuming, dishes, bath-time, bed-time, "read me another book", "how 'bout a quickie", and it just keeps going and going, until she has taken care of EVERYONE ELSE'S NEEDS, and she gets to close her eyes and do the only thing she has time to do for herself, and sleep as best she can. The next four or five hours are hers. Too bad she's too tired and sleepy to do something that would really make her feel good, and happy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It Hurts!! It Hurts!!

Growing pains, in any form, are never fun, but they are very necessary. Before I begin, I would just like to place a small disclaimer here. Nothing I write here can be held against me. Fellow STARS who read this should not to take anything I say personally. This is my personal place to voice my frustrations, concerns, hopes, etc... and I will not accept any type of negativity at work. I love that my fellow STARS visit here and want to see them continue. I truly like, and have the utmost respect for, everyone that I have the pleasure of working with and for, but a little venting, sharing and feed back is sometimes needed. Thank you for your understanding.

So, with all of that said, again, let me say, that growing pains are never fun. It is a new restaurant, with all of these very talented people trying to learn how to work together, and it is becoming very strained. The majority of us share the same frustrations and really do want to make it work, but there are a few who just seem lost, and may even be looking in a different direction. Unfortunately, what they don't realize is that it will be the same in whatever restaurant they choose to go to. Every place in this awesome facility, is new, and I am sure they are experiencing similar issues.

A lot of us who are in the kitchen, in various culinary positions, are finding that communication from our immediate supervisors is creating a lot of confusion. There are three Sous Chefs and an Executive Chef. They are all very good at what they do, however, they all seem to want the rest of us to do different things. Depending on who the "Chef in Charge" is, determines how things are done. When the Executive Chef is there, and we, in the pantry, get an order for a salad that is to be split, we put the salad onto two plates and split it, it is not a big deal, it is the way the guest has ordered it, and it really does not take any extra time. But then, when one of the Sous Chefs is in charge, we are told to NOT split it, just send an extra plate. So, then, confusion begins. Personally, I would prefer to meet the guest's needs and split it for them, but when we are given an order, regardless of our personal opinion, it is to be followed. Things would be so much less stressful, and more efficient, if they were all on the same page. It is very frustrating to have to think about who is on duty, and how they want things done. It is a lot to remember, and I am sure that the pantry is not the only section feeling this way.

The system that is set up for ticketing, and food delivery, also seems to have some quirks. Again, in the Pantry, when we get tickets for our salads, we do the tickets in the order that they are received. If we receive a ticket for 2 salads that are appetizers and 1 salad that is an entree, we make all 3 at the same time. If we don't, we get lost and have a difficult time deciphering which salads were done. We do all of the salads on a ticket, for the same table, at the same time. We have requested that our food runners not take any salads away from our station, until the ticket is completed. When they do, they risk taking the wrong salad to the wrong table and then we end up doing extra because we don't see the number of salads needed for a particular ticket. We get a lot of special requests, like "no bacon, no cheese, dressing on the side, etc... " and sometimes the food runners are in such a hurry that they don't pay attention to which salad they are grabbing. Then, 10 minutes later, we have the server coming back asking for another salad, because "that one went to the wrong table, or my table is missing a salad" and we end up having to do things twice. None of the salads should leave our station until the ticket is completed. The tickets should stay with the salads for a particular table, until they are ready to serve to the table. It is very frustrating, and I know that there has to be an easier way. What I like to do, is finish the salads for a particular ticket, and place the ticket on the one that is different. How else is anyone to know which salad is different????

Also, it amazes me how many of our servers continue to ask the same question, over and over and over... Few of them actually seem to have brains. A HUGE pet peeve is that they like to wait until we are completely out of something, before telling us that they need more. For example; butter... each night we prep trays of butter for the servers to deliver with the bread. Instead of telling us when they are down to 1 tray, they wait until the trays are completely empty then come to us, in a panic, "where's the butter!?!?". It's like they expect us to drop what we are doing, to run back to the dish area to retrieve a butter dish, so they can be served butter. After a month, they should know that they need to be helpful, and a bit assertive, and go get the butter dishes, bring them back to us and say, politely, "could you please fill these?". Last night I had the wonderful pleasure of a new server's assistant who actually did that, without being told. She actually came to me and said "We are running low on butter, where do I get more?" I asked her to go back to the dish area, ask the dishwasher for the butter dishes and I would help her get them filled. There was still half of a tray available, but she thought ahead and none of us in the pantry was rushed. It was great!! I praised her and told her how wonderful it was to know that there really was someone with brains on their shoulders. She proceeded to periodically bring butter dishes back, and we got them filled, in a timely, un-rushed manner. So KUDOS to Maria!!!

Another issue I would like to vent about is inappropriate conversations and behavior. The last thing I want to have to listen to, while trying to get my work done, is other people's opinions on favorite sexual positions, partying, drinking, etc. Boyfriends and girlfriends should keep their hands to themselves while at work. There does not need to be any kissing or hugging or anything else going on while they are on the clock. Supervisors should not be touchy-feely with fellow STARS who are under there command, because it makes others uncomfortable, and leaves them wondering about supervisors "playing favorites". It also makes it very difficult to feel like you can go to them with a problem or concern, especially if it involves one of their favorites. They become very defensive of their favorite, and that can create resentment. I love my job, but I feel like there is no option when it comes to wanting to discuss an issue with someone. I am not the only one who has said that "there is just no talking to him about him/her", so those of us that feel that way, just let it brood and get pissy about it later.

There are a few more issues I could cover, but I just am very time limited. My biggest concern is that it seems that the overall morale seems to be on a steady decline. Everyone was so excited and happy in the beginning. Many of us could hardly wait to wake up and get to work. Now, there are a lot of us who wish it could be postponed. Many of us walk from the parking lot to the door with a feeling of dread vs. excitement. Many, in our kitchen, are looking for greener pastures. I can honestly say that I am not one of them. I have been through this before, and understand the growing/learning process. I will say that I have thought about moving to the front of the house, though, because the money is better. The issues are the same, but the money makes it bearable. However, moving to the front would take me out of the place I want to be, around the food, creating, learning, and the feeling of pride when I do something beautiful. I do wish, however, that I felt like I was actually learning something and gaining more technical skills, but I understand that it will take time. This restaurant has to get running smoothly, get some of the kinks straightened out, and the staff has to learn to work together and become a great team. I am a patient person who has her goals in sight, and I know that I am in the right place to achieve them. As painful as it is, I will push through, and hopefully the "growth process" won't take too long.

Have a wonderful day, thank you for listening, and if any of you have any suggestions please share them. Will try to write again, sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

OPENING DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was a very exciting day!!! Our restaurant "Moon Bay" opened on March 31 and this was the opening culinary team. Once again, I am standing next to the Executive Chef, Duane Keller, and we were soooooo excited!!! Our food is fabulous, the patrons are in awe, and our "STARS" are awesome! I am currently working in what we call the "pantry" and that is the salad and dessert area. Who knew how technical salad could be???!!! I am still having a blast and learning a lot!! The people that I have been given the pleasure of working with are so talented, have so much vision and drive and it is so inspiring to see and hear their ideas and goals. Chef Keller is a perfectionist at his craft, and we strive to give him perfection in all that we do.
We only served about 75 people our first night, but the patrons are coming in steadily and our numbers continue to grow. The last few days we have done 200-300 lunches and even more dinners and they are still coming in!! It is very exciting.
I had the wonderful honor of meeting Chef Keller's wife and I have to tell you that that meant a lot to me. It was truly an honor to know that Chef likes me well enough to introduce me to her. I am sure that it is mostly due to my posts about my job, but whatever the reason, it was a great honor and made me feel really good about who I am and what I have been doing. I know that I am in a good place, and have made the best choice I could, as far as employment goes.
Again, I cannot stress enough, how great Gaylord Entertainment is to be a part of. If you want to find a wonderful, fun job, where your talents and ideas actually mean something, find a Gaylord facility near you and do whatever you can to join this fabulous community. They are constantly expanding, always looking for more "STARS" and want to give you the best they can offer.
Anyway, just wanted to share this picture, and my excitement, and encourage you to find a place you can honestly love and call "home". Take care and I will write more later!!!!

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