Saturday, January 20, 2007

Kids, Food, and Work

It's really a simple thing - something that probably shouldn't even register on my brain beyond a quick synapse flash that fades almost instantly. Sam got a job working at a bakery in New York.

But, in the over-active mind of a parent, it triggers a host of thoughts and impressions.

First, I'm happy he gets to work at this particular restaurant. The Bouchon Bakery sounds like a great place to eat and work. Working in one of celebrity-chef Thomas Keller's restaurants - he'll be getting some experience at the height of foodiness.

Second, I'm incredibly proud of him for wanting the job. He's always been one to seek work, rather than hit us up for money. When he was a teenager, he bussed tables at Sharp's Grill in Brookside, and then talked his way into a job washing windows at the Reading Reptile. From the time he was 14, he's gone to school with a whole lot of very privileged children, and he has never been one to whine or demand. Instead, he gets himself up early in the morning and goes to work.

Third, he should be able to make some pretty decent money at the restaurant, which makes a lengthy return home much less likely. Having this experience means that he will always be able to find a decent-paying job in any city. A great apartment in Manhattan, a decent job, and all that New York offers to a 21 year-old culture junky - the nest feels a little emptier today. That's great, and I'm happy for him, but I'm just sayin' . . .

Fourth, it sounds like an over-the-top place. His interview was a three-hour performance, watching and helping out on occasion. This is for an entry-level job in a bakery!

Fifth, it's funny to see what a foodie Sam has become. Both kids have always been open to trying all kinds of food. Fettucini alfredo was just fancy mac cheese to them. Indian restaurants are family favorites. When they've cooked for the family, they've chosen challenging recipes and pulled them off with aplomb. I was a picky eater growing up - thank God I was blessed with such open-minded and sophisticated children!

Sixth, Sam got the interview by writing an eye-catching cover letter, and he got the job by going out and buying good black pants for the interview and restaurant-quality shoes. We didn't tell him to do that - the kid has turned out to have life skills and good judgment beyond what any parent can really teach. As a parent, that's about the most gratifying thing you can see . . .

Seventh, Ali got a job on campus this week. Without a car, and without public transportation up and running in New Orleans, she's taking on an office job. It won't have much glamour or fun, but it's what she can do right now, so she's doing it. Her good attitude and work ethic make me confident she'll have better jobs in the future.
So, a couple new jobs that probably aren't worthy of comment provoke a bunch of thoughts in a parent. I probably need a hobby . . .


Anonymous travelingal said...

Your post made me smile :-) and HUNGRY :-0 Living out in the sticks, I miss the local bakeries, the fresh bread..umm but sounds like Bouchon's is so much more.

You should be proud of your children and yourself for instilling in them the kind of work ethic and savvy it takes to make it in this world. Every so often for the past couple of years I ask my granddaughter (age 9) what she wants to be when she grows up and she has consistently told me she wants to be a chef so we mess around in the kitchen when she comes over. She makes killer deviled

Have a great day.

1/20/2007 11:32 AM  
Blogger Spyder said...

You do have a hobby, Oh master brewer!

1/20/2007 2:30 PM  

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