Because of my resposibilities here at the culinary school, I am often asked to speak to students who are about to leave the nest and go out into the real world. I find myself returning to this same theme over and over again.
I see this all the time in this business: Those who work hard, and those who pretend to work hard. Those doing the pretending are fooling no one. They run around acting all busy, as if they are looking for something important to do, but actually accomplishing nothing.
We are paid to work
Which employee are you? Or employer? Are you the manager who spends five minutes running around looking for a busser to yell at because a customer needs more water, or do you spend just thirty seconds actually picking up that water pitcher yourself to give some more water to that customer?
I have a friend who has had quite a bit of success acting over the years. Now, in addition to his acting roles, he is an acting professor at a prestigious college in southern California. His students often ask him how on earth he has manged to land so many good roles.
The answer is quite simple: Hard work. Yes, he is a terrific actor, but the real difference comes with his approach to his work. When his number is called and he has to shoot a scene, he is ready to go every single time. The lights can screw up, a plane can fly overhead and ruin the sound, the cameraman can miss the shot, but if the director yells cut, it is never going to be because of him.
Movie shots cost tens of thousands of dollars to shoot, and my friend is never going to be the reason they are messed up. He is going to know his lines, hit his marks, give his performance 110% effort every time that director calls action. Word like that gets out, and that is why he finds the work.
Which one are you?
So, I ask again, which one are you? If you want to keep working in this business, I recommend you follow this advice. Portland is a still a small town, especially in the restaurant community, so make it your goal to try to make it perfect, every time. Have I used the words every time enough yet?