Saturday, January 24, 2009


Do you realize it's been over 16 months since I've had to sign a time card? It's true, I haven't worked for well over a year - pretty liberating feeling, you should try it some time.

But with that liberating feeling, that freedom, came the sheer terror of getting down to my last couple hundred dollars without any measure of a job in front of me and rent due in two weeks.

Monica down at Sisters landed me one paid gig, helping her run a non-violence training for a church group in Tigard which kept me going and I appreciated (and it was fun). And then, a bit of grace, as most of you know by now came through with this catering/school cook job at Four Seasons Flavor and my bacon was saved.

So I just finished my first week of work, and it was exhausting in that way of having to learn new stuff, new people and a new routine, but it was liberating in its own way to be spending my day earning money instead of spending it.

This gig is good for me. It's steady and the hours suit me. I get up early in the morning and show up by 7am - work my eight hours and head home at 3:00. It's been challenging following recipes again and learning the myriad of procedures that go with this job. We cook for three different schools, two of which are off site so we have to cook everything off, get the numbers right and send everything away in time for lunch two different locations. I haven't gotten it all set in my head yet, so it's a little swirly but I'm sure I'll get it down in time.

This past week I got to make soups, mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes, rice krispie treats (!!), pizza and a couple of side items. I also got to learn how to work the POS system (point of sale). We are in charge of running the meals at the high school which means we lay all the food out and then run the cash register as the kids come through and purchase their meals. And they are quick. They only get 30 minutes for lunch and there are a couple hundred of them so I sweat, it's like locusts running through the cafeteria - we lay out all this food and in a matter of minutes, it's gone. It's impressive.

And the kids are sweet - I just see them all as Jake and Shanes - even though the boys are in their twenties now - they will probably always be youngsters to me. So I see all these young high schoolers and feel quite a lot of affection for them. And I remember what it was like to be 15 - 16 years old. What a trial. They have to work so hard just to present themselves in the world, it's rough, I know.

So - nothing else really to add there. It's a good gig and I'm lucky to have it. Did you know unemployment has hit 10% here in Oregon? I'm one fortunate dude.

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