Have you ever worked long hours in a kitchen to pay the rent? Know anyone who has? A kitchen dweller for a while, I’d become immune to the strong scents of work that followed me home. I shared the stench with passers-by – it hitched a ride in the fibres of my shirt, the strands of my hair, my bag and shorts fabric. Even my cap was splattered, it too stank.
Washing clothes in our share house was a first-come best-laundered, stressful undertaking. Finding my one and only spare apron, shirt and shorts trapped in a malfunctioning washing machine sent me into a spin. It meant I had to hand-wash the uniform I had on before falling asleep, but by the time I woke it was still damp and stinky as I peeled it on for my shift.
That morning, the greasy wafts ripped right up my nostrils. I got through that shift by telling myself ‘It’s only temporary’.
That’s when kitchen guru Michael lifted me: “Do this work as if it’s the only work you have to do. Maintain your focus and do it well.”
How do you do that when you’re up to your elbows in fryer fat and chicken bits for 10-hour shifts, home, sleep, then head back again for more?
“Do your job happily, no matter how horrible your work, and you’ll be content. At the very least, your shift will go faster.” Sweet-smelling advice.