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A new job offer dilemma

Poll Results: What would you do

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 25% of voters (1)
    Stay put. Jobs sitting on your butt in an office are cool!
  • 50% of voters (2)
    Do what you are trained to do and know best, take the job.
  • 25% of voters (1)
    Stay where you are and start a part time career with "The Pampered Chef" for extra cash.
  • 0% of voters (0)
    Go away and leave me alone!
4 Total Votes  
post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey all, I need input. Here's the situation for those who know and don't know. 5 years ago I was still in the food industry but I had moved up here to Rochester. While interviewing for a variety of cooking jobs I tore a ligament ion my foot. I decided that perhaps being on my feet all day (which were already going bad on me) may not be the best idea for me. I decided to go check the local engineering firms (my former career) and just see what the state of the art in computer design and drafting was. The second place I went to, I apparently got there just when they were looking to expand a bit. They interviewed me a couple of times and sent me a letter offering to retrain me to bring me up to speed with the CAD systems and design work, and made a financial offer that at the time I couldn't refuse. 4 months into the job I suffer a brain injury that puts my progress to an abrupt stop. I am still working there, making a little more than I did at the beginning. No real prospect of advancement or much more money. The place is lenient though in terms of flexible hours and good benefits. Though my wife works for the school system so we use her medical benefits. I am up to 3 weeks paid vacation now and I sit on my *** in front of a computer all day. There are times when the work is slim and I worry about being the last man on the totem pole and wonder when and if the bottom will drop out.
Along comes this ad in the paper that I check out and send my resume. The company has been around for 20 years and is exapnding their marketing programs to chef demonstrators. I would be like the people you see in the stores handing out samples. The main difference is that I would be promoting the manufacturers as opposed to the store itself. The store allows the chefs in to boost the sales of the manufacturers products. For instance Dole might be promoting Pineapples along with Armour products so I demo a Ham and Pineapple dish and teach the customers how to do it, and promote the items and try to increase the sales. This ties into my experience as a chef, trainer and salesperson in the past. The job has benefits (that I don't need) and pays perhaps $2/hr more than I make now, but I would only get 1 weeks vacation a year, so I lose 2. The store I would be in is not the greatest grocery in the world but certainly not the worst either. I provide my own whites, pans and knives, but they provide the station, microwave, oven and burner plate. The company is growing. They started with 7 chefs and now have over 50 in the NE. with plans to grow to 300 or so. They are working on adding larger stores to their demo customers.
I have gotten pretty comfortable over the last 5 years sitting. I can do without the office holiday party every year, and bonuses are hit and miss. But I miss cooking. I enjoy talking to people and teaching. The cooking part is what I am trained to do, but I fear losing what I have gotten comfortable with. What are the thoughts around here?
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
post #2 of 16
Hi CH
Sounds like you have a real dilemma there. Just let me say that from my discussions with you here on ChefTalk you would be an amazing teacher.You know the food business well and you certainly have the food science knowledge to excel anywhere in the industry. I am sorry to hear of your medical dilemmas though. Follow your instincts man. You have the knowledge use it. If I were going to be taught by anyone my man it would be you, and of course Pan. Sorry just rambling I don't know if I helped any or not.Good Luck.
post #3 of 16
Take care of your health first. I would stay at your current position. Flexibility and vacation is worth so much more than anything else in the world. With flexibility you can take care of your health and family needs. You don't need a burnout sales position.
post #4 of 16
If I were you. that's just a phrase, ya know?
I wouldn't think twice. I'd be there in a heart beat.
From your posts:
You will read yourself from the inside, out. We read you from the outside, in. Sometimes, when I read you, the info starts to stream out, it almost reads, gosh, I really miss this.
I know the health, hours, yadda,yadda,yadda. You wouldn't be considering this if you didn't want to do it. To me, it seems to be a FAT job. Creative freedom, educating the public, no 18 hr. days. I'd go for it.
But you know me. No risk, no reward.
Screw all the issues. Go with your heart on this one. We're not getting any younger.:crazy:
pan
sorry, had to add. no offense Kuan. You know me. I'm always on the other side of the fence. I also don't think this is a sales job. I have a buddy doing this. He says, (note: comming from the hotel industry,80 hr weeks) it's like semi retirement.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #5 of 16
In general, I agree with you pan. If you're in good health, then I'd say go for it.

I'm just considering his brain injury and the big reason he quit the industry in the first place.
post #6 of 16
hmmmm....what kind of creative license are you being given. Most store demonstrations are to the least common denominator (5 ingrediants total)....actually most recipes are centered more toward that populace and come from the manufacturer.
Whole Foods has a classroom in STL which features food from the store. Trader Joe's just opens packages and combines products already made.

What are the demo days.....Sat/Sun are big ones around here, how will that affect your family time?

Cooking schools usually want more involved dishes.....they usually have staff that has "set classes" and guest chefs that create classes.

Life is too short to spend substantial time on things you don't enjoy.

Pro-Con lists work, it gets down to How do you want to spend your life?
Good Luck deciding.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 16
I was going to vote to go for it until I read Shroom's post. Would you get too frustrated or bored just dealing with their recipes and ingredient restrictions?
I agree with others that you would make a fabulous teacher. What about some teaching on the side? Or work at a culinary school that caters to non-pros (less work perhaps)? They're springing up all over the place.
So I guess my response is that this might not be the ideal career move. However, why not do some sniffing around for other food industry jobs and leave your computer gig when you find the right fit.
Emily

______________________

"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
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Emily

______________________

"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
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post #8 of 16
Chrose,

You're too good for this. I've done store demos. It gets old real fast. The agenda is not to teach, it's to sell, and once you accept that, it's a pretty miserable job. Instead, I could see you teaching continuing ed at a local college. It's obvious you miss it, and you should do something about it. But I think you could probably find something with a better fit. On the other hand, I know you'd be a wonderful and charismatic demo chef!

Best of luck; hope you find your 'thing'.
post #9 of 16
Chrose, I have never met you in person (although I'd love to some day!), but based on what I think I know about you, this change doesn't strike me as a good fit for you. I can see you getting frustrated as you are with your current job. You seem to be saying you have little chance to be self-directed at work now, but I see just as little chance with the new job.

Keep looking! the right one will come along and you'll be telling us about it- not having to poll anyone but your other half! :D

Good luck,
Mezz
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
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Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
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post #10 of 16
Well,
I guess we need a full job description before we decide if we will allow you to take this job or not;)
I'm maybe on the wrong track. I do know some cheffys who do things like demoing for gourmet food manufactures and distributors. I even did a year with one of the european bakery supply companies. Great gig, but did not want to travel and was base plus comm.
I also know a great chef who did something like this for Ralphs and now is with some big outfit in NY. Not sure with who. Haven't talked since June. Here in Texas there is a huge push in the grocery business to educate customers. Our stores like Central Market and Eatzis all have highly traoned and experienced Exec. Chefs and Exec. Pastry Chefs. Some of the large grocery markets are teaming up with local high profile chefs to not only try an educate the customer but also educate in the BOH. The chefs are securing a one day a week spot with local TV stations and things like that.
Chrose,I hope this is more of a Chefs job then a demo job. and like the others said, something is going to be right. I'm not back pedaling from before though.:D
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey I really, really appreciate everybodies input, keep it coming. I must say that I am liking the idea of getting back to food. The fact of the matter is too that ever since I was a kid, I have always loved grocery stores:confused: :blush: also I realize that this isn't the ideal cooking environment, but the particular store i would be placed at also has a "cooking school" attached to it, so there's the possibility of doing things there as well.
One thing though that I am thinking though is the potential avenues it could lead to within the company as well as in other fields such as eventually getting into a Cape Chef position. I am going to set up a second interview with the hiring chef and see how the the ends tie up.
In the meantime I'll let the cat out of the bag. Here's a link to the company...
http://www.suray.com/index.asp
http://www.theculinaryexpert.com/
I wouldn't be quite as happy as this guy most likely!:beer:
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
post #12 of 16
I don't know you, but, have read some of your posts.
Perhaps you could teach at a prison, school, or tech
school. Speak to the public and private high schools
about doing one or two classes per school per month.
Perhaps continue working in your current position from
home or with a limited schedule and create a hybrid
of both! Happiness is essential, but, it does not pay the
bills. I don't have to tell you this, but, the adversity you
have experienced will make you a much better teacher.
Go with your heart, but, remember your responsibilies to
your health and family.
post #13 of 16
I'm familiar with Food Lion, Albertsons, Wild Oats......med-high end groceries.

Chrose, selling something means I believe in it......if you can believe in what your selling go for it. Ask about advancements. Whole Foods has alot of interesting classes with fun high end products (Scharffenburger Chocolate, good cheeses, etc) as well as demos. The coordinator was a chef in NY and Napa moved to STL after her divorce and took this day job. She loves it!
Several of the James Beard group are teaching classes in the hospitality section of our community college wanting a full time slot later on.....
Then I hooked up a buddy of mine who was in between restaurants to start/run a local foods cafeteria.....he works Mon-Fri 8-9 until 2 open for business 11-1. The salary is not great but he gets to create wonderful food with local products and his kids (5) get free tuition. He's also opening an Irish restaurant in April...so this has been a wonderful gig for him. He's owned 6 restaurants most provencial French.
More and more cafeterias are looking for a healthier route

Personal Cheffing pays well, good hours and if you work it right you play with the good shtuff.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm almost there

Again I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts on this and the nice sentiments as well. I have a second interview coming up, but I am leaning towards not taking the job. As it turns out when I looked at my current paycheck it turns out that the new job will only be paying me about 28¢/hr more than I make now. I would lose 2 weeks vacation, I don't know how much sick time, weekends (not that big a deal, but still...) and temp. disability insurance that my current employer pays for. Plus I would be on my feet for 8 hours a day etc. So unless the offer sweetens up considerably, I will likely not take the offer. I will let you know what happens. But I think it is time for a change. All of you people are wonderful and helpful. It's nice to have a place to get feedback like this. Thanks:D
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
post #15 of 16
Ya know,
If your up to traveling, we would more then likely have something for you here. It's not the greatest, one of the owners is a little crabby and the other(his wife) is a sweetheart.:lol:
I think the biggest decision is made. You need a change.
You know this field, most of the time ,the grass is dead on the other side.
If you think you might want to relay your experience to others, there are some gigs to get you started and stay employed. Every once in a while I'll do a demo at the Viking store,Sur La Table, Central Market, etc. They are always looking to fill their demo lists. Some pay very well for a couple of hours. I barter with Viking at wholesale.
pan
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks Pan, I would love to come and work with the sweetheart, however my wife will not budge until our son graduates HS. So that means that I remain in Rochester until minimum 2010 :eek:
And then I shall be really on the prowl! It's nice here, but I really am craving either the East Coast and Northern Atlantic or the West Coast and Northern Pacific, like Oregon! But what I really miss is eclectic and adventurous cuisine and foodies!
Actually I would really like to hit the lottery and come visit all of you!!!
But I am going to look into some of the possibilities you all have suggested.
The first thing I am going to do is to check out The Pampered Chef, as a way of earning some easy side $$$, and see how that develops. With my in-home sales experience and winning smile :D that might pan out well enough to give me future freedom financially and allow me the ability to stretch out and be adventurous.
We'll see how this year works itself out!
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
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