It’s so hard to believe that in just one week, my Culinary Program will be ending. The time here has passed so quickly. It’s been exhausting for sure but I’ve learned so much and gained that professional kitchen experience that I was lacking.
Over the past few weeks there has been much back and forth in the “What Do I Do Now?” department. I’ve never doubted that I want to stay with Disney. The big question is, in what capacity? The Chef at my current location indicated that he would like to keep me and I’ve considered it. The issue is that the career path of a Cook II is pretty straightforward. Cook II, Cook I, Cook’s Assistant, Sous Chef, Chef. The problem is that none of those titles seem to get me any closer to what I want to really do than I am now. Also, I don’t love the kitchen. I love food and I love giving people experiences around food. But a love of food isn’t needed to be good in a kitchen – nor is a love of cooking. Compared to many career kitchen people, I’m darn near warm and gooey. Surprising to some of you, I know. But my best moments come when I’m out with the guests. I love to help them have a wonderful time, tell them about things going on that they might not know about and just make their vacation a bit better. You can’t get that when you’re back in a kitchen all the time. And many people back in that kitchen don’t want it.
So after waiting a very long time, and pondering a bit too long, I emailed the College Program contact and told her all of this. What are my options for staying? Here I must give a shout out to Vanessa, who probably could have simply told me I waited too late and was out of luck. Instead, she spent most of yesterday working on my behalf. Worst case scenario? They can extend my culinary program and move me to a different location (albeit still a kitchen). All this really does for me is buy me time – but that would be helpful . The other option is that I can meet with the CP to Full Time guy, Phil. The problem was that when I called Phil, his next available appointment was August 14 and since I will no longer be a Cast Member at that time, couldn’t book me in. I sent Vanessa an email and fully expected she to tell me that I would just have to extend. Instead, I received a call last night from Phil who is squeezing me in next Thursday at 9:00 a.m. Things will have to move quickly as my program ends Friday so he’s keeping an eye out for positions that come across his desk. I have no idea what kind of job he’ll have for me. It will be entry-level, I’m sure. It may very well even be part time and I’ll go on a waiting list to go full time. But the goal now is to get solidly in the door, learn a few more things about how the company works and move up from here. There’s a big call for convention planners and catering managers in late September. I’m hoping to be there. Baby steps.
So if you’re the praying type, think of me next week. I could use a miracle or two.