Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Job Hunting during The Recession

Faced with the gloomy reality of finance, I gathered the slow energy that eventually brought me foot to concrete with the streets of Dublin city. I was a partially experienced, jobless chef and there were kitchens to be badgered. First stop was Jo Burger, a gourmet fast food business in lower Rathmines. I met with the owner, an amiable and courteous 30 something with a hint of the vagabond. I felt immediately that he didn't trust me. I tried telling him I knew one of the staff, but I don't think it played. I'll count that as my first rejection.

I celebrated with dinner, a mushroom risotto with a side dish I call 'drunken egg pudding'. Sauté your onions, add green beans, peppers, a little sweetcorn and a free pour of soy sauce. Season, crack in an egg, scramble. Just before the eggs lose their gloss, throw the lot in a bowl and push down with the back of your spoon. Flip the bowl onto your plate and dress it with parsley and black pepper. Easy enough for a drunk. I should know.

This recession was getting me down. One application and not a job to be had. CVs were posted into the Porto House, an atmospheric if shallow tasting meeting booth for the cosy and romantic, into Yamamori Noodle and into Yamamori Sushi. One last bid was made online, using, where there were only 115 chef jobs in Dublin City Centre. I hadn't time to look through the lot. In these hard times, time is money. So I picked a few and went to the pub.

To balance the drudgery, I cooked up lamb shanks on a bed of mustard mash with a mint and red onion chutney, a side order of braised asparagus and a couple of roasted mushrooms with garlic butter.

There were other meals, of course, like the pan fried whiting on a bed of charred broccoli, dressed with a balsamic vinegar deglaze and two large bacon and potato rostis. But in essence, that was all I could endure.

Yesterday I got a call, an interview and a job. Yamamori liked my credentials. The chief being my twin brother, ex-master waiter extraordinaire, who excelled there last season. In Dublin, at least during the crunch, it's not just who you know, but who you look like.

In short, if I can get a job in a restaurant, well... It took me two hours. Recession? Really? Well, not as far as an already poor, family-less, homeless layman can perceive. All last week I cooked at home, made dinner for friends and had a few pints. It cost me €50 which is pretty cheap considering the luxury. Plus I managed to land a job for which I was unqualified. So what's going on here? Is there lag before we feel the crunch? Has something already happened, something long and dreadful, with its tail-end sweeping at us inevitably as we speak? Maybe it'll worsen and sharpen. Apparently we can make sure of that if we stop spending money. Middle classes, do your bit... Buy a DVD and get pissed so I can continue gorging on the fat of Ireland.

DIARIT: 7/10

No comments:

Post a Comment