Summer has never been better in London, on a beautiful morning walking past every tree on the south of Regents Park and smiling at a flock of birds playing in and around the lake on my left, I walked towards Oxford street. Its been a recent fascination to touch and feel big trees any where as I have been watching the growth of our plants at Rasa Gurukul for sometime, it’s hugely inspirational to experience what a tree does unconditionally for the world, an important lesson we should learn to become a social being, to share and be patient.
Normally a morning smile and positive thoughts help to deal with potential issues in the restaurant or dealing with unhappy colleagues. Unlike other days, today was meant to be different and knowing the current staff situation, I couldn’t have expected anything better any way. Some of us have learned the art of being passionate and being loyal to work in the hardest way possible but you feel sad looking at our industry today. Honestly there’s nothing much one can do against the taste of times, other than turning around to match the changes in a proactive manner.
Since Britain has been developing a strict post-Brexit immigration policy and making life difficult for work force in every business, staff shortage issue has been the main news in restaurant business in UK for sometime. A solution is far away from anyone’s imagination, then the only option is to keep searching for new faces from any where to manage your trade. With this thought boiling in my head I entered the restaurant and found someone waiting to see me for a job interview, a nice looking young man with soft manners. Like every other time, first look gives you lot of hope and unnecessary expectations. At the first approach and sharing few words, a variety of ideas came to my mind for this guy as I felt his confidence and willingness to learn.
We sat down to discuss the potential work and most importantly to find out his interest in restaurant job. Opening my ears closer to him, I was curious to hear his excitement about knowing the art of cooking and learn to become a chef. All vacant positions came visible to me, a chef on emergency family trip, another to fetch her kids, a manager, two senior staff on the floor, the list went on. I have one guy to fill many of these roles and I couldn’t wait to hear what he had in mind. I looked at him by offering a smile of comfort and friendship, to reassure him that he landed at the correct place and of course right time.
Life could always surprise you, it was no different this time as I listened to this young man. He said, “I would like to work two or three days as I will continue with my two other jobs. Call me when ever you need me but don’t expect me to work any where specific, just let me fit in somewhere to earn some extra money”. That was a hard response from a young guy who’s just running around to make use short term money benefits. I tried to make him understand the importance of doing one job and get the best of that skill and achieve solid success in life. Unfortunately, he made up his mind already and just wanted it to work his way, nevertheless I agreed with his request for 3 days of casual labour.
Job situation has become so difficult that we are unable to replace someone on holiday or left the job for good. In spite of knowing this reality, we had a senior chef disappointed us by taking a holiday to enjoy his time with family and that was double blow for a busy tourist season. It was one of those rare moments in life when you thought you are doing the wrong business and felt like packing up.
Today I feel glad, we fought thru that situation, thanks to a fantastic senior Chef who took the challenge and pulled us out of that most difficult spell in this business. He worked many more hours than normal with a completely new team of people and served people almost all seven days of the week, that also with out a word of complaint or shouting with his team.
People like that are rare in any form of business today, its not merely due to Brexit, people have changed and their attitude to work. We easily forget what a profession brings to our life, how a position gets translated as dreams and hope for future in personal life. Like someone recently said “work defines my life and godliness flows out of me every time I think of it, in short I say, work’s my God”