The Industry of Stress, Service and the Opportunity for Success!

You never walk alone!  EVER!

Sometimes, in our business, although we are very vibrant with our co workers and staffs, we feel alone.  Sometimes, being alone is the scariest thing that one can encounter.  Sometimes, being unable to share those feelings is like a personal prison.  And, Sometimes, in our business, we feel like there is no way out...

Listen, if you are someone that occasionally or regularly falls into the "Sometimes" bucket, Please remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

Strong Mental Health is something that I care deeply about.  It helps cope with what I call the "sometimes syndrome".  It assists us all with checks and balances that can help us be the person that we all strive to be.  Having a conversation with a real friend who has empathy and compassion to what you may be going through but, also can hit you square between the eyes with honesty and truth can be the beginning of the path to where you want to end up.  Let's face it, no one wants to be a miserable person...  It's not cool or macho or trendsetting to be the Jerk in charge of the kitchen barking out negative orders and demeaning but; it is easy to feel like the victim who is underpaid, overworked and never appreciated!

Mental Health used to be viewed as an overarching negative that the mainstream didn't want to discuss.  Almost like a Scarlet Letter that made people think differently about you.  In this day and age of  instant social acceptance and several generations of  industry leaders not adjusting how to manage in a social environment have compounded the problem.  These conflicts, as well as the "uber sensitive" psyche of  modern kitchen staff can put business owners, chefs, and staff in an unhealthy working environment and cause the spiral to spin out of control.  We all own a share in this responsibility to be better stewards, friends, mentors and co-workers!

Recently, several higher profile culinarians have found themselves churned up in the wake of silence and an overall feeling of being utterly alone.  They chose to take the only way out that they felt could do no harm to others and minimize the stress on those around them.  They chose suicide.

There is NOTHING that should put a mind in a place that this becomes the only viable solution for being alone or being underappreciated or even being loveless!  We work in an industry that by it's nature, is a giving community.  Donating time, food, effort to help a cause... It's what we do and what we will continue to do.  I am lucky.  I have never felt the pain of overwhelming loneliness or lost sense of purpose.  I have a strong support network of family, friends and colleagues that help me keep my mental state in a perpetual focus on the good!  I am lucky and thankful for that!  Not eveyone has this support network around them.  Some have no one to give them big ups on a job well done.  Or, even someone to talk to on a regular basis to simply have a routine "reality check".  This is something that has to change in our industry!!!

The goal should be simple, talk to each other and don't always make it over a beer or sharing a cigarette in the alley behind the restaurant.  Have a meaningful conversation with your employees or with your boss showing genuine care for each other.  Conversations lead to resolutions, and resolutions lead to positive growth, and, positive growth leads to better Mental Health.

I am not a Doctor, I just know that I miss my friends and the best way to help their legacies is to help others start having conversations about what and why they might hurt.

Just remember, you are NOT ALONE!  You are NEVER alone!

There is support.  Just click on one or all of the links below:


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