Living a life with less stress was an unexpected upgrade. I wasn’t making tons of money, but I made my bills OK for the most part.
I was visiting Canada periodically, working the boat, and working seasonally for Burning Man. It was the beginning of a transient lifestyle. I was still dealing with a lot of things, but the work I chose gave me the chance to let the snow in the snow globe in my head settle down.
Things were going well, until a schedule misunderstanding with the boat. I was in Calgary when I got a call.
“Are you almost here?” I heard the accented voice of my boss.
“Uh, no. I’m in Calgary. I’m on my way back, I’ll be in tomorrow.”
The boss exploded. But there was nothing that could be done. The next day when I arrived to the office I brought some Canadian syrup as a peace offering.
“I don’t know if you should still have a job here,” he said in reply. I apologized again for the misunderstanding, got my supplies and went to my boat.
I knew he was yanking my chain, but I didn’t take the threat lightly. That day, during my lunch break I marched down the embarcadero to a restaurant I frequented to ask for a job.
I had met the chef. He gave me his card after chatting me up one night. I managed to talk my way into a stage, that resulted in my first real Line Cook job. We set it up for me to start when I got back from Burning Man.
I went to the playa that year excited about the new opportunity. I felt like I was just going where life led me, but in truth working in a San Francisco restaurant was a long time aspiration. When I was in achievement mode, it just didn’t seem realistic.