Sunday, May 22, 2011

Acting Stupid

Sometimes I let on like I know less than I know. I guess you could call it "acting stupid" but I assure you that it is purely accidental. Unfortunately, acting stupid whether on purpose or accidental doesn't really get you where you want to be in life.

I started my new job last Friday at a little eatery in town called Tsuda's. I am helping in the mornings with baking, and washing dishes (mostly dishes)..and pretty much anything that they need. Minus the new job nerves it went quite well. I enjoy the people, the atmosphere, and everything about it. Everyone is really nice, and willing to help out the new kid. The only hurdle I can't get over is my lack of confidence.

I will be in training for a couple of weeks (unpaid) until I get used to the ropes. My only fear is that they will find that I am not cut out for the kitchen due to my lack of a backbone. I was training with another new girl who is about to graduate from Le Cordon Bleu's baking and pastry program. I definitely felt under qualified. She was sweet, always willing to help me and I am really thankful that she made me feel really comfortable...however, this also allowed me to play dumb.

Tsuda's specializes in gluten free baked goods, vegan baked goods, and just overall deliciousness. What I failed to portray was the fact that I know more about baking than they think. Especially about gluten-free baking- something they don't cover in great detail in culinary school. I have done a lot of my own experimentation and research when it comes to gluten free baking, bread baking, vegan baking...everything. But for some reason I feel the need to act like I know nothing. I guess one of my biggest fears is coming off like an annoying cocky "know it all". I definitely don't know it all but I know something. I need to grow a backbone, learn to communicate (easier said than done ) and let on that I have at least some knowledge if I want to be handed less dishes and more responsibility.

My biggest downfall is always second guessing myself. Even with everyday tasks that I wouldn't even think about if I was doing it at home. I can separate egg whites with my eyes closed at home, but at work I was afraid to mess something up and looked like a moron. I have a hard time telling the difference between being cocky,and from being confident. Whenever I try on the confidence coat I always feel like a cocky asshole. But maybe that is what you need to make it in a kitchen?

Food is my passion, and I know there is no place I would rather be than in the kitchen. This is what I want to do for my career and will do everything I can to improve in all aspects of life in order to get where I want to be. Praying for confidence. Help me God.


  1. Ya I know what you mean. That's a tough balance. I also realize that part of the reason that I find difficulty striking that balance at times is because I (often wrongfully) assume that anyone acting confident is cocky, therefore I can't judge it in myself.

    It's forced me to look at what confidence is, and it's more in the way you communicate your knowledge rather than the fact that you are communicating. Tone of voice says so much more than I realize.

    I would say "be awesome" but you're already awesome sister, just let it out. ;-)

  2. I'll pray for you, too. I know how it feels to not be as confident as I should be in a situation where I could be happy.

    Also welcome home. And congratulations on the new job! If it's what you really want to do, you'll find a way to make it work. Just don't become someone else to get there. I like who you are already. :]

  3. i think the best way to show them you're a great chef is to make them something and bring it to owrk and put it in the staff-room (is there a staff-room?) with a little note saying you made that. Prove your skills :)

    i think part of the trouble right now is you getting back in the swing of things. hang in there ! you can do it !

  4. Be confident but be humble. That's the best you can do as you learn. =)

  5. Sending good vibes and prayers your way. I know you can do it.

  6. I struggle with this a lot, too! It seems... nicer, to act stupid than cocky. Even when I know I have the skills, I'm not confident in using them in front of other people, and I don't want to be seen as a jerk.

    I'm working on this a lot lately, too. I've noticed that a lot of people around me are confident and doing what they do, and no one seems to resent them for it. I think it's better to contribute than to hide.

    I liked the idea mentioned above about bringing something in to share if you feel comfortable doing that! Or maybe try and being up something specific about gluten baking (like, would you prefer using this ingredient or this ingredient when making this?) as a conversation topic, this is just conversation but might help you start putting it out there in a relaxed way.

    Good luck!