Sunday, November 18, 2007

Chefs and journalists

I never have stated I wanted to be a food writer. I love to cook. I love reading about food as much as I love reading about music. I've hung around chefs a ton. My best friend is a chef.

But I can't pretend to "know" their world. When I see my best friend cook for a catered party and a West Omaha housewife moons "It would just be so wonderful to be a chef, the things you can create, the different types of people you'd meet..." My friend smiles politely, but in an unguarded moment, I can see him shoot daggers through his eyes at the unsuspecting target.

I've tried to reconcile why these two professions, though vastly different, are strangely similar. And I've finally come to some sort of conclusion...

First, both professions pay for shit, generally.

Second, by nature, both jobs surround you by undesirables. Be it coked up incompetent managers who only treat their business as a vanity project (though the same could be said for some newspaper owners) or interview subjects who, sometimes rightfully, most times wrongfully, treat a reporter with the same disdain as they would ambulance-chasing lawyers.

The chefs get to deal with pathetic working conditions. The journalists have to deal with the fact that the general population hates them.

Which brings me to the similarity... despite all of this negativity, the professions still attract their followers. And many of them do it for no other reason for the love of their craft. That said, each individual in these professions have to display at least some sort of psychological imbalance to put up with the shit they put up with.

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