Diary #ivelosttrack

Another week gone, another week where I have absolutely no idea what happened. That’s not to say nothing happened, in fact, quite the opposite.

‘Cook’ being in development is both the best and worst part of this work. There’s so much scope for creativity with food and making a genuinely fantastic product, but actually working out the processes and systems used to get it to that stage forms about 90% of the stress of it all. That’s the nature of the beast I guess, and it will be worthwhile, eventually, but damn if it doesn’t make me want to pull my hair out sometimes.

I suppose there’s some comfort knowing that everyone involved is somewhat in the merde (kitchen French coming in handy here), so it’s not just me. Will be a good experience in hindsight, just not the most fun at this very moment.

On a less grumble-y note, the pub quiz was good fun. Had a nice chat with Ben afterwards – it was probably the first time in the almost 2 months here (side note – whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat) that I’ve found the time to have a catch up and talk about my internship with him. Lots of food for thought and some interesting questions about the future…

So to summarise; a tough week, Cook still ramming everyone involved with the various but somewhat expected catastrophucks (thank you, Urban Dictionary) that seem to pop up when it is least convenient, and a long ‘to-do’ list ahead…

…but I’m still enjoying the hard work, and despite the protests from my body, I’m still willing to wake up at stupid o’clock every morning and make a crap commute into a job that is as stressful as it is fulfilling.

Bring on next week…

 

 

 

Diary #whateverthelastonewas+1

Seeing as this is pretty much the halfway point of my internship (week 7 of 14) I think it’s a good time to self-assess my performance and evaluate where to go from here.

So, first four weeks;

What I thought at the time: “A shocker on my part. Overwhelmed with everything and quality and attention to detail suffered as a result. Not entirely a car-crash, but not exactly fantastic either.”

Current assessment: I think I judged myself really harshly during that first month. Did I cock up? Of course. The more pertinent question is whether I learned from it and most importantly – have I improved?

I think the turning point came around the time James took me to grab a coffee and discuss the errors with the step photos. I appreciated him taking the time to not only go over the exact issue patiently but also examine what we can do to fix it going forward. More importantly, in a weird sort of way, it showed that the work I was doing day-to-day up to that point actually did have a further scope than just ‘something for me to do that day’ – not that I ever felt what I was doing didn’t matter, just that I didn’t really understand just how crucial it was in the system of Cook. I think that kick up the arse with responsibility really put me into gear.

I think I’ve also integrated a lot more with the team socially at this point which is great. That’s not to say anyone has ever been bad or exclusive about it but it can be intimidating to come into an organisation where many of the people have worked there for a long time and know each other far more than I ever could in my time here. It’s subtle and often difficult to see when you’re inside that group, but it’s an effect that is present nonetheless. Looking forward to the pub quiz next week though 🙂

My recipe writing has come on massively. I think I’ve got the process figured out in my head and my workflow reflects that. This is why I also feel some sort of handover between myself and whoever inevitably takes on my role would be useful – I’m not the best at putting this process in black and white, so being able to show someone how to do it may be beneficial.

Going forward, I want to really try to buy myself more time to do some more side projects. So far, I think it’s been really difficult to find that without compromising my “actual” work and I think it’s just very busy for everyone at the moment. I’m not entirely sure how likely it is that that will change any time soon and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it never really manages to materialise but it’s still a good goal to aim towards.

I also need to have a cook-off against James at some point…

Here’s to the next 7 weeks!


 

P.S. I’ve checked the recipe tracker.

At the time of writing this (end of 4th July) I have had 32 work days here (as in, excluding weekends and bank holidays etc.)

Just checked the recipe tracker:

102 recipes labbed under my name, 90 recipes created under my name.

Double-U-Tee-Fook?!

I think in my entire uni career I’ve only ever created about 10! They don’t even have the ingredients in the right order! Or use the word ‘plonk’!

 

 

 

 

Diary #4

Cook is always a constant. Creating exciting menus that are within the limits of our audience/the product is beginning to get tougher by the week but I suppose the phrase “that’s your job” springs to mind whenever I hit a creative rut.

Mike gave some good advice: “make as many mistakes as you need but only make them once”, and I suppose thats what Business is in essence.

Slight crisis in confidence this week. There’s a lot of justified pressure to get the work done but because of how long it takes a recipe to go from inception to finished it means a ‘bad day’ or small mistakes from weeks ago can have a big effect down the line when you can’t even remember the issue in the first place.

Cook being in the development stage causes a lot of stress as I don’t have much to compare my work to and I’m flying blind a little.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, last Friday night was fun as was Dinerama last night – never had short rib like that before!

 

Diary #3

A good week.

I’m happy with the work rate good and quality of work.

Cook is still chugging along as ever and I learned the wiring process for uploading our meal packs to the website.

Still need to find time to do a lot on my side projects list but I think it’s quite difficult to do that and do the work well. I’d rather take my time on work and get it to the best standard than risk it.

Diary #2

So I know it’s technically been more than a week but in my defence: (*generic excuse #716/b*).

 


 

So to summarise last week:

Personal life; one of the worst and most stressful of my life.

Professional life; one of the largest opportunities to learn from cock-ups and what I can do to fix them in the future.

 


 

I should get the phrase “attention to detail” tattooed on the inside of my eyelids so I don’t forget it – it really is the most important part of any job. We’ve identified where the errors are and I’m trying as much as I can to amend them before they become someone else’s problem in the future. Best place to start, though, is to take responsibility for it and not run away from the cock-up no matter how bloody obvious and annoying it is.

It’s all a learning process I guess.

 


 

Until next week (one can hope)…

Diary #1

3 weeks gone.

It’s really great to see how Sorted works as a company and more importantly as a business. I think one of its biggest assets is the culture in the workplace. There’s a good standard of work that goes out to the public and all the decisions made are very thoroughly thought out by the relevant people, but not in a way that stuff gets bogged down in bureaucracy. Stuff gets done.

The first couple of weeks were really tough for me, I struggled with the systems and general chaos and anxiety that comes with any new job but I think I’ve mostly worked it out now (a meal plan block is approximately equal to 12 furlongs per wiring and there are 5 seasons to the dollar).

Learning a lot about food styling and photography; how to hold a camera best for portrait shots and the fundamentals of exposure in a photo. Recipe writing is also improving, I’m enjoying the challenge of changing the audience for each product I’m working on (i.e. “friendly” Cook, “pragmatic” Book or “a bit of both” for Kenwood).

General tidiness and control of my workspace in the kitchen is an area I need to improve. No excuse really. Just get organised and stay tidy – I’ve had the training to know better.

I still want to figure out the best system for the kitchens – we’re cooking an industrial amount of food with domestic food storage systems which pose their challenges but that’s just the nature of the work. Also need to make the time for some side projects which is a personal time management task more than anything. Food for thought.

Still finding it difficult to conceptualise what my daily tasks are building towards or what it will all look like when the project is completed – I know what I’m doing but don’t entirely know why. I guess that will just come with time.

Until next week…