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Love & The Kitchen
Can Someone Just Stay Married In This Damn Business?
career centerstaying married

August 2002

I once read an article that questioned why so many chefs were divorced. One chef claimed that if you loved food then you could love nothing else. Another chef said that we all work with young good-looking people and that it was easy to get yourself into romantic mischief... Whatever the truth may be, in reality, success does not just mean being the best you can be in your profession. True success is getting to the top of the pile and having a partner and family alongside to share the view.

I cannot tell you absolutely how to achieve this mystical balance, but I have a few ideas...

1. The spousal selection process
A successful relationship between you, your partner and the kitchen starts with the selection of your loved one. The candidate needs to be happy with the concept of being part of a threesome on a daily basis. In many (not all) instances a relationship with someone who is in the business or at least is involved in shift work, stands the best chance for success. It is important to be open with your newfound love; they need to know of your professional desires from the very beginning.

2. Communication
This is essential in keeping a relationship on track. Keeping your partner in the loop as to what's happening at work is a healthy thing. If they do not have a basic understanding of what happens when you are at work and who you work with you could find yourself getting frustrated with them when trying to explain a problem you have at work. Be sure not to bore them with micro details - a four hour story of how you ran out of tomato concass in the middle of service is not really that interesting.

3. Stress
Again keep your partner informed. If you are totally stress out and acting like a lunatic as a consequence, tell them why, but don't overly burden them.

4. The opposite sex
Do yourself a favor, if you work along side a person who is rather cute and you get on with them really well, don't keep talking about them at home. Keep these stories brief otherwise you can look forward to some spousal jealousy - never a healthy thing.

5. Watch your flirting...
Flirting at work may start as an innocent comment or two, but where does it end? Keep yourself in check.

6. Drinking after work. A quick beer can end up getting you in to a serious predicament especially if you don't pay attention to point number five.

7. Cook At Home
"What!" I hear you say, "That's the last thing I want to do on my day off." If your partner is not in the business then your cooking skills were probably as much of an attraction as your good looks. If you expect your partner to put up with the B.S of you never being home at the weekend then you might as well reward them with an occasional fancy dinner.

8. It not just about you. Make sure you discuss what has been going on in your partner's life too...

9. What to do when things are not working out.
When things get tough the first point to consider is your workload. Many of us take on projects, promotions and other extra curricular jobs that promote who we are and what we do. This can obviously draws time away from your relationship and the rift begins. Learn to say no to some of these opportunities. Missing an event or two will not damage your career in the long run. Do not be frightened to ask for help ( professional marriage counseling). Remember it is easier to get married than it is to stay married!

10. Do I hear the patter of tiny feet?
New addition to your family? Now have two full time jobs - cancel everything! Go to work to earn the diaper (nappy) money, come home to support the family. It's that simple...
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