The Best Job I've Ever Had

The lovely, sometimes mocking, tone that Facebook's On This Day feature offers to its users can sometimes bring up a lot of bad memories.

Breakups. Car accidents. Sports injuries. More breakups.

But this morning, I was reminded of the Labor of Love article, written for the Albany Times Union in 2014, just before I left my career as a chef and began my full-time journey as a journalist and filmmaker. At the time, I was working at the absolute best job I have ever had: SPoT Coffee Saratoga.

Things I love about this article:

 Credit: Michael P. Farrell/Times Union

Credit: Michael P. Farrell/Times Union

  • Michael P. Farrell took some amazingly good photos of me. I don't look nearly as augmented as my brain has me to believe, or so these photos portray. I have loved this photoset of me at SPoT since it was published. I've actually used shots from this set when auditioning for roles. I also really loved his style, and if you've met him you'll know what that means.
  • Jennifer Gish was a great reporter. I believe she has moved on to a Director of Marketing position since this article was published, but man was she good. When I got the job in news after production school, I modeled how I would conduct interviews based on how she interviewed me. She had me quickly at ease and comfortable talking about everything. I really enjoyed speaking with her.
  • Michael and Jennifer were credited directly with the work they put into this article. The Albany Times Union credits the creators with the work they put out; not the company as a whole. Maybe that's "a small town kind of thing to do" (or so I was told when I asked once), but I find it highly respectful that the company decides to allow the journalists to associate with their work directly.

Things I dislike about this article:

  • The person I was dating at the time, was what had appeared as a "Saving Grace" during a rough time. She blatantly lied and had a very harsh drug habit that was hidden so I wouldn't "think less" of her (I appreciate that mentality, but I will ultimately always refer people to Rehab when they are using their rent money for their drug habit). I regret ever feeling the pressure that she put on me to mention her in the article and giving in to it.
  • I worry that it gives the wrong impression of my time of being a chef. I loved my job at SPoT and I miss it all the time. If I had enough money to start a franchise in Tampa, I would absolutely do it. The issue was that as a chef, not all jobs were exactly like SPoT. Not all jobs gave me the freedom to try things with food when there was time available. Not all job managers/head chefs/kitchen managers treated me with respect/didn't blame me for their completely out of control drug problems/didn't physically assault me on the line. Not all jobs had paychecks that wouldn't bounce.
  • Who the f**k let me behind the line without my hair tied back? Yes, it was just a photo op and the food I made during that moment, I ate. But, it still bothers me that I represented the company like that with improper food safety standards because I hate how I look when my hair is tied back into a ponytail. I know there is no way I would have let anyone take a photo of me with my hair tied up in a kitchen cap, but sheesh!

Someone asked me recently (because apparently, this pops up in Google when you search for my name) if I regretted doing this article because "every other job that wants to hire you thinks nothing will be better than SPoT."

Absolutely not. I love the people I worked with, the location I worked in, and the menu in which I was responsible. I wish more people could hold jobs as good as my job at SPoT Coffee Saratoga.