To be a professional. Nothing more. That is why I initially moved to Los Angeles and jumped on this crazy train that has been Intelligentsia LA. It’s something that I initially made the decision to do in Minneapolis, somewhere between throwing away the idea of producing records for a living and falling further in love with plain, ol’ coffee.
However, certain factors held me back. Money was constantly tight… tight enough that I still am clenching my teeth to the fact that I sold both of my acoustic guitars… just to pay rent. Bar hours were few and far between in a cafe that offered an average of 16.8 working hours per week per employee. Oh, and we were never busy. I mean, I thought we were busy… It felt busy at times… but we weren’t busy. At least, as Intelligentsia defines busy. Seeing a slow point in the day at Intelli Broadway will make you rethink even opening your own cafe. It’s mind blowing.
Anyway, when arriving in Los Angeles, I was determined to do this right. But I must say, after reading some more ‘Kitchen Confidential’ by Anthony Bourdain, I am realizing where I, as a professional, am lacking.
We have a short two weeks left of “pre-game” and training before this monstrosity opens up (PS. August 7th is official for the opening of our new cafe!). I am seeing, finally, how my attitude needs to change. How my approach to every work day needs to be different. Maybe most importantly, how I need to handle my time away from work. That maybe taking a day to just read isn’t such a bad thing…
I’ve also begun to recognize the need for better balance in my life. This past weekend, I managed to pull out the old recording rack and play around some. It sparked the creative side in me that had been laying dormant since I arrived in California. Walking into work today I felt more determined to be focused and aware during our training.
I guess my realizations are part of just waking up and growing up… But they come at no better time. I feel privileged to be in the circumstances I am in. To be in a place with a team of such competent people. Never before have I not worried about someone on our staff. We are all very different, with vastly different backgrounds, world views, style, and experience… but through the past 6 weeks have begun to understand one another. To see the weaknesses we posses and to appreciate and exploit the strengths we share. This coffee bar really is going to be something amazing.