Words to Live By . . .

"The restaurant business is the only business where you can make creativity pay," a retired restauranteur told me this evening.

"In every other industry, the people above you want to be the creative ones, and want you to do their thing," he said, "and they'll put up with you as long as they can use you. God help you when you reach a point where you want credit for your own ideas . . . "

He's right, of course.

I wouldn't be a fry cook at the moment if he wasn't.

I tried -- tried hard -- to do the corporate retail thing. I tried to stay inside the box, and when that failed, I tried to think outside the box.

My problem is that not only do I think outside the box, but I seem to have misplaced my box, and I am honestly not really sure if I had a box to begin with . . .

That's not such a good thing in corporate retail, where they are very sure that you did indeed have a box and you should be sitting quietly in it waiting for further instructions.

And yes, it ended badly.

Really badly.

That is why I am again a fry cook.

I actually love it, although I would rather be in a restaurant with a little more challenging menu. Working a line turns out to be the type of thing you can either do, or not do, and if you can do it you can drop right back into it as if you never left. It all depends on your nerve, and whether you are prepared to just jump in and go.

I now have some excellent advice, including a more refined timeline for moving along, and a list of restaurants locally to either avoid or apply to on a regular basis until they take me.

Like I said, things have changed. And they are still changing, so stay tuned.