Autumn always opens many doors. The cycle keeps turning. We recently received letters with our paychecks stating that our hotel will no longer be run by our present management company as of 1 April 2008. It doesn't seem that far away, but in a way it is. There's a whole season of craziness in between now and then. Some of us are worried about it. Some of us are taking it with a grain of salt. It's the way things are in this business... and not exactly like the restaurant industry exclusively... with hotels come bigger companies, bigger money, bigger layers, bigger responsibilities, bigger benefits, bigger structure. Still at one point, you are left with less. When management releases their contract with the owners and licensers, it will be 2 months shy of 10 years for me with this company... both in New Orleans and here in Florida (that's a long time for me). On April Fool's day, there are obviously a few things that can happen. On one extreme, business as usual with the same players and the same game, but with a different signature on the paycheck. On the other extreme, adios todos. Our current team of chefs have been working and hanging together for about 10 years now. We have pushed each other, and learned from each other, and pissed each other off, and realized each other's triumphs and failures. There is not one of us who would be in the exact same place without the others. One comment from Chris, however, has pushed me to think in a new way. He said that it's too bad you work for a company for so long, get comfortable, then everything changes. The word comfortable was the one that got me. Is that where I am now? Is that where we as chefs are? Is it somewhere that we even want to be? I've come to think as comfortable as being the grill man who basically has a set schedule, and walks into the same scenario every day. It's the 30 year fish cook who would be in a homeless shelter or rehab if he didn't step up from dish washer to line cook many years ago. Maybe it's even the department head who works mostly M-F 9-5 with little or no deviation. Whatever it is, it's not supposed to be me. Am I getting comfortable taking my paycheck every 2 weeks. If so, then that means that this is a good thing. I can look back over the past years and feel bitterness or anger (and there are some whom would make my blood boil still today if I came across them/him/her). That's pointless. My focus now (aside from looking back at the great stuff, the growth, and the opportunity I've had) is completely on what happens on April Fool's day. Paycheck or not, a line has been drawn and what's on the other side is not clear yet... but I cannot wait. Perhaps some discomfort is in order.