Make a Fucking List and Check it Fucking Twice Part 3

This is what my flat looked like with 2 hours of sleep...

This is what my flat looked like with 2 hours of sleep…

 

 

Dear STILL Sleepless in Barcelona,

 

This has been the longest most surreal evening of my time on Earth and I’ve spent a night in jail before.  Los Angeles to London  to inside a wine bottle in Barcelona.  Don’t get me wrong, most of my nights end up sleepless, inside a wine bottle, the only difference now is where I’m sleepless.

 

With less than two hours of sleep under my belt and only time and brain cells to kill, I proceed to transform my wine into a memory and my memories into skid marks inside the soiled underwear that is my brain.  Part of me wants to turn the place into a scene from Trainspotting or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but I didn’t want to be ‘That Guy.’  When I’m depressed, especially over a break-up, it’s easy for me to want to make my surroundings look like how I feel inside.  Not sure if that makes any sense, but it does for me.  However, this moment.  In this city.  In this situation.  I refuse.  I actually clean up and organize, putting my clothes into the closet, and my toiletries into the the bathroom.

 

I have no clue who this guy is right now.  It’s almost as if I’ve matured, but that can’t be it.  I’m 32 years old.  Guys don’t mature til…I have no clue when.

 

It’s now five o’clock in the morning and the wine fueling me earlier has waned and am now running solely on adrenaline and fear. The adrenaline will ultimately fade as well, but the fear and panic, as they always have been, will stand guard behind my eyes inside my head. That’s probably why I don’t sleep much. It really is. It doesn’t matter if I’m awake or asleep, I always have those two feelings as centurions, stoically smiting positive thoughts and self-worth like the first born of Bethlehem. (That’s how the story goes, right? I’m not really into Sci-Fi so I don’t know much about The Bible…Just kidding. We all know The Bible is considered Fantasy.)

 

My plan is set and my mind made up. Depending on how much things cost and how much money I have, I’m going to get a pre-paid ‘burner’ cellphone, so I can call my bank in order to reactivate my debit card. From there I’ll go to the Apple store to purchase a charger for my laptop. It’s so simple.

 

What could go wrong?

 

 

The only question now is what time to begin my coronation down the streets of Barcelona. What time would be best for the Catalan people to witness their foreign born son return in his signature red Vans. 7 AM?

 

After further thought and consideration, no stores or shops will be open until at least 10 o’clock let alone seven in the morning. Hmmm….well what the fuck do I do now?

 

I think this is becoming a theme.

 

Let you know how it works out.

 

 

 

Best,

 

 

 

Rick Scott

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Take It Off Again!

Fuck me?

Fuck me?

It’s me again, Master Plan.  Just wanted to catch you up since my last letter.

 

 

In the meantime I worked my usual 14-15 hour days. Working my ass off. Getting yelled at. Feeling utterly defeated. Going home and drinking. Waking up and do it all over again. Not a very good workout regimen, but that all changed when I got my first response from a restaurant in Spain.   I sent my translated response and started coming to peace with the inevitability I was going to have to quit my job and I was going to have to man up and tell each of my chefs face-to-face.

 

 

I had quit every other job I’d ever had and each time I was nervous. I don’t know why, but I wanted my previous bosses to like me, or respect me, or I felt like I was letting them down. For some reason I didn’t have those feelings when I walked into my chef’s office after Saturday service. I asked if I could talk with him and he said ‘Sure.’ This is a man who I respected and admired, and who for all intents and purposes scared the shit out of me since the day I first started Garde Manger. I didn’t take a deep breath, I just said ‘Fuck it.’

 

 

‘Chef, I’m putting in my notice. I’m giving one-month.’

 

 

Didn’t pull any punches. Just tore that son-of-a-bitch Band-Aid right off. The truth had set me free. I started babbling like a schoolgirl talking about her first make-out session under the bleachers. I told him I wasn’t leaving because I didn’t like the job or because I was burnt out. I was leaving because I had a chance to think of myself for once and from here on out, I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity put in front of me. I told him how I proposed to my girlfriend and how she said ‘No,’ and how this was my time to make moves. To change my life for the better. The man, who for almost a year and a half yelled and degraded me, in an instant turned into a mentor and friend. It was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had although for the next month he was harder on me than ever. It makes me chuckle now, but at the time I thought to myself, where did the guy from the office go? (Note to self: Inside the kitchen you are a chef. Outside the kitchen you are a human being.)

 

 

I am a goal-oriented person and I set the goal to work at this particular restaurant before I even graduated culinary school, thinking my life would be that much better just by ‘hanging out’ around greatness. After seeing how everything in life can change real quick and taking everything into perspective, I realized I couldn’t be more wrong. I actually remember the moment driving home from work after a epically shitty night at work. I was listening to one of my favorite songs ‘Birmingham’ by Shovels and Rope, and the lead singer bellows ‘It aint what you got, it’s what you make.’ Things don’t just happen. Food doesn’t just appear. Buildings don’t just pop-up. Men, women, you, and I, we all need to act on our hopes and dreams.

 

My actions are taking me to Barcelona.  What happens next is up to me.

 

Hope to you see you soon.

 

 

 

Best,

 

 

Rick Scott

Take it Off!

What you lookin' at!

What you lookin’ at!

 

Dear Master Plan,

 

 

Just wanted to let you know that everything is falling into place. I just put an exclamation point on everything by tearing off the Band-Aid that I’d been hanging onto for the past few months. Here’s my checklist:

 

 

Got dumped by my girlfriend – check. Made life-changing decisions I don’t know will work out – check. Going to Barcelona to work in a kitchen and can barely speak the language – check and check. What could go wrong? Turns out what I thought would be the most difficult part of my plan, ended up being the easiest and most fulfilling. Taking a deep breath, ripping that used bandage off, and quitting the most demanding and difficult job I’d ever had.

 

 

When I first started working in this kitchen, I was with my girlfriend and I had a five year plan for myself and us as a couple. I would work here for two or three years, getting better everyday and learning as much as possible. In the mean time, I would propose and we would be engaged for a year or so and then I would quit right before the wedding so we could go on a nice long honeymoon. Then we’d get back and I’d apply for a sous-chef job somewhere and work another 2-3 years at that place and look for an Exec Chef job after that. I had a plan, but that plan went to shit when my girlfriend threw the big N-word in my face. I’m talking about the word ‘No’ not the other N-word. Geez.

 

 

I was like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, ‘my life got switched turned upside down,’ except I didn’t have an Uncle Phil or Aunt Viv to spend my time with. In the kitchen is where I spent most of my days, with two perfectionist-chefs verbally and emotionally kicking my ass everyday. Needless to say, my five-year plan was thrown out the window and run over by an 18-wheeler, towing a tractor-trailer, hauling a tank. Instead of making another plan, I just decided to do what was going to make me happy in the here and now, with the hopes of making myself a better cook and better person in the long term.

 

 

There are so many cities around the globe I could’ve gone to, but I’d been to Barcelona before and have a friend that lives there, so to me it was a no brainer. I drafted a cover letter, immediately translated it into Spanish (because my Spanish is shit), and sent it to the 20 or so Michelin starred restaurants in the city. If I was going to travel thousands of miles away, I was gonna go big or go home. My Master Plan was in full motion. All I had to do now was sit back and wait for a response from just one restaurant. I didn’t need a bidding war. I didn’t need a stipend. I just needed one to say ‘Yes.’

 

I’ll write you soon with what else went down.  Keep your head up, player.

 

 

Best,

 

 

Rick Scott