Let me yell you a story about how I met the baker Ron Ben-Israel. Before working for Ron, I was slaving away as director of administration for an off-Broadway theater company. I had been working in the non-profit arts for about 13 years. The arts, my first love. My last theater job nearly did me in. I complained about my job quite a bit. My little brother asked me a question one day when we were chatting on the phone; “You have been doing this kind of work for a really long time and complain about your job way too much for a normal person. Is it you or is it the job?”. That was a really good question, like I said, the theater job I was working at the time my brother said this was sucking the life out of me. So I started looking for new a new job. Of course I was playing it safe and kept applying to theater companies. I was using all my proper networking channels and periodicals and had a couple of really great interviews lined up. The one place I didn’t look was Craigslist, I found my apartment on there, so I figured why not a job.
I found Ron’s posting on Craigslist and sent him my resume on a Monday afternoon. I got a phone call from him about a half hour later; he said that he really liked my resume and if I was available for an interview the next morning at 9am. I told him that I was. Ron told me to check out his website so I could see what his work was all about. He told me that it was weddingcakes.com. I immediately went to his site, seriously with a website name like that who wouldn’t? I could not believe what I was looking at – I couldn’t believe everything was made of sugar. I told myself that there would be no way that I would get this job; I had no idea about the baking/wedding world. But I would go to the interview even if it were just to see one of his cakes in person.
The next morning I was off to the bakery. Ron greeted me at door with a big smile and invited me in. Before we even sat down, he took me on a tour of his space. It was nothing like I had ever seen. Big open workspace, with lots of light and creative people doing their thing. Before we even sat down for my interview I knew that I wanted to work here. After my tour, we sat down at the glass table and Ron dived in with all of his questions. This went on for about an hour, talking about my qualifications, his work, his staff and his business. Then of course Ron started talking about his love of the theater and we bonded immediately. The two of us talked about our favorite shows and actors. This went on for about another hour. He looked at his watch and looked at me and said, “Would you like the job?”. I didn’t even have to think about it, “yes” came right out of my mouth. He then brought me through the bakery again and announced to me that I would be the new operations director.
I resigned from my theater job that afternoon. I told myself I would give this industry a year – I had to try it out and see if I liked doing something other than theater.
It’s now been almost 4 ½ years and I really can’t think of doing anything else career wise. I enjoy working in this industry, we have the most amazing, talented, creative staff and I have a boss that communicates and who is kind. There is no other place that I would rather work.
So dear little brother….I don’t think it was ever me, I think it was the job. It only took me 13 years of doing something that I thought I really liked to find out that I could go to work doing something that I really love.