Teaching Butchery to Vegetarians

October 31st, 2005

I had a day of training similar to many others but for some reason it made me think. I think the highlight was being given barely 20 minutes to teach “just the basics” to five receptionists at a beauty parlour in a very nice hotel complex set in deepest, darkest Somerset. What irked me most? Having to vainly struggle to animate and engage five people who really couldn’t care and resented my intrusion into their lunch break or that I represent a craft, a skill that has been so maligned that it is generally believed can be taught in half a lunch break to people who don’t want to learn it?
I don’t claim to have a solution. I can only hope that we are slowly fostering a culture that at least respects those people who have put dedication into learning their trade. I suppose to most people making a cup of coffee is a simple thing, but I suppose baking bread is a simple thing and yet there is no doubt we respect the craft and skill of a good baker.
Why we still have people making coffee who don’t drink the stuff is beyond me. We expect chefs to be passionate and knowledgeable about food, from the fry cook to the top, we expect primary school teachers to actually like children and yet I regularly meet people making coffee for a living who think it is horrible.

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