Appell Pie Jan. 2011

Back to school


I recently received an email from one of our readers who is a professor in a  Hospitality program at a college in the South Florida area. I began reading the letter and began to sweat and shake at the same time.  As I read further the sweating got worse. Why, you ask?  Keep reading!


I was being asked to be a guest speaker in the class he taught about purchasing.  At first I was surprised to be asked to speak on a subject I am really not that familiar with nor have I ever done purchasing for a restaurant or hotel. I finished reading the email took a deep breath and called Joel, the Professor. He immediately eased my fears by telling me that he wanted me to speak to the class about the industry and about how I got into it and the opportunities available in the industry. I still was sweating though. Why was I still sweating?  Keep reading!


Some years ago when my son was in Middle School, I was asked to be a part of Career Day for the school. Representatives of many different professions were asked to address several classes during the morning session. There were Police Officers, Firemen, Military, Doctors, Lawyers, Retailers etc. and then me, the publisher of a fledgling trade newspaper for the restaurant industry. I think there was an Astronaut too. All of us there to speak to 12 yr olds and spark an interest in them for our industry. So why all the sweat?  Keep reading!


In the first class I was paired with a Motorcycle Police Officer all decked out with boots gun and whistle. He gave his presentation to wide eyed young students who asked many questions and looked really interested. Then it was my turn. It was like open mic night at the Comedy Club for a first time performer, bombs away! I gave my presentation to glazed eyes barely able to concentrate on me. When I asked for questions, not one hand went up. The Motorcycle Cop chuckled to himself and the teacher of the class jumped in to break the silence. Gulp, Sweat.


The entire morning went the same way as I was paired with the Fireman, the Doctor, the Lawyer and on and on. I was exhausted and vowed never to do another Career Day. Fast forward to me opening the email and sweating. All of the feelings of inadequacy came rushing back and hit my sweat glands again.


This time I plan to get it right though. I will prepare my notes and have plenty to say to a class of college aged students just like on my first day when I hosted a one hour talk radio show about the Restaurant industry. I made plenty of notes and had scheduled guests to appear at fifteen minute intervals. I was ready. Or so I thought. Here I am sweating again. Why? Keep reading!  I had my notes and there were going to be people calling in to ask questions too. The one thing nobody told me was that the station had a range of about one mile and all of the people I had told about the show and asked to call couldn’t pick it up on their radios.  I went through my notes in under five minutes and was left to fill fifty five minutes less pre recorded ad time with ad lib.  I was really sweating.


I know exactly what I am going to tell these students, Keep reading!


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Tags: Restaurant, school


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