When being good at your job isn't so good

I had my internship evaluation this afternoon. Overall, it was great, I was really pleased with the feedback — I scored the highest points possible on the school evaluation form for reliability, independence, leadership and cooking skills. My knife skills, which is what I needed to work on the most, scored the 2nd highest mark. We talked a lot about the balance between speed and accuracy when it comes to knife skills. When I first started the internship, I was accurate, but very slow. During the internship I went supersonic and sloppy. In the last month, I’ve found a nice balance of speed and accuracy.

The only negative, which my supervisor said he saw as a positive, was that a few of the cooks felt that I was too eager and proactive, asked too many questions and tried to do too much, which they said was off-putting. My feelings were a little hurt at first. I’ve always strived to do my best no matter where I’ve worked, whether for myself or someone else. I figured though, if the worst thing someone could say about you is that you’re proactive and eager (an overachiever) at your job, you’re in a fairly good place.

The feedback I received on the muffin project and 1000-word story was just what I needed. The editor, who had come from Gourmet Magazine, was direct, to the point, and had helpful advice on how to better develop my writing voice in general, and also for ATK’s magazines. Story aside, she said the flavor of the muffin was great — it was moist, lemony and had a nice crumb texture. She noted the top of the muffin was a little pale, and the top had mushroomed and spilled — both signs that the oven temperature was not high enough when the muffins first went into the oven. Either the oven wasn’t preheated properly, or the oven wasn’t calibrated. Regardless, it was a great exercise to go through because I never would have thought to address those issues in the recipe. I just have assumed in the past that the home cook would have let their oven preheat to the right temperature.

My last day is tomorrow — a 4 hr. workday, and then lunch with SFH, my carpool pal and editorial assistant at the magazine; I will miss her dearly. I’ll miss the girls, too — AP, KC, AW and RR and I have become great friends. I’m so proud of them and glad we’ll be staying in touch; they’re kind of like my Miranda, Carrie, Charlotte and Samantha.

Saturday I start the drive back to Orlando; 21 hours. My husband promised a pizza would be waiting for me when I get home on Sunday, which will be the perfect day — a giant hug from my husband and daughter, and pizza. It doesn’t get any better than that.

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