So, you have probably already heard that the king of downtown Lowell dining is retiring…her toque!
After 26 years, Chef Anna Jabar-Omoyeni is closing the venerable doors of La Boniche, to don “heels and a suit”…ready to be less sweaty, after working her craft with the best of the best. 26 years as a chef-owner?! Shit. You show me who stays in the same job for 26 years! 9 to 5? Not Anna. Sitting at a desk? Not Anna. Pension or retirement benefits? Not Anna. Weekends and holidays off? Hahaha. Nope.
It is sad, true. And, of course, she was a great success…but man, I can tell you from personal experience that the restaurant business is tough enough, before trying to maintain a higher end offering in the Lowell environment. That’s a story for another day. If I get started, I won’t stop. This blog today is about Anna.
Let’s do the math:
* 26 years x 51 weeks a year. I’m assuming Anna took a week’s vacation each year. Though not necessarily. That’s 1, 326 weeks.
* 1, 326 weeks x 6 days a week. Again, an assumption. I’m willing to bet there were many, many 7 day weeks, and not so many 5 day weeks. 7, 956 days.
* 7, 956 days x 12 hours. Lunch and dinner. And, early on, 12 hours was a light day. I’m taking an average! 95, 472 hours.
Now, I’m not sure if Anna has a desk. I’m sure somewhere, because who can stand, work, move 12 hours a day…for 26 years. But, I can tell you with certainty, Chef Anna stands 10 times the amount of time she sits. 95 thousand, 4 hundred and 72 hours! 95, 472.
(Divide those hours by the “typical” non restaurant, 40 hour work week–and, NOT calculating wear and tear for all that standing and cooking…that’s 45 years!!!) Ay dios mio.
If you were wondering what to get Anna for Christmas…I’d say a damned foot massage! Or maybe a hammock, now that the two kids she has raised are less dependent upon her! Anna…enjoy a nap, or two girl! What a run.
She never sat and her desk was the cleanest and most available milk crate or cardboard box. She did it well. She did it all well