Well, the "Working Interview" turned out to be an emergency fill-in for the person who just quit. I worked 2 hours, through the lunch rush, survived a minor catastrophe (not my fault), and have the job if I want.
I'm still going to the interview on Sunday, just to see how it goes. Actually, I'm looking forward to it a lot more now. There's a lot less pressure on me -- if I don't get it, I'm still employed. If I do, then I have to weigh my decision. But it's nice to have the "do or die" pressure off of me.
So here's the dilemma:
The interview Sunday is at probably the single best, and undoubtedly the best-KNOWN, restaurant in all of Eugene. The menu is exquisite, the owner AND the chef have stellar reputations. Working there for any amount of time would be a feather in my cap.
The other job is working in an educational setting. It's not nearly as prestigious, though it isn't exactly mere cafeteria work. It won't look AS good on a resume. But what it WOULD afford me is saummers off to pursue my OWN business -- I hope to save up and buy a concessions trailer and start doing fairs and festivals, selling my barbecue. I would have winter and spring breaks off, with pay, which would allow for vacations AND for moonlighting.
But the big draw is the annual summer layoff. That's three months free to try my hand at self-employment, as well as the possibility of working seasonally in some of the more tourist-driven businesses around (like King Estate). I've reached the conclusion that the likelihood of me, at this late stage in the game (I'm 40), working my way up through hte ranks from prep to line to chef de parti to sous to Chef are pretty slim. My best shot at self-employment will be to start soon, start small, and grow my business at the same TIME as gaining experience.
In terms of pay, I doubt either place will be offering a wage significantly higher than the other, but we'll see. That's DEFINITELY a consideration, but it would have to be in the neighborhood of $1.00/hour difference at LEAST for that to be enough to decide one way or another on its own.