Until recently, I hadn't spent any quality time in a busy, working kitchen. The only kitchen I ever had training in was my own. I did have a stint as an early shift baker at a local coffee shop when I was younger. I had just moved back from living direction-less out West. It was satisfying while it lasted, living out my own "final frontiers," but Yankees always end up where they started.
My job as a baker needed me to get to work just before 4am. I would prepare boxed mixes of muffins and pastries, grind and brew coffee, jump-start the regular clientelle. There was little to no skill involved in the job. The real skill was getting enough sleep to show up for work at 4am the next morning. It didn't pay very well, but I got out of work early enough to get to happy hour at the bar across the street. That was what mattered at the time; that I got paid and still had time to hob-nob.
I'm not sure where I fit into this schematic yet. What kind of "chef" (if I can even use the word) will I become? I know what I love. I know what I don't love. At least I have that going for me.