I asked Maria, the head chef at Zuni in Kilkenny, "Why do we do this for a living?"
She shrugged her shoulders and said "Too thick for anything else."
In Ireland, to get thick is to become argumentative and obstinate.
In Seville, where I worked at a restaurant called Mex Rock, fellow cook Eugenia told me "Tienes que discutir." Discutir, in Spanish, has a definition that comes about halfway between "argue" and "discuss."
Eddie, the kitchen porter at Zuni, once said "It must be the buzz, 'cause it's not the money."