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thinking of leaving foodservice

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi
First off this is my first post, on the forum. I've been going to culinary school for almost 2 years now and I have just started working in the real world for just over 3 months now. At first I was excited but a couple weeks in I was dying. The first restaurant I worked for is a very famouse place in NYC. But I quit in less than 2 months. I was very dissapointed in my self after that since it was a relly great oppurtunity. But I think that the place was under so much pressure to suceed. Just before I came on fulltime I heard that the Chef was fired for a relly stupid reason. 2 weeks later the a sous chef jumped ship. Then a bakery sous chef jumped and I know from talking with the staff that most of the front of the house has been rehired in less than 3 months. And while looking for jobs I find out that they are looking for another sous chef, So another sous chef probly bailed. I don't know but if you have that many people quiting on you there may be something wrong with managment.
I needed another job and just took what ever was avalible and relly didn't think hard about it. The place I'm working now has to be the sloppiest kitchen I've seen. I would never eat there food first beacuse it tastes bad and second it's been time/tempertaure abused and could be potentialy dangrerose to eat. The workers are sloppy as ****. We have 2 people cooking and like 3 cleaning staff. the cleaning staff basicly cleans after the messes that people make. I always clean up after myself and it pisses me off when I get on shif and have to spend an hour cleaning the mess they made. I'm basicy on my own there. I don't relly cook much. I just open boxes and heat things up or open bags and plop them on a tray. I'm learning nothing at all just running food and cleaning. In fact I think bad habits are rubbing on to me. I'm defintly quitting tomorow .
I don't know if it's that I've haven't been too smart choosing the places to work or if I should look into doing something else. I just feel so discouraged. I have no money, no job and my last semester of culinary school is starting in a month. School is like a vacation, but what am I going to do after I have my associates. Should I give it another try? I don't know that to do. Help.
post #2 of 19
I can say leaving the culinary business is always on my mind. First of all, I'm not young. I have numerous aches and pains and am partially deaf. With that being said, you need to figure out WHY you would leave.

For that matter, did you know it's actually easier to get hired when you're already working? It sure is. It also has the advantage of still receiving a paycheck while you are looking.

Some people are not cut out for this business or they are best suited for specific tasks within the business. Although I have my own business I do not operate it full time. Thus, I find the need to additional income to help round out my edges. Personally, I like something where I'm given my task(s) and left the **** alone to complete them. Again, I have been and am a chef and at some points I'd just rather prep.

If you love this business, find your niche. If it's a grillman, be the best you can be given the circumstances. If it's prep, do that with a smile. Those you prep for may not necessarily acknowledge your job or skills, but they can't live without them.

If you still decide to jump ship, remember, that degree is more than just a culinary degree. It's an acknowledgement of you completing a course of action. That speaks for itself.

Ciao,
Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
- * - * - * - * -
"It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." Frank Zappa
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Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
- * - * - * - * -
"It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." Frank Zappa
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post #3 of 19
This will be short and sweet. You are not even finished with school yet! You have had 2 jobs on an externship and they both sucked. Welcome to the real world:cry: But there are well over 100,000 different types of food service jobs available in the US and the world has more. You have been exposed to a fraction of a percentage of what's out there. Relax and don't let your first 2 bad experiences color your whole outlook. There will be more, both good and bad.
Here's a site that will help give you an idea of the big world out there.
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos024.htm
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
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http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #4 of 19
this is why all schools should require foodservice experience before admittance-course they wouldn't be making as much $$. Yes, school is like a vacation compared to the real world.

Find another kitchen, give it another chance. Many facets of the biz as chrose said also which may better suit you.
post #5 of 19
Guess I'm gonna sound like a hard a**, and won't make any apologies about it. If you don't think the Hospitality biz is right for you, then it isn't. There are no "perfect" jobs, and what you have thus experienced is not uncommon. How you deal with it will determine if you will stay.

I am a hard-a** about this because as an employer, I have dealt with the same situtation, albeit on the "other side of the fence". From my point of view situations like this are expensive in training time (which gets flushed down the tube when the person leaves) stress on the rest of the brigade, and starting the whole rat race over again finding suitable replacements. I'd rather be an Ogre and scare people off than to deal with the fallout of people who change their minds. The sooner you make up your mind, the better it is for both parties--the employee AND the employer. A very crude but accurate saying, one that we used in the army, would be: Defecate or get off the pot.

To the best of my knowledge, there are NO professional head coaches--be it b.ball, hockey, foot ball, etc, who haven't been fired for no apparant reason. And so it is with the hospitality biz. Every one has a story about so-and-so who got sacked because he couldn't get along with the owner's wife, or because the boss found someone who could work cheaper. Should you stay in this biz, you too will one day be fired for no apparant reason, and you too will find positions where you can grow, gaining experience, feed your ego and have a good time.

Make up your mind.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #6 of 19
[quote=dano1]this is why all schools should require foodservice experience before admittance-course they wouldn't be making as much $$. Yes, school is like a vacation compared to the real world.



some actually do, in fact you are required to have 6 months minimum were i went. in responce all that could be said is said, welcome to life in this biz
Sweet Jesus
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Sweet Jesus
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post #7 of 19
i wouldn't be surprised if 5% of the folks i went to school with are still in the biz almost 10 years later. Course i'm here for the booze, cigs, and womenz-sorry Kuan ;) .
post #8 of 19
Why don`t you come work in Montreal or another city for that matter? for all you know, it`s not you, probably just the city. New York is pretty stressful, maybe you just need a change of pace.
post #9 of 19
It's a tough trade and it ain't getting easier. I agree with some of the other comments. My question is, are both place where you have worked similar? If they are then look for a different aspect of the industry
post #10 of 19

Woe woe woe woe people!

:eek::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::eek:
dellfavorite,
Don't listen to these people. Chances are, they're the kind of people who are contributing to the negativity in the kitchen about which you are expressing yourself. They are only right about one thing: it's tough and sometimes ******. But you don't have to cave into that crap. You can influence your environment as much as your environment influences you! I have been rebelling against the negative, paramilitary, bull**** working environment otherwise known as the French brigade system since I first started this trade at 17 years old, and now, at 31, my resolve is all that much more strengthened by my disdain for the pit orcs who **** where they cook in the back of the house! I am angry at all the American chef-wannabes who give in to the hazing, bullying, ****-talking, not-caring-about-anyone-but-themselves, grouchy-***, short-tempered-short-order-cooking, demoralizing, cutthroat competitiveness that goes on in the professional kitchen. It's not very professional. And it's not sportsmanlike. Hang in there, dellfavorite. Keep searching for a job you like, and that likes you back. And don't be afraid to tell someone what you really think. If you're going to quit (and you really should if you can afford to), send a clear message when you do. It's up to individual members of the industry to hold up the standard of not only the quality of the food but also the sportsmanlike comradery and teamwork in the back of the house. Discipline and excellence need not come at the price of respect. I have this on good evidence. Can I get an amen?:chef:
O}}^~.ChefsLineAdam.~^{{O
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post #11 of 19
If you are not absolutly determined to be sucessful, you will indeed fail.
So if you are unwilling or unable to cowboy up and drive yourself past things like these (and worse) then you can call 2 years wasted and move on.

It CAN indeed be better, very much so. It can also be much worse, trust me. But for all the good and bad, it's never been consistently dull.

In this line of work, it's up to you, and you only. Only YOU decide your fate.
post #12 of 19
Close to 25 years ago a boss who later became a friend used to always say "Gotta Love It!". Even during a 4hr wait and "tickets building in the bowl" he'd shout it out and with the biggest ....eating grin you could imagine. I can't think of three words that have ever spoken in the biz with a more true meaning.

If ya haven't thought of getting out at one point or another ya ain't human but this usually comes after the first 15 or 20 years not months.

Maybe just getting out now and giving up may save you allot of heart ache and frustration years from now.

Seriously tho think things through before you make any knee jerk decisions. You have to do some real soul searching right now. If you don't and fail to commit without believing you've made the correct decision, you will be miserable and make everyone around you the same. This is your choice so make it well. If the heart ain't in it the mind will never be.
post #13 of 19

Thank You Old School 1982!!!

:chef:Sorry, didn't mean to shout. I was just excited :bounce:because the voice of gentle wisdom came without delay. To reiterate without soapboxing, preaching, bandwagoning or manipulating your position for my own political ends: the job carries enough responsibility and stress without added negativity or BS, and I am certain that you would not be commemorating one of your mentors' words 25 years later if he had said them in a bitching or moaning tone, sarcastically or martyristically (a word? it is now). He was genuinely high on the fast pace and the endorphins created by doing a difficult job well, not to mention enjoying the humorous irony of making a light comment during a peak moment of job stress. Only high morale will allow for that kind of success.:smiles: And only a fellowship of pro-cooks will allow for a work environment that isn't toxic or cheap.
:beer:Thanks again, '82. 'preciate it. -A
:cool:PS: one of my mentor's recipes called for the cook to "bake the **** out of it." That was his recipe for scottish scones, and it worked well enough.
O}}^~.ChefsLineAdam.~^{{O
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O}}^~.ChefsLineAdam.~^{{O
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post #14 of 19

So Hang In There Dellfavorite!!!!!!

:smoking::smoking::cool::smoking::smoking:
O}}^~.ChefsLineAdam.~^{{O
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post #15 of 19
Uh, ChefsLineAdam, my eyes are hurting with all those smiley-jobbie-thingies, and am confused with your perception of "negativeism". If you re-read everyone's posts through, you will discover one common underlying theme:

Make your decision.

Don't see anything negative about this.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #16 of 19
Food pump, I concur with you. Looks like some good insight and some balanced, albeit honest, opinion. Good discussion!

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

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post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 

I've thought about it and...

I've thought about it and I'm leaving. This job really is not for me. It dosn't fit my personality, physicality and the lifestyle that I someday want to have. I'm still young and my parents have always suggested going back to college for a diffrent carrer. I understand when people say you have to have a passion for it, I just don't fell that I have that, it just makes me fell like **** at the end of the day. Some people also say you have to have a killer instint, You have to be loud and you have to be confintational and sometimes cutthrought. I think I'm to nice to be a chef. I don't think that I've wasted my time though. I've learned a lot and a I have a skill that is used 3 times a day. At least I can eat well for the rest of my life. So i'm leaving and I'm not going to fell guilty about it. Bye everyone and thanks for the advice.
post #18 of 19

Old guys thoughts

My first job, first GM told me staight up, "You are now in the food business, which means serving the guests, not your own needs, if you don't like it, get out" He then gave me the best career advice ever for salaried execs, "When you start counting hours at the end of the week, it's time to start looking, you no longer enjoy it here". I left the food biz a few years back for a total of 11 months, the worst year of my life. If this industry is in your blood, you will have no choice but to get back in it. Sometimes you have to leave something to appreciate how much you need it.
You can be a nice chef, I've done it for 25+ years. You earn respect and do your job, no killer, cut-throat or decibels required.
Good Luck
We have done so much with so little for so long, we can now do almost anything with almost nothing. Dave Marcis

Eat Well
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We have done so much with so little for so long, we can now do almost anything with almost nothing. Dave Marcis

Eat Well
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post #19 of 19

Interesting series of posts and replies. I am seriously thinking about getting out of this industry after 17+ years. I find that it's taking a big toll on my physical and mental health. My passion and joy have withered away and I am indeed counting the hours at the end of my (long) week. Not sure what I'll do next but I feel like there are many options. Certainly I could be earning more money without taking the physical and psychic beating that I do weekly. Any advice/inquiries/wisdom welcomed.

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