New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Did I do wrong?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
About a month and a half ago I took a part time position at a local grocery
retailer in their bakery. I told them tonight it would be my last week there they seemed shocked. I made the decision after realizing I was just not learning anything from there. I regret taking the position now, but I just wonder if I gave it enough time? Any thoughts...

Rgds Rook
post #2 of 17
I think by the time you work around 150-200 hours you'll probably get a feel of whether or not you'll like the job. And of course if you're doing what looks like everything they already do, then there's probably not much more in the way of what you can learn... however, two weeks is probably a better amount of time to give them.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
post #3 of 17
Perhaps if you had told them your concerns, they might have given you some more challenging tasks. I agree with blueicus, 2 weeks would have been better.
post #4 of 17
I agree with momoreg, in that often people are afraid of asking for things where they work. If you have to keep the job at all cost, it MIGHT be better not to make waves, though i think it's often worth trying anyway, but if you can afford to quit, you can afford to take chances, and often this can make a big difference. (Sometimes not, of course, but then you haven;t lost anything). If you present your problems, AND ALSO PRESENT SOME SOLUTIONS - like what you don;t like, but what you would like, you might be respected as someone who contributes and has initiative.
Some companies don;t want people with initiative, and this is shortsighted on their part, but if you're ambitious, you don;t want to be there anyway.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #5 of 17
I have to wonder (without seeing the store) if perhaps your expectations of learning something were off. You're at a retail grocer facility. The idea is to package as much for the masses as you can (in most anyway) these are people that cook by rote and do the same things day in and day out by way of the corporate formula. Again I stress that I am generalizing and that may not be the case there. But it may well be as well in which case it is not an ideal learning environment and you might be better served to go to a hotel pastry shop or private shop like this place http://www.paninicakes.com/
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
Reply
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
Reply
post #6 of 17
depends on what you wanna learn.....
sometimes the operating procedures and forms that are formulated for large corporations are worked through more thoroughly than other venues. But how long does it take to absorb that info?

Each bakery has it's own strengths/weaknesses.....what do you want at the end of the day? You're own place? A corporate bakery gig? A job or career?
What excites you?

Pan would be a good one to explain the differences in various bakery options, if he's willing.
Scratch baking, bakeoff, small mom & pop, grocery store chains, commercial chains, some in-between....
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #7 of 17
I always check in with my employees to see what they're interested in learning/doing. Everything runs much more smoothly if everyone feels at least somewhat satisfied. Even if the desires and talents of the employee are very different from the task at hand, one can often delegate responsibility or give special projects that will develop the employee's skills and therefore their job satisfaction.
post #8 of 17
Shroom,
I will do that in the near future for I have received many questions pertaining to that very thing.
Time spent at any of those venues is not time wasted. I have visited them all.
Rook,
I always found that if you're not heading to something else it sometimes is best to offer two weeks or stay until they hire someone. You mentioned that you were spending time on the decorators station. You don't look at a station like this to view the quality of work, you take notes on how they are organizing themselves. How they change bags. How they mix colors. these things are invaluable whereever you end up.
If your proof and baking bread, there is so much to learn on how the dough reacts before,during and after the bake. How temps effect. Hey, the proof and bake items have a lot of R&D behind them. They are made the same as artisan breads. It's like Hersheys chocolate, it may not be the best on the market but it intriges me how well it's tempered.
As most have already said, figure out just what you want to get out of it. If you're done, then move on.
pan
PS the grocery business woke me up as to there are experts in all types of baking. I have just as much respect for a grocery decorator that can produce 60-80 items a shift with consistancy as I do for someone who works on a upscale wedding cake for a week.
I have spent time in all these venues and can honestly say I did not waste any time.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
post #9 of 17
I hope I didn't come off as devaluing these people. I meant it aimed directly at Rook in so far as a beginner learning basics. A lot of the basic work as Shroom said has already been done at the corporate level by the time it trickles to the store. Having said that, you're right that there is still a ton you can learn and if I made it sound otherwise I did the grocery bakers a disservice. I worked at a place where we hand decorated 10,000 Key Lime pies in a shift. There wasn't much you could learn on a bakery level doing that, but man could you learn speed, dexterity, attention to detail, time management, stamina, consistency, etc, etc etc.
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
Reply
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
Reply
post #10 of 17
CH,
I didn't take it that way at all. It's apples and oranges. I guess what I was trying to say is that, if you're going to learn by doing, doing anything can help. I have often looked back and realized I had learned something really important to me in a non directional job. There is so much to learn underneath the picture. My merchandising, inventory etc. skills came from the grocery store. This wasn't my job, but I involved myself to learn.
pan
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
post #11 of 17

grocery

Ive worked in a grocery store, bakeries, country club, and upscale cake shop. I've learned so much at all these places. I must say though there is a limit to what you can learn at a grocery store. They have a prescribed way of doing things and you cant really change it. From my experience, there's not much real creativity there...this is except for in the cake decorating dept, of course. If you can, spend as much time there as you can. You probably are allowed more latitude in personal creativity. Try new things, look at cake decorating web sites and try to copy. (I recognize this may be difficult because most of what you see now is fondant and gumpaste and you probably dont use them at a grocery store.) But practice making all kinds of buttercream flowers and such.

Let us know what happens.
eeyore
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Everyone would have to understand the area where I live. Its not all glitz and glamour like Chicago, LA, or say Dallas. I do not have the advantage of going else where to a ritzy hotel or something like that I am basically in the sticks. And I just decided that I was better at sugar work than I will ever be a baker. I am at an age where I cannot afford to move forward or go backward if that makes sense.

Rgds Rook
post #13 of 17
I was amazed by the cake work of one woman out in what I consider the sticks... Earlene. There is no limit to what you can accomplish and you certainly seem to be making a good start of it, Rookie.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Whats that suppose to mean?

Rook
post #15 of 17
Oh, there is a woman in Lubbock, Texas (which I consider "the sticks"). It looks like she started working out of her home and has apparently built an incredible business in cakes. Earlene's Cakes, it's called. She has a web site that gives lots of info.

As for what I said about you, it seems as though you are seeking experience that will take you further and further. That's good.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Only thing I am advancing is failure..........

Rgds Rook
post #17 of 17
Failure is one of the best ways to learn, especially if you learn how to fix the failures. :)

One day, you'll find people that you like to work with and want to see you develop your potential. It can take a while, but is very rewarding when you finally find that. Your grocery job wasn't giving you that, so it wasn't the right place for you. Sometimes a kick in the pants can be a kick in the right direction.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Pastries & Baking