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Still worth staying?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I work in a cafeteria, nothing luxerious, but we get busy none-the-less. I've trained in 2 chefs here (1 new into the company, the other is a senior) since I joined up 2 years ago. My experience is all that bundled with my 2 years of college at George Brown, which is also where I work btw. Now, I only got this job because my mother is friends with the guy who brought me in. He was the director for the GBC account up until last week Monday when he got canned for reasons unknown to us. We've got our new director in, so far hes seems to be an ok guy but hes not the last replacement to come in. We have around 2 others buking for retirment this year with a few more soon to follow (yes, lots of elderly people working here).

Now, my position here is kinda like sous chef...I take over when chef isn't around, I cover all stations when people are on break, I check inventory, I do every aspect of the kitchen work or at least got my hands in everything. I'm not crazy about the situation here now, with so many new people coming in, some serious reassigning of labour is gonna be needed and with the new director, me may see fit to get rid of some people (I personally know many who should be let go). I doubt I'll be one of them, every kitchen I've worked for this company has fought for me to stay there. Thing is, I think I'm working far outside what my contract stated or they're taking advantage of the fine print...all for $11/hour with dental and medical benefits plus weekends but the college isn't even open on weekends anyways. I'm starting to question if its worth staying but its the only kitchen I've worked for and with my lack of experience, leaving may put me back to square one...nobody hiring because I have little to no work experience.

post #2 of 11
Unless you move on, you'll never know if you're worth more than $11.00 an hour. With any kind of "real" experience and commensurate skill, you should be making at least double what you're being paid. If you're actually an employee of the college, itself, you might want to explore other opportunities at the college. You may find that the guy pushing a broom in the classroom building is making more than you.
post #3 of 11
It won't hurt to start looking. But you may need to lay some groundwork first.

Get in touch with all the people you've work under (well, just the ones you think are good and who are in good positions now) and ask if they will give you recommendations/references. Then put their contact information on your resumé.

It sounds as though you've worked there for two years, yes? That's a lot longer than many people spend in the same kitchen (even me!). So with all you've done there, you DO have experience. (How you got the job in the first place is nobody else's business.) When you update your resumé, make it clear all the things you've done (training, tournant, stewarding) -- that, plus your longevity, make you attractive to a new employer.

OTOH: Medical and dental benefits are nothing to sneeze at, and are worth a lot over and above the hourly rate of pay. A lot of jobs may pay more per hour, but have no benefits. So if you think you can work under the new director, and think you have what it takes to take over when one or the other of the others retires, talk to him. Tell him you're interested in moving up. Make sure he knows all the things you've done.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #4 of 11
Headless- Are you an exempt or non-exempt employee? Also did you sign an actual contract or are you employed at will? You might want to check if they have a retirement plan as well? Also will GBC give you a break on your tution even if you are only working for the contract management company?

Whatever you do, don't quit before you have another job! Even if you plan on staying, you should still interview for other jobs so you can gain some perspective, and polish interview skills. Also- It can be a good thing if your boss notices you looking for other work.

When you go to the new boss it'd be a good idea to dollarize how much money you saved the company. Be prepared to take advantage of the coming attrition. You might want to ask the chef to let you help with more of his duties (schedules, purchasing, menu, etc), that way you are the chef's obvious replacment when he leaves and you have basis to fill other chef/sous chef openings in the company.
post #5 of 11
Go forth chicken! The more you challenge yourself the more you stand to gain.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm not an employee of the college. The whole cafeteria services is outsourced to Compass Group/Chartwells, my employer. Nice thing with them though is if I do take any food related courses at GBC, its all paid for by the company or rather, I get reinbursed upon the completion of the course of program (books, tution, and all). Great perk but I can't use much since even during the summers, I'm there working or at another location...not much time to hit the books there.
I may stay a little longer and see how much farther they'll let me climb in this company. I did have 1 slight, very slight, chance of taking the chefs job when he was leaving but ended up being taken by a 30 year vet with 10 of those years in the company...so its not to say that there isn't much left for me here. I just don't know if I should chance it...

...a longevity vs expansion dilema going on here.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Getting hit really hard now!

OK so its been about a month since the new director started, some good changes did come in but my situation there remains with some new problems. Since we're now down 2 bodies in the kitchen (only 5 of us now), things are really starting to fall apart. People are leaving early for doctors apointments, gotta meet up with their spouse for one reason or another, or my personal favorite "oh poor me didn't get my full hour break so I'm taking off early!" despite having taken 2x 10min smoking breaks.

So things pile up really REALLY fast for the night staff, ie me and me alone. Take today for example, I covered everyones breaks and made sure we were keeping up with regular service, helped the delivery, setup, and pickup of a big hot food catering that was across a busy street with no crosswalks, helped prep for a big BBQ catering for Friday and Saturday (which I'll be pulling overtime for on both days because I'm not scheduled to work on either days). At the end of it, a pile of dishes that would have taken 3hours to do, a kitchen that looked like a bum had taken shelter in (and we got hit bad by the local santiation officer not 3 days ago), while still doing full service in the front and closing duties...all on an inventory day...this was my task for the day, and I'm only authorized 7hours for it all with a good 70% of it to be done by me alone.
And this isn't going to be the worst of it all. Chef is taking July off for vacation so I'm covering that end no problem, but ontop of him gone is our pizza lady who also does the salads and opens the cash in the mornings is gone for 2 weeks also during that month. Now the work of 10 people thats normally manned by 5 is now down to just 3 bodies and my manager isn't going to hire any backup!
I've put off going to the doctors for over a month now because I keep getting called into work on my days off. I'm running around so much under huge time constraints that my stress level skyrockets and my blood vessels in my nose explodes, 4x and counting since the start of the summer. We're sooooo understaffed to the ponit of being pathetic and we're not getting the support we need, I'd hate to just pick up and leave but considering whats been going on for the past month, I'm tempted to. I'm afraid that I might just collapse while delivering more hot food across that busy 4 lane all 1 way street.
post #8 of 11
Heh heh. :) You know what that means.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well basically if people can't care that the place is a total pig-sty after getting audited by the sanitation dept then why in **** do I get stuck with it all? BTW, the doctor one is for real, the lady has shingles (sp?) around her eye but to the point, I can't afford to have people walkout early for whatever reason because I got no backup and 100% of whats left is dumped straight onto me. Even the chef noticed how people disregard doing basic stuff like throwing out empty boxes after using up its content..."Oh |insert my real name here| will take care of it"
It is partially my fault because I look around and see stuff that needs done and I just do it, regardless if its my job or not. But it ends up being my job when I do it consistantly like the full dish pit and mopping. The manager does nothing about it, I don't see OT being paid out to me, I don't see a raise coming...but I do see more responsibilities being added to my full load.

...ok time to leave.
post #10 of 11
He's (she's) in Canada, so the value of health benefits is greatly diminished.
$11/hr in T.O these days is insulting based on the experience this person has.

Hey Sous!
PM me, T.O is my home town (live in Fla now).....if you have talent, and I believe you do, I might be able to throw some opps your way, where you get treated like you should.

Of course, I'd need to get to know you a little better before I throw my credibility on the line

The Cat Man
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ya I'm a guy...Thanks Cat Man but I did plan ahead, pardon the pun.

I can actually line myself up at the Liberty Grand and a few other places, mostly out of town mind you but the Liberty is definatly my best bet. Some of the few of us GBC grads got jobs there so I won't be a total stranger.
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