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ever get the feeling your being taken for a ride

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
taken over as head chef ( was sou8s chef) the last 8 weeks doing average 70hrs per week no extra wage getting paid for 40hrs(salary) i was doing head chef job anyway as the fellow there was not up to much and was never there. so im now doing the job for the last two weeks and on the sAme pay, i asked about an increase and was told it wasnt in the budget yet. so i have taken on all the responsability and all that goes with it but they wont deliver the goods. before i went there there was no HACCP or notting i have done alot of work at home also. its comming to xmass now and we are getting vbusy and they dont want to pay me the money. i think its time to look elseware, i have wife and kids that i need to tink about.:chef:
post #2 of 19
If I learned ANYTHING it not to take anyone in the biz at their word, and to expect that I would be taken advantage of at every opportunity.

This is the hospitality business, for which a seeming pre-requisite is a high level of skill at being two-faced.

Oh yeah, I've been a sous chef, getting cooks wages while the GM dragged his feet for months on the appropriate raise.

Oh yes I slaved away as a chef at a deep discount to help out a whining owner (on the promise of a raise at a time specific, only to have them reneg after months of hard work).

GET OUT. GET OUT NOW. if you can afford it at all, just drop your apron and walk out. They are screwing you, they know they are doing it, and they think you are so stupid and so passive that you will comply with their schemes. This is how much respect for you they have.

I know I am taking a hard line on this. But I learned the hard way. TWICE.

It's OK to have a moderate (never total) amount of trust in your employer. But I'm down to this:
You get ZERO chances to do the wrong thing when talking about my compensation and time off. ZERO. Do me wrong, and I'm gone. NO SLACK. Zero tolerance.

I have never worked for anyone who did not, or didn't have the right to my best effort. I expect the same from them, no excuses, no exceptions, no games, and no politics.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
ye i think you are right i have done a vgood job for them they evan hired a guy as head chef when the other guy left and when he saw me work he said that he had lots to lern from me and wanted to work as my second chef and the rest of the team say im doing a great job i give my best every day and not to blow my own trumpet but everything i do is 100%. i expected a raise as i have increased profit and reduced cost and reduced hours worked by people on an hourly rate witch made me look like the grim reaper. i think i will go in tomorow and lay my cards on the table and if they dont make a good offer im gonna go
post #4 of 19
Stop and think for a minute. You don't cancel your lease on your current apartment (flat) until you've secured the lease on a new one.

Yes the Mngmt are slime balls, but you will alwys find slime balls in this business. Start throwing out your resume (CV) and getting interviews, but smile and nod at your current job. When potential employers call up for references you have a good opportunity to bargain. Firstly as you could not be properly compensated for your new duties and postion, you have every right to seek a new employer. Secondly as you now have some kind of leverage over your current boss, he will now have to take you seriously--in other words you have now earned some respect from him. What you choose is your business, but alwys be in a position to have choices.

Use everything to your advantage. As us Canucks say, "don't even give 'em the steam of your of your pi** for free".
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #5 of 19
Welcome to restaurant management

Cat Man
post #6 of 19
Careful; that's the worst way to express your disenchantment with your current employer. Many managers in this business don't think (until it's too late) that they can get sued for giving a bad reference. It just sets a terrible tone for negociations and it burns bridges.

But you are absolutely right: get a job first. Especially if there's family involved. You'll be in a better position to negociate. Right now you're angry and emotional. You never know: they might be able to offer you a sweeter deal than any other employer because of your tenure. Sometimes it's better to play along diplomatically than it is to start over from scratch.
post #7 of 19
Ask to return to your previous position with an appropriate drop in responsibilities......or leave.....they are shopping for another Chef.
They want to get through the end of the year or season at your
expense.......its common to stretch out the time when an upper management
employee leaves........if they can wait it out for 3 or 4 months.....they will
have saved tens of thousands of dollars.....they also may not have relocation
on sign on bonus in the budget for 07'.....good luck.....I suggest you go
in hard and let them know you've had another offer...that is assuming you
have enough savings to take some time off and find another gig.....don't
count on getting any type of accrued vacation or benefits though.....I for one
could't afford a lapse in employment or the substantial COBRA payment for
health coverage......its a tough world out there....do it to them, before they do it to you.......
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
a few different views fromyou guys thanks for the advice. i will let ye know how i get on tomorow.
post #9 of 19
Don't ever take advice from someone who suggests walking out at the drop of a hat. It is unprofessional and it will ruin your reputation. Even though they are taking advantage of you, give them proper notice and work out your two weeks with the same energy that you have had until now. Look for a better job and chalk it up to a lesson learned. Don't let a bad employer make you compromise your ethics.
It's Good To Be The King!
It's Good To Be The King!
post #10 of 19
I beg to differ.
An employer that goofs on your livlihood, and takes advantage of you is totally useless as any sort of reference. These are the same types that will fire you for floating resume's the very first time a potential employer calls to verify employment. These are the sorts of employers who will fire you, or de-schedual you when you give your two weeks notice.

There is absolutly nothing to be gained by giving any sort of notice to such an employer. There is absolutly no ethical line crossed. There is no conventional wisdom that demands you cheerfully take it in the shorts for another two weeks for the convienince of someone who could care less if you are alive or dead.

Nobody that plays games with someone else's livlihood rates any sort of consideration whatsoever. If you do stay, it should be for your own reasons, and as a part of your own plan, not because of someone else's tired, worn out, and obsolete ethical dogma. Think about it chef. Those rules don't seem to apply to anyone but you? Then they aren't worth the contents of the grease trap. And someone else's definition of "professional" has nothing whatsoever to do with what you are experiencing, and abiding by it will likley gain you nothing.

Abuse me? Mistreat me? Play games with my salary? My time off? Take advantage? Lie to me?

Do me a humiliation?

I'm gone. Not just that day, but that second.
post #11 of 19
I disagree.....hands down, the right thing to do is...give your notice...or at least make an effort...if your written off the schedule or they try and can you....so be it....but leaving without notice is not professional....I would expect no less than a month perhaps 2. How you work and how you leave
will define you to others....my earlier post said throw in the towel....just throw it in the right way.....the best of luck to you.....
post #12 of 19
Really? You expect a month? 2?
We are not talking about normal employment separations here.

We are talking about some pretty blatant and unfair circumstances. I think to suggest that chef toil away for for an inconsiderate employer for that long is pure folly. Chef is in no way responsible for whatever spanner that gets thrown into the works of the operation if he leaves. He has zero moral, practical, or professional obligation to do so. He either has merit as a chef, or he does not.

I would agree that two weeks notice is correct given no negatives, but if I'm getting jerked around, I'm done. Note, simple refusal of a raise is not such a situation.

I can and will walk out in specific circumstances. Note, none of these are to be confused with minor slights or indiscretions. Usually, a pattern develops for most of these, until 'enough' is declared:

Being insulted or berated in front of staff.

Being denied a previously promised raise. (usually for extra effort now, AKA the wimpy approach)

Being denied any time off for needed rest. (2 days of vacation after 2 1/2 years does not qualify)

Being promoted to a higher position and more responsibility without being given the salary that went with the job. (being made the sous but being paid line cooks wages while the GM sits on the increase for three months)

Having large amounts of extra work and responsibilty permanently dumped in one's lap with no discussions, and outright refusal of any in the future. (Former working Chef has more 'admin' duties all of a sudden, so everything gets dumped in the already exhausted sous's lap).

Being issued with ultimatums*. (bye).

I have put up with all those except the last* for extended periods at one time or another. I tried the "professional" route. Here is what it got me:

NOTHING. It didn't get me the next job. It didn't enhance my career. It didn't bolster my reputation.

It did however cost me physical health, and took money out of mine and my families pockets. And caused no end of stress and frustration. And it cost me precious time. I will NEVER allow it again. If you are a glutton for punishment, then hey, go for it. I wouldn't advise it though.

Subject me to any of the items on that short list, and you just don't rate any professional courtesy. I have to earn mine. So no employer gets his gratis either. I don't require anybody's reference in particular. In my experience, the employer establishes the field of play. If it's mud, so be it. Such an employer will cut your throat and leave you jobless without a second thought, whanever they feel the urge.

As to reputations, there is so much smack talk in the business, so much backstabbing and outright slander, that when I hire, I don't even check references anymore. Cutting up former cooks and chefs on reference calls is a favorite pastime of many chefs, owners, and GM's. If I decide to hire, it's based on my judgement, and mine alone. Somewhere, the definition of professional erroniously aquired the attribute of having to be on the recieving end of any sucker punch an employer throws. All these notions that you have to sit back and endure a lousy situation to be considered professional are misguided at best.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

looks like its gona be sorted

i spoke with the owner and showed him all the extra hours i had done over the last 8 weeks(only five days off) told him i wasnt happy, he is agreeing to pay me for all my hours owed to me over the next six weeks(200 euro extra per week) we are also gonna talk about a raise. he assured me that he would look after me, he can see the effert i have put in. this happend me in another job i evan won an award for my food and worked 60/70 hrs per week on a 40 hr salary. so it looks like he knows im serious about where i stand. i love my job so much but its not easy to find the right employer.
post #14 of 19
I'm glad this situation worked out for you. While I have zero evidence, my intuition is that this outcome is part of the idea that in Europe, cooks and chef's are valued more highly as skilled craftsmen than here in the states.

But keep careful watch on your employer and his commitments to you.

Talk is cheap, and whiskey costs money.
post #15 of 19
O.K. you got the money owed to you but you had to ask for it. Like Even Stephan, my gut feeling is that the Boss is shoping around for another Chef. You can "talk" with the Boss about a raise all you want, but if you don't have a back-up plan, there's no urgency, and the Boss knows it. If you have your resumes (CV's) out there and have interviews lined up, at least you have something, a plan of sorts. On the other hand, if you ask for a raise and have it denied, or postponed;" wait and see, we have a new Exec Chef coming on line in a few weeks, why don't we wait until then?". If this happens and you don't get what you ask for but continue with your curent work load, you won't be a happy camper and will have a weight on your back knowing that the Boss has just screwed you again--not a good feeling.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #16 of 19
Ultimately when you just walk out on a job, you are not screwing the employer, you are screwing your team, and the customers. Short story for you. I took over this place about 8 months ago after a stint with a real bum of a chef. He had a superstar line cook named Jose that worked any shift, any day, gave 100% all the time and was liked by all. After a final fight with the chef, Jose quit and walked out in the middle of his shift. About a month ago he came and re-applied here again because he always loved his job. The food & beverage director refused to hire him back because he had walked out without notice. The bridges you burn may be closer to home than you think. And if you really think about, is your pride and sense of professionalism so weak that it can't take two weeks of doing the right thing. Food for thought.
It's Good To Be The King!
It's Good To Be The King!
post #17 of 19
Jose simply overstimated himself. He paid the price. His mistake. And if he IS that good, the F+B is a screwup by applying the arbitrary standard.

The word 'team' is just a word. In the working world, it is usually used to apply pressure or intimidate someone into acting against their own best interests. A great 'team' effort means the owner gets richer. The chef might get a raise, maybe even the sous. The cooks and dishwashers however, will probably not get enough to cover inflation. This makes it difficult to explain their value as members of a 'team'.

Just where was the 'team' for Jose? Did they try to help him handle bum chef?
Did they, as a group, ask the GM to re-hire him?

Probably not.
This is because they were loyal to Jose's ability to carry a workload, not Jose.

You see, there is no professionalism, and there is no team, without fairness, personal respect and loyalty. And that is a two way street.

By the way, my obligation to the customer is to deliver the best I can while under employment. When that is over, so is my obligation. If the boss puts me in a such a position as to have to end it on the spot, it's boss who let the customer down, not me.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
the guy that has come as sous chef is not realy performing up to standard, the boss who is a qualified chef also worked with us a couple of days ago and said he thought that he (sous) wasnt up to the job. i do see some inconsistancies in his work and yesterday he handed me a ceasar salad with no dressing, when i asked him why it was not dressed he said all the bowls were in the wash up, i know people can overlook things but not every day. he was hired by the previous head chef but i dont have much fait in his abilities. i dont feel that i can leave him in charge on my days off. he also stewed 60 euro worth of fish into a sea food chowder it was just left as pulp and i couldnt use it as chowder, i had to make fish pie from it. he also seem to forget what he is at all the time, im gonna have to make a call on it sooner rather then later
post #19 of 19
You seem a bit jaded regarding this business. There is absolutely a sense of team when it comes to a kitchen crew, and it has nothing to do with pressure from management. The rest of the crew did speak on Jose's behalf to no avail. And to suggest that the F&B was holding Jose to an arbitrary standard proves my point that in certain kitchens there is no professionalism. And what was the rest of the crew to do to defend Jose? Reality dictates that people have families and bills to pay. They are rarely going to risk their own jobs no matter how noble the cause.

And by the way, in my restaurants the servers tip out the cooks every night, and every banquet carries a service charge, not gratuity, that gets split up among the cooks responsible.
It's Good To Be The King!
It's Good To Be The King!
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