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isn't anyone professional anymore?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
i had an interview for a sous chef lined up today, and now the HR director doesn't even want to waste my time, because he showed up in a rugby shirt and cargo pants.
why don't people wear suits to interviews anymore? don't they get it? they look like the interview is a stop between going to walmart and picking up a bucket at KFC.
i always wear a suit to an interview. and yes, that's the only time i wear it. maybe once to a funeral. or ****, if you don't have a suit, why not just wear whites? i should hope everyone applying for a culinary position could produce that!
also- no one knows how to write a proper resume anymore. why don't they teach kids that in school? and i don't mean just culinary school- i mean high school. obviously there are many kids who don't make it to college at all, why don't they start teaching them something that is actually important?
i don't know about you guys, but i've seen some doozies. if i remember correctly, one actually had a smiley face on it.
post #2 of 23
I totally agree. A guy came in for an interview a couple of months ago wearing shorts, a ripped tank top, sandals and sunglasses perched on his head. What really killed me was that he was still hired by my chef and me being the respectful sous chef that I am asked why the **** did you hire him for. He lasted about a week after I finally convinced the chef to get rid of him. It seems that no one has a clue anymore on the proper way of trying to get a job.
post #3 of 23
Just saw a report on CNN (?) a few weeks ago about how this generation of college grads is the first to not wear 'fitted' clothes (ie, never had any need for a button-down, grew-up with droopy drawers.) It is sloppy and, yes, unprofessional. Would you not agree that the clothing style is just one of the many symptoms that we experience? Kind of goes along with work ethic, responsibility, initiative, energy, autonomy, organization. Would you believe we have had students let-go from positions because they are TEXT MESSAGING while on the clock?!? Or using MySpace!?! And when you address them about it, they can not see anything wrong with their behavior! I guess it will just make it easier for the students that actually care... they will look like heroes!

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

My Author Page


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

My Author Page

post #4 of 23
Being a professional with over 35 years experience, I've interviewed a lot of people, taken classes on diversity, cultural differences, you name it. Apparently what is happening with "today's" young people is that they feel that life "owes" them a living. If you don't give them what they want, they just go somewhere else until they find it. You're right, they feel privileged, so of course they will text message and MySpace because that's fun. Work isn't fun. But like "I" need a living and that is why you are there to provide me the means. But I'm not here for anything but a good time.

See it all the time. Every generation seems to be so different than the one before, and yes, I can now understand why my grandparents (and great grandparents) and even my parents talked about how the world "was going downhill in a handbasket" and "boy am I glad I'm not going to live to see it"...

post #5 of 23
I am so tired of working with people who have zero respect for their fellow employees and their employers...they show up late, they don't show up at all, never an explanation, it is a huge pet peeve. I can't see it changing anytime soon.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
i don't know if it's totally a generic age thing or a combination of age, culture, and ignorance. i myself am a 28 year old executive chef of a hotel, and i didn't get here by interviewing in sweatpants and blowing off work. i've got (and have always had) many employees older than me who are content to just collect a paycheck, and that is what it is.
But what really gets me is these people with hardly a lick of experience applying for a sous chef position in jeans or whatever. don't they have any shame?
post #7 of 23
I have seen applications from people for a "chef" position who's previous working experience had been working as a "bagger" at a local grocery store..the restaurant wher I worked hired a guy who was a culinary school grad who told me he wasn't going to follow the recipe because he knew "all there was to know" already!

And no stellasmomma they have no shame...I asked the Chef/KM where I work to please stop calling all the men "chef"..they aren't and it goes to their heads and they for the most part can't cook their way out of a paper bag.
post #8 of 23
I had my niece working for me on the weekends when I first opened and found her constantly on MYSPACE, even made me a page there for an "excuse " to be on there...

and would be sitting on the ONLY chair I had in the bakery ( I did that on purpose so no one , including myself would be "resting" when there was work to be done.)

After many weeks of telling her what needed to be done, I finally gave her a list of daily chores..( you know, wipe down the coolers, wash dishes as they get dirty, garbage, mop and stuff...she got 7 bucks an hour and 1/2 of whatever coffee sales came in plus tips!) ( my son ended up with this gig and he was pretty happy that he'd go home with 100 to 150 bucks for 2 days grunt work!)

So, it's been 15 months since the niece was fired and 15 months since the mom ( my sister) and niece have spoken to me.

I'm sorry, I love my family but I'm not killing myself, and taking money out of MY pocket to pay someone that is not working!

Teens and young people are not taught respect for working from HOME.

I have a 21 year old son that has JUST started a company with another one of his friends, I work, go to school and work some more because I believe to teach by example.

My boy works very hard and is graduating in this May, He's such a hard working students that he goes in on Saturdays because he is the only one that can "program" and the teachers ask him to come in to help out.

When I went for ALL my Culinary interview, I wore my CLEANEST, most wrinkle free whites.....AND.....brought samples of my work..lol:talk:
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #9 of 23

Chef? Interviewer? professional?

Boy thats a sore subject with me, the interview thing.
I end up complaining to the regional F&B or the District Manager about how thier subordinates treat me, are dressed and accountability during an interview. Otherwise things will never change and no standards are passed along.
They dont like me much as I call a spade a spade, but I figure I dont want to work with people that have no professionality anyway!!!
Late for interview, eating lunch during interviews, unkemp psuedo professionals (Aramark), Focusing on 10 years ago on my resume.."whats a demi chef" after showing up a half hour late (McCormick and Schmick)...I have got a million of them...Human Resources telling me the position has been filled after the Exec.chef told me they were not going to fill the position the day before (Destination Resorts)...I wrote them all and told them, with e mail proof, of the half baked practices. Booking me in to interview (3 states away) and having no room resrvation after travelling all day (Delaware North) and booking so tight I couldnt even see the restuarant after the practicum. Inviting me to eat at the restuarant and give them some feedback, then not reinbursing me til I bitched (Schwartz Brothers)
I just dont take any guff anymore!!!

As for calling everyone a chef in the kitchen...my gig is less formal, yes I am the Exec. but calling the line personell chef, is a way of portaying equality among us all, if there is a problem or a difficult situation they come to me...its only a title. We all know who the boss is.
Granted it mis used in the industry, chef could mean lead line cook or restuarant chef, kitchen manager or cheese salesman at the organic grocery.
A.C.F certifies way to many positions and has made it more difficult(expensive and political) to recertify for lifetime professionals. The origional plan was to have chef mean something in the industry. Its very frustrating!
post #10 of 23
...because it is your fault, right!?! Without stepping on family ties, I am sorry your sister doesn't recognize your niece's behavior was the cause for her termination. But this VERY incident is indicative of what is going on everywhere. I have seen it time and time and time again.

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

My Author Page


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

My Author Page

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
i love it when an employee has their mom or their spouse call out for them. what babies.
post #12 of 23
I once interviewed someone who was not only wearing his ipod but was actually listening to it while I was speaking to him. Nope he didn't get the job...I think he heard that part because he never returned!!! :confused:
post #13 of 23
I saw this once and was amazed that the chef (will address that later) hired this person of disrespect, and then had to fire them because he was what he portrayed. I found out later he did this because he needed a worm body to fill in for a couple of day’s until someone came in that was worth the time to train. I guess that was a survival thing. The Chef is #1 that is I believe the original French term. I feel that there is only one #1 and that is who steers the train. I also have a problem with wearing chef coats outside the kitchen unless you are dealing with a kitchen issue, if you are addressing a customer or saying hi to a friend. I am disgusted with the idea of wearing a chef coat to the restroom or out side on a smoke break. I have to believe that is against all health rules. I even see people wearing a chef coat to run to the store for a quick pickup. I am a line cook and have taken my coat off to go to the restroom and have been stopped by the question “are you going home?” I feel that is a disrespect to the uniform. :o
post #14 of 23

To be fair..

It is not only the younger generation that doesn't seem to have a clue. I'm 37, and I've seen people my age pull some horrific stunts at and during interviews. I had a guy come in for a Sous position, was a year older than I was. Early in his his career, he went to culinary school late.

Hostess asked asked him to wait in the bar while she went to get me. I come out 5 minutes later, dude has a beer and is reading the paper, not to mention the dirty jeans, sneakers and wrinkled shirt, "at least it has a collar" I thought to myself. Asked him to leave and wished him luck.

The 'celebrity chef' and many culinary programs are turning my job into a joke. I get so many graduates applying for Sous positions with no experience and no idea how to conduct themselves as professionals, my school (CIA) did the exact same thing, told me I would be graduating as a chef ready for a kitchen management role, and that was 15 years ago!
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
i saw another closed thread earlier about why us professionals are so down on the food network stars, and this is why. they have popularized our profession so much that every tom dick and jane thinks it would be a fun thing to do and have no idea what the job actually entails or requires, and that's how we end up with all these shoddy applicants. although we are all of course different in our cooking/management styles we all have many similar personality traits- creative, driven, focused, detail oriented, overachieving, a little bit crazy.... it takes a certain kind of person to do what we do. it does feel a bit like a private club at times as well- only we understand each other, eh?
it's like the uproar over bourdain when his first book came out years ago...he told our secrets...
i have since forgiven him and love that travel network show of his! last night he was in brazil drinking caiprihinas! i love caiprihinas...they remind me of my old brazilian cooks- the hardest working crew i ever had.
post #16 of 23
Well, the way I see it, you can moan and complain, or ignore it, or actually do something about it.

I don't expect interviewees to show up in Hugo Boss suits, just clean, sober, and lucid... What really burns me is the no-shows. Any eejit that agrees by phone for an interview and then doesn't show up or call, gets his resume snail-mailed back to him/her with "NO-Show" scrawled across it. Hey, who knows? Maybe Mommy might just read it. For the eejit who aced his interview and agreed to wages and starting times and doesn't show, I'll mail them an invoice: $50 for wasting my time, $50 for B.S'ing me, and if they shook my hand I'll charge them an extra $200. Never got a dime yet, but hey, it's the thought that counts, right?
...."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 #17 of 23
i dont own a suit... so i dont wear one to interviews,

i do however own dress shoes, proper trousers and a multitude of smart (usually wrinkled) shirts that i iron for interviews, i turn my mobile onto silent a few minutes before i go into the place and i shake hands firmly

i try my hardest to do my job, even when i want to flambe the manager for simply yelling at the sous and making her cry...

unfortunately we have 16 yr old part timers who come in to apparently do very little and leave early, the day after boxing day i actually had to clean the kitchen again in the morning before it was ok to bring food in from the fridges.

the sous chef doesnt understand her role outside of cooking which she doesnt do well, i mean, how much effort she must have put in to burn a 15 litre saucepan full of gravy i dont know!

i keep finding beer bottles in the kitchen in the morning, and there are 17 year olds drinking while working "i only do it after service"

unfortunately im not allowed to stab them... i am however allowed to send people home and i plan on making it perfectly clear what my policies are to be regarding alcohol in the kitchen... i may only be chef de partie but it would seem im the only one there with any blooming sense...

i believe my HC put it perfectly when he was offered a waiter to cover potwash and said "f**k off, 16 year olds in this kitchen are a bag of w**k ill do it myself"

can you believe i actually ran out of food today... at least 6 of the most popular items on the menu ran out...

in the end i closed the kitchen 2 hours early and made everyone clean, then once the sous had gone i finished the bloody cleaning myself with the only part timer i trust to do as hes told

oh i cant wait for tomorrow because im absolutely fed up of it, the sous has already been threatened with sacking once... the only reason shes still there is because i take over and do the paperwork and organise the part timers and get things done...

sorry about this rant... its a bit off course from the aim of this thread... but i needed to vent.
post #18 of 23

Professional...look in the mirror

Have any of y'all seen the BBC show Chef?(3 seasons on DVD)
Its hilarious and sheds some humor on this subject!

Sometimes you have to be professional for youself, Serafim, and I am proud that you keep your integrity under pressure. Thats professional, :chef:if unrecognized by the higher ups, they will see some day. You may have to show them from another venue!!!
Good for you!

Ride on dude...
The closest I get to charging a fee is the additional charge for "annoying the chef" :smoking:I tack on customers that make special(stoopid) requests.
I subscribe to your standing storng and doing something about professional mis treatment, and have ruffled a few fine feathers in upper management:suprise:(see my previous post)
Happy New Year!!
post #19 of 23


Hello Cheftalk!
I think that this is bloody atrocious!
Over here in England, students are learned that in secondary school!
Just shows the lack of self respect people show!

post #20 of 23
Your kidding right? A chef coat is mandatory to be worn at the local culinary guild meetings. So is that disrespectful since that’s no in a kitchen? Also how is it disrespectful to wear it to the store?
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
I agree. I've got a lot going on, i can't be changing 19 times a day. i come to work, leave 10 or so hours later, pick up the baby from daycare, run some errands, go home to get dinner ready, collapse- there's not a lot of time in between to give a doody whether i am in street clothes or work clothes.
post #22 of 23
I am not sure what a guild meeting is. But we ( the restaurant I work for) have only one restroom for customers and employees. When I am out for the evening I would not want to see someone come into the restroom do what you have to do in the restroom with a coat on and then go back into the kitchen and prepare my food. I obviously work in a kitchen and know you have to go to the bathroom when you are working but it is just not something I want to see ( nasty) Why would you have to wear your coat outside the kitchen it only takes a second to remove it and go on with your life. Please don't get me wrong I am not attacking anyone but it seems as though it is more of a status symble than a conveniece. Sorry thats just me, no disrespest intended.
post #23 of 23
i understand where your coming from... but personally i share the customer toilets... where i wash my hands, and dont wipe sh!t on my coat... nor do i touch any food with my coat, i also wear an apron over my coat, which i change 3 or 4 times a day if and when it gets dirty....

unless you prefer i stop service so i can go and find something else to wear instead of my coat, as i have nothing on underneath and i think that would be a bit worse than simply wearing the coat to the loo
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