New dishwasher was a bit thuggish. Don’t make no never-mind as we say in the South. Most kitchen folks in this city are a tad shady, off-kilter or both. We talked to him like he was part of the team, which he was. Smile, slap him on the back, complement him. Feed him shrimp hot off the grill, piece of steak now & then.
4th night he’s there he comes in with an attitude. I pretend not to notice when he smarts off a time or 2. I keep treating him the same. Then he takes the bus tub & flips it into the dishwasher prep-cleaning sink. CRASH :eek: :mad: You could tell there was breakage. Chef was in the dining room so it fell to me to check things out. I tried the concerned & encouraging coworker approach. “Say buddy, a plate got busted, looks like a ramekin too. Let’s toss these before chef sees them. Please be more careful.” He says nothing.
He did it again. I call out “Hey buddy, stop tossing the stuff out like you are unloading a bucket of bolts. You’re breakin’ things.” He spoke not a word.
He does it a 3rd time. This time Chef is on the line. “Hey! yells the exec. Stop breaking %&^$” He does it again. Chef starts around the corner. I grab him by the shoulder. “Let me.” I say. He nods in such a way I know I have only 1 shot at this.” I go to the dishwasher & say, “Hey pal, you’re breaking stuff. It’s costing us, and you’re torqueing Chef off. Please be gentler removing the dishes from the tub. If you’re upset we can talk when the night is over.” He says not a word. Doesn’t even look at me. I go back to the line.
Keep in mind; Chef is about 6’1” 230 of toned mussel. I am 5’5” 160. Dishwasher is about 6’2” & I outweigh him by about 20 lb.
He does it again. Chef’s right there at him so fast I don’t even remember him moving. The girls (prep cook & waitress) simply disappear. “Get out!” Chef orders. “You can’t tell me what to do.” Says the dishwasher. Chef says, “You don’t work here, out!” The dishwasher then goes into a diatribe of all the bad & evil things that the chef’s mom is about and how the chef himself is no more that a product of sub-human breading. By this time I am standing to the side but between them. My intention is not to stop the Chef from doing anything, but to watch the knife that the dishwasher has by his left hand that the chef cannot see. I pull the 2 ¼” paring knife I keep on my belt and hold it down, ready.
The guy leaves. I breathe a sigh of relief. Sheath my knife & get back on the line. The only other significant words were “Let’s finish these last tables. Then you get on dish.” I tossed on a mahi then a steak & say “Aye, chef.” Rest of the night was normal.
I asked him later “Is this normal kitchen happenings?” He said, “Only if you keep working with me.” I gave him a look that said “Crap!” he laughed.