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Would this warrant a bad resignation?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
For 4 years, I've worked for Chartwells/Compass Group as officially a cook but more of a sous/kitchen manager for the past 2.5 years. I've noticed a trend and this is probably partially for me to blame, but everything that people don't want to do ends up being my responsibility (ie. inventory, literally all the heavy lifting, much of the end of day clean up and next day prep, to name a few). I can't help that if theres stuff that needs doing, I just do it and lately it has piled up.

School started yesterday (we're a college cafeteria) and 1 lady is MIA this week so I'm doing her station. We've hired a new person to operate the night shift, I was "volunteered" to train her the first night. Everyone rushed to finish and go home that they half their next day prep and most of the clean up. Tim Hortons, whose stuff is kept in our small dry storage area, made a large delivery but refused to at least put the stuff inside the storage room so I did that and operated the grill area. Did I also happen to mention that I clocked in at 6:30am and by this time its 4:30pm and I have yet to have a break or eaten anything? I barely had enough time to clean up, I couldn't train the new person on grill and she was very slow on pizzas (the only 2 stations opened during nights) so I had to keep an eye on her there. But I did manage to show her cleaning and closing duties.

I'm in early again today at 6:30am. My coughs nearly cause me to throw up every 10mins or so. We're already down 3 on the roster. And I get the s*** for not putting the Tim Horton's delivery away on their shelves and nobody listened to me that I didn't have time to scratch my a** for a bathroom break let alone put stuff away that has never been my responsibility for but needed to be at the very least locked away (which was what I did).

I'm sorry if this seems long but I do have to ask. Did I do my job or not? Where the "H E double hockey" sticks did I not do my job that warranted this? I'm doing a quick resignation letter right now and, if having to deal with more of this, will be sent in by end of the week. The manager (who gave me the spat) doesn't want to listen, then I don't need this place. On paper I've done my job and then some but it seems to me that its still not enough. In 4 years, my pay has been raised by $1.25/hour but my responsibilities are up 500% at least. I'm not unioned.
post #2 of 18
You can look at this two ways.
Things are a bit out of sorts and haven't settled into a groove and you are good enough that you can be counted on to do a job and more responsibility is being handed to you.

or

You can look at it the way you are and say thats not my job and its not fair.

Either you take the additional repsonsibilies gladly and grow or nibble on the cheese and go.
Life is like Plastic Wrap!
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Life is like Plastic Wrap!
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post #3 of 18
Aww, mann...Every chef/supervisor/manager/restauranteur/owner is fully aware of what a singe kitchen staff person is capable of; they are also fully cognizant of what needs to be done each and every shift. Anytime someone is a 'no-show', the other employees have to cover. ANYTIME you do more than your share, and management does NOT reward you in spades, humbly suggest you quit ASAP and find an employer who genuinely appreciates your efforts and skills. EXAMPLE: the very first foodservice job I had was working the dinner shift at a hotel restaurant. One night, several line cooks/chefs simply did not show up; I, the dishwasher and prep cook, had to step in with the coaching of one of the hotel partners who had no culinary experience, single-handledly with the help of a long-time hispanic dishwasher, cranked out all the dinner shift with nary a problem. Worse, the sanitary crew did not show up, so the 3 of of us had to break-down and clean the entire kitchen. We cleaned in 1 hour, a task normally alloted 2 hours and 4 cooks. The operating partner insisted on buying us many drinks before we left the kitchen to go home. An english-speaking, hard-working, honest kitchen employee who knows how to clean 12 cases of romaine lettuce and a gallon of kalamata olives with no verbal insturctions needed, is worth at least 2X the going minimum wage.Just my $0.02
post #4 of 18
Suggestion.
If you've got bills to pay, have something lined up to go to...
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
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I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
Reply
post #5 of 18
Just how much more is one person supposed to do???? Where is the cafeteria manager??? Shouldn't he be stepping up to help out or does his title exempt from helping out when the chips are down???

The manager should be aware that things "are a bit out of sorts", as you put it and should be taking positive steps to get things sorted out and back on track. He shouldn't walk in and start complaining about stuff not being done. Absolutely pathetic management which you seem to support by suggesting that Headless Chicken accept even more tasks to do.

The classic response from manager will be that of total surprise when he gets the letter of resignation. He will never see that he has ridden a good horse to death and Chartwells/Compass Group will lose a good employee because of a managerially blind manager.
post #6 of 18
If you are coughing and throwing up, for goodness sakes call in SICK.....and be really ok with that.:D
Someone will figure out what it takes to run the cafeteria...it may be the best time to do that.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 18
[QUOTE=jbd;238270]Just how much more is one person supposed to do???? Where is the cafeteria manager??? Shouldn't he be stepping up to help out or does his title exempt from helping out when the chips are down???

The manager should be aware that things "are a bit out of sorts", as you put it and should be taking positive steps to get things sorted out and back on track. He shouldn't walk in and start complaining about stuff not being done. Absolutely pathetic management which you seem to support by suggesting that Headless Chicken accept even more tasks to do.

[QUOTE]
You are only reading one side of the story.
There is no mention of what the cafeteria manager is doing or not doing except for a mention of what apparently was a complete total humiliating ***** chewing for not putting donuts on the shelf. Judging from the tone of the post and the nick of the poster, I am thinking its probably overblown a tad.

Now with 3 people down you can only imagine that the manager is sitting in his office eating bon bons and serfing pr0n on the internet. Plus he better wave his magic wand and everything will be ok in the wink of an eye on the second day of school.

Perhaps you are right. Headless Chicken should turn in his resignation and go find a job in a union shop. He can punch in, work his station and only his station, punch out and go home. If anyone asks him to do something else, he won't have to. No pressure, no stress. The perfect path to management and ownership.

Sign me out of this thread, you can pass the cheese amongst yourselves.
Life is like Plastic Wrap!
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Life is like Plastic Wrap!
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post #8 of 18
[quote=kaffeenjunkie;238422][quote=jbd;238270]Just how much more is one person supposed to do???? Where is the cafeteria manager??? Shouldn't he be stepping up to help out or does his title exempt from helping out when the chips are down???

The manager should be aware that things "are a bit out of sorts", as you put it and should be taking positive steps to get things sorted out and back on track. He shouldn't walk in and start complaining about stuff not being done. Absolutely pathetic management which you seem to support by suggesting that Headless Chicken accept even more tasks to do.

If Chartwell/Compass is anything like Sudexo, that's exactly what the management is doing. I worked in a hospital kitchen where all the management, with the exception of the head chef, spent all their time either hiding in their offices or walking around whining about their personal lives. They couldn't even make a decent menu. One of the last meals I made there was chicken alfredo served with creamy chicken wild rice soup. How's that for contrasting taste and textures. I had to wonder where the dietician was on a starch fest like this. Staff would call down for a diabetic meal, and no one knew what it should be because none of the cooks were trained for special diet needs. They wasted more than they used (and you want to know why health care is so high?) and management could care less about actually getting a meal out to the patients and nursing home residents. The guy in charge of this circus was given an award by Sudexo for the great job he was doing. I figured if he was any more incompetent, they'd probably make him CEO. I feel for you Headless. Document all the things that have been dumped on you, including the dates when they happened. If you resign, include a copy and cc it to your manager's boss and everybody right up to the head of Chartwell. I wanted to do that with Sudexo, especially with things that were safety issues, but figured they would just think it was sour grapes as they let me go after 90 days because I "didn't fit in." D**d straight. I wasn't that dumb or lazy and hope I never am. I think if the heads of these companies were aware of what is really going on, they'd be apalled.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
The manager was there, she was the 1 putting away the Tim Horton's stock away while I was running a brand new concept station that is suppose to be runned by a vet employee who works almost as many days as she's off sick. The manager was busy, in fact, she runs around as much as I do but deals mostly with the paper work and bureaucracy so her snap at me was also stress driven.

All this however pales in comparison to what the director did the other day. Nearing shift change, the director slams the door in day light view of the customers, in the face of a unioned employee. Hes been reported on a number of issues, hes broken a number employee conduct policies so this isn't the first time and I doubt the last unless home office takes notice and replaces him. BTW, home office isn't very happy with the guy. Literally everyone is getting fed up and we all tried to get these issues out in the open during today's staff meeting.
post #10 of 18
Ahh... that explains a lot, the "U" word", explains why employees with too much sick leave are tolerated, explains the general atttitude, too.

Don't sweat the director, just sit back and look at a few things:

You wanted experience, and experience you got. Some places are run like a Swiss watch and some like a Brothel, so it's time you started to look at getting into a Swiss Watch scenerio. A non-union place will have a completely different feel to it

DO NOT QUIT UNTIL YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB LINED UP.

Sorry about the screaming.

No one said you couldn't take a holiday inbetween quitting and starting at a new place, but always have something lined up. If you're working ragged, it takes a lot of "doing" to send off resumes and line up interviews. But believe me,( Yes I've been there, albeit on split shifts and 22 day work weeks...) all this skull-dugery will put a cra*-eating grin on your face as you're plugging away.

All experience is good, doesn't matter if it was postive or negative. Consider this: Many "up and coming" military officers will purposely ask to be attached to a lousy unit with a lousy C.O. You can learn just as much or even more from a lousy place/Boss than a good one.

hope this helps
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #11 of 18
Just think, everyday you wake up and choose to go into a situation that you hate.

If someone you loved came to you with that exact same situation what would you tell them to do?
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #12 of 18

Been there, Done with that!

You have my heartfelt sympathy, I worked for a large (International) retirement coporation, it's the only place that ever made me dis-like cooking. I literally had to run into work and collect laundry (towels from the night before), while turning on lights and equipment, I worked as fast and furious as I could without breaks (including bathroom) just to keep up with the deisgnated schedule.
I was the kitchen manager, my poor employees worked just as hard and there were plenty of "accidents" I gave notice and started my own company (Restaurant and Catering) that was 15 years ago, I now own a Cake design studio as well as a new dinner house I am going to open in October, I have multiple wholesale accounts that I provide baked goods to. I have a Super Fantastic staff that I appreciate every minute of the day because every one of them is the face of my company and they are very valuable. Look around and find something worthy of your hard work and devotion and you and your new company will thrive because of it, but don't quit until you have something else. Take advantage of any vacation or sick time and let the powers that be feel what you are worth on the days you aren't there.
Take care, good luck and hang in there!
Joan
post #13 of 18
Why do we do this to ourselves? I know, it gets in your blood like racing to a driver. I worked for 11 years in telecom because I got to sit on my butt making it wider in a comfy chair with an air conditioned room that smelled good, the pay was 3 times what a cook makes, and benefits that were unbelievable. I felt like I won the lottery. When people asked me what I did for a living, I said, well, I'm a chef but I work in telecom because it pays better. WHAT? We work long, hard hours mostly when other people are out enjoying themselves, because that's when we need to be there. We wreck our bodies, have no bennies, and mostly don't get monetary compensation either. We're nuts. We are talented and have as much or more technical training as the other trades, but we are way behind them in compensation. They ask us to do the impossible, and we do. And when they ask too much, our own community calls us whiners and tells us to get over it. We hear about sweat shop conditions in factories, well, they ought to take a look at the food industry sometime. When are we going to unite and say enough is enough. I'm sorry for the rant, but I think sometimes we are the least appreciated industy on the face of the earth and I think it's time we changed that.
post #14 of 18
I'd like to give my views on why cooks are so poorly paid, and how to change that.
Right now I'm at work and don't have time for a decent post, but later on tonight, I'll let 'er rip......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #15 of 18
Can't wait to hear your views, Pump.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
How can we get compensated more if there is, typically, little or no extra money to compensate with? Remember that for every dollar in sales, a few pennies is actual profit. We try to maintain a 36% food cost and I don't seriously think that is reasonable for a college cafeteria. But at the same time, our client are cheap students typically on a budget so our sales are hardly impressive.

When I started working here 3 years ago, there was a lot of pre prepared foods but that is quickly turning. Sure it reflects well on our food cost reports but doing stuff from scratch usually means you need a more skilled labor force or at the very least, a larger contingent. So we have to push to do more for more of something that'll never come.

The scenario at work is getting worse now. People have started quitting and I've yet to officiate anything. Lining up another job is never easy, I went 4 months after graduation unemployeed and no bite on any resume which is something I'm not ready for.
post #17 of 18
Firstly, I think that this post should be on the regular forum, since we're all professionals here and know what the issues are.


Lousy salary for all foodservice workers can be linked to two separate camps: The hospitality industry itself, and the source of all income--John Q. Public.

Look, people are cheap. I'm not finding fault with this, it's a human trait, and one that I'm just as guilty of as anyone else. If I can buy the same 3 ltr tin of x. virg. olive oil from supplier "X" for a dollar cheaper than from supplier "Y", I'd be foolish not to. And if I worked for someone else, I'd probably get fired for not doing so. The hospitality industry caters to every level--from $1.49 breakfast burritos to $200.00 fine meals. The competition in each level is cut-throat, and for every failed business there are two more chomping at the bit to get into the scene. Salaries make a huge part of the overhead costs and the lower the salaries are, and the fewer of them, the better odds of survival are.

"Institutions" (hospitals, cafeterias, care facilities, etc) are a bit different. These consider the kitchen as a "non-profit" entity and so incur the contempt and wrath of upper management. Cooks are viewed as eejits that are there to open vacuum bags and serve convenience food, and the faster they are replaced by machinery or refugees off the boat, the better for everyone. Pay them peanuts, they're doing a monkey job

With the regular restaurants the problem is cooks have no standard to "peg" their pay rate by. Plumbers, electricians, boiler makers, etc. all have national trade qualifications, usually starting with journeyman's. Because of this, these trades have a standardized pay rate. Cooks do not. Many believe that culinary school will provide them with a "journeyman's" status, but again, the schools themselves have no standards to adhere to. Anything goes: 2 year programs requiring previous working experience to 4 mth programs that require no previous experience. The schools are mostly private run and answer to nobody.
If there every will be a standard for a cooks created, a pay rate can be established. If there ever is a standard for cooks, the schools can design a standard curriculum. IF... EVER.... Good luck

Now, many compare the hospitality unions to a pig at the trough. Lousy analogy; the fatter the pig, the more money when being sold. No, hospitality unions are more like rats gnawing a hole in a grain silo--the only work being done is the actual gnawing. If the farmer goes belly-up the rats just find a new farmer and gnaw a new hole. Ok., ok, yes the unions do set high pay rates. But just because they set these rates you don't think they'll actually pay them do you? Many union members have to work 3 or 5 years in a part time situation before they can be considered for a 40 hr week, and during this time the card carrying union worker works 2 or 3 part time jobs in the non union places in order to pay rent. And pay won't be at the rate advertised either, you have to "qualify" for this rate. More misery and grief.

There are two ways for a union to make an employer to pay more: The carrot, and the stick. We all know what the stick is, because that's the only trick the unions know, but what is the carrot?
Give a shi*. No, really, give a shi*; provide the member with financing and guidance to improve: Language skills, managements skills, trade skills, heck even take an interest in setting a standard for cooks. But this simply isn't done, it costs money. Money garnisheed from every schmuck's-uh..excuse me, every brother and sister's paycheck; the god-given birthright and "reason d'etre" for the hospitality union's existance. Unions--the way we know them today in the hospitality biz-- will never help. Besides, those who work the hardest,--those who sweat blood and work 90 hr weeks are in a management position, no union for you.

Now, I truly believe that if a magic fairy waved a wand and that by tomorrow every employer had to pay food handlers (everything from d/w to exec Chefs), a 10% salary increase, the employers would do it willingly. Why? Like I said, it's a cut throat business, every penny shaved off a paycheck is another minute of breathing space. If one guy takes a gamble and pays top dollar he might lose out--big time, and his competitors will eat him whole. But if EVERYONE had to cough up and pay, why, things would be just the way they were before, just that the menu prices will have been changed to reflect the change. The customer always pays...



Speaking of customers, let's look at John Q. Public. In particular let's examine his tipping habits. The easiest and quickest way to put some money the cook's pocket is with a tip, but this is not an industry standard. Yes, quite a few restaurants do include cooks and other staff in the tip pool, but John Q. is not in the habit of tipping a cook. An excellent meal? Tips for the waiter and verbal compliment (via the waiter) to the cook. Special requests for a modification or a two-day ahead phone call for a special meal? Waiter gets the tip and the cooks gets a verbal compliment. John Q has been brainwashed into tipping waiters 15% of the bill.

Hold on! Force shields up! I've had many a discussion on this subject, and the following is my point: John Q tips the waiter a percentage of the entire bill. In other words he's tipping as a reflection of THE WHOLE DINING EXPERIENCE. (sorry about the screaming). But, as anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows, the waiter isn't responsible for the whole experience. 30%- to maybe 4o%, yes, but no the whole thing. But John Q. only tips the waiter. Why? Why indeed.
Here's the fun part, how much does John Q. tip a waiter who does 50%-60%? Loose change.
How much if the waiter does 90%?
Nothing.

Think about it, the waiter who does 50% is working in a deli or lunch place: Greet the customer, get drinks, make the sandwich or partially prepare the meal, even stock the paper towels and soap in the bathroom. This warrants loose change, or maybe a verbal compliment. John Q. will not tip 15% for a deli worker. And the 90%? That's an owner. John Q knows full well that owners are not entitled to tips. Doesn't matter that the owner is working 90 hr weeks, John Q. isn't going to tip him. Don't believe me? Ask an owner.



So how do we educate John Q. about lousy pay for cooks? Who's going to do it?



The restaurants themselves? Granted, some divie up the tip pool, but many are reluctant to educate the customer. Bad optics. Makes them look money hungry, inept at keeping staff, or worse--somehow having their fingers in the tip jar.

How about the Unions? Nope. Conflict of interest there. I'm not talking about taking away from the brother waiters, I'm saying that tips are not part of the paycheck. You can't garnishee your cut--your birthright--union dues, from the tip jar. No money, no honey. Unions ain't gonna do it.

The Media? There's an idea. Meh, it won't fly though. Doesn't fit in with the "bad boy" image that the media have worked so hard to create with the likes of Bourdain and Ramsey. And there's no sex or spilled blood either. How would the media get John Q's attention?



So, my views on the salary conditions of cooks have been brought out. Nothing new--to us.

What ever shall we do?

Let us all join hands and speak as one voice to the various gods of the Media:

"Oh great ones, pick the world up by it's ears and listen to our people's plight!"


(this is by far, the longest post I have ever written)
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #18 of 18
Good job, Pump. You've made some good points and given us much food for thought (excuse the pun please). I've never worked in a union place and so don't know the politics. It's been my observation that unions in general only represent their members because they can't pay dues if they don't have a job, as you pointed out. Maybe we don't need a union. Maybe we just need to all get together and take a national cook's day off. Let everybody cook their own food. We'll all meet at the bar. Cheers!
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