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post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ok I have to ramble and if this isn't the right place to post it,  mods please put it where it belongs.  It's an employee issue so I thought here was the best place for it but anyway..

We have a new guy who has some issues.  I was pretty sure the first time I met him that he had some mental health issues thanks to my previous career and after I saw him ingest a handful of pills on Sunday my suspicions were confirmed.  Honestly I don't care if he is on meds.. heck I am on meds.. I have fibromyalgia and endometriosis and I have to take meds to be able to manage the pain attacks when they happen.   I've never bailed on work because of it and when I am there I suck it up and do my job and the bosses know about that as well as my egg allergy but they expect the same out of me as they do anyone else.  I also don't use it as a crutch but if I tell the guys that I physically can't put an order away or lift something they are right there and they help me. 

So given this guy has issues, we still expect him to perform on the line and honestly it is sketchy at best.  I had to go and clean the dry storage yesterday as I was just losing it with him on the line.  I would call orders to him and he doesn't listen..  he tried to sell an over easy egg that was broken and I said no that will come back.. seal it and then serve it sealed side down.  All day I could feel the hostility from him.. he was selling tickets before everything was up and I finally told him.. do not sell any bills. let me make sure things are up.  He didn't like it but he accepted it.  Then I would hand him the guts for omelettes and he would snatch them out of my hand and honestly I did not feel comfortable with him on the line.  More than once he would toss a knife onto the table and I said to him more than once to NOT do that as it is dangerous.  But again.. it went in one ear and out the other.  I almost feel like I am dealing with a child when I am dealing with him.  The KM is afraid of him.. he has witnessed alot more than I have as on my days in I have alot of staff and I usually get the new guy to do prep as he is a really damn good prep cook. 

The KM has seen him on the line go beet red and almost start to cry... and he does talk and laugh to himself all the time.  On the line he effs with things and likes to move around the tickets.  He will not do that when the KM or I are there but there was one day when they were effed in the FOH so when it got busy I took off my apron and went and did pass.  Seeing that pass is basically board just on the other side I was the only one able to do it.  I had a strong cook in and he took board but this guy started messing around with the tickets and what should have been a smooth transition turned into a mess because of him. 

He is on his way out.  His shifts are going to be cut as of the next schedule.. he is going down to three four hour shifts and if he doesn't figure it out and pick up his socks his shifts will be cut even farther. 

How would you guys handle this situation?  Honestly if it was up to me he would have not been hired but our owners are new to this business so it is what it is...
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post #2 of 24
sorry leeniek, you got another one.  That's how this business goes though. sounds like it's the waiting game again. Wait for him to figure it out or get gone. As a fellow employee it sucks, cause I know you would just get rid of him and find someone else.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
If we had someone else he would have been long gone, but sadly all of the people we seem to be finding are just as bad as him.  We did find a good egg though...we have another new guy who is freaking awesome!  So the plan is to cut the FNG's shifts and give the hours to other staff as well as the great NG.  Hopefully the FNG will either shape up or ship out...
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post #4 of 24
 Be honest and call him into office and say" Look this is not going to work out".and tell him why. I always found this the best policy.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Ed.  Honestly that is what we have to do.  I know the KM is afraid of him given his mental health issues but the guy needs to know that things are not up to par and he needs to be given a chance to live up to our expectations.  So I have the KM's blessing to do just that... my plan is to give him five shifts next week and cut them on my days in to four hours.  I am off Monday and Tuesday and the KM is going to be away so the owner will be in the kitchen in my absence.  He will see the FNG in full swing both days so on Wednesday we can bring him into the office and let him know there are issues and we need to fix them and if we can't we will have to take him off of the schedule.  It frustrates me that the KM hasn't the "stuff" to deal with him but that just said.. before I had my own kids i worked with special needs kids and many of them had behaviuoral issues so I have that experience to draw on when it comes to the FNG.
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post #6 of 24
You either give him a chance to succeed with both feet in the kitchen, or put both of his feet out the door. This guy is not an asset at all, either train him to be what you want, or send him on his way. keeping him doesn't help either party succeed in their goals, both parties loose...............Chef Bill
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Bill and you have a good point.  If you don't mind I'd like to quote you when I talk to the owners.  They are new to this business and I am not gonna lie.. this is the biggest kitchen I have ever worked in and here I am helping to run it.  I know I earned my position but I have always worked in very small kitchens where it has been me and the chef or in the case of the cafe just me so I am learning as I go as well when it comes to employees and their issues.
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post #8 of 24
man you all got some problamatic employees. i hope u find a better one i know its  tough
Chef it up errrrday!!!
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Chef it up errrrday!!!
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post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Skatz!  As I am learning, this business attracts all sorts of people, and we have to be a little more selective when we hire, I think.  The same can be found in the graphics industry as my husband over the years has told me stories over the "winners" has has worked with during his career as a graphic designer. 

The best of the worst employee story comes from him.. they had this designer who was totally full of himself (I met him and instantly disliked him) and well he was always turning up late, taking two hour lunches.. an hour for lunch and then another hour in the bathroom, and leaving early.  The higher ups had finally had enough of him when they caught him sleeping at his desk.  I don't mean resting his eyes either, I mean head back, mouth open and snoring on the job!  He got fired that day.  
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post #10 of 24
 Your kitchen manager has no B----S. One thing I learned when I started teaching school. I had to attend teacher training classes and I had an Afro American instructor who told me something I never forgot and it works all the time. When dealing with anyone who you think is crazy or intimidating,  Make them think you are crazier then they are. This way they go on defensive and you are the offence.Worked for me in some real bad situations.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
I think it is the crazy factor that gets the KM.  I haven't that issue as I worked with special needs kids and adults, so I have a comfort level  and perhaps some understanding that he doesn't have.  It frustrates the crap out of me though, when someone looks me in the face when I am correcting them and then goes and does the same wrong thing again.
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post #12 of 24
Ummmm, what exactly are the labour laws in Ontario?

Here in la-la land we have a 3 mth "probation period" where either party can give a day's notice, after that you're on the hook., or as the Labour board says " The onus is on the employer".
 
Honestly?  I think your owner needs to have a trouble maker, a whinger that goes and lodges complaints and gets awarded a grand or two 'cause he doesn't like the colour of the kitchen walls.  The fines hurt, and you start to guage employees very quickly after you get dinged a grand.  Either an employee is an asset or a liability, this one's a liability, and he needs to go,
...."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 #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
We have the probation period as well and then we're on the hook too.  If we are to get rid of someone after that we have to follow the proper channels and we're in the process of doing that.  Mind you somewhere there has to be a loophole because at my husband's studio today two people were let go and they were given the "we're very sorry to do this but we have to lay you off as there is no work right now" speech along with their severance packages.  Truthfully my husband thinks they were let go because they cost too much and do too little... he is always swamped with work so he has no idea what the rest of the studio is doing.  I hope he takes this as the kick in the pants he needs to spend some cash on a good computer system and finally go freelance!  Anyway I digress...

I wrote the FNG up today.. his behaviour was totally unacceptable and it needed to be addressed.  He knows his shifts are cut because of disciplinary reasons but that didn't change the way he behaved today on the line.  One more strike and he is out.  It's in the paperwork all new hires sign that they have two chances when it comes to discipline issues and the third time, their employment will be terminated.  He made it past his probation reasonably well.. we knew he would not work out on weekends but there were plenty of shifts during the week for him and in the beginning he did ok.  Now that he is comfortable it's a different story and it has to stop. 
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post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeniek View Post

We have the probation period as well and then we're on the hook too.  If we are to get rid of someone after that we have to follow the proper channels and we're in the process of doing that.  Mind you somewhere there has to be a loophole because at my husband's studio today two people were let go and they were given the "we're very sorry to do this but we have to lay you off as there is no work right now" speech along with their severance packages.  Truthfully my husband thinks they were let go because they cost too much and do too little... he is always swamped with work so he has no idea what the rest of the studio is doing.  I hope he takes this as the kick in the pants he needs to spend some cash on a good computer system and finally go freelance!  Anyway I digress...

I wrote the FNG up today.. his behaviour was totally unacceptable and it needed to be addressed.  He knows his shifts are cut because of disciplinary reasons but that didn't change the way he behaved today on the line.  One more strike and he icipl out.  It's in the paperwork all new hires sign that they have two chances when it comes to discipline issues and the third time, their employment will be terminated.  He made it past his probation reasonably well.. we knew he would not work out on weekends but there were plenty of shifts during the week for him and in the beginning he did ok.  Now that he is comfortable it's a different story and it has to stop. 
 

Hey Lee, I started my career in the restaurant business in Hawaii. I had a big 350 lb Hawaii manager from another Restaurant, in the same company, ask me about disciplining my busboys. I told him I would sit down and talk with them and explain the rules and regulations of the company, and if need I would write them up. I asked him how he did it, his answer was, I take them in back of the Restaurant and kick the heck out of them, seems to work OK. I told him, don't break it, if its not broken...........ChefBill
post #15 of 24
Hang on a sec... he passed his probation period and now he's acting all funky?



If this is the case, then he knows the rules just as good--or better-- than the labour board, and will get some kind of money awarded to him.   If he can't angle something on "irregular hours", holiday pay, meal /breaks,  then he'll go for an accident/work related injury and at least make a $500 claim with the worker's comp.  Something--anything, since getting fired doesn't count on the  E.I. hours worked tally, and somebody must owe him something 

Watch out with those labour Board/Worker' Comp people. First thing when someone lodges a complaint is they call you up.  Anything discussed on the phone is a big "He said/she said" schpeil, and they use it to their advantage.  Any information MUST be given to them with ink on paper. 

Remember now, "the onus is on the employer"  You/ your employer is assumed guilty of any charges against them untill you prove your own innocence at your own cost.  Once you are cleared of any wrong doing, you have no recourse to any compensation, nor any acknowledgement that the complaint lodged against you was false.

Doncha just LURV your tax dollars at work?

Couple rounds of this, and your employer will be conducting their hiring interviews a little more intensely.....
...."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 #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yep he did and yeah we have been played...

Hopefully the paper trail will support us but I suspect this freak is a pro at using the system.  Does the fact that he tried to hide his noon hour med intake from me count for anything?  I went into the back at the same time he was about to take his meds.. I do not give a rats ass if he is on meds and as I have  said.. I take meds but . whatever he wanted privacy for his dose.  Me, I get my water and take my pills and half an hour later I am feeing good and I have no pain...the guys all know and I tell them when I am having a bad pain day. 

yep. I love the way I see my tax dollars not working....
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post #17 of 24
 If I were anywhere near Ontario, I gladly help by replacing the guy.  You really have had a run of horrible luck with employees.  The best thing to do really is to sit him down and have a talk.  Be clear and concise.  If he doesn't like the mandates, be done with him.  

On a side note, why is the manager scared of this guy?
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #18 of 24
Straightforward.

Sit him down & tell him how it is.

We document everything. First warning is verbal & documented. Second is written & signed by involved parties. Third is termination.

As the sous i've had to deal with alot of amusing issues this past year. I don't have the benefit of a KM.

On that note, if a KM cannot handle an employee, what is it they do? I'm assuming the M stands for manager....
post #19 of 24

 Guess I am lucky. Florida is a right to work state in other words I cn fire you on the spot and you can quit on the spot. Sometimes advantages to both concerned.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
The owner has stepped in and has given him his last warning, so the next time there is a problem he is going to be out the door.  I know he will be all whiny at me on Thursday asking for more shifts and I will answer his questions but the owner will be present at the time so that he cannot go to him later and tell a story. (I caught  him doing that last week with another staff person)

They have learned their lesson with interviews, and I have been sitting in on interviews for kitchen staff now, as well as one of the owners.  I'm a stickler for references and when I set up an interview I ask them to bring in their references if they are not already on their resume.  While I am a fairly good judge of character, I appreciate hearing about the person from someone else.  I had one candidate look at me like I was crazy when I asked for a reference, and he reluctantly gave me the number of his former employer, but I didn't even bother checking.  Just his attitude in the interview was enough for me to say thanks, but no thanks... that and when asked about his starting salary he asked for more than I am making!  
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post #21 of 24
I always make my first warning, my last warning, its easier for them to keep track. never give a boarder line employee to much room to screw up your business. If they are boarder line, are they really worth the trouble, and really going to help you build your business ????????????.......................Chef Bill
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefBillyB View Post

I always make my first warning, my last warning, its easier for them to keep track. never give a boarder line employee to much room to screw up your business. If they are boarder line, are they really worth the trouble, and really going to help you build your business ????????????.......................Chef Bill
At least in MN, a one-warning policy would be potentially screwing up the business. It makes it easier for the former employer to prove they did not show disregard for their employment and thus be able to collect unemployment. The business then has to pay more to the unemployment insurance fund. If your state laws let you do what you're doing without that risk, then I have to admit I'm a little jealous.
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #23 of 24
Yes Leeniak it does bite when we can't let go of people who are sinking the ship after the three month probation period. Here in Ontario it is a Verbal warning ,Written warning then your outta here! I have made the mistake of firing someone right off the line way back when I didn't have good stress management skills and it was after 3 months ...the owners were beside themselves that I didn't go through the proper paper work and they had to pay them out.

BTW I have been fired right off the line myself ...only for my Chef to come running after me ,a minute later. Same Chef fired me again and called me back the next day....I was there for 5 years ...it was the heat of the moment and I was usually his brick wall when he needed to blame someone ..He had major anger issues. ( and a drama queen ..it was so funny when everyone in the kitchen would be looking at me walking out and saying "what are we going to do without our Sous Chef?")
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 

Just an update.. he walked out on Sunday morning.  I'm pretty sure he knew what was coming, and fifteen minutes into his shift he went over to the KM, told him that he "didn't want this job anymore because he has only one shift next week, so he quit" and then he left.  He was just on prep anyway so we did a little re-organizing of the line and had someone else do the prep he was going to do.

 

I've never been fired from a job.. I have left every one I have ever had on good terms, and I always made sure I gave notice etc.  I would have loved to have just up and quit without notice from the hospital coffee shop but I gave them proper notice as well. 

 

Gypsy, your former chef sounds like he definitely had anger management issues as well as drama issues.  I understand heat of the moment decisions and I have always tried not to make them and to make decisions when I calm down.  I do get frustrated when I am working with people who don't have the same worth ethic as I do and I have had to learn to deal with that since becoming AKM.  For the most part I know the strengths and needs of the staff and I can work with it, but every so often I just get frustrated to no end and I have to go clean the freezer or something so I can cool down. 

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