or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I'm sick...

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

...of the liars, the drunks, the stoners, the conmen, the losers, the cheats and the thieves.

 

I'm sick of the lame ass, tired excuse of "I drink because it's stressful", or the ever present "When I get off work, all there is to do is get drunk".

I'm sick of the know-nothing losers that actually think they're good liars.

The stoners that think I can't tell they're high... when they're checking one bill a thousand times, and still forgetting s**t.

The sob story losers who's word means s**t.

The "yes-men" that turn out to be the biggest full-of-s**t backstabbing dicks imaginable.

The finger pointers that scream "don't look at me... he's laaaaaaaaaate!" "don't look at me, he didn't refill his garnish tray!" all while doing about 50% of what is expected of them.

The chumps that cry "I need more hours... .can I have next monday, tuesday, thursday and Saturday off? and can I go home early today?"

 

My industry is full of f**ing idiots. And I'm sick of it. It's poison from the top down... and to be honest, I:m not even sure my love for food is gonna keep me in it for much longer.

 

 

rant done.

post #2 of 26

I gather it's hard to find good help these days?  

post #3 of 26

I am involved with many different industries, food related to non-food related and it seems everyone is dealing with the exact same issues. Even in the retail and distribution industry like we are involved in, I experience the same problems.  It seems everyone wants tons of pay, but want to be able to work 25 hours a week to get it, and they must have every weekend off and come in and leave when they feel like it.  I am glad someone finally posted how it is.

 

D. Clay

post #4 of 26

That's been my crew for 30 years, last year was he first year that no one quit or got fired. I was wondering what the hell is going on, then January hit and back to normal. I feel your pain................Chef BillyB

post #5 of 26

Hate to say it but it's going to get worse. The more we give credit for 2+2=6 and everyone gets a trophy dig in. I'm a firm believer to find individuals that know what it takes to own a home and hire them. Don't hire 5 dipsh*ts hire 1 very good person. I can put 3 of the above types up against one well paid, professional and the work is done fast, higher first time goes ( less mistakes), and a much happier wait staff.It's tough wiht the amount of hours but it works.  Many folks say well there the only ones that apply, that is most likely true for 10 an hour. Just my thoughts and I hope your blood pressure has dropped, been there had that issue.

post #6 of 26

Been there, done it all, and can really identify with your situation.

 

On one hand, could it be worse?  Yup, ever work in a Union shop?

 

Look, my neighbor has a chihuahua, damn thing yaps every time the nieghbor's fridge starts up, or the mailman farts halfway across the street.

 

I have threee options:  One is to ignore the dog, two is to get  rid of the dog, or three is to move out of the neighborhood.

 

There have always been S.o.s's (sacks of, uh..shaving cream) in the workforce and there will always be s.o.s.'s in the labour force.  Can't avoid them.

 

 

4 years ago I gave up and sold a succesfull catering business mainly becasue of the reasons you listed above.  Over here, everybody knows the labour codes and worker's comp codes and try to milk as much as they can.  I almost brained one "delivery driver" when he claimed he wanted to file a claim for a "skin rash"  It was the imprint of the stacking plastic bread trays (which we used to transport party trays and platters) on his fore-arm.  He figured it was his right to milk me and the system, and I figured it was poloroid time, took a picture and asked him to come back for another photo 15 minutes later.  He took off and left me before the imprint faded.  If I had had another cup of coffee that day I would, in all likely hood, beat him over the head with the said bread tray.  So I guess everything worked out O.K. 

 

So, I guess you could say I had a "Paradigim shift" after that incident.  I am a cook, and will live and die as a cook, and have no other options (or want to) work in any other trade or business.Still have a few more miles on the odometer before I go to the junkyard, so I sold the whole schpeil, had a holiday, and started up again.

 

But his time I am relying only on me, myself, and I--and my wife/partner of 15 years.  No other employees other than my kids from time to time.  I have managed to attract several culinary schools, and have 2 week work experiences with thier students.  This is mainly 1 on 1, they learn a lot, and I can relax as I don't have to pay them, nag them, or worry about labour codes, Workers comp codes, or showing up drunk/stoned. Two weeks is perfect, if they work out, I get some good work out of them, if they stink, I don't loose much.   I still get Christmas cards from some of them.

 

My business now is basically a Mom & Pop.  Don't earn as much as I used to, don't have nearly as many headaches as I used to. 

 

Probably one of the best decisions I ever made.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #7 of 26

Hey, PrairieChef,

I am right there with you on that.  Been in this business for 20 years, and nothing has changed. 

Just remember:  We are the true breed, we are the stars.  We always rise above.

I just had a whiny, negative wank walk out half way thru a busy long weekend, citing to me a broken heart. O Boo Hoo!

However, to everyone else, he told them that it was because of me that he decided to leave.

My conclusion: Guys like you and I and everyone else like us are invaluable and indispensable.  The others can just suck it.

A limb on a tree and a tree in a hole and a hole in the blog and the blog down in the valley-o!

Reply

A limb on a tree and a tree in a hole and a hole in the blog and the blog down in the valley-o!

Reply
post #8 of 26

I am so with you on this my friend. Solidarity though, doesn't make it any better to go through.

 

From the other standpoint though, it's tough as an experienced, out of work line cook to apply for a job and hold an interview to persuade the Chef that HE is the answer to all of the line problems and that HE will do the job of 3 other people.

 

HE can keep track of 25 steaks on the grill at once and get their temps perfect.

 

HE is the greatest thing next to sliced bread.....BUT........won't take the job for what Chef can pay.

Now the Chef is out a good man, because Manglement will not go beyond the wage structure in place..

And "He" has to go work for some franchise making far more than he could have at Chef's place, but having to cook food on a line that some Chef in another part of the USA in a corporate kitchen decided he should cook.

 

Both point of views are difficult to deal with.

 

post #9 of 26

Having your own place is no bargain either. You have a worse boss then when you worked for someone else. Your boss is the FRONT DOOR. It has to be opened, closed , cleaned , staffed, insured, stocked, books kept,tax figured, permits secured. 365 days a year morning till night and all by YOU.

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...

Reply

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...

Reply
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Buchanan View Post

Having your own place is no bargain either. You have a worse boss then when you worked for someone else. Your boss is the FRONT DOOR. It has to be opened, closed , cleaned , staffed, insured, stocked, books kept,tax figured, permits secured. 365 days a year morning till night and all by YOU.


Yup.  Thing is, If I worked for someone else, I'd be doing exactly the same thing as I am right now, but would be fired if the owner wasn't making as much as he felt he should, and would be fired if I asked for a bigger cut when the owner makes more than he figured.

 

An entrepeneur is someone who works 18 hrs a day to avoid working 10 hrs a day for someone else. 
 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #11 of 26

Yes Food Pump good analogy

 

We work the long hours so we don't work for "the man"

 

 

 

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
post #12 of 26

I feel for you.

This city I now live in is proudly famous for its laid back hippie counter culture which includes lots of dope smoking amongst other mind altering activities. Of course this culture believes there lifestyle is much more important than following the traditional ethics found in work places.

We do supposedly drug test at work but I know for a fact that at least 1/2 of the new hires never get one as the HR person knows they wont pass. My objections to administration about these employees has been met with "well this is Eugene and we have a different lifestyle here".

My pet peeves are being stupid and lazy which seem to become more prevalent as I get older.

I was trained by old school euro chefs and you sure did not last long at all with this mentality.

I think Vince Lombardi hit the nail on the head

 

" The quality of a persons life is in direct proportion to there commitment to excellence,

regardless of there chosen field of endeavor"

 

Man I feel for us all..............................

The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
Reply
The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
Reply
post #13 of 26

prariechef..

sounds like you need a vacation!...somewhere warm and tropical...mexico comes to mind...in fact, if you've ever spent any time in mexico, you know what a completely different work scene it is...hard workers,proud workers...and all for sub wages...i think all these 'youngbuck' prima dona chefs we seem to be turning out here should spend at least a week in a mexican hotel kitchen...as for you, don't let 'them' win...just take some time for yourself..distance always seems to work for me, and make all the b.s. while not completely disappear, become so very less important

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

Reply
post #14 of 26

I feel your pain hire new worker is like Russian roulette with 5 bullets in the chamber. If I had to count number of druggies and intellectual comprised I would need an abacus.And it only will get worse when younger worker come into the work force. From what I have witness as football coach for youth league year by year it get harder and harder and I know they will show up at my joint asking for a job. After coaching hundreds of kid there probably only a few I would hire. But hung in there its only going to get worst, Try meditation LOL 

post #15 of 26

There are good people out there, and on a positive note, our last couple of hires have worked out really well.  It's kind of refreshing to see that there are good people out there who want to work and take pride in what they do. 

 

The ones who want money but don't want to work drive me nuts.  I have one right now who is on his way out.  Sad too.. nice guy but crappy worker and well  the KM and I have been screwed over enough by those types.  This one is a summer student so they're gone in six weeks anyway but if I ever have a repeat of todays performance (he mouthed me off during service.. BAD move on a busy Sunday when I'm in charge and he is NOT communitcating with me to begin with) he is going to find himself on one three hour prep shift per week. As it is we have cut his shifts because of his attitude and today I had a full blown experience of what the KM sees in him and I am with the KM on this one.

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
post #16 of 26

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeniek View Post

There are good people out there, and on a positive note, our last couple of hires have worked out really well. It's kind of refreshing to see that there are good people out there who want to work and take pride in what they do.

 

The ones who want money but don't want to work drive me nuts. I have one right now who is on his way out. Sad too.. nice guy but crappy worker and well the KM and I have been screwed over enough by those types. This one is a summer student so they're gone in six weeks anyway but if I ever have a repeat of todays performance (he mouthed me off during service.. BAD move on a busy Sunday when I'm in charge and he is NOT communitcating with me to begin with) he is going to find himself on one three hour prep shift per week. As it is we have cut his shifts because of his attitude and today I had a full blown experience of what the KM sees in him and I am with the KM on this one.

Yes there are some good ones for sure My memories of working with some of them are quite fond. You sure can kick some butt on those busy days when you have some good teamwork. Alas, sometimes just 1 bad apple can ruin what would have been a primo busy day. Keep cuttin nice guys hours and save your self the headache. Your on the right path.

Oh and I bet the KM will love ya even more.................

The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
Reply
The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
Reply
post #17 of 26

Can someone tell me why common sense doesnt exist in the kitchen scene anymore??? I dont know how many times I have gotten phonecalls for the most stupid questions where as if they had taken 5 minutes truly to think about it, then maybe they could have come up with an answer themselves instead of bugging me when I am bogged down with doing my own job and usually some of theres because they are incapable of getting their stuff done on time.

The thing that bugs me even more than the lack of commen sense is the lack of love, and passion to take the time or atleast attempt to make it great, beautiful, and if they are cutting something have the cuts be in the same size category instead of cutting pork for souvlaki, having some cubes, some long strips etc... argh...mostly frustrated with the new guy we just hired who just finished school in a private school, and can't even julienne an onion properly, and questions everything I ask him to do, maybe its because Im young, maybe its because Im female... but I know what the hell im talking about so why doesnt he just listen ???

ok my rants done now..lol.

post #18 of 26

 I had a lot of young men show an interest in the profession back when "The Great Chef's Series" was on PBS but not lately. With  clowns like Guy Fieri and the rest of the nuts  on TV representing the profession and the culinary schools misrepresenting the profession it's no wonder that all we seem to get are  the drunks, smokers and drug dependent leftovers. I have seen young cooks from up north get put down by these cookbook chefs we get from culinary schools because these so-called chefs were afraid  they could cook better than they could ( and they could too) These chefs were afraid to  have anyone with any skill working for them because they were so insecure.I know because I had to pretend to be stupid to get a banquet chef's job. They would hand me a recipe they had got off the internet and when I made it without a calculator and a scale they would get all bent out of shape because it taste better the the sample he made for the F&B Mgr.and General Mgr. They do nothing to encourage young people And the ones coming from the High School vo-tech programs are really bad, they are worse than the one out of culinary school  We have very few Chef''s that they are proud to look up to. The one's we do have work in the  Hotels and Clubs and stay out of the lime light. And with good reason I don't even were my chef's coat out in the public anymore when once I was proud to answer a housewife's question about something she was cooking or roasting.

post #19 of 26


 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrairieChef View Post

...of the liars, the drunks, the stoners, the conmen, the losers, the cheats and the thieves.

 


 

My industry is full of f**ing idiots. And I'm sick of it. It's poison from the top down... and to be honest, I:m not even sure my love for food is gonna keep me in it for much longer.

 

 

rant done.


After decades of this bulls*@t, the "love of food" can be drained right out of your blood.  I ask myself the same question about sustaining my "passion" in the face of this relentless nuttiness but I always face the same existential crisis:  what else would I do?  who would I be if not this person who cooks?  It's especially hard to smack into this realization at the age of 50.  But those ITT tech college commercials look more and more appealing every day! 

post #20 of 26

Well mr "nice" guy pitched a fit at the KM last Monday and it resulted in him getting an extra shift on Friday and having someone we needed for a weekend replacement losing their training shift.  The owners talked to me about it on Thursday and I told them straight up that come September when the students go back to school and taking the KM and I out of the mix I have three people left for Monday to Friday and while they want me to cut 50 hours a week from the kitchen there is no way I'm cutting those three people as they're the backbone of the kitchen.  That was met with an "oh" and then about the nice guy.. again I told him straight up that the new person was not brought in instead of him but to train for the weekend... again another "oh".  I had a chat with mr nice guy on Friday and told him how it was and that next time if he sees something on the schedule that he's not sure about to come to me and ask about it... I do make mistakes and miss things now and then and it's up to them to bring things to my attention and not let things fester until they have a meltdown.  I also talked to him about the issues we're seeing and since then I've noticed an improvement in his work.
 

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
post #21 of 26
I agree with you all. I am 27 and I was brought up in a 1 Michelin started kitchen you never ever phones in sick the only time you didn't come to work on time is of your dead. You had respect for everyone in the kitchen and understand the hierarchy. This is now how I run my kitchen the only people who are working there are ones who want to work there. I feel so ashamed to see people a couple of years younger phoning in sick walking out of a shift cause they carnt hack it. They need to man up and plough on through the work and enjoy it. There is no better feeling than getting smashed on service the trill and excitement
post #22 of 26
I'm twice your age and suggest you think outside your box. Sick cooks not only can spread their sickness to others in the kitchen but to their customers too. How hospitable that is (sarcasm intended). Sure there is a thrill, but so too is there a professional responsibility. I know there are always those that abuse the system, but...

Whether in the kitchen or any other job, I agree with you that the best employees and colleagues are those who are motivated to be there.
post #23 of 26
Honestly, as much as I'd like to say, rah, rah, rah...

I found that what you tolerate flourishes in your kitchen. Sorry, but if your cooks are showing up late all the time, and it's a problem for you, then YOU are at fault. Lay out the expectation, and follow up, follow up. Document, document, document. Talk until you are blue in the face. Make them understand that they are fucking over their mates, and in fact, create a culture where their mates won't accept them being late. IE, let the crew pick up their slack.

If an employee is stoned, they go home. I decide whether they work tomorrow or not. I don't give two shits what you do on your time off, as long as it doesn't affect my work. If you can smoke a splif on your time off, drink a 40 while you wind down, good on you. If you call in sick, or otherwise compromise your crew, then you are out.

What you tolerate will keep happening. I've worked with some damn good chefs who are now looking down from chef heaven who had their demons. They've done more drugs than humanly possible, drank more than you could ever believe. It's what ultimately killed them. Let me tell you though, when it came time to perform, do not fuck with them. They will work circles around you, and God help you if you can't keep up.

I may not partake in those things, but again, at the end of the day, a cook sneaking a cigarette is no worse than a guy who drinks on his off time.

Now, drink or do drugs on the job? Game fucking over. Period.

It's all about what the culture you bring to the kitchen. Most kitchens I've worked in have been the work hard/play hard kind.

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

Reply

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

Reply
post #24 of 26

If I had to do it over again, I would make my kitchen as much of a one man show as possible. I would have a diner with an off the grill short order menu. Most likely Breakfast and lunch menu because working nights sucks. Everything would be counter service with the customers seeing the food being cooked. Me and one waitress thats it. Employees are a pain in the ass. When I worked for someone else at ages 18 to 26 years old, I was a pain in the ass. When I started in the Restaurant business I was a great employee because I wanted to learn. In the 30 some years I was in the position to hire and fire employees it was a nightmare. The reason I retired was because I was tired of hiring and working with bullshit employees. The employees would call in sick knowing we had no one to replace them. They would come in the next day (Maybe) asking for more hours. ..........I loved being a Chef, I hated working with employees. It wasn't me, it was the culture of this business. They know they could walk in any restaurant and get a job.

post #25 of 26

ChefBillyB's comments are exactly my sentiments.  I still love to cook and my absolute favorite part of running a kitchen was before shifts began or after everyone went home, I put on some loud punk rock and would work out all my frustrations on as much prep as possible.

post #26 of 26
For me, it's building a team that I loved. I may have had problems here and there with sick employees or dickheads calling right before their shift, but they were culled, and never to return.
I got out because the hours got to be too much to have a family around. Working a 90+ hour week is really, really bad for your marriage over the long term.
As for a one man show? Hell no. It's all about building your program. I was just a cook 15 years ago, and what I loved coming up is that I could teach and inspire cooks to execute a vision. Get to a point where I don't even have to be there. Why? It's all about your program. To me, a measure of my success is hearing a cook teach a new cook what I taught them, and seeing that culture passed down. Do I want to be alone at the grill on a Saturday? No. I want my team to rock things out. Will there be drama? Sure. But when your team knows what it is that you need to do, they will come together and get it done. Even if it's the poor fry guy who needs to float 160 orders of fish and chips to get through his 10 hour shift. smile.gif

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

Reply

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs