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Post 9-11, post dot com, question

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
This sort of came to mind because of the question about if people are laying off these days. It's not directly related, but it triggered the question. I'm mostly just thinking here and I'm going to state my thoughts and see if anyone has any response.

I'm a geek as far as my fulltime job, computer person. I rode the silly dot com wave here in the Bay Area from the days when it was starting up in 96-97 and am still working today, after being dumped out unceremoniously on the other side, with all the silly parties, pool tables and pets and yoga at work in between.

During the height, I know people started to eat out more, so more staff was being hired. I'm also guessing many wait staff, and lower end of the totem pole staff left the restaurant business altogther to go make it big in the internet world. I'm guessing some higher ups did it as well.

So here is my thought.

Do you think the flock of probably mostly caucasian cooks, sous chefs, and grill guys allowed for hispanic and latino workers more of a chance to rise beyond there usual places? It seems some must have had chances to move higher with the dearth of spaces that I am hypothesizing opened up during the dot com heights. I look at the pasta guy where I work and he doesn't like his job, yet he's been doing it for seven years. I'd leave a job that I didn't like after seven years, long before it ever became seven years. Especially if I was doing the same thing, and not moving up or around. But I know that it's a steady job, and he works one or two other jobs at the same time so that he can support his family...

I've been thinking alot about latino and hispanic roles in the industry, especially after my trip to Cabos a couple months ago, where even in Mexico, it seemed most of the execs and sous were white, compared to the predominantly latino staff.

Maybe there is no real question in this post, just a public stroll through thoughts rolling around my head, with no real information to create an opinion or a true statement. Go where you want with this.

I guess I wonder if the dot com bomb and the events of 9-11 now are retracting the boom, if the boom itself served those who work the hardest, at times, while it was going on.

Any experiences, or thoughts? It's quite nebulous, I'm sorry.


SG
post #2 of 29
I'm not sure if I'm on track here completely but I'll give me take on this. First, your area is probably totally different then were I'm at in the mid-west. We never felt .com increases literally...oh a few people probably spent more then they should thinking they were worth more then they are today. But the waves here were low compared to what they must have been by you.

.com aside are you asking if there is an increase of spanish workers in the kitchen? That's been happening here for years. There are very few caucasians that work in country clubs any more in Chicagoland. I won't speak for other food service businesses but my guess is their the same. The caucasians left for many reasons and many were forced out for cheaper replacements.

My best guess:
Illegal workers rose up the ladder based on skill and pay.
Causasians left because of hours and pay.
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Yes, you are absolutely right. I am sure the dot.com thingamajig was felt far more in NYC and LA and San Fran, than in smaller towns, midwest, etc. I'm sure it doesn't apply everywhere. But the second thought might.

Caucasians are disappearing, you say. Have any of the Latinos replacing them made it to the sous or exec chef? Several of the Latinos where I work ARE legal, is that aspect, being illegal, part of why so many are prep guys for years, and never rise to the more managerial positions?

I was just surprised, I guess, in Mexico, when I saw that most of the exec chefs where we ate were white. Maybe that is naivete on my part, but, it made me start thinking about all sorts of things. I'm trying to fix the fact that I don't know much about the subject. The one guy in the kitchen I asked so far had no real opinion, either he wasn't understanding the question or wasn't willing to talk. I merely asked him what he thought about the fact that it appeared that most of the exec chefs in the area where we worked were white, while the vast majority of the support staff were not. Not a peep out of him.

Thank you for your thoughts, I know it's a vague and sort of strange thread.
post #4 of 29
If your legal and good you move up the ladder. If your not legal I think some places will do their best to help someone good become legal.

I see mainly "minorites" (meaning non-male causasian) in all aspects of the kitchen were I've worked in the past. The only male caucasians I've worked with were FOH ONLY, often young and not planning on remaining in the business.

Head chef, sous chef... if your legal and good you have the job. Anything less is discrimination!
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #5 of 29
My two favorite local chefs are of immigrant heritage, but full citizens. Rick Esparza (hispanic) of the Urban Bistro and Orbit. And Dean Themy (Greek) , of the ex Hungry i. Sold it to some other management and they killed it in a month. He made that place. Dean catered my wedding.

Esparza has hispanic cooks, but white wait staff.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 29
I certainly don't accuse anyone of bigotry, and don't want to sound preachy, but some things in this thread are really bothering me.[list=1][*]A "white" or "caucasian" person could be latino or hispanic. [*]Latino does not necessarily equal illegal. Non-latino does not automatically equal legal.[*]From what I've seen, no ethnic group works harder than any other. Individuals, yes, but groups, no.[*]Given the chance to earn a decent, honest living and be respected, most people will work hard, no matter what their background. The problem in this industry for everyone is the difficulty of getting that chance.[*]Not everyone wants to have responsibility for others. They just want to do their work, get paid, and go home without worrying. Why they want it that way is their own business.[/list=1]

Yes, SlaveGirl, there are plenty of non-caucasian males as sous and execs. There are even non-caucasian females in those positions. There are probably surveys of the industry that could support anyone's observations, though, because it is such a huge industry. Then again, maybe not, because even just asking could be considered a potential for discrimination.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
I knew it might be a touchy subject, I thank you again for your comments. And I should have better clarified the "white" vs "hispanic" difference, of course there are white hispanics. I could have done a better job, and I apologize.

It took a lot of convincing, apparently, to get the man who is the sous where I am when at the restaurant to understand/agree decide to go to the position when he was asked. He felt better about the "by the hour" thing, knowing how much he was getting for how many hours, etc., I think the salary thing put him off, and I need to ask him about that. The other day he was asking what 401k was, and both the exec chef and I told him about IRAS and other ways to put money away for the future. So many of the guys work at least two jobs...and I know if they kept climbing, they could start to make more and see their kids more at the same time. I intend to ask the rest of them, over time, how they feel, what they want, etc. It's hard to know how to ask these questions so that they will want to answer.

SG
post #8 of 29
All of our employees, with the exception of family, are from Mexico. Our guys are the most hardest working, loyal bunch you could ever hope to find and have been with the business for about 13 -14 years. Unfortunately, Ive found that many have no idea how the employment system works. We are also explaining the benefit of savings. Those who want to become permanent residents have our full support. We still find that many like to return home every couple of years to see their families and they know that they have a place with us as soon as they return.

I myself am not a citizen but a permanent resident and went through the whole immigration process with both myself and my daughter. I am more able to answer their questions about the NIS than the owner. :blush: I do find that most people in the food industry are from various countires, races and backgrounds. Some people you may think to be hispanic can in truth be west indian. And those that are assumed to be caucasion are either greek, serbian etc. .......Wait a minute!? I think Id better look up caucasion in the dictionary first. Now Im confused at the meaning of the word. :blush: (Youll have to excuse me since I have indian, black, white and asian relatives. I never did understand discrimination in america)

How about we just leave it as immigrants and americans? Not trying to cause trouble, since Im an immigrant myself. And speaking from an immigrants standpoint, the american system is very confusing. I remember working 17 hour days when my daughter was 3 months old. My mom and sister took turns babysitting. And when I was told that I would not be paid for overtime I felt helpless. I did not know then that I could have fought for my pay. So we immigrants are mainly uninformed about labor laws and regulations. But we do learn fast.

The only thing I found that sometimes stopped me from getting higher paying jobs (not cooking related) was my lack of a college degree and sometimes, lack of american citizenship. In the kitchen, I advance based on my knowledge and experience.

SG

If you have any questions about this you can ask me. As the mexican workers and I ofter joke around with each other. We grew up in much of the same environment and culture.

Jodi
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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post #9 of 29
ok, without over generalising, most hotel chains seem to have a habit of conferring exec chef on an european.

Not because of the fact that his/her contemporaries arent good enough, or that their experience means a hill of beans. It actually may come down to stereotyping people.

Or maybe, a tradition that endures. Viz a viz, the swiss forever have a reputation for hotel management, complicated mechanics and engineering and chocolate. Who amongst you would turn down a lindt chocolate?. As with the french, some of students are debating whether to study at Le Cordon Bleu (formally a finishing school for girls) or secretly wanting to win a michelin star or three.

Sometimes it may be "the best person for the job" i.e. i wouldnt expect a mexican restaurant with an extremely good reputation to be run by anyone else than someone with a firm knowledge of the cuisine and the business side of things.

What my argument is, is that there is something more that is expected of a chef, to not just put out great food, but to be financially viable as well. The practicalities of a trade maybe easy, but what of the less intangible aspects?.
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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post #10 of 29
Maybe I'm misunderstanding but I guess I thought the point of Slavegirls questions were "do you see discrimination in your kitchens?" and "has the .com colapse been felt in your area?".

Discrimination is a serious matter and I do believe we have pockets of it in this industry. BUT don't you agree that it's decreasing at lightening fast speed?

When I was a young waitress the kitchens I worked at were staffed by minorities some legal, many that were illegal (that's obviously based on a per person basis' encompassing all nationalities) run by chefs and sous chefs usually of German, Greek or Italian decent. Based on living in the burbs of a large city.
I never saw women in the kitchen unless it was a family owned business. I don't know if more females want into the kitchen, but so far it looks like our numbers are moving slow, but steadily increasing.

I read information breaking down nationalities of the restaurant owners in my state. That stat is included in the literature I recieved about requirements for restaurant businesses in my state. I can't really see what the importance of that type of record keeping?
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #11 of 29
In the last 5 or 6 years all the kitchens I have worked in have been made up predominately of Hispanics. I treat all my employees the same, whether white, Hispanic, black, Asian. You do a good job, you get rewarded, you slack off I make your life a living ****. It doesn't matter to me your sex or skin color, just your work ethic.

That said, I would like to list some of my observations about working with Hispanics that might help shed some light on this topic. Please remember first of all that these are generalizations, based solely on my experience. There are always exceptions to the rule. And secondly, these are only observations, and not meant, in any way, to reflect any type of judgement call on my part.

1. Restaurants tend to hire immigrants, specially as dishwashers and stewards because they can hire them for cheaper. Very few "white" Americans are willing to wash dishes for 8 hours a day for $6.50-7.00 an hour. Pretty much the going rate in my area.

2. Hispanics do not move up the ranks as quickly as "white" Americans because, first off most Hispanics don't have culinary degrees, and secondly not only do they have to learn the trade, they are usually trying to learn English at the same time. An issue that slows down their progress.

3. I have known many Hispanic Chefs and Sous Chefs, and I found that often times according to them, they were reluctant to take on that first leadership role because they were afraid of what their friends (who often times are not only co-workers, but neighbors) would think of them. They were afraid that there friends would consider them sellouts, and that they would not be given any respect.

4. Many do not move up in the ranks, because they are afraid of the the extra scrutiny it may cause, even if they are legal. Many had come to this country illegally, but became legal, but that mentality of being illegal can sometimes carry over.

5. Many enjoy their job, but ultimately only view it as a job, not a career or a way of life. They see the stress of leadership and decided that they don't want any part of that. I find nothing wrong with that attitude at all. They enjoy what they do, they make enough money to be happy, and see no reason to increase their stress level by becoming a chef. This is really no different than any of the thousands "white" Americans who work in our factories.

As chefs we tend to forget this last point. We tend to forget that even though there are many people who enjoy this career, not everyone in this industry has the drive, or the passion to become chefs. This is not unique to Hispanics. I have met crotchity old men and women in this industry who never have had the desire to move out of a line position. They wonder why anyone would want all that added stress. They come to work, work hard, but at the end of the day they leave their work at the job. How many chefs do you know that can do that?

Once again I must state that these are only my opinions, based on my experience.
post #12 of 29
I love working in the restaurant biz, where else can you meet people from all over the world and learn something from them? I have had the pleasure of working with people from South America, Africa, Russia, even Scientologists, Unitarians, Quakers, French, Scandinavians, Dutch, Virgin Islanders, English, Irish, Spanish, Polish, Italian, Indian, Native American, South African,Canadian, Israli, Palistinian, Chinese, Japanise, Cajan, all walks of life and did not need a passport to do so!:bounce:
We are in a business where color, sex, religion and or race really don't matter, it's what is on the plate and how professional you are!

Yes, my kitchen is made up of a few Americans and a few South Americans and some world music types. ( origin unknown, outerspace maybe?:confused: )
Love 'em all! Respect 'em all! the hardest working kitchens in showbusiness!

My hours have been way cut back since Sept.2001 but hey, I am still working~~:cool:
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #13 of 29
Great post Pete. Really good insight. Thanks.
post #14 of 29
The local paper today had an article touching on this subject, but from a reversed position.

Who's Cookin'? Chef's Look May Be Off, Food And Service Are Right On

BY JOANN JACOBSEN-WELLS
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

MURRAY -- When China-born Danielle Sprague opened the Little Hong Kong Cafe in downtown Murray last fall, she made her husband promise to stay out of the kitchen.
Not because he cannot cook Chinese food. When they were dating, his stir-fry beef and broccoli won her over. He talked and cooked the part of an authentic Chinese chef.
But Danielle worried that his appearance would scare off customers.
"When you come to a Chinese place, the last thing you want is a fat American walking out of the kitchen wearing a dirty apron," said Rufus Sprague, a Kaysville native. "Even now, she gets mad when I come out of the kitchen. She is afraid they won't come back if they learn an American is cooking their food."
Come to find out that one of the charms of Little Hong Kong is the cook, a 6-foot-5-inch, 280-pound, Cantonese-speaking jock who prefers baloney sandwiches over moo goo gai pan.
"I heard him talking in the kitchen and thought he was Chinese," said South Jordan firefighter Sean Hines, who has lunch at the cafe at least once a week. "I was shocked when he came out, but also impressed, because usually the chefs don't come out and talk with the people they serve the food to."
Rufus wants their advice on how to improve the product.
"One day we asked him why they didn't have orange chicken on the luncheon menu and the next thing we knew he was back in the kitchen cooking it up," said George McCaleb, a supervisor at Hunter Douglas who averages two or three lunches a week at Little Hong Kong. "They are more than attentive. They go overboard."
"Ninety percent of our business is repeat customers, so if something doesn't taste right, they tell us," said Rufus, who was perfectly content to stay away from the cafe Danielle and her sister bought at 118 E. Vine St.
"One day I get a call . . . from Danielle, who told me she had just bought a restaurant. I thought she was kidding," said Rufus, who jokes that the only oriental food Danielle can cook is ramen noodles. "I didn't have much say in the matter, obviously."
Rufus had envisioned a career in sportscasting. After serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hong Kong, he enrolled at Utah Valley State College to play baseball and major in broadcasting and communications. He was looking for a place to live when he saw on the college message board that a Chinese student had a single room for rent.
Through the roommate, Rufus met Danielle, who was born in Fujian, China, and reared in Hong Kong, the youngest of six children. In 1993, she came to live with a brother in Alabama, then traveled west to enroll at Brigham Young University.
They fell in love, married, and when Rufus graduated, the couple moved to Cedar City, where Rufus did the play-by-play of high school games for a local television station. A similar job took them to Vernal the next year.
It was Danielle's career in accounting that in 1999 brought them back to the Wasatch Front, where Danielle worked for Associated Title Co., and, in her spare time, looked for a restaurant to buy.
"During college, I worked as a waitress for three years, so I knew that end of the restaurant business. Plus, I have done the accounting for my friends who own restaurants," said Dan- ielle, who received a master's of business administration from Utah State University.
"I had the confidence I would do well."
Danielle and her sister bought the old Feis Garden Chinese restaurant, remodeled it, and hired a Chinese cook whose food, she hoped, would attract customers. They came. When business got busy, Rufus -- then working for AT&T Media Services -- began helping out in the kitchen at night. When two cooks who couldn't keep up with the pace quit, Danielle relented and Rufus quit his job to become a full-time chef.
"I have always been into cooking. I watch cooking shows on TV and 'Yan Can Cook' videos. I had an interest in it," he said.
Rufus is assisted in the kitchen by Danielle's father, Wong Bun, who worked for a steel manufacturing company in Hong Kong, and, according to Rufus, is a worse cook than Danielle, but does all the chopping and deep-frying.
Wong Bun and his wife, Tang Kam-fa -- neither of whom speak English -- moved to Utah in 1999 to live with the Spragues. During the day, grandma tends her bilingual grandchildren, Kinsee, 2, and Tanner, 4. Danielle's niece, Wing, and sister, Niece, alternate with Danielle as waitresses, while the American cooks.
"The first response [of some people] is that they are scared. Some people say, 'You aren't the cook, are you?' Sometimes, he has told them he is the busboy," Danielle said. "A couple of people haven't come back. It's Chinese food. They want a Chinese man cooking it."
Most do not care.
Geoff Watson, owner of Geoff Watson Corvette, frequents the cafe three times a week with some of his 10 children. His reasons are simple: "It's the best Chinese food I have found anywhere and the people are nice to us."
Although Rufus and Danielle do not want to lose the family-friendly atmosphere of their establishment, expansion is in the offing. Danielle, who will take the state certified public accountant exam in November, already is checking out larger Chinese restaurants.




Even the customers can have racial expectations...

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #15 of 29
Do you think the flock of probably mostly caucasian cooks, sous chefs, and grill guys allowed for hispanic and latino workers more of a chance to rise beyond there usual places? It seems some must have had chances to move higher with the dearth of spaces that I am hypothesizing opened up during the dot com heights. I look at the pasta guy where I work and he doesn't like his job, yet he's been doing it for seven years. I'd leave a job that I didn't like after seven years, long before it ever became seven years. Especially if I was doing the same thing, and not moving up or around. But I know that it's a steady job, and he works one or two other jobs at the same time so that he can support his family...

You've asked several excellent questions that require reflection in distinct areas.

Re: Workers of any race advancing...This is up to the individual. My husband (a caucasian male) started out washing dishes in a French Restaurant in the Napa valley called The Matisse. When the owner sold and he left, he was a line cook. (Quite talented, I might add.) Anyone who begins a career as a dishwasher has the right to work their way up, providing this is what they desire to do. If they don't aspire to cook and shoulder any responsibility, their remaining a dishwasher has less to do with opportunity and more to do with their own personal choice.

Re: Doesn't like his job but stays. Welcome to the world of about 60% of Americans. When I worked on Wall Street, I did so to earn a paycheck and not because I had some unearthly calling to jump to the beck and/or call of some snotnose MBA who needed a cup of coffee. (I would reply, "What kind of tip can I expect?" which would generally mark the first and last time I was asked for such a favor.) It was only when I got into restaurant work that I jumped into my day with glee and anticipation. Some people work to feed their families. Others because they love what they do. When I did office work, I used to say, "I work from 8 to 4 to finance what I do from 4:00 on." You can bet I did and do restaurant work because I live to do it.

I think the lack of opportunity in kitchens reflects a lack of desire, rather than any kind of "glass ceiling" or racial issue.
Food is sex for the stomach.
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Food is sex for the stomach.
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post #16 of 29
3. I have known many Hispanic Chefs and Sous Chefs, and I found that often times according to them, they were reluctant to take on that first leadership role because they were afraid of what their friends (who often times are not only co-workers, but neighbors) would think of them. They were afraid that there friends would consider them sellouts, and that they would not be given any respect.

Pete, how right you are! I am not mexican but as close to it as you can get being from the West Indies or Lating America as you americans keep telling me Im from. :rolleyes: And let me tell you that when I got a higher paying job I was treated as if I had suddenly joined the enemy camp. You start to hear alot of people saying "So you think you are better than us, huh?" :rolleyes: It is very hard to ignore that when you are living close to or with these people. So you tend to stay where you are sometimes.


2. Hispanics do not move up the ranks as quickly as "white" Americans because, first off most Hispanics don't have culinary degrees, and secondly not only do they have to learn the trade, they are usually trying to learn English at the same time. An issue that slows down their progress.

This is also true. I don't speak spanish but I do remember when I first came to this country that it was hard understanding the american version of the english language. :lol: I spoke the Queens English and would pronounce things differently or spell things differently and noone would understand what I was saying. Like saying "queue" instead of "line" or "con-trov-er-see" instead of "contro-versey" and people would laugh. I had to relearn english in order to understand and be understood. I still slip up sometimes these days but at my age it doesn't bother me to be laughed at anymore. I know what I'm saying. :) I think I have an easier time speaking to the latin guys I work with and still believe that americans maybe aren't really speaking english. :lol:
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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post #17 of 29
I'm glad to see this post has taken a litte turn. I was also having a problem with the beginning. I'm having a difficult time understanding LEGAL. It seems, that I'm hearing if you're not a citizen ,your not legal. I'm pretty sure you don't have to be a citizen and have 2.3 kids and a chevy to work in this country.On the other hand A I-9 does not make someone legal. I get them, make a copy of them, file them and don't ask questions.)it's not my business) even though our Gov't wants me to do their job and scrutinize the photo,ink etc. and if I make a mistake impose a heafty fine on me.
Shawty Cat,
We can't divide this as immigrants and Americans. I sure a study will show us that there are very few people with AMERICAN roots working anywhere. I'm the son of a WOP. As any immigrant of any country, going or coming,the effort is huge to learn the language and be employed. This is a country of immigrants. The sad part of the whole issue is that our elected politicians have let the system get so out of control, we are seeing changes. Some changes for the good and some for worse. If you think you see some changes now, just wait, there are minority groups who are electing leaders, forming communities, changing laws, etc.( personally I admire this and am all for it) I think its time to have some leadership with influence from people that know what its like not to be given everything on a plate.
Nick Shu.
A lot of times a European is put in the drivers seat in the US. I really feel that the reason for this is that in most European Countries,The Culinary Arts are a recognized profession that requires training and certification.
Pete
I think it was you who mentioned that we hire the hispanics cheap. generalizing, the young generation in the US entering the work place choose not to wash dishes for 6.50-7.00 hr. If the Hispanics choose to take this job it does not mean you're hiring them cheap. thats what the job pays. Your point about people doing lower,mid-level jobs and people being content is a great point! A lot of the negetivity and discriminating facts here are about not being able to move up and attain the chefs job. The fact is that there is approx. only one management jobs for every 10 or so workers. Its the same in any field.
If anyone has chosen to read this lengthy rant, thank you for your time. Those opinions expressed here are from one individual and do not represent the views of the station.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
I certainly read it. I'm happy with the way this thread is going, too. It's getting towards what I was wanting to know, I think. I wasn't very sure what it was when I started.

I agree, the comments on people being "content" are great, something I didn't think about. I'm very interested in the "climbing the ladder equalling selling out issue." It definitely wasn't something I knew about.


SG
:eek:
post #19 of 29
You know, Ive known college grads who left college after earning their bachelors degree and applied to a law firm. They were getting paid $6 - 7 and hour entry level just like the dishwashers you see in restaurants. They could never understand why I was getting paid $20 and hour as a temp and I had no degree. I had experience but to be a permanent worker I needed the degree. Maybe this entry level rate is the norm with all industries and some servers choose to work temp at restaurants to pick up a little cash to pay off college expenses. Most of the time, people from my country (my mom for example) will try to find a paying job with very little questions asked. Sometimes factories, restaurants or even some temp agencies until their working papers come through.

Pan

I am legal. I have my green card and I overpay my taxes every year but if I wanted a government job with pension etc. I would need to be a citizen. I aspired to be part of the NYPD once. Most people thought it was funny since I'm the same height as Hooks and sound exactly like her. Im just cuter! :D

In General:

The reasons that most immigrants find it hard to get permanent resident status is that they would have to employ a lawyer in order to understand the law. You will have to pay 5 grand a person sometimes. My aunt paid $20 grand to get her family permanent resident status. And because of some filers "illegal" status it may take years in order to receive your papers. So sometimes it is just easier to stay where you are, work, and send money to your family. Many people are being taken advantage of by the lawyers too. They will call and ask for money and not explain exactly what is going on or what the status of their applications. Our cook finally got his papers after a 7 year wait and thousands. And his kids are citizens. So whoever told you that it is easier if your kids are citizens told you a big fib.

The easiest way to get "legal" is to file in your country before you come to the US.

SG

When I was doing office work I had no inclination of climbing the ladder. Just did not seem worth the stress and long hours. :lol: Working at the restaurant I do not even realize how much time has gone by until I actually see that dawn is breaking and my kids are asleep in one of the booths. :eek: In the restaurant I am one of the "climbing the ladder" types because food is my passion. It is all a matter of what it is you really want to do in order to get someones drive going. For some it might be owning a piece of land back home (my uncle) for others, opening a business back home (my mom). I want to eventually have a kitchen to my own. In this country. Nothing big and fancy just comfort food. My hubby is great with the FOH and I prefer to be behind the scenes with my beloved food. Then I will revert to being a "contented" person who doesn't want to go any further. :lol:

Sorry for going on and on. :blush:

Jodi
Jodi


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post #20 of 29

Reply to SG's previous post

SG.

The reason most of the chef's, at least in my country, are white is that no one else can afford to open a restaurant. If you are not a citizen of our country it is much easier to buy land and property for some reason. And most properties go for 1/4 to 1 million. :eek: The other reason is that you need so many certifications after you name that it is impossible for a local who never left to get hired.

The locals barely make enough to go grocery shopping so unless a whole family pooled money there is just no way to afford that type of money to buy a restaurant. Heck, we can't afford the land we have our own houses on. And that is the main reason many people leave, work any job they can find in the US and send money home. To pay off the land for our homes since the government can claim the land and move your house somewhere else in order to sell it to someone else.

And if you are a local who owns a business your taxes are higher and there are many more strings attached. Some people go back married to a citizen of another country (hope that phrase is ok to use) and act as a silent partner just to get away from all the red tape. If you didn't notice all the restaurants are owned by people from other countries.

Hope this answers the questions your observation brought up.

Jodi
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post #21 of 29
Jodi,
I think I understand perfectly what you are saying. But I don't think it has been any different for generations and I don't think its different on the flip side for those going to a different country.
I'm not talking about the professional transfering but the family who moves for what they think could be a better life for themselves. I also think the the bottom line is that thing are getting much better.
It is not easy becoming legal, I have been to INS with people who work with us and taken our number at 1am and waited till 4:30pm only to find out that we need to come back the following day,all the time worring that we have not got things in order and risk deportation.
I understand the thing with lawyers, but here it seems as though its like a white on white or a black on black crime. The hispanic attourneys are taking advantage of their own. The cyotes have been a part of our culture here for years.
ps I don't want to say I'm one side or the other here for I feel there is no sides. I support anything that will support the family unit.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #22 of 29

There are so many reasons why...

I understand clearly what you are saying Pan. It is the same everywhere. I dont speak for everyone, these are just my reasons and everyone has his/her own point of view. For me it was the opposite way around. I took office jobs because I am extremely good at them, I don't like them but it was work.

It defiantely was the same for my family when we immigrated as it was for previous generations of immigrants to this country. I see you understand the INS as well :) They actually have it now that you can download the forms online. And I know all about the lawyers who like to take advantage of their own. :mad: Some come here thinking that, well we can't trust the new govt yet so lets find someone from home to help. Not the way to go all the time. Those are the ones who will take the most advantage of you. Remember my aunt's 20 grand!

You can actually say that there are many many many reasons why some people do not move up the ladder at restaurants.

1. I don't want the headache of new responsibility
2. Oh Lord! Not more hours
3. I like my position and this aspect of the kitchen is my passion
4. I prefer to socialize with the customers than cook
5. It's soothing bussing tables. Its a nice time to think about stuff (I actually do this when Im bussing. I find myself meditating. :blush: )
6. I can't take anything higher until I get my papers
7. I have to pay child support and the less I make the better. (ive actually heard that one)
8. Im just here to pay my bills
9. Im still learning the language
10. Too much time away from my kids and Im a single parent.
11. I don't have enough experience yet.

The list could go on. It is the same for every industry I believe.
Jodi


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Jodi


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post #23 of 29

Question & observation

Question first - What is the difference between 'legal resident' status and appying for/getting US citizenship? Do you have to get the resident status first? Sorry for being such a dummy!

Observation - I think the discussion here applies to all areas of the labor force; immigrants are working at jobs that citizens don't want anymore. In the last 3 1/2 years, we've had to remodel our home to provide modifications for my son, and just last year, put in new windows and resided the whole house. With all of the contractors we dealt with, the boss was American, the workers were mostly Hispanic. They're hard workers - most of them! - and will work for a salary that Americans in the labor force won't even look at or consider. Time after time we had contractors tell us that they don't have the money to pay someone $20-25/hr to paint a room, yet that's what American workers seem to expect for labor - plus benefits. Perhaps our country's history with the unions has something to do with that.

I admire our immigrants. As Shawty said, they come here for a better life; some are disillusioned, but most I've talked with feel they have a better life here - either through standard of living or political situations. A lot of them share expenses in apartments to be able to send money home to their families, to improve their lives, and eventually join up with them here. Before we bought our son's conversion van, we had to use an ambulance transport service to get Matt from home to his outpatient therapy; most of the drivers were Hispanic - Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Honduras were the three main countries I remember. As we had a long drive to the clinic, we had great opportunities to chat and get to know each other. I absolutely admire these men in their dedication to their families.

America is an immigrant country; all of us can trace our roots to some other part of the world - even Native Americans emigrated here, according to some, from across the Bering Strait or up from South America. Now - my only beef with immigrants is - I wish they'd make more effort to learn our language!!!! It's so frustrating to deal with someone on whatever level - in the restaurant kitchen, the women who clean my house, the folks at the convenience store - who can't understand the language.

Sorry for my somewhat rambling thoughts here - it's early, and I haven't had my second cuppa yet!!!
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post #24 of 29
Hrrm...ok...let me preface this by saying first and foremost that I do think everyone should have an opportunity to achieve what they want. Unfortunately these kinds of issues can become very convoluted.

When I was in highschool I was on the debate team. One year the topic for the year was immigration and what the US should do as far as it's US policy. As part of this I did tons (Thousands of pages of docummented information) of research on the subject of immigration and the US. The US has a massive problem with illegal immigrants. Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants enter the country each year causing massive issues with the infrastructure of the governmental system. For instance, many of the public services in cities and counties in the southwestern part of the united states are stressed to the max financially. School systems don't have enough teachers or classrooms to handle the influx of new students caused by illegal immigrants.

On the other hand, illegal immigrants are one of the reasons why the American economy is still so strong. They take a lot of the jobs others don't want for wages that others won't accept.

To be honest the best solution I ever saw proposed was a three to five year moratorium on immigration. With special allowances being made for certain kinds of immigration. This would give the INS time to completely overhaul itself as well as allow it to get a handle on immigration and illegal immigration.

My viewpoint is if you want to come to America, please do, we are glad to have you, BUT (and this is a big BUT) do it LEGALLY.

So, with that out of the way on to the subject at hand. Every restaurant I have worked in has had a fair amount of Hispanic workers, some were very loyal and hard working, others were completely worthless slackers. I think that drawing lines of "Mexicans are good workers" or "Mexicans are horrible workers" would be incredibly off.

Why they don't advance much, well, there are lots of reasons but I think the biggest ones are the issues with the language barrier as well as the issues with legality.

Matt
post #25 of 29
Marmalady,

To roughly answer your immigration question:

Before applying for citizenship

1. You have to be a permanent resident continuosly for 5 years
2. You cannot leave the US for more than 6 months without having to explain why you were gone so long
3. You have to have a good moral character (no arrests, no prostitution, pay your taxes)
4. You have to be able to read and write english
5. You have to know American History
6. Gotta have a SS#

You can find more comprehensive information at the INS website:

http://www.ins.gov/graphics/services/natz/index.htm for Naturalization Eligibility and Filing Information

http://www.ins.gov/graphics/services...ency/index.htm for Permanant Resident Eligibility and Filing Information

Hope this answers your question.

Jodi

PS

FYI : A Permanent Resident is also known as a LEGAL Alien.

And the thing that most immigrants find stressful is that our relatives back home think we are rich. It seems that every year the wish list gets longer and longer. I makes you want to send them an official looking document stating that Santa Claus is dead. They don't understand the we don't make that much money. See in Barbados the exchange rate is $1 USD is $2 BDS. So take $50 grand to Barbados and you have $100 grand.
Jodi


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Jodi


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post #26 of 29
i understand your point, panini.

As a given, well yes, the european system is well regarded. A tradition of excellence must come from somewhere, training or whatnot.

My point being, is that reputations for certain fields do not get conferred for frivolous reasons.

However, there is a inherent danger that assumptions about cultural backgrounds can back fire for either positive or negative reasons and that the question given for this post regards that.

Also, im not 100 percent sure, but most countries seem to base commercial cookery around the trade and guilds system. To be quite honest, im actually surprised that commercial cookery is a university degree course. (of course that is not necessarily a bad thing!)

Also in Aus, as probably the rest of the world, certification and qualifications of chefs are standardised into the Australian Qualifications Framework. And yes, im quite well qualified for the job.
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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post #27 of 29
Thanks, Shawty, for clearing that up!!!!
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post #28 of 29

Re: Question & observation

Actually, the US has no official language. While English is certainly de facto, Spanish is being mandated for instructional and directional signs in many areas, particularly those in the south and southwest. There will never be an official US language (my take on the legal isues surrounding the topic) and you'll probably see increases in signage quite rapidly as the labor force continues to pull in hispanic/latino workers.
I certainly understand your point about miscommunication and have been up against the same situation in my various walks of life. But from a socially responsible standpoint (rarely the popular one), it behooves Anglophones just as much to learn spanish as it does immigrants to learn English.
-Andrew
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post #29 of 29
The entire issue of race and equality have been stretched, drawn out, folded, spindled and mutilated. Rather than reprint the "I have a dream" speech I will just say that it's not right that some emplyess promote based on unfair criteria. It is also equally unfair to select an employee just to have a mix of races in their kitchen. I personally wouldn't give a **** if the applicant that walked into the interview had purple skin and a tail growing out of their a$$es. If they can handle the heat they get the job. Why no one else can feel this way I don't know. And get this: I get faced with more discrimination from members of my own race than from anyone else. Too much emphasis is placed upon outer appearance rather than skills and job performance.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

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Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

M.E.A.T.
Mankind Enjoying Animal Tastiness
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