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You know those little piss ant prep cooks? - Page 2

post #31 of 44

"Although the reason this fellow offers for being late is obviously lame an he comes across as a bit whiney, the responses that follow from "professional" chefs are indicative of a pervasive kitchen culture that I can only describe as bullying. Like the chef he works for, instead of offering the constructive advice he asks for, the "pros" here choose to berate him further.

 

This kind of behavior is so familiar, so pervasive in this industry. So few understand how expensive and counter-productive it is. It takes 3 months of full time work to properly train someone in just about any kind of production job.

If you as a chef, owner, or manager commit to hiring someone, why on earth would you choose to make that training period take longer and cost you more than it already does?

Teaching by intimidation does not work. This is not the army where you must break down a recruit's individuality so he can become part of an organized fighting unit. It's a kitchen where fine motor skills are taught and learned through repetitive practice. "

 

I so have to take you to task on this one.  You make this statement and then go on to say the very sane thing all these Chefs have been saying.

 

Right....we are all in agreement that tardiness is not acceptable under any circumstances. I myself have sent many a cook home for being late and worked their shift just to prove a point to the others.

 

As to the comment about behavior that's pervasive in this industry.........I'm not sure of your knowledge of kitchen management Foodnfoto, but today's kitchens run like teams where each member is responsible for themselves and to their co-workers to get the job done.

Your interpretation may still exist somewhere not withstanding.

Culinary schools are not just teaching cooking.

They encompass the "team" attitude and work with the students to better understand the politics of restaurant management.

These students then go into the industry as it is today and see quite the opposite.

The "pervasive attitude" takes the air out the graduates sails and they end up falling into the same attitude.

 

There are going to be poor Chefs everywhere. Young people can not grasp the politics of the kitchen right out of or while in culinary school.

I have said it before, and I will say it again......the motivation has to come from within. Either you have it or you don't.

The op needs a a few more life lessons.

 

post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post

"Although the reason this fellow offers for being late is obviously lame an he comes across as a bit whiney, the responses that follow from "professional" chefs are indicative of a pervasive kitchen culture that I can only describe as bullying. Like the chef he works for, instead of offering the constructive advice he asks for, the "pros" here choose to berate him further.

 

This kind of behavior is so familiar, so pervasive in this industry. So few understand how expensive and counter-productive it is. It takes 3 months of full time work to properly train someone in just about any kind of production job.

If you as a chef, owner, or manager commit to hiring someone, why on earth would you choose to make that training period take longer and cost you more than it already does?

Teaching by intimidation does not work. This is not the army where you must break down a recruit's individuality so he can become part of an organized fighting unit. It's a kitchen where fine motor skills are taught and learned through repetitive practice. "

 

I so have to take you to task on this one.  You make this statement and then go on to say the very sane thing all these Chefs have been saying.

 

Right....we are all in agreement that tardiness is not acceptable under any circumstances. I myself have sent many a cook home for being late and worked their shift just to prove a point to the others.

 

As to the comment about behavior that's pervasive in this industry.........I'm not sure of your knowledge of kitchen management Foodnfoto, but today's kitchens run like teams where each member is responsible for themselves and to their co-workers to get the job done.

Your interpretation may still exist somewhere not withstanding.

Culinary schools are not just teaching cooking.

They encompass the "team" attitude and work with the students to better understand the politics of restaurant management.

These students then go into the industry as it is today and see quite the opposite.

The "pervasive attitude" takes the air out the graduates sails and they end up falling into the same attitude.

 

There are going to be poor Chefs everywhere. Young people can not grasp the politics of the kitchen right out of or while in culinary school.

I have said it before, and I will say it again......the motivation has to come from within. Either you have it or you don't.

The op needs a a few more life lessons.

 

Cant say I agree, with the OP, but he's not completely wrong either.

 

I have used intimidation with great success... on the right person. On someone else that would have been entirely the wrong approach.

 

I have also used mentoring, nurturing, teaching, hand-holding, wheedling, nagging, bribery, and whatever else I needed to to get a specific person to get to the place I need them to be.

 

As a chef I see my management skills the same way I look at my knife kit, I wouldn't use my cleaver to french lamb chops and I wouldn't try to mentor someone who already has a know-it-all attitude. It would be the wrong tool for the job.

 

How I manage my people depends on what kind of person I'm dealing with and yes, on some individuals a good kick in the rear is what's needed to get them moving in the right direction. Not often, I'll agree, but sometimes it is the right tool to use.

post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Apostate View Post

 

... on the right person.

 

A person who arrives late and expects to be excused for this behavior would not be such a person in my book.

 

I used to have a dishwasher who was homelsss (which I didn't know in the beginning) who was scheduled for the 7am shift.

He was NEVER late, and usually early. He got up at 4am and walked while hitch-hiking. If he got a ride, he was early. No ride, and he walked those few hours and made it on time. He busted his butt all day, then had to find a way "home". When I first found out he camped in the woods I felt sorry for him, and started to make him breakfast every morning, a perk no one else received. Because of his hard work and dedication he was soon promoted to prep cook, and was training on the hot line when I left. (he eventually moved in with a coworker, and I'm sure is doing well in the industry).

 

Contrast that with a guy who was always 15 minutes late. His excuse was he couldn't get a ride at that hour. I had staff scheduled at staggered times. He was never the key, first guy in, so I offered to schedule him for an hour later start time. He said that would work. Guess what? 15 minutes late for that shift too. He didn't last long.

 

I start my relationship with my staff with the expectation of mutual trust and reliability. They trust and rely that I will provide them the tools, product and time they need to do a good job, and that they will be rewarded for the effort, monetarily and respectfully.

I trust and rely that they will arrive on time, clean and ready to work (amazing how many people show up ready to eat, chat, smoke, etc.), and that they will do their best to achieve our goals.

Everyone has different capabilities and knowledge in the beginning, and some learn faster than others, but as long as I believe you are putting in 100%, and are a team player, I'm going to do what I can to help you succeed.

 

That"s for people I have already had developed a relationship with. I hire you, you work for me, we have a relationship from that point forward.

I am well thought of by pretty much everyone who has worked for me. ( I leave it to you to figure out which types of employees are among those who don't like me).

I don't have that relationship with the OP and as such, am not required to put on kid gloves when responding to the OP, as I may do with an employee as needed.

 

The OP has a reason for being late. They have NO excuse. They have spit on the chef's expectation of mutual respect.

No, I wouldn't spend the time menotoring this person, nor would I take special time out of my day to do so.

I would use that time for the ones who deserve it.


Edited by Just Jim - 6/24/12 at 4:42pm
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #34 of 44

wow some passion in the responces here, nice to see.  i agree with everyone about coming to work late.  it is the way you start the day and the way the chef sees and the cooks see you first.  "LATE".  how can your day get any better from there.

post #35 of 44

Yeah.... But the O.P. has not responded back.  Must be too busy at work to find the time, eh?

...."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 #36 of 44

Yep let's put it to rest.

post #37 of 44

Showing up to work on time is the easiest part of the day. If you can't do that than you're clearly telling me that you just don' care that much.

post #38 of 44

I saw a guy get fired because he blamed his lateness on the bus.   I rode the same bus as him to work and I was never late.., not even once.   The thing I did differently than he did was give myself an extra half hour to allow for traffic jams, missing the conneecting bus., bus driver not sticking to the schedule.. 

 

What pisses me off... when people like to pass the buck for their eff ups... and when chef confronts them the first thing out of their mouth is "it wasn't me" or when I am told by the boss to make something happen and I do what I'm told and I get an argument and BS from support staff.. all they get when they do that is not a hell of alot of me from then on in.  I will be professional and do my job but anything above and beyond that towards them (ie teaching them leadership skills etc) is not going to happen again until they can show me a high degree of professionalism both in their attitude as well as their work...

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #39 of 44

get a better attitude your there to learn and your at the bottom do your best every time and dont be mouthy

post #40 of 44

coming from someone who just learned this one =) 

post #41 of 44

Well my friend as a younger chef I try to hear out people like yourself as I was once in a similar position to you. However, I woke up and got a hint that life's not all rainbows and unicorns, get a helmet or in your case an Alarm Clock. Wake up early, show up early if you need work on your skills, show some initiative. Complaining about how HARD your life was unemployed playing video games and smoking pot til the wee hours of the morning makes you look silly. Man up, this is the real world and even if you don't realize it yet you ARE an adult!

 

When people like you come to work for me I usually can see through their BS during and interview and don't hire them, however I'm human and a few people slip through the cracks. I was 15 when I started cooking in kitchens and got hazed, bullied, and picked on but instead of whining about it like yourself I took it and laughed at my mistakes going along with the fun and asked how to improve over and over. I am now 27 and an executive chef at a young age. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about but I feel I've done fairly well with what I've been handed. Work harder than everyone around you! It's not always about speed but efficiency and determination! If you don't move as quickly with your knife than organize your tasks so you have more time to be careful with your cuts and be efficient with your prep. It never hurts to take some extra classes in your down time. This industry is great because even when you're ready to retire you're still learning every day! That's what keeps people in this field, the pay is just alright, the work is painful at time but the drive to learn and continue to improve needs to be in you. If you don't have that drive and passion then you know what they say. "If you can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen".

post #42 of 44

I'm one of those pissant prep chefs. I've been "staging" at the restaurant for free for over a year now. The restaurant is an hour and a half drive for me, and I make sure that I show up early so I can know what's on special that night, what people will need, who's working (everyone has their little pecadillos and I aim to please), and what I'll be needed on that night.

 

I get no payment or any other form of remuneration for this. I'm the guy mopping the floors, cleaning the flat tops and burners and checking the stock simmering on the stove while the guys on the line have a beer upstairs in the bar after service. I don't complain, and the only things I say during service are yes chef, no chef, right away chef, and I'm done with what you wanted me to do what's next chef.

 

I do all this after a full day at my day job. The one that pays the bills. Sure I like the pats on the back and the compliments. When my chef asked me if there was anything they could do for me I pointed down at the carcasses and salmon heads that I was scraping the last bits of flesh from with the reverse end of a spoon and said "This. Don't take this away from me."

 

I don't know if you get it, but it's not a job for me. It should never be just a job for any of us. If you don't love what you're doing, then don't do it. With all the cuts, burns, scrapes, long hours, coming home stinking of onion, fish guts and worse (Ever slipped and had the contents of the grease trap you were carrying out to the container outside spill all over you? It's probably the worst stink in the world.) I love it. I don't care about the money, I don't care about how tough it is. I'm getting to do something that I don't have the guts to give up my day job for. But at least I'm giving it my all. My proudest moment was when my chef said that I work too fast and he was running out of things for me to do.

 

~Apprentichef

Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

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Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

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post #43 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apprentichef View Post

I'm one of those pissant prep chefs. I've been "staging" at the restaurant for free for over a year now. The restaurant is an hour and a half drive for me, and I make sure that I show up early so I can know what's on special that night, what people will need, who's working (everyone has their little pecadillos and I aim to please), and what I'll be needed on that night.

 

I get no payment or any other form of remuneration for this. I'm the guy mopping the floors, cleaning the flat tops and burners and checking the stock simmering on the stove while the guys on the line have a beer upstairs in the bar after service. I don't complain, and the only things I say during service are yes chef, no chef, right away chef, and I'm done with what you wanted me to do what's next chef.

 

You seem to have a great attitude and work ethic and Im sure its going to carry you far in life, but just one word of caution.   Working for free in a restaurant is a great way to get your foot in the door and learn the basics when you are starting out, but in this day and age staging should be a two way street.   If you have been working without pay for a year and are mopping and doing most of the cleanup they arent using you as a stagier or intern, they are using you for free labor.   I think staging is great, but when its been a whole year without pay and you are being used as a kitchen porter, you need to at least ask the question of whether or not you are being taken advantage of.

post #44 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twyst View Post

You seem to have a great attitude and work ethic and Im sure its going to carry you far in life, but just one word of caution.   Working for free in a restaurant is a great way to get your foot in the door and learn the basics when you are starting out, but in this day and age staging should be a two way street.   If you have been working without pay for a year and are mopping and doing most of the cleanup they arent using you as a stagier or intern, they are using you for free labor.   I think staging is great, but when its been a whole year without pay and you are being used as a kitchen porter, you need to at least ask the question of whether or not you are being taken advantage of.

 

Oh I know, I do it because I want to. It's like therapy, or working out, it's relaxing. After a day spent on the phone with clients and dealing with manufacturers (I'm the sales supervisor for a national computer parts distributor), it's actually relaxing.They put no pressure on me and have offered to hire me but they can't afford me. I'm 42 and not quite as spry as I used to be. The first week there was hell on my body, but I've gotten used to it now. If I could live off the salary they could offer me I would do it in a heartbeat. I'm not there for the money, I'm there because I'm a guy that missed his calling decades ago but was able to talk his way into a good place with great french dining and I get to play in a professional kitchen with traditional techniques being used. No microwaves, no powders or processed packages. We make our stock over three days on the stove, whole carcasses come in one side and portioned pieces come out the other. No one ever says they don't have time to teach someone something, or explain what they're doing.Chef's first rule, that applies to everyone not just me, was if you don't know something ask. If you don't ask and you end up screwing up something (potentially expensive), that is when he will get mad. More than anything I get to learn and try things I'd never be able to in my tiny kitchen at home.

I've got my own prep table, my locker, my jacket, and no one touches my knives. People say please. People say thank you. Granted it's all in french, but that's cool to, terms are actually used and pronounced properly. (pet peeve of mine when terms aren't said properly, someone saying beurre blanc as burr blonk drives me absolutely crazy) I'm honestly happy as a pig in...sheets. As for the mopping and cleanup at the end of shift  I'm the one telling them to go take a piss, wash the stink off, get changed and have a beer (hopefully in that order), I'll finish up. The kids work hard all night, they're underpaid, overworked (that's the industry) and they deserve a break. I'm just the little mise-fairy and runner topping up everyone's station all night. :)

~Apprentichef

Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

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Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

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