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Worst or at least one of the worst days in a while.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Okay so today i had a stage. 

It was mentally exhausting and not just physically , felt like i fish out of water today, being baffled by what i saw....

If i had to choose or could choose i wouldnt go back, even though i was staging and at the end i got paid... double....(guess i must have done something right for them to call me back, or maybe they just need another mule to order around)

 

So lets begin with how the day starts. 

Wake up, get a call from an old manager of mine telling me she set me up for a stage (even though i wasnt sure about it). 

Okay so i go... get their early and im left planted for a few minutes in a freaking hot room until they confirm that i was correct. 

I go change into my work clothes, and enter a small ass kitchen with minimum space to do basic mise en place. 

 

Looks like we got a 6 burners stove, no freaking working oven.... 2 microwaves, and 4 sinks, and some limited cooking tools. 

Wheres the head chef you ask? Well they called me in wanting me to replace her for a few weeks, doing stock, working the line, etc... while she cut her wrist open and cant work till she is better. They call me even though they know that right now i plan on going after a degree so my time is limited as i want to focus on school. I don´t have any intentions on doing 400+ covers on weekends with only 2 cooks, and no dishwasher.

 

Today i had to do many things against my philosophy.... and was also baffled by so many things. 

 

Order up, table is asking for a salad. 

 

I ask politely "so what goes on the salad here"?

Answer: Just chopped lettuce and some tomatoes....

WTF no dressing? Nope. No salt? Nope. No freaking other veggies or greens? Nope just lettuce and tomatoe is fine... (clients paying freaking $$$ for freezer burned lettuce and poorly chopped tomatoes oh dear f*cking god). 

I just close my eyes and pretend nothing is wrong and head to chop some tomatoes decently....

 

I ask, "where is the knife"?

Apperently everyone had no knife skills and they cut everything using A FREAKING BUTTER KNIFE..... 

Oh my god , no real chef´s knife (i knew i should have brought my own, but currently dont have a roll). They then open a cabinet full of chefs knives, but apperently they are too scared to use them, let alone find them unnecessary. WELL when you are cutting vegetables with a butter knife i doubt the results are pleasing , now are they. 

COOKING EGGPLANT AND ZUCCHINI in the microwave till they are virtually rubber... why you ask? I DONT FREAKING KNOW, because after cooked they were thrown into the freezer, every second i was seeing things never done before.

 

As the night goes on, it is silent, dead silent until the printer starts going off and we have 3 orders for beef parmegiana. 

So you just go on right ahead taking out those frozen lumbs of meat and NUKE THEM in the microwave... THEY ARE STILL ROCK HARD, maybe because they have been in the freezer for weeks and are freezer burned you F****ING IDIOT. 

I can´t believe i was obligated to tenderize frozen ROCK HARD meat and batter them to be fried.... I COULDNT BELEIVE SOMEONE HAD THE NERVE TO CHARGE AROUND 30 BUCKS FOR THAT, and i helped them sell it too. 

 

As the night goes on i feel that i am completely unnecessary in this kitchen, no chef, no rules, no organization, no need to actually try, no drive, to me i was bored out of my mind, with minor leg pain from standing. 

Seeing poorly educated cooks chopping vegetables as mise en place runs out, but where are they chopping... well i hoped it was on a clean cutting board, but it was on a dirty bloody cutting board i used to cut and tenderize meat. Please tell me you didnt just do that.... please tell me you arent thinking about actually serving that on a salad.... PLEASE TELL ME I AM DREAMING BEFORE I FREAKING SLIT YOUR THROAT. 

 

As we are making it to the end, i work out the prep list for tomorrow (the one the morning cook does for us... poorly i may add).

With all the frozen meat, fish and poultry already hacked you are honestly telling me tomorrow this man must do it all over again just in case we run out even though their is weeks worth of product in the freezers and fridge...

 

1 hour till the shift is over, and all i see if frozen LUMPS (looking like frozen turds of meat) being thrown into the deep fryer after being nuked. This dumb *** cook cooking in a dirty saute pan. 

Again using freezer burned lettuce (my eyes are bleeding), and seeing it get sent out, while im trying to organize and maintain at least minor quality in what i am serving. 

Finally the shift is ending as i clean burned saute pans. Pans that were left filled with sauce, and purees on the stove with the burners on high are completely unnoticed , till a brave soul gets up the courage to turn the burner off, throw that sh*t out, and clean a burned pan that was on the stove for no need. 

 

This day was by far one of the worst days of my cooking career. With so many high hopes that this kitchen would welcome me with open arms with cool gadgets and a half decent menu, well i was DEAD WRONG. 

This restaurant charges its customers 30 dollar entrance fee for person.... to eat poorly. The food is poorly prepared, and probably not safe to be consumed either. THE FOOD IS EXPENSIVE with no quality what so ever , almost all the cooks unexperiences and got to their current positions as other cooks quit before them. The place has an amazing enviroment, extremely well decorated, but the kitchen is shoe box small expected to serve in many cases on weekends at least 300 covers. 

 

Sure this was only my first day (but i feel it was my last). 

Sadly im currently living in a small town and will remain here for 4 years until i finish my degree in management till then i wont be able to move and work with some decent people at some decent restaurants that value quality. The last places i worked even though werent dream jobs were light years better and pleasurable to work at, but im living in the past. 

 

Im just so tired of having some joints actually lack quality and not hire educated or decent cooks with actual potential or knowledge in the industry just so they can pay minimum wage, have them work long hours, while 1 or 2 cooks carry the team. Im so tired of seeing people lack any passion or desire to better themselves or see some people doing the wrong things, and not even give a flying f*ck about it. 

This day was so bad i had to rant, BUT FINALLY ITS OVER...

Next goal, take a step back from the industry maybe until i finish my degree and head back head first with my diploma, that or not give up and attempt to find a decent job with people willing to put in some real effort. 

 

Regardless my day was awful , but thanks for reading. Their were loads of other things i saw today, but my mind was able to forget them after a hot shower. 

So anyone else have a crappy day, IF NOT I HOPE AND MOST LIKELY IT WAS A HELL OF A LOT BETTER THEN MINE. 

 

Really needed to rant and get this out of my system :laser: 

 

I stayed unemployed for 2 months just doing some extra work here and their to get some money. 

My grandmother (who is like my mother to me as i live with her) has lung cancer and i wanted to spend some time with her, since it could just be the last time i have the chance (we spent 12 years apart living in different parts of the world). 

I really have been second guessing myself , working in places with great chefs and cooks where i learned, and enjoyed ever minute of work , to now hating almost every job offer i get because food is just lacking quality and they rather hire uneducated idiots then real cooks to cut costs and save money. Places with 1 real educated cook to carry the team while the rest fumble in a clusterf*ck of tickets and burnt pans. 

Seriously bad luck or is the world just messing with me :confused: 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #2 of 14

So sad.

Places like you describe exist everywhere.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

I was extremely annoyed and a good rant can be great therapy. 

A friend of mine even questioned my decision to leave stating "unless they were cooking human bodys, i dont see any reason why you should have left". 

Hell if the meat had not been in the freezer for the past 2 month ill cook it LMFAO, just dont expect me to put out sh*t food just because im getting paid or unemployed.... i aint that desperate yet. 

 

Dont take the cannabalism seriously though :rolleyes: ...


Edited by KaiqueKuisine - 1/15/14 at 7:00am

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #4 of 14

Yikes! Sorry to hear that friend. That literally sounds like a cooks worst nightmare. Maybe you can take this time to do an overhaul the kitchen and at least get the line moving in the right direction.

 

It sounds like these inexperienced cooks not only lack the drive to produce good food, but may have just never been taught by their chef in command.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Oh it was a nightmare. 

They probably need to be taught how to do things properly, but not by me. 

I usually looks to advance in the kitchen and progress in no way i feel like taking charge and being responsible for food that i would be ashamed to put out. I could teach basics but i am a simple line cook looking to achieve more knowledge. 

 

Thankfully i called the manager today and spoke to her. I would have gone in person but didnt feel like waking up early and do a 1 hour commute just to say i wont be taking the job. 

But regardless called her up, told her i was very unhappy and surprised by what i saw in the kitchen. Told her I i rather work in smaller places and that the place wasnt right for me. 

She took it well, wasnt too surprised i guess....

 

Well its over now, flip page to next chapter. 

Who knows maybe ill find a job or maybe i wont, but until then i have less then a month until i head back to school, and i plan on using this time wisely and start working on some goals. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #6 of 14

Curious.....When you called, did you tell her what you told us?

post #7 of 14

Just remember this place--If they can survive selling inedible garbage---at high prices---when you open up your own restaurant you should be a great success.--Smile---you get to leave--the owners live every day in that nightmare---

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post
 

Curious.....When you called, did you tell her what you told us?

Oh no, no , no i was well mannered....

 

I just simply told her that i would not be returning due to my personal opinions and i just wasnt "feeling it".

I told her the concept of the place and the menu were not something i wanted to do right now, that and that i wanted to focus more on my current degree. 

 

She seemed to have understood, cuz you never know when you need a reference especially when she was my old manager at another great restaurant. 

But trust me it was hard to bite my tongue and stay calm when thinking about all the things that happened that night. :rolleyes: 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #9 of 14

your story really is jawdropping indeed but unfortunately not surprising.

I feel for you that you had landed in such a place and saw no other way than just leave.

be proud of yourself and the cook you are , it says a LOT about who you are when you made it through the night and after that was even so polite to the manager on the phone.

for now focus on your degree and after that, sure a new job that FITS will find you.

good luck to you xx

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

ACTUALLY 

I went to my college today and canceled my degree for now , because i much rather find a decent job and progress a bit more before i end up doing 4 years of college and having limited time to work. 

Besides i already have a degree in the culinary field so im fine with that xD. 

 

Then i met up my manager by coincidence when i was walking home, and she asked me what really happened that i despised the job so much. 

I told her everything....EVERY SINGLE THING, i just didnt put in the curse words....lol

 

She AGREED WITH ME , asked me if i was willing to come back if the menu was changed, and if she fired some of the weak links and uneduacted slobs. I told her i would think about it, but didnt want others to be harmed and lose their jobs. Told her if she was gonna fire anyone people do it to save the restaurant and not to try to persuade me. Ill probably go back for a few months and organize the kitchen a bit, and another one of my chefs was hired to change the menu. Besides i need the money because i plan on moving by the end of the year....

Who knows, life can be very strange. One minute the odds are against us, the other they may work in our favor, like i said WHO KNOWS XD. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #11 of 14
Places like that make you want to either pick the bottle up or put it down!
Sadly, yes, places like that continue to exist, but what is both even more maddening and more disheartening is that they seem to thrive.....they win by some sort of cruel twist of fate and default. For those of us in food SERVICE who work so diligently to 'get it right' day after day, places like that give us such a bad mark. However, being an optimist i can only hope( with a little help from yelp,trip advisor, and word of mouth)that somewhere down the line karma will step in and this place will crumble in on itself like a house of cards. It could use a proactive nudge by you though.
You were right to run away...run as fast and as long and as hard as you can, but imo i don't think you are doing anyone a favor by not 'telling it like it is' to the manager.....you assume that it might negatively affect a reference by her.....OTOH she may also appreciate your honest observation more than the 'i don't want to stick my neck out or rock the boat, so i won't' explanation.....your call of course.
Would you really want someone else to have to go through that same nightmare scenario? a friend perhaps? Your voice and your words can count.
another thought....perhaps the head chef 'purposely' {ahem} cut her wrist!

joey

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

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

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post #12 of 14
Seems we were posting at the same time kk.......i love how small the world is sometimes and that you ran into the manager......imo you did the right thing by telling her.....i'm she knew anyway......total dysfunctionality(is that a word?) is pretty hard to cover up!

joey

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

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

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post #13 of 14

KK hats off to you for doing so!! I have all the respect in the world for standing up for it and making choices. all the best xx

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Yeh but the problem in my opinion is that the industry is EGG SMALL. 

Word gets out, about these places and my and anyone elses reputation can have a negative effect. Especially when you work a day and leave. Though it was just a stage, and it wont even be mentioned in my resume or in public ever again , at least i learned what not to do.... 

 

And im glad i let my manager have it straight. 

At least she knows these cooks should not be in the kitchen and need some professional help, just dont expect my return unless some real changes start happening. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

Reply

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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