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Need some advice with some awkward staff

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I need a but of advice.

Basically there are 2 chefs in my kitchen that I struggle to work with when we have to work on the same section.  One is an apprentice and one is his mum who is the same rank as me I think.

Now I struggle to get the apprentice to listen to me and during a busy service it is essential that you work together. I can kind of understand it.  I come across as a bit dippy at times but never the less I know what I'm doing a lot more than him and I'm about 4 times faster than him. So I need him to work with me but I have a hard job asserting my authority.

His mum isn't quite such a problem because I don't have to work with her much because she works in the morning.  His mum has more experience than me but you wouldn't know it.  She's messy disorganised and is always in the shit when it;s busy.  So someone has to take the leader role and I'm not happy to let her take it and she's not happy to let me take it.  So I'm not to sure what to do.

post #2 of 5
What kind of hellish place do you work in that hired a mother-son combo? That was the first mistake. If he is an apprentice he should do what you say, right? But unless you are an actual manager I'm afraid you won't get far. After all, what are the consequences if he doesn't? Usually, you have win their respect in some way. If you are not a natural leader/authority figure, then the best thing you can do is train him to do his part right. And sometimes you have to work with people you don't like. In that case, as long as both do their jobs its usually ok.
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grande View Post

What kind of hellish place do you work in that hired a mother-son combo? That was the first mistake. If he is an apprentice he should do what you say, right? But unless you are an actual manager I'm afraid you won't get far. After all, what are the consequences if he doesn't? Usually, you have win their respect in some way. If you are not a natural leader/authority figure, then the best thing you can do is train him to do his part right. And sometimes you have to work with people you don't like. In that case, as long as both do their jobs its usually ok.

Yes to everything Grande said. Also, it helps if he has a knack for the industry. Sometimes people just aren't cut out for this line of work. Do your best and try to teach him what you can, maybe talk to someone higher up about the situation and perhaps they can give some advice or have a talk with the apprentice.
post #4 of 5

If it's a formal apprenticeship, then this is what I'd do.

 

Take the kid aside and tell him he's started a career and needs to learn as much as he can.  In this kitchen he can learn from his Mum or you, and you need and want to show him things but he needs to pay attention.  If there isn't a clock on the wall, get one, and give him duties that need to be repeated every day.  Then tell him to better his time by at least a 30 secs every day.

...."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 #5 of 5
Quote:
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBristol View Post
 

I need a but of advice.

Basically there are 2 chefs in my kitchen that I struggle to work with when we have to work on the same section.  One is an apprentice and one is his mum who is the same rank as me I think.

Now I struggle to get the apprentice to listen to me and during a busy service it is essential that you work together. I can kind of understand it.  I come across as a bit dippy at times but never the less I know what I'm doing a lot more than him and I'm about 4 times faster than him. So I need him to work with me but I have a hard job asserting my authority.

His mum isn't quite such a problem because I don't have to work with her much because she works in the morning.  His mum has more experience than me but you wouldn't know it.  She's messy disorganised and is always in the shit when it;s busy.  So someone has to take the leader role and I'm not happy to let her take it and she's not happy to let me take it.  So I'm not to sure what to do.

Firstly, you do not say if there is a head chef, kitchen manager or team leader in the kitchen. If not there must be a manager of the business. In which case, your first port of call is to talk to a manager about the situation, and what you feel the problems are. Don't go in all guns blazing, blaiming all ills on the mum and son, rather express the view that things are not working right, and you think that there needs to be a review of working practises. Express your concerns but do it in such a manner that its not slagging off the other staff, but highlighting problems.

 

If, as your posts suggests,  you are senior to him, then asserting your authority doesn't mean barking orders and getting stressy, when things don't go right. You can ask for his input, explain how you want things to end up and ask him for his views on how to get there. Also guide him. Part of becoming a succesful chef is to lead the team, and its a great skill you need to learn to move up the ladder. When it starts getting busy, a little bit of leadership banter such as "COME ON, LETS DO THIS..." will do far more than barking orders.

 

I don't mean to sound offensive when I say this, but you need to be the leader, but that doesn't mean you have to go "Ramsay" on him. It means guiding him, leading him, inspiring him and most of all helping him... Just remember that most probably as you were learning there was someone above you feeling exactly the same about you..Not everyone becomes a michelin standard chef overnight...

 

As for the mother, she has nothing at all to do with him anyway. What he does at work is nothing to do with her. His job is his, hers is hers. Why any manager would employ and mother and son in the first instance is beyond me. If I had to work with my mum I'd be up for justifiable homocide.....

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