I am on my second sous position and 3rd kitchen management position in my young cooking career. I am not a softie or afraid to work, I was trained under basically the "F*ck you, get to work" mentality for ridiculously cheap pay and grueling work. I am not classically trained but spend a lot of my free time reading textbooks and taught myself proper technique, I am not bragging but everyone around me at my other jobs were trained with 60k educations but do not know as much as I do. I feel like my work ethic, smarts, and skill are what keep getting me promoted and advancing with only 3 and a half years cooking experience starting as a dishwasher at turn and burns to working my way up to very accomplished regional and national level chefs at a line cook level.
However, my current position has caused me more frustration and lack of drive than I've ever experienced. I am 3rd down on the kitchen management totem pole on the kitchen (I am the sous under the executive chef and chef de cuisine) and I feel like "sh*t sliding down hill" is an understatement. I make by far the lowest salary but put in the most hours, I work every crap shift that the other two managers do not want to work (slow holidays like 4th of July, every Sunday, early mornings etc.). I am glued to the line, I work 2 hot line stations almost every night but on weekends and busy days I only work one (the hardest one of course but it's still no problem for me) yet still have management responsibilities simultaneously which is very difficult a few days a week when I am the only manager on shift. For example, two days ago I was working lunch and dinner hot line by myself (on a slow day) and within 20 minutes I had two speak to two vendors to place an order, the dishwasher called in sick, servers are popping in tickets, the prep cook needs to be babysat, the owner is calling me on the phone, a produce vendor shows up unexpectedly so I need to talk to him and servers are pissed because they need their burgers right now. I need to be in 8 different places at once even when there are not too many tickets coming in. I know this feeling of needing to be in 4 different places at once in a huge part of upper management but it's only happening to me. The head chef and chef de cuisne never work by themselves and if they ever need to work on the line they make sure they have a full kitchen staff to make their lives easy. They are making the schedule extremely cushy for themselves but totally disregard me, it doesn't help that they are close friends either. They save all their labor for days that I am off (2 days a week for now which I am very happy with) but when they take their days off I am screwed labor wise because I need to be 100% responsible for all food going out of the kitchen because I am the only one cooking it plus being 100% responsible for management of the kitchen because I am the only manager on shift. I know when sh*t is sliding down hill but it's blatantly clear they just want to make their lives easier at my expense. The head chef literally makes the schedule around her personal life so she always has time for her family and whatever she wants to do. I have quite a bit more talented than both of them and they get uber defensive and self conscious so I am not even included in the menu or creative aspects, when I made a special and he owner loved it he said he wanted me to be more part of the menu changes, the head chef said "sure" but never included me.
So after my long rant my question is is this typical for a sous position? Is the sous really just there to make the head chef look good on their own backs? I am starting to feel like this job will be coming to an end soon.