Hi there, I'm three months into my job as a commis at a french fine dining place. I have three years experience, moving to more and more upscale/'fine' restaurants being hired here. Our recent menu that's being phased out now hit our station (garde manger) very hard. I did my best to take on more and more mep, plan ahead for our big projects, and motivate our other commis who's a fresh grad. Our station also has a demi and a jnr sous, who isn't involved in our daily running. I came in earlier and earlier until I come in at 6-7 and finish at 1-3 depending. I don't mind it at all.. I try not to let others know the hours I put in because if they see I'm struggling they might not let me take on as much. until one day I came in at 5 and the jnr sous was there doing his own projects. Later he and the demi said they were both surprised that I'm there that early. I was stunned the demi didn't know how much earlier I'd be coming, I thought it was a test.. and not that he was clueless.
That day I was very quiet and kept to myself. Demi asked me if I was unhappy with him after servce. I told him that I felt he didn't have a big picture view. Ie planning ahead big projects for days when we are full team, understanding each persons mep for the day so we can allocate better, delegating better. Past 2 days I've been just doing my own shit, not going at 110% so that I can help others out, etc. Been asking my previous colleagues and chefs for advice. They say to just come in at the normal time, if one die all die together. They know my style and they know that if I had things to do but could squeeze yours in I would, rather than working a little more slow or taking a micro break.
I'm a bit demoralized. That I couldn't suck it up this whole 'menu season'. That I'm just doing what this whole kitchen environment is doing - cover your own ass, do your own shit, rather than what I was trained in the past.. team effort. That I cannot do what they talk about - commis is supposed to give demi nothing to do, demi is supposed to give cdp nothing to do, cdp is supposed to give sous nothing to do, etc.. Doubting myself cos.. Am I supposed to judge my demi that way? And also.. Is it that I only think I need to put in that amount of time, but the reality is that I am just that slow?
Just wondering if anybody has any advice out there... Should I just come in at a normal time to protect myself? (demi does have a tendency to take credit sometimes) Or should I subscribe to the idea that my chef (my demi in this case) is my master, I should strive towards doing everything before he realises it needs doing, and stop sulking about him taking credit for shit that I've done?