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workplace bullying???

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

i dont want to make this a super long post, but has anyone dealt with this in a kitchen setting. and im not talking about being new and going through the grind that all newbies go through. ive been at this job for almost 5 years now.

there is one particular first cook who is constantly on my ass, will find anything, and i mean anything from an unswept floor, to a hand towel sitting on a counter, just to harp on me. i bust my ass, i never seem to have problems with the other 3 first cooks, including the head chef and ive never had issues falling behind on tasks. avoiding him is not really an option obviously, and upper management doesnt seem to care about employee problems to much anymore, all they care about is making money and pushing out orders. 

i really dont know how to handle this situation, im not one to go complaining because that usually makes things worse. 

any advice? 

post #2 of 13

This is a tough one for anyone to answer without actually being in the kitchen with you. Individual personnel conflicts are unique. You say no one else has a problem with you. 

Do you get a performance review? Has the chef ever given you any idea how he feels about your performance? 

Does this cook correct you in front of anyone or is it always when no one else is around? 

If you do not feel comfortable confronting the other cook directly, ask to have a private meeting with the chef. Explain how you see things and ask for a second meeting with the chef and the other cook so you can straighten things out. 

The first meeting will make the chef aware of the situation if he is not already and give him an opportunity to discuss your performance so far. Listen to what the chef has to say and let him take the lead on how to handle the situation. 

post #3 of 13

Tell him to F    O  .

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #4 of 13

Okay, I actually like Chefedbs' answer better. I'll second that. Tell him to F O. 

post #5 of 13

Seems like this other guy is pushing your buttons, and the fact that you are responding makes him keep it up.

Deny him this response and he will give up after a while. Even a dog knows when to stop barking.

post #6 of 13
Don't know what your job is.. are you responsible for sweeping or making sure that the dish (or whomever) does it? Rags belong in a Sanitizer bucket, sorry
post #7 of 13
Keep the floor clean and the towels whrre they are supposed to be.... and tell him to F.O.
post #8 of 13

Despite his abrasive obnoxious demeanor, he might have some useful input. Take the useful input and ignore the rest. Don't let his issues become issues for you. It ain't worth it. Besides that you have a job to do and spending time spinning your wheels on his behavior is counterproductive and diverting your attention from being able to give 100%.

 

Waste 5% of your thoughts on him and you are only focusing 95% on the task at hand. I have to much professional pride to allow anyone to reduce me to that level.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

this is more then just keeping towels in a sanitizing bucket and floors swept, everyone in the kitchen has this problem but yet he immediately goes to me to whine and complain, i hardly see him freak out over the use of towels when everyone else does it. i personally think the guy is just a straight up bully, i work my ass off and receive great feedback from everyone else in that kitchen except when he is around. i really dont want one guy to ruin how hard i work for such a shitty job. but im at the point were i dread working around him, cause i know im his favorite target. 

post #10 of 13
I've had situations where I was dreading working with people, and the situation never improves without confronting it. For better or worse, if you legitimately feel you can't take it higher ups, you have to confront him. If it proves untenable at your current job, you can always move on, but after five years to leave because of one guy seems lame. Naturally, I'm not recommending doing anything rash, but at least if you take chef ed's advice you'll feel better.

Apropos of sweeping & towels, we should all strive to be as faultless as possible, natch?
post #11 of 13

He only has the power to make you feel that way if you give him that power by letting his behavior affect you. So what if you are his favorite target. Change it by not being effected. He obviously is getting a payoff in jollies somehow from you. Take that away and he will redirect his insecurities elsewhere.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #12 of 13

As I say to my teenagers "It's not what you say by how you say it..."

If he is pointing out legitimate concerns, then you should listen to him, and ignore the demeanor that accompanies it.

If he is just a straight up a-hole riding you for no good reason, in the times I had someone try to do this to me, I simply told them "If you have a problem with me, you need to take it up with Chef, or I will." in 3 out of 4 cases it stopped immediately. In the 4th case we took it to the Exec. and it was resolve about three weeks later when they were escorted out the back door.

Perhaps you can order him a copy of Leadership Lessons From a Chef, which is quite possibly the single best book on management in the culinary field I have ever read.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

i do like this idea of telling him to go to chef if he has a problem with me, but a small part of me thinks this might backfire and make things worse. like this guy is a legitimate douche bag, he seems to think he's better then everyone else, and tends to treat certain people who dont obey every little thing he says like they are crap. Every other first cook in this kitchen treats everyone with respect except for him. like no lie, i honestly have a dumbfounded confused look on my face over half the stuff he gets pissed about. 

 

i just recently got yelled at about an apron that was shoved on a shelf somewhere that wasnt mine, he was convinced it was mine from yesterday (since i had been stationed in the same area the following morning) , and told me that it was my fault that the wardrobe department ran out of aprons because of people like me who check them out then dont wear them. *once again the apron wasnt mine, as mine was tied around my freaking waist!!!* more then likely is was one of the overnight crews aprons.

 

'like honestly maybe you should go yell at wardrobe for not having enough aprons, im sure those people would love hearing from you" (sarcasm)

 

i can handle people yelling in a constructive manner (as ive worked in other actual kitchens with plenty of yelling) but when you intentionally start treating people like crap day after day, i start to care less and less about the work that im doing and pleasing you. 

 

 

im at the point where im just going to start looking for another job, regardless of what happens in the long run. id hate to lose my full time status, but i honestly dont get paid enough to deal with such a narcissistic a-hole on a daily basis with shitty pay and a shitty place overall. 

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