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My work schedule and pay, are those too much?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

 Hi, guys.


 I have been working at one of restaurant in NYC for 6 months and I'm getting tired of everything already..


 First of all, my irregular schedule is killing me. 

 my work schedule is never set. Every week I have so different schedule.

 I always have two days double shift, (10am to 12am) and random three days(Am shift or Pm shift)

 If I have double shift today and Am shift tomorrow, I have to be there untill 12am and I gotta be there till 9am next day.

 Worse thing is I live so far from city so it takes three hour just get there and come back home..

Since I work here, I sleep only 4hr most of days. And I can do anything except working because of irregular schedule..


 Second thing is my pay rate.

 I used to work in exurbs new york which is near my home last year and I made about $14/hr. 

 They raised me every three months from $11 to 14 in one year and they gave me same shift, same day off every week.

 But I wanted to learn more and work in the city so I got a present job.

 I thought they gonna pay me more than my last workplace because it's in center of NYC, fancy and high volume.

 So when chef asked me how much I want, I didn't say the cost exactly. (I know it was my BIG mistake!) 

 After all, I make $11 now.. Even though I work over 50hrs every week, the paycheck isn't that different comparing with last year when I used to work 35hrs a week..) 


 I'm thinking to ask for raise since I work at hot station now but I'm afraid to ask.(I have never asked for raise actually..)

 Be honest, I'm getting tired already. We get about 350 reservations only for lunch and 500 for dinner everyday these days.

 Super busy, too much work but no money.. this is the thing. I love my job and I know this job is tough but I think this is too much.

 Tiredness is kicking my passion out... 


 Do I complain too much? Should I just stand it? 

 obviously this is my first workplace in NYC so I'm afraid to quit. 


 Any advise please?! :(

post #2 of 8

I believe you answered your own questions. 


1) Irregular schedules is a majority in this business. That said, there are great places (like the one you left) that can give you a more regular schedule so that you may have some semblance of a life outside of work. If you are feeling tired already then I would say that your work balance is at the regular 35-40hr workweek and this will keep you passionate and motivated to stay the course.


2) If your pay rate was higher at your other job with consistent raises and closer to home then I am not sure as to why you just didn't ask to try a different station or ask the chef for more responsibility? Just because the city shines brightly doesn't mean that it has better opportunities unless you are wanting to move into the city I would suggest looking at a job closer to your home to balance the travel/work/life thing.


The key is to really do your homework and take responsibility for your career. Take some time out for yourself (even if it is just a few minutes here and there) and start writing down what you are wanting out of this business and career and how you think you can achieve this without exhausting yourself. Ask a MILLION questions to all those that surround you in the kitchen (including the head chef and owners) as to why they got into the industry, what are their motivations, what would be their suggestion for you to better your career, etc. Do not take the insane amount of ego, abuse, over-working and under paying that this industry is full of just because lots of people say it's par for the course. It's not. It is all on how YOU want your career to flourish and you want to work for the people that will encourage and lift you up, teach you and support you. Not the arseholes......they just end up using you and you learn nothing but bitterness. Some licks are good for you to toughen up and learn about yourself......then there is just outright Find your voice, ask for what you want and if they put you down or ridicule you in any way.....that is not the atmosphere for career growth and move on. 


Do not worry about quitting any place just do so with a positive attitude and gratefulness for being hired in the first place. Say "Thank you so much for the opportunity to work here I just feel that is not the right fit for me at this time" and then leave. That usually leaves the door open for later if you feel like going back. If they are rude about it then you know you saved yourself from working for people that just look at you as a number and would have never cared about your career in the first place. 


I sincerely wish you all the best in your decisions and your career. Stay strong!

post #3 of 8

Well said.

Such great advice above...........only comes from experience. If you don't take responsibility for yourself and your career, who will.

post #4 of 8
I can't add much more, but I agree most of the things you are experiencing are common in our industry. One suggestion I would make would be to seek out a position in a catering company or event hall. As they only work on events, the schedules are more consistent. It is also a nice change from cooking to order. Caterers get busy too, but you usually don't get slammed like full service restaurants. Try it part time if you can, I found it a better gig than restaurants. Good Luck and stand up for your future.
post #5 of 8
I worked on longisland for years. Started at was just supposed to be a short summer gig in the Hamptons that turned into a 9 years run. The pay was great, all cash. The summer hours and days were brutal 7 days a week 9 am-11-1am for 22 weeks straight. I was much younger back then and The days and hours didn't seem to bother me much and a nice perk was three months off every winter.
I eventually moved on to a larger restaurant group technically making more money but due to the fact that it was all on the books I took home less. However at the time (and still) I think it was the right move, working for cash your whole life can cause big problems years down the road.
Years later I decided to open my own restaurant let's just say that didn't work out for now. Now i was faced with the dilemma of having to look for another job. I decided after much debate that venturing into the city would be a good choice. The opportunity to do something new, and learn new things would be a nice change for someone that had been the only guy calling the shots for almost 20 years. I started as a line cook at one of the cities most prestigious restaurants, I was paid $15 an hour, I was taking home at the end of the week about a quarter of what I had been making 20 years earlier. Nonetheless it was a new experience and I was learning new things. The lack of income did however eventually catch up with me and someone regrettably I was forced to look for other opportunities. I landed a job in a city restaurant that was a union house. At the time I think the Union rate was the one something an hour. Anything over 35 hrs a week or 12 hrs in a single day was time and a half, Great benefits, double time pay (or paid time off) for holidays. With the over time I was makeing about what I was making as an executive chef on the island, and had better benefits and work schedule. I eventually wound up taking an executive chef position at another restaurant in the city. So my "plan" of moving my career to Manhattan kind of worked out in the end.
That's my story, Take from it what you will. But maybe a local6 Union place might give you what you need at this time in the city.
End Note: no matter how you cut it the life of a chef pretty much sucks, I recommend to just about everyone that asks me my advice about becoming a chef to rethink the idea, and going into the industry. You if your still young that might not be a Bad move as awful as it sounds. For me I was (at least in my own mind) too old to start completely over again, the kitchen was what I New unloved.
Best of luck and happy holidays
post #6 of 8
Oh another note after reading the advice others above gave you. If you're going to stick it out in the city and you're able to move, do what I did. Get a place and Queens that's within walking distance to the subway.
post #7 of 8
Welcome to being a chef!

Sounds like you're in a busy place that offers the experience you'll need later in your career.
Are you learning,,, if money is what your chasing you'll never learn.
The reality is if you really want to acheive a level of success in this business, you should be prepares "and willing" to work long,,, hard,,, hours,, for the first decade of your career.
The short answer is "yes"'it sounds as if your complaining. Tough it out, you'll only find more of the same out there. We HATE cry baby pre-modonnas!
Live closer to work to cut down on travel time, you can use that time to get much needed rest.
Good Luck!
post #8 of 8



Chef Julio is spot on. Welcome to the kitchen life leeysjj. As the saying goes, if you cant take the heat.....



You are blessed!

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