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In Trouble For Doing Exactly What I Was Supposed To...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

On the days when I open the kitchen, the chef will have a list of prep and tasks for myself and for the prep cooks, who come mid-shift, to be completed before we clock out. The tasks are divided on the paper by each of our names as a headline, like so:




1) Task

2) Task, etc...


One day last week I opened the kitchen and checked my prep/task list. The final task was to marinate, portion, and skewer 20lbs of lamb kebabs. There were only 40 minutes left until we opened. I like to think that I'm good, but I know for a fact that I'm NOT 20lbs-of-lamb-kebab-skewers-good.


I texted Chef and told him that I couldn't feasibly complete the task before open. He texted back that he meant to put that task on the prep cooks' list. I said, "Yessir," and did some cleaning and rearranging until open.


After lunch, I recovered the line and performed my shift switch duties. I told the manager on duty that I was done and he cleared me to clock out and leave. The prep list stayed on the counter, as always.


No sooner had I arrived home, that I received a text from the MOD:


"Why didn't you do the lamb?"


I explained to him the mix up about the list and he told me that I'd need to explain it to the other owner/manager, who had just sent me a text asking about the lamb, as well. I explained the mix up. I figured that the both of them would contact the chef to clear the air. That's how they usually operate.




The owner/manager then sent me a lengthy text wherein he outlined what time I clocked in, what time I clocked out, my prep list, and the fact that he didn't believe that I had worked the entire time that I was there. Now, he could only have imagined that I had done with my time that morning; he wasn't there. He then told me that I was clocking in too early.


All because Chef unintentionally put someone else's task under my name.


Do any of you have stories where management inexplicably act in inexplicable ways?


How do you handle when management seems to be going overboard?


Here's a related article:






post #2 of 5

Workplace personalities come in all sizes and shapes. Some managers inexplicably discipline simply to CYA. Some feel that if they make someone else look bad, they will look better. Some feel it's part of their job description. Some have been previously supervised with "the sharp stick in the eye routine" that's all they know. Some get off on it.

   I hate to tell you but as you move up the ranks to corporate, it sometimes get worse. In the Hospitality industry when you reach a corporate level, a lot of managers that move up from within do not have a clue what to do with their new found idle time. Instead of familiarizing themselves with the corporate responsibilities, some feel they have to justify their existence. A large percentage focus on fault. Some become police. Some crash and burn. I have been on corporate teams in large volume properties where every Monday there was a scheduled Corp. F&B meeting.

This teamed did not consider it a productive meeting until they recognised which department was at fault (or took the blame)for weekend customer complaints/refunds. It was comical! In all the 100's of meetings I attended. Never once did they take a complaint and try to find a solution or formula so that it did not occur again. This is the property I identified most of the corp. team as pigeons. I posted this before but I'll post anyway. This team would Fly into a department, "Poop all over everything",(identify well know problems) and then Fly Away.

@RedBeerd Cantu, I hope that some of the negatives you're seeing, you file away in your head, and use them to guide you when you get there.

You're not alone;) 

post #3 of 5


     I am happy to read your response as it verifies what I'm experiencing. I have been very surprised to learn that moving into corporate is not about success at problem solving. As you so aptly put, it is all about fault finding. Fly in, poop, fly out. Amazes me that there is no interest in actually understanding anything. So I've begun to wonder how do you move up into corporate if all you can do is criticize? In other words, al the people in corporate aren't much good for anything else, yet they got the job. How?? 



    Sadly you just have to suck it up sometimes. How to respond is tricky. Often the best response is to keep your mouth shut but occasionally you have to speak up. But when is the best time to do one or the other can be hard to determine. 

     So far, I've learned to always speak respectfully to everyone. Never lose your cool. Keep your response related directly to the problem at hand. Never blame others directly. Accept responsibility for what you are actually responsible for. 

In this case, you relate the facts, then stop talking. I have found it occasionally helpful to relate facts not in evidence, as you did  with the inaccurate prep list. But the fallout is not within your control. 

     I have found that remembering the four agreements helps in these situations. 

1. Never take anything personally 

2. Always do your best. 

3 Be impeccable with your word. 

4. Don't make assumptions. 

Some days are just unpleasant. Always remember that Tomorrow is a new day. 

post #4 of 5

So true so true.

My story is much the same. Weekly banquet meetings (BEO) was supposed to be with all the department heads. It almost always turned into "he said she said" complaint time. Meetings lasted way too long and barely got anything accomplished.


That's why I've always referred to "them" as MANGLEMENT!

post #5 of 5

Some owners I have worked with seem to exhibit something like "F&B PTSD".  Lash out before all the facts are in, assuming that everbody on staff is either incompetent, lazy, crooked, or some combination of the above.  


One of the many reasons I left the steakhouse a couple of years ago was because I, as Exec, seemed to be spending a huge portion of my time putting out fires with my staff that the boss had started.   I was, with out hyperbole, placing help wanted ads every week for the first two months I was there.  


Red, I would, say that the way you were treated here was pretty shabby.  But I wouldn't let that get under your skin.  It likely was just that "your number came up" in the poop slinging lottery.  If this turns out to be a one off flip out, let it go.  Its not right, its not fair, but it is sadly fairly human.


That said, if the owners have decided that they have a beef with you, for whatever arbitrary reason, they do have the power to make you pretty miserable.  The way out of that is entirely based on their personalities and your willingness to "play the game" to appeal to their sensibilities.  Maybe.  


At the end of it, they were pissed that they were short on lamb.  Their response to that anger was to start laying blame.  When your chef explained that it was put on your prep list in error, was that error communicated to other staff?  Was there anybody else around to pick up that slack (like the prep cook you mentioned, or a sous?).  In other words, was there somebody else who was going to complete the task?  If not, why not?  This is the point where the problem twisted itself into an "issue."

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