I've been in an apprenticeship program at a fine dining establishment for about a year and a half now, and coming from my fast-casual experience it has certainly been a lot of highs and lows. I think that my chefs see my work ethic, but I honestly don't feel like they believe in me.. We're going through another short-staffed period and I've been put on saute by default because of it, and I honestly don't know how to get the lead line cooks my age to take me seriously. The older, more experienced ones have always loved me and things just seem to run more smoothly in the first place with them there.. But lately it's been a few guys my own age that just want to intimidate me and make me feel like dirt since day one. I understand the high pressure aspect, I understand that they're all in similar situations to me, and how hard it is to take me seriously when I used to struggle on understanding french terms in prep work, but i need these guys to like me to make it through this.
I'm 25, 5'2", a female and I weigh 80 pounds, easy target in a lot of aspects... I'm trying so hard it isn't even funny, but sometimes people just play dirty and use you as a scape goat. I have dealt with this for a long time now and in a lot of ways I can't believe where I've come from, but at the same time I always feel like I'm on the cutting board for dismissal in the event of being fully staffed.
This is towards the "middle" of my second year as a chef's apprentice, and my executive chef is very supportive yet very hard, sometimes I wonder if I can make up for my past mistakes? He told me tonight before our busy shift that I need to continue to improve, but I almost feel as though I've hit a wall at times.
Typing this sounds so ridiculous, it's just a saute station but it's the hardest station in our restaurant and nobody is willing to help me through anything here and it all just happens so fast. I don't want to screw people over anymore but I don't even know where to start with stepping up.. More than anything else, I just want them to believe that I can get this stuff down, I mean, I've only done it officially for three shifts, all of which were awful. I wish there was a book I could read on getting out of the weeds but there isn't. I need to know how to gain some respect from other line cooks, sincere respect, so that they don't let me drown with no input. I do understand how to technically make all of these sauces but it's a grind when a few people have written you off long ago.