A some what aggravating new hire

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by iceman82, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. iceman82

    iceman82

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    So, out with the old and in with the new. I knew I was losing one of my lesser of good line cooks, and put out an ad. got four resumes, two had no experience, another had a few years experience but needed part time when school started, and another had lots of experience, but also didn't have lots of time put into a few places. The latter were the most important, but of course the guy who didn't go to school was more appealing.

    He was very bold, almost cocky and arrogant. In his resume , he pointed out a lot of things he was a master at. No chef experience, but obviously had a drive to be one. I explained to him the kind of food we do, some from scratch, some products, and a hell of a lot of cooking ( can seat up to 180 at once, and have had turns that start with over half of that ). In the interview , I showed him the exact schedule I had to offer, 28 hours, really good starting wage, and a incentive bonus to stay through the season. I also mentioned that there might be a fifth shift here and there.

    Anyways. Everyday he worked, I had issues with him. Confrontations with FOH members, slaming the dishwasher door closed ( i mean, really freaking out of line hard style ), texting on the line ( half of our line is open ) , eating on the line ( again, open line ), and most of annoying, giving suggestions on item prep and plating , during the rush, during the plating...... I mean, it was his first four days and he was having a hard time remembering plates ( which I never really consider as something bad until it has been four weeks ) , but there was that on top of the before mentioned issues. It was almost as he thought he was the chef.

    With everything, ( and there was a lot more smaller and siller stuff ) I made sure to assert my leadership and firmly and politely explain "how we do things" . We don't eat on the line, we don't play with our cell phones on the line, we don't walk around corners and through the line with knives without announcing ourselves, if we have issues with any member of staff you come to me first, etc,.....

    On my friday, he then tells me he is going to be working up the street as well ( a steak dinner house ) , during the rush. At this point, I get a little annoyed.

    So this is what I have noticed. And help me out if I am wrong ( been cooking for twenty years, an executive chef for five months ) , if I keep my emotions in check and lead individuals, I am effective. When I become aggravated , I clearly lose control of the situation ( like when this guy questions my menu, item prep, or plating ). How do I prevent myself from becoming aggravated ? is there a trick to it? like biting your tongue , or counting backwards from ten?

    Really, i just needed to vent lol
     
  2. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    Hey Iceman!
    First off? You're right! He IS being an ass. And he IS manipulating your feelings.
    The thing to remember that helps me?
    Is that line cooking is NOT a competitive side of cooking. Its quite the opposite.
    I think of being on a line like being in a band. We all know how to play. But it means NOTHING if we don't play together. Like any other type of team. He would be kicked off any type of sports team for that attitude. And it isn't YOU. Its HIM.
    Its a voluntary relationship between you and him. This isn't a game. It isn't an obligation. Its an agreement between you and him. And honestly? You are paying him to help out. And if he isn't up to the task? He should be professional enough to leave.
    If he can't be there and invested in his time for you then he is a distraction and lowering the level of service. And I would tell him that. He isn't allowed to stink up your space!

    In the name of Kitchen Love....
    Peachcreek
     
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  3. iceman82

    iceman82

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    Love that metaphor , thank you !
     
  4. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I don't know about you, but the real estate in my head is expensive and requires letters of recommendation before moving in. Most two bit chumps can't afford it nor do they have letters of recommendation so they are not allowed to become tenants in my head.

    I started taking this approach after my wife let me know my ranting was getting old,... that and the dog started avoiding me.
     
  5. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    Iceman: how you would treat this problem in other years.

    1-5 years: I value your opinion your a vital member of the kitchen.

    6-10 years: I need to talk with HR I may have to write you up for not following company rules.

    11-20 years: Is this what I asked you to do???? Did I show you how to do it and you just don't understand. Is your hearing ok?? did anyone ask you your opinion??? just do it!

    Year 25: Get the F--- out of my kitchen!
     
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  6. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    I'm with Chefbillyb, year 25. No hesitation whatsoever. Life's too short for that nonsense.
     
  7. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Before you lose your patience in your partially open kitchen and become social media fodder....
    Get him off the mound before he loads up the bases and then gives up the grand slam during a particularly weedy Saturday nite.
    ...and get someone up in the bullpen.

    mimi
     
  8. foodpump

    foodpump

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    As Bugs bunny would say, "What a maroon"....

    Me, I like to ask questions when it is obvious that patiently explaining things doesn't work. For example:

    "Whoa! Is that a Samsang bx100? What would happen if I grabbed it out of your hand and dropped it in the fryer, would it float or sink?

    "Ah... plating suggestions, already? I take suggestions seriously once you've plated this dish at least 50 times, how many times have you plated____ so far in your first 4 days?

    Oh, so you're going to work for ____________ across the street, huh? And you tell me this during the rush, infront of servers and customers because you're confident of what, exactly?

    Well, yes, they are snarky and smart azz questions, but they don't invite any returning remarks.....
     
  9. dave s

    dave s

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    This dude needs to be fired IMO. You don't have time for that shit. He doesn't sound like a team player at all.
    I have fired people for their poor attitudes in the kitchen and not getting along with others despite them being really great line cooks. Happy kitchens put out the best food.
    I'll bet he's talking shit about you, your food, and your way of doing things to rest of your staff as well. That's gonna start pissing off your cooks and start pulling down morale. I'd nip in the bud before this escalates any further.
    Good luck!
     
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  10. iceman82

    iceman82

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    I fired him on my day off, told him I would meet him out back before his shift for a short word. He was not surprised at all and tried to quit on me right then and there. I shook his hand and sent him on his marry way ( little prick ).

    Thank you all for your advice and suggestions, they are very insightful and even though obviously the support I was fishing for, the tips and ideas on how to deal with it are very useful and I am very grateful . Thank You
     
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  11. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Should have let him. Would have screwed up his unemployment.
     
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  12. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    May you find a good hire!
    I've always had success with people who had an inkling of skills but a strong desire to learn! Its easier to coach than it is to babysit, and its much much better than being a crisis manager!
    Good luck!
    Peachcreek.
     
  13. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree, anytime I can let them quit, as opposed to firing them, it helps when it comes to dealing with unemployment.
     
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  14. Chrisopotamus

    Chrisopotamus

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    Agreed! Would've let him. He clearly started working up the street because he realized he couldn't cut it there. He would've left in the middle of a shift or just not shown up one day anyway.
     
  15. cronker

    cronker

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    Fair call, but perhaps a bit harsh.
    So he's a prick, not suited to the job and you want rid of him. No issue there, but the guy at least deserves to be able to get another job, if only to keep him from being a burden on the unemployment roster.
     
  16. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I don't quite understand your post. If he quits, he is ineligible for unemployment benefits and therefore will not be a burden on the unemployment roster. If he is fired, he is eligible for unemployment benefits and will be a burden on the unemployment roster. Either way, he is not prevented from applying and getting another job.
     
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  17. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    First off, I don't see how that would prevent him from getting another job. Secondly, here in Wisconsin, it is pretty easy to get unemployment, even if you quit. All you need to know is the right phrases to say, but at least it, if they quit, it doesn't count against my business. Businesses pay unemployment "insurance" to the state. It's a tax really, but that payment can go up or down depending on how many people file unemployment claims against you and win. Thus, it is the smart thing to do to let employees quit, as opposed to firing them, when possible.
     
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  18. cronker

    cronker

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    Okay, sorry, the system is a bit different here in Australia. If he quits, he has to wait longer to claim unemployment, but he will still get it. If he gets fired, he may get unemployment sooner, but it really depends on the circumstances. If he is fired for poor performance or problematic behaviour, he will likely find it a lot harder to get work, and will probably be put on a long wait list to claim unemployment.