burning out?

Joined Oct 13, 2002
hiya guys.

What im wanting to ask about is what are the signs of burnout.

Would it be getting so uptight about working somewhere you might leave in the hope that circumstances change? or would it be doubting your own worth as an employee to the point that you would change industries, including 1/2 completed studies?

Im just curious and trying to get a handle on a situation.
Joined Nov 29, 2001
* Diminished interest.
* "Sundayitis" - the jitters you get on Sunday night when you return to work on Monday to start your week (apply to whichever days work for you).
* Procrastination.
* Simply not being "present." (I don't mean not showing up - but not doing the best you can - coasting - just to get through the day.)
* Barking (more than usual for a chef ;)) at the rest of your kitchen crew - for stuff you later determine not to be worth the reaming you gave them.
* Not getting as jazzed by the creative process.
Joined Oct 13, 2002
uh oh. Then theres a problem.

is it possible that say this could be a temporary thing or could it be a little more permanent..

This is probably a little more to do with self doubt at this stage, but i consider it quite serious.

To be quite honest, i havent really dealt with such a situation before and i am finding it quite strange.

im doubting my own abilities to a point of incapacitation and its not fun.

another seriously strange thing is that im acting really cautiously around other people (heh sounds more like some sort of a trauma huh?)


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
It's difficult to say. To me, you're definitely showing signs of burnout, but it's hard to say if this is due to your job or if it's because of different things happening in your life. Maybe your personal life has something to do with it. Perhaps the pressures of school AND work at the same time is a bit too much. Nobody can tell you what to do in this situation. You'll have to work it out by yourself.

You may not be burnt out. You may be just taking stock in your profession without realizing it. We all have moments of doubt when it comes to big emotional investments. Cooking as a profession is definitely one of them. It's not just a job.

Whatever you do, don't stop talking about it. Maybe make an appointment with someone you trust and talk about it. You can even do it after work or something. Don't talk about how work sucks at work, but don't shut up about it either.

Joined Oct 13, 2002
well, in way you are right. just for now, iam taking stock of a situation and learning very rapidly about this vocation.

for starters,

iam working for a friend, and he has a lot more practical experience than i.

however, over the last week , i have realised that i have been absorbing a lot more negative attitude from others around me covertly. Normally im a little more on the ball and, i supposed, have let my guard down a little bit, much to my own detriment.

As a result, i ended up with a written warning, due to fact that a roster was posted in the other workplace (that i hadnt been at when it was posted and in another suburb) for not turning up to a shift that i wasnt made aware of.

OK, so i should of called someone with regards to uncertainty of not knowing when i was working next, but on the same hand, how would you respond to that, given that:

; the day that i didnt turn up had been my rostered day off for at least 3 months

; and that by law rosters have to be posted at least 7 days in advance (by law)

; and that the days off have been my usual college days for the last semester? (too bad if i was sitting in class on that day)

this is all starting to turn my head.
Joined May 26, 2001
You know what you should have done, you said so: you should have called. Simple as that. There's the old "joke:" when you assume you make an *** of you (u) and me.

At one place where I worked, I had the OPPOSITE problem: I kept showing up for Sunday brunch shifts I was down for on the sked -- except that the manager neglected to tell me that brunch was cancelled those days. Curiously enough, he managed to tell everyone else on the sked. :mad:

Yes, this is a tough business to work in. But it can be so exciting and rewarding. Maybe you're just getting bored: do you do the same things over and over, all day, every day? Or even if you have some variety, how long have you been cooking the same menu? That can drive anybody a little crazy.

But really, calm down. Deep breath. And another. The writeup is a minor glitch, not the end of the world. And you've learned something from it. That's more than a lot of people can say, who have been there, too. :)

And we're all here for you. :D
Joined Jul 27, 2002
To me it doesn't sound like burn-out at all. I think that you are letting those people intimidate you and it's kicking your @$$! If I were you I would just go in there and forget about every thing that is happening and just DO YOUR JOB! How does that saying go: "The only person that can beat you is YOU!" Maybe it is time to find another job too! I don't know what your home situation is like, but my general theory is: If I'm bored, I'm gone. Sooner or later you will find a place that will keep you happy for a while though! Really, there is so many kitchens in this world, there has to be something else out there. My $.02. Good luck!
Joined Oct 13, 2002
well, i'll tell you what:

im really greatful for all of the support from you guys and thankful as well.

ta very much.
Joined Sep 21, 2001
The difference between burnout and fatigue is attitude. You can get over fatigue with a little R+R, the burnout keeps going because you think about it all the time. I bet if you deal with the people involved, the "burnout" feeling will go away. I once worked 45 days in a row, 16 hours a day. Did I get burned out? No, I got the flu! And then I went back to work because I loved that job!
Joined Mar 6, 2001
I agree with ChefClayCollins and Peachcreek, you don't sound like your burned out.

I think you slacked off not calling in and then were hurt/embarrased you got written up. You got in a bit of trouble but don't let that drag you down. Just like you shouldn't let other people drag you down emotionally.

Re-group your thoughts and be yourself regardless of others. Get back to doing your best and get away from any negative people. If everyone there is negative find another kitchen.....not all places are the same!!

I let myself get draged down in a bad sitiation and as others here will agree, I got very negative. I stayed at a place I knew was a problem because I didn't think I'd find another situation as good. BUT I was wrong!!
I've gone on to work in other kitchens and have found myself and my love again for being in the kitchen.

P.S. No one is perfect, everyone gets in a little bit of trouble every now and then. Everyone also has to re-group every now and then too. Relax!! And hang in there....
Joined Jul 12, 2001
When a person is not told they are an important employee they will start to think they are not.

Unfortunately the management techniques of many chefs are not the best. Many times chefs have no management training. I know I didn't. So they are left to emulating there previous bosses who also had no management training. A vicious cycle continues.

My suggestion would be to remember that though you may have limited food experience you have been able to, from what it sounds like, work in the fast paced field of off sight catering.
You can work precise and efficiently, make quick decisions on your own as well as work with a team to achieve a common goal.

Then you may want to start doing some listening. When you are around others in the industry listen for people that really love there job. Don't pay attention to $$ but listen to how the feel about working where they do.

Usually when a person is genuinely happy about being at work they are not the only ones. Most of the time you will find it a feeling spread through the entire company. It may not be easy to find but it will be well worth it when you are working with people that all know that they are important employees.

Good Luck

There ARE Chefs that understand that if the employees don't enjoy being at the restaurant neither will the customers.
Joined Nov 10, 2001
Thunder,if you feel undervalued it`s time to move on.
You may just need time off from work.
This business is never going to be easy,but not all places are bad,there are some brilliant kitchens.Don`t let the B`s get you down!!
Good luck,Leo.
Joined Jul 28, 2001
You will find these hurdles in all professions. Ours is a little different for the antiquated ways. Learn one thing though, there are no laws in the kitchen. This industry is very primitive and has not reached into the 20 century. If you're smart, you'll learn to use this to your advantage.
You can never let your peers set your goals for you. You must use this industry, just as it will use you. Set knowlege and time goals for yourself. I'm assuming that you're a newbie. Absorb all you can and move on for more. When you feel that you're well rounded enough, focus on achieving what part of this industry is right for you and start your professional career.
As with life, you can be friendly with those you spend time with. You can have their backs when you're in that foxhole, but the simple fact is that a good friend usually won't grow from an enviornment that is so condusive to politics, competition, greed, etc. I guess what I'm trying to say is, have a life outside of work so you can work to live, not live to work.
Just my 2cnts
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