Butt Space in the Kitchen

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by miss kim78, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. miss kim78

    miss kim78 Banned

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    It is not unusual to be in a professional kitchen and share a space that is far less than "spacey".I am wondering what some of the worst "space" issues that other chefs have experienced. I am currently working the pantry and dessert stations, which are back to back. I am usually by myself most of the time, working both stations. But when there is a rush, there are two bodies in the cramped space (barely a foot and a half wide, with both of us always "butt bumping". I am so relieved that my "spacemate" is someone who is petite. Had it been someone large, I don't think that I would be able to move around at all.
     
  2. boyo1991

    boyo1991

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    I am but a lowly fry dessert and salad station cook, but I have got to say.. its sooooo cramped. steaks and what we call "mid" which takes care of the flat skillet grill cook work and my station are all on the same 30 foot line. the line between the table and the fryer is about... 4 ft so no we have noooo space.

    our freezer is insanely small and the cooler has racks in it that makes getting things out of the freezer virtually impossible..

    however, I love the guys I work with and we make fun of the limited space.. helps ease the fact that it is so small haha
     
  3. miss kim78

    miss kim78 Banned

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    Lol Boyo..that is good that you get along great with your coworkers. That would really suck if you were “trapped” in the stations with people you don’t like. Some of the guys at my work have foul B.O. and I am so glad I don’t work near them or, even worse, trapped in my cramped little space working butt to butt with them. Also, there are some perverts at where I work who seem to have Asian fetish. I think they would enjoy “butt bumping” too much.
     
  4. greg

    greg

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    I once worked with a guy that was 5'7" and around 300 lbs. The line was about the same as the one boyo works: long, but narrow. Whenever he tried to get past me at my station, he'd invariably knock my utensils on the floor trying to squeeze by.
     
  5. miss kim78

    miss kim78 Banned

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    Dang Greg. Yeah, it seems like many kitchens aren't designed for the grotesquely obese. But ironically there seems to be a lot of fat chefs. Why can't they just design larger kitchens so people can work comfortably?! 
     
  6. wpgcook

    wpgcook

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    Space seems to be a concern in most kitchens. I designed a kitchen for a restaurant that had moved to a new larger location. On paper the floor plan looked great, lots of room to move around and everything within reach for each of the stations. However, as we grew (and we grew fast!), we had to add more equipment, a couple of more staff and soon we were butt-bumping everywhere.

    In the restaurant I'm at now, I re-designed the kitchen to give us more work space for prep which would double for service space at night. That was two years ago. Since then, we've added another two work tables, a second conveyor pizza oven, a larger pizza station, a larger salad station and a larger stove/oven. On Friday and Saturday nights we have nine cooks on the line and it gets really tight. When everything works it's like watching a ballet but one screw-up and it turns into a Marx Brothers movie.
     
    curiousmunchkin likes this.
  7. junglist

    junglist

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    I currently work in the smallest kitchen I've ever worked in, and the same goes for my co-workers. Our line is maybe 6-7 feet long, with about 2-3 feet of space between the line and the pass. Before our 'renovation' our garde manger had about the same length to work with, now they have a quarter of the space. Fortunately it's usually the head chef and I working the line, and we are both average to skinny sized. 

    What throws us off is when our 'consultant' feels the need to step into the line when he's supposed to be expediting. If he actually did something helpful it'd be one thing, but he usually just gets in the way and takes up valuable space. So many times I'm tempted to whack him with a pan or stab him with a knife. And when he's expediting, he has a whole 7-8 feet to himself, yet he has the nerve to say he has too little space to plate from sizzle platters/finish plates/wipe down plates. Even with him across the pass, I'm still tempted to throw a pan at him/stab him with a knife...

    Consider yourself lucky you don't work in our kitchen Miss Kim; our head chef has an infatuation for asian women. He'd be butt-bumping you all the time /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rollsmile.gif
     
  8. pancake house

    pancake house

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    There are only 2 times in life I'll touch butts with other cooks.

    1) fighting chits online
    2) fighting zombies.

    I have had some cramped spots online. There is always a coworker that takes up so much real estate it's like orbiting a planet.

    My worst choke point was in my old place. You had to twist to clear a 10" wide overlap of a deck oven and the end of a line. Always had to be careful not to just open the oven without looking.
     
  9. miss kim78

    miss kim78 Banned

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    Junglist, yeah, I hate it when people get in the way of our precious butt spaces. Our bussers comes to our station to get bread and amuse servings. I don't understand why they kept taking just enough for a few orders at a time, making them have to come back to invade our space every 15 minutes. I asked them to just take everything or at least as much as they can. It's better for me, better for them because they won't have to keep coming back and forth repeatedly. I don't get their method of doing things.

    Speaking of Asian fetishes, it seems like every kitchen I step into, I always seem to experience dealing with these perverts. Many of them are Hispanic and they act like they have never seen an Asian woman before and make comments like "Ohh Chinita bonita," assuming that I don't know what they are saying. I am not even Chinese, but they think every Asian woman is a China or Chinita lol.

    Pancake House, I have had that similar situation, too. That is a horrible place to put an oven. Why do they do that to us?? Sometimes I think people just want to see the kitchen suffer.
     
  10. boyo1991

    boyo1991

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    haha ive found that at most kitchens, your going to find that asian pervert HAHA. as we all know, the kitchen isnt usually the "friendliest" place in the world.. some of them dont interact with people at all except those he or she works with. so they get comfortable enough to start being perverted.. a shame, but true
     
  11. cookon

    cookon

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    I really feel for all of you. Try cooking on a train. Even worse a private train car with a postage stamp space including coal fired range. The first requirement of a line cook was that he fit. Yes I said "he". Having a women in that space would have been, well awkward to say the least. But again today, who knows.
     
  12. miss kim78

    miss kim78 Banned

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    Lol I think more than half of the Hispanic guys at my work has hit on me at one time or another...the bussers, cooks, and dishwashers. It gets annoying and creepy. I am sooo glad that none of them are working near my area. It seems like sexual harassment is not that uncommon in the kitchen when you are working with a bunch of uncouth savages. I have had a coworker asking me to give him a kiss, another one asking me to be his gf, etc....and they act like hitting on coworkers is normal and acceptable.These perverts should all take a class on sexual harassment 101.
     
  13. junglist

    junglist

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    I feel you sister, I get the same 'Chinito!' from all the latinos/latinas. I don't know why I keep trying, but I'm always like 'No Chinito, Cam-bo-di-an.' First couple of times it'll be like 'Cambogyan!' then it just goes back to 'Chinito!'. That's when I start calling everyone 'Mexican' even though most in this area are El Salvadorian :p

    My head chef is actually an Italian, with a fetish for asian women. I swear one of the reasons I was hired by him was because he thought I would have this army of hot asian women at the ready for him to plunder. A new server who's half Japanese just started working with us, and one of the first things the head chef says to me, 'Hey, ask him if he has any asian lady friends.' All I could say was 'You ask him you man ho!'

    Sorry this is all OT /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  14. kostendorf

    kostendorf

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    with me it is banging my head.  the walk in freezer, the shelfs in the pantry and where we keep the pizza paddle.  all set up for a small person.  and the counters are too low.
     
  15. miss kim78

    miss kim78 Banned

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    Lol Kostendorf..how tall are you? Yeah, the kitchen is not large/tall person-friendly. I hate that. Sometimes not always short-person friendly either. A lot of times, things are up too high and we either have to get a ladder or ask someone to get it for us.

    Junglist..that sounds so inappropriate for the head chef to be asking his workers to pimp him lol.

    And I just started telling the guys that hit on me that I am a lesbian lol (which I'm not).
     
  16. wpgcook

    wpgcook

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    Same thing in my kitchen.  I'm 6 ft. and almost all my staff are 5 ft. tall. I'm constantly banging my head on hanging utensils and pans.
     
  17. pancake house

    pancake house

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    6ft plus club here too, with the new pair of clogs almost 6'4"

    Not only are we constantly in danger of head trauma in kitchens, we're constantly asked to get things off shelves all day like human cranes too

    Remember to thank your local tall person!
     
  18. kostendorf

    kostendorf

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    yea kitchen chef human crane that is my job position
     
  19. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    The butt-bumping phenomenon is pretty common in commercial kitchens.

    As it is, I really cant say anything negative about it because....

    years ago my first cooking job was in a small (yeah SMALL) Italian kitchen,

    we had a line of pizza ovens and a range on one wall, the sandwich line, fridge

    and freezer directly behind it. 48" or so of space down the middle.

    Anyway there was this one waitress there, for some reason our timing was

    always "in-synch" and we were constantly bumping tushes, We'd joke about

    it etc, but it was actually kind of eerie. But even though I was only there a

    year or so, this butt-bump story ended well. I married her! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
     
  20. miss kim78

    miss kim78 Banned

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    Meezenplaz, what an endearing story. If you are working in a confined space with someone you get a thrill out of butt bumping with, that is a different story lol.

    In my case, it's not that pleasant.

    I am a "personal space" type of person. Since I entered the culinary world, the lack of spaciousness drove me nuts. I was a home cook, who enjoyed the luxury of cooking in a relaxing, peaceful, spacious environment. Then enter culinary school, having all those bodies in such a small confined area was overwhelming. And after working in the industry for a while, I have grown used to it somewhat.

    And the fact that I sense that most of my pervert coworkers enjoy it too much creeps me out. It would be different if I was working with straight women lol. Now I understand why many kitchens are hesitant in hiring women.

    Many of us would be much happier people if the kitchens were more spacious and better designed.