Had to fire someone today

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by sherman452, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. sherman452

    sherman452

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    I had to fire someone today.  Now the kitchen is mad at me.

    Trying to decide which book to read to turn me into the most beloved manager ever in the whole wide world.

     
  2. wlong

    wlong

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    Good luck with either of the books.  You can be the best manager in the business, but you will always have problem workers that needs to be retrained, put on notice or let go. 
     
  3. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    Books won't make you a good manager. Not caring "the kitchen is mad at me" or wanting to become "beloved" will. You're in your position to lead. You and your employees are not "equals"... If you view yourself as a parent and your staff your children you wouldn't need to justify any of your actions to your children... nor would you really struggle with them being upset after you have to discipline them... such is management.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
  4. sherman452

    sherman452

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    Thanks, Spoiled Broth.  I know all of that.  I was posting the comment as a wry, tongue-in-cheek, "can you relate" kind of a post.
     
  5. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    I agree that reading books on Baseball and Dog Training won't help you. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif

    Seriously though, a true manager mentality would put the security and prosperity

    (and through filtration) morale and organization, of the establishment above all else.

    Maintaining friendships with employees must by nature be way down on the list, as

    they are often at odds. The best managers I've seen, and had, rarely even fraternize

    with co-workers, indeed many restaurants are now establishing policy that managers

    (especially salaried) are prohibited from fraternizing with hourly employees, and that

    includes OFF the work premises was well, such as a party thrown by an employee,

    i.e., "everyone's invited".

    My past boss lasted 8 months as a General Manager at which time they were unceremoniously

    canned with virtually no notice. This is because they were a server for 6 years, the place

    suddenly lost their GM, they were acting as a PIC, applied, and moved into the position

    for convenience. But not only could  they not be taken seriously as a manager by long time friends,

    but they were unable to make the hard decisions, such as firing...ANY of them.....for ANY reason

    (And the reasons increased with their "friend" at the helm, believe me.)

    As I said, being friends and managing are often at direct odds. Nature of the beast.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
  6. tweakz

    tweakz

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    There's a classic book by Dale Carnegie called 'How to win friends and influence people'. It's not necessarily about winning friends, but how you come across to people.
    - http://www.theatlantic.com/business...g-wage-and-still-make-money-in-retail/274322/

    Some on this forum think that employees only cause losses by stealing. There are many ways for unhappy employees to cause losses including damaging product whether by burning (and secretively throwing product away), over cooking, over trimming, contamination (I've seen pubes, boogers, and floor sweeping added to product by minimum wage workers), etc. If employees look oppressed, or dissatisfied with their job: I'll avoid returning.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2015
  7. panini

    panini

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    @Sherman452,

     That s cks. something good always comes out of a negative. Hopefully the good will benefit both your kitchen and you. Keep on keepin on my friend. Been there, sorry. I would go with Cesar
     
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  8. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    Great points, Tweakz.  I read an article on starting your own business once where the author that opined that "a company with 50 employees has 50 problems."  Wow!  What a tone-deaf article, and one that really misses the point.  Chef Thomas Keller takes a different approach; he would almost say you have 50 partners.  Obviously there has to be discipline and the boss has to be the boss but giving your staff a chance to contribute meaningfully makes everything better.  Morale is better, the food is better and things run more smoothly.

    I think it's fair to say that nearly every problem you face in business, no matter what business, is a 'people problem.'  You can't be a good chef without some social skills.  There's so much more to being a chef (as in "head of the kitchen") than just knowing how to cook.
     
    tweakz likes this.
  9. beastmasterflex

    beastmasterflex

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    Worst part of the job. I think a little part of everyone that works under you will hate you somewhat for the power you hold over them. When that power is demonstrated that little part of them grows for a time, just let it blow over.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
  10. beastmasterflex

    beastmasterflex

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    Glad we finally agree about the pack mentality...
     
  11. tweakz

    tweakz

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    I've had quite a few bosses that I've loved. I never felt like they had any negative power over me as I'm an exceptional worker within my limitations who had nothing to fear from them. Sometimes it just takes some understanding and communication (which the lack of can be a contributor in shift rivalries). If bosses don't hear the griping; they can't address the issues which people can misunderstand or be totally out of line about. I suggested a boss get some bandages for the first aid kit. He pointed out they were there (I just didn't recognize the container). Some people won't ask and just assume that the boss is being cheap. I've often been a buffer between the boss and the gripers who always assume the worst.

    Some people will see a boss as being mean to someone who is a hidden thorn in their side. There could be two reasons for this; one is that it's a lot of paperwork and hassle to fire someone unless they're outright caught stealing or doing something very wrong. Another is that the boss is actually being nice in letting the person know how much they're not wanted and giving them time and motivation to find another job.

    When times were better I didn't fret quitting a job. I'd rather move on than bitch about my employer. I was getting hired at more places than I applied to, so I refused to work for the real buttholes.

    Morale is important as Phaedrus said: 'Morale is better, the food is better and things run more smoothly.'

    I hope your employees come around to seeing it was an action you had to do, that you're also bothered by it, and you desire to be loved and not hated.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2015
    sherman452 likes this.
  12. chefross

    chefross

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    When I worked for corporate America it seemed like management was always looking for some one to screw up.

    With unions added to this situation it would turn into a daily battle pitting management against union employee.

    I spent more time with verbal warnings, written warnings, paperwork, and such that I can understand the mentality of the workers and their angst against the suits.
     
  13. sherman452

    sherman452

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    Thanks for the support, fellow Chefs.  The storm has blown over and the kitchen has taken the adjustment in stride.  Mostly the reaction was, "Wait, does this mean we are going to have to work harder than we already do because we are a man down on the line?"  But, we are running a new menu, things are much more organized than they used to be and everyone is much calmer and focused.

     
     
  14. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Machiavelli's "The Prince" is a great read for leadership. Not very modern but timeless in many ways. 

    Glad everything is improving. Keep us posted. 
     
  15. alaminute

    alaminute

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    Yeah machiavelli's great, unless a far reaching employee who thinks they can do your job reads it lol ;)
     
  16. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    The Prince as an example of what not to be, please tell me that's what you guys are talking about! "The art of war" by Sun Tzu is a pretty good book in the same vein however it's not as ... Repulsive :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  17. chefedb

    chefedb

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    The next step after becoming the manager is OUT THE DOOR.
     
  18. sherman452

    sherman452

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    Huh?
     
  19. panini

    panini

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