made the cut, I don't know how I feel about the new job.

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by rat, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. rat

    rat

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    Started a new job a few months ago man it is cut-throat. The chef I started with got fired out of the blue because someone else better applied.

    Then that new chef guy got fired because he did not agree with the owners on some things. He was good too, Rainbow room vet, Charlie Palmers, Seegers and Beverly Hills Hilton etc.. He was good. A new chef was hired and things were going smoothly until we closed for the end of summer break. Just talked to the owner today about the fall menu lineup and ideas and he told me to expect some new faces-- a lot of them.

    Turns out they fire everyone they think are not up to par during the annual close. So the newest chef is gone, 1 cook, 1 dishwasher, my pastry assistant and 5 servers. I spoke to the AM sous who had been there for 2 years and she told me this was a regular thing, I was not supposed to know this as they did not want me to quit or feel bad.

    The new roster is up so I will meet the new staff on Tuesday.

    I don't know how I feel about the new job now. So far the owners and customers like the new desserts but sometimes for me it is like working for Phil Spectre or the mob. I hate the feeling that you never know when you are going to get whacked or have a gun to your head.

    I was hired to redo the desserts and bread line, in the course of that they fired the existing pastry chef and the bread baker- I do both of their jobs now, before about 80% of the dessert menu items were brought in, and olny the breads and breakfast pastries were made in house, now it is 100% in house production. So far I have been in line and under budget, making them money, I guess that's what counts. I just think that's a shi&^$ way to do business. I am too old for this kind of stuff it seems like just being a good faithfull employee is not enough any more, people getting fired after being there for years, good people. I just don't understand anymore. Sorry for the rant.
     
  2. chefross

    chefross

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    I don't know about you, but I could not work at a job being constantly in fear of losing it.

    Walk away.....be afraid....be very afraid.
     
  3. gobblygook

    gobblygook

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    Forgot which section I was in.  I have no business commenting in this forum.  Sorry. 
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  4. lentil

    lentil

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    My stomach did flips just reading your post.  I couldn't work like that. It's like being on thin ice all the time whether or not you've done anything to deserve it.  Good luck in whatever you decide.
     
  5. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

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    I could never work in an environment like that! I'd be putting out my resume, just in case./img/vbsmilies/smilies/surprised.gif
     
  6. leeniek

    leeniek

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    I couldn't handle working in that sort of environment and I would be putting my resume out there and getting myself out of there as soon as possible.  The way they handle things is a bad way to do business and sooner or later word is going to get around that it's not the best place for job security and people will slowly stop applying to work there.

    Best of luck with whatever you decide and it sounds like you are doing a good job with the desserts.
     
  7. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Been there, done that.  Treat your food cost like it was a supermodel-trophy-wife, hope your supplies don't jerk up the price and that rooms division keeps the place full.

    The only way to combat the fear--for me anyway--was to cheat.

    Figuratively speaking, of course.

    You mentioned two previous Chefs, and I'm sure you made a good impression on them.  Keep in touch with them.  Don't send out resumes, don't see the head hunters, but make lots of friends.  When you figure the time is right, that's when you casually mention to your friends that you're ready for a change of scenery. 

    This is the only way I could do it.  That, and dreaming about opening my own place. 

    How'd the AM Sous survive?
     
  8. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Learn from experience  ! They let the others go when they had no more use for them, the minute you teach them everything you know., they will find someone cheaper and you are history. Do not give them any recipes or formulas or show them how to do anything.you do., . be careful of any new assistant they give you, he or she could be your replacement. Get your resumes current and send them out as feelers. Trust me, the mob as you say does not operate like this. You make them money and do right by them and  you have a job forever and they appreciate .You on the other hand  work for jerks. Good Luck
     
  9. rat

    rat

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    Yes it is a weird situation, it does not help that the owners are both bi-polar. Today everything was wonderful, the new menu was all delicious and they say they are very happy. Yesterday they spent the day slamming stuff around and not talking to anyone. Today it was the total opposite. I know they both have all their money tied up in the place and they need to build income. I am sure that that alone is super stressfull. If they sense they are not getting their moneys worth from you, out you go. The other chefs and I got along with fine but being in pastry I am in a seperate department so I do not have much interaction with the rest of the kitchen, only when I meet with them to see what they will be needing for the day-quiche shells, voul au vent etc.First chef , well... I could see that coming, he had a problem with ordering and could not keep cost down. The second I thought was good but was very pushy and would say stuff like "I know they want it this way but we are doing it my way"-that will get you fired in most places. He`would also do stuff like order tart shells and when I asked when he needed them his response would be "I need them yesterday" that stuff always gums up the works.

    Sharon the AM sous is great I love her, she keeps the place together and the owners depend on her, she says the like my stuff ALOT and me too. The one owner I work with is way cool just very bi polar and ist is hard to convince him to change things, he is very set in his ways. From a culinary standpoint the stuff I make is strictly "missionary position" Apple galettes, flourless chocolate cake etc.  .I am not worried about getting fired, it is just a very stressfull place to work. One day we are joking around everyone is happy, the next we are walking on pins and needles. The owners set the tone for the day so when they are in the not caring mode it is hard for me to want to want to care, does that make sense?

    They are kind of stuck with me especially since none of the recipes I have brought aboard have methods and would be hard for the average pastry apprectince to master. My backround is fine dining but I do have high volume retail bakery experience so I can fit in here. The job is easy and I hate to say not really challenging-with the exception of the work load. I do alot for them, sales have certanly increased and the owner has said the pastry is the only department making money for now. The assistant I had got fired because of her scheduling conflicts. Anyone is replaceable I know that, but until I can find a better job I'm here. I had my last job for 11 years until the economy dumped and it took me 6 months and a recruiter to find me this one.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  10. pastryev

    pastryev

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    Good luck on your journey you can only enjoy it if you see that vision everyday and look though the crap that is hap-ping but there is always something to learn just work hard like now  one is watching and all great things will come if you put forth the highest standards you should always be proud of what you do
     
  11. sweetcaroline

    sweetcaroline

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    Best of luck but .........don't expect that it won't happen to you too!   Keep your eyes open for  a new gig because you won't even know when it's your turn.  I think we should enjoy our jobs, not just be happy to have one.   Good luck!
     
  12. blwilson2039

    blwilson2039

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    Like all the other posts, I'm only a couple of months late. Rat, you are in a very typical situation. Don't get too worked up about it. And Ed was right on when he said don't give anything away as far as your expertise goes. Only enough to make your job easier (as in training people). If it makes you feel better, I got fired in August. Everyone was telling me I was doing a great job, the a la carte desserts were great, the wedding cakes were beautiful, the artisan breads were awesome, blah blah blah. Well, it didn't help because me my boss just looked past all the good things I brought to the table and concentrated on the most ridiculous minutiae. In short, he was gifted at pointing out things nobody else would notice. I was 1/4" off center one tier on a large, 4-tier wedding cake which was so heavily piped nobody did notice. Anyway, you get to work with all kinds in this business. Just keep your mouth shut and do your job as best as you can.
     
  13. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

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    That's scary and makes no sense to me. If you're doing a good job and nothing is wrong, why would one get fired? Sure, nobody is 100% perfect, and there's always going to be small mistakes made occasionally, but that's to be expected. In fact in most jobs I've had, it's the other people making the mistakes, and me having to cover for them. My theory is it's always the bottom line. If a boss thinks he can get a pastry chef to do the same job for less money, no matter how good a job YOU are doing, you're outta there. For us, it's a real ego killer. Doing your best almost seems like it's just not good enough. Not to mention, we'd like to get paid what we're worth but always seem to be grossly underpaid for the skill and hard work it takes for us to do a great job.
     
  14. trooper

    trooper

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    Welcome to my world. You can be straight-aces for twenty years in a row and one bad day gets you a cigarette and a blindfold.

    At that point, just do the best you can to leave work at work and home at home.
     
  15. david reed

    david reed

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    The owners are human exploiters. Any valuables they own were probably taken from prisoners on their way to a camp somewhere. Get away from them.
     
  16. blwilson2039

    blwilson2039

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    Sorry it took so long to get back to your question, but after I got "let go", they ran through three more pastry chefs in quick succession. I heard later that the boss didn't like the fact that I was a Democrat.
     
    david reed likes this.
  17. david reed

    david reed

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         wow. Maybe you should take up filmmaking and go back with a camera. These folks sound like high drama reality show material. I'll bet their entire world is chaos.