Phone rights...

5,329
799
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Well, let’s see now...
I got reprimanded about two years ago when I attempted to incise a new orifice on a cook who I saw was texting while operating a meat slicer. I sh*t you not, The cooks arguement that he was using the phone on work related issues did nothing to slow down my incising of said orifice, but it was true, he was responding to a text from a coworker 40 feet away who wanted to know how much he wanted to reduce his water on the stove, as the pot was almost burning dry. Dumb and dumber....

No, when I work, I work. I multi task, I have timers on ovens, mixers, proofing cabinets, etc. I don’t stop every time the phone goes off to see what the message is about. It’s true that if I did carry a phone with me, I’d check it on a coffee break, but in the scenario I described at the beginning of the thread, even then it would have been too late to react to the text. Thing was, the day earlier I asked my boss about that particular task, and he told me not to worry, he had it covered. As I also mentioned in my original post, staff do communicate via notes, and it works well, so does face to face communication and daily “ huddles” /mini meetings/whatever you want to call them.

It’s also true I am jaded against “technological revolution”. Back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the earth and when cell phones were the size of a briefcase and obscenely expensive, hotels started to issue “pagers” to dept. heads and managers, it was a true technological revolution: the pager beeped or vibrated and displayed a number for you to call. Upon receiving this technological jewel, my Chef instructed me to crack open the grease trap for an inspection. He stood over that pit, leaned, and shook his chefcoat until the pager plopped into the hellhole, and then instructed me the bolt it back up. His logic was simple, the pager was only good if there was a phone around which would be in his office where he was most of the day, or he would be at the pass, where it would crazy to go to the office for the phone, or he’d be at home where the office had his number anyway.

Look, I’m not against phones in general, but for ( deleted) sakes we work in kitchens, not in sales. Leave them in your lockers, and communicate directly.
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
I've been waiting for this topic to come up. Lots of good points made here.
To answer Foodpumps original question I'll say no, you don't have to carry it with you. There is no specific policy at the job requiring you to have one. After not answering texts, calls a few times, the boss will get the message if he hasn't already. If a conversation is needed then by all means clear the air but otherwise everyone you work with has already figured out your feelings about it and adjusted accordingly.
Some random thoughts.
While I have a flip phone and can get texts, I don't typically text back and will call back instead and inform the person I can't \won't text. A very simple on maybe but nothing more.
In the bigger picture, I think lots of people are still adjusting to this, me included. . My bosses announced no one is to be on their phones. Yet I see both of them using their phones repeatedly all day, sometimes as I'm talking to them. There is no proof it's work related for all I know.
Just the other day, Boss One sat near a work area taking phone pictures of an employee who was on his phone instead of working. This was two days after said employee was counseled for being on his phone instead of working.
Yesterday Boss 2 asked if I would come in an hour earlier today and wanted me to text her my reply. I did.
On the weekends, they have a supervisor take pictures of customer service areas and send them the pictures to see if the areas are up to standard. That way they can stay home. While the picture taking bugs the hell out of me, I can see the benefit. It's possible to do it with the technology so why not?
Throughout the job, all employees use the phones at various times to check various things but overall they keep focused on the job at hand and don't let things slide..
I see people of all ages with their phone stuck to their face and also people of all ages who avoid using it every minute of the day.
I don't know, it may be a brave new world but I find it annoying as hell.
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
To be fair we are in a technological revolution .. all my bosses contact each other via email, text and or phone call.. we also leave notes.. you should take your phone w/ you i do not see the harm if you are not using it recreationally.
"Not using it recreationally"is never going to happen as long as staff has access to their phones. It's not a technological revolution, it's an addiction. And quite frankly it disgusts me to see people walking around with their cell phone clutched in their hand like they can't live without it. That's because they probably can't.

For example. in nearly every state there are laws that prohibit cell phone use while driving. There are stiff fines, license suspension and other penalties that you would think would deter sane people from using their phone or texting while driving. Yet I can drive down any highway and see the drivers of probably one out of every five cars I pass doing something with a cell phone in plane sight.

So if you think employees can exercise enough control over themselves to not use their phones while working even with the threat of being fired, it's not going to happen.

It needs to be established from the day you hire somebody that the policy is no cell phone use for any reason while you are working your shift. Then provide a locker or other secure place to put their phones until they leave.
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
This is an interesting topic. In the 1990's I was tethered to a telephone headset with a wire leading down to my pocket with the receiver. A phone call comes in and directed to me. I have to use my right hand to reach into my pocket and flip it on. Here I am with my hands in raw chicken breasts talking to a purveyor.
Some things have changed for the better I suppose. Still, I detest cell phones....
 
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Chefbillyb times have changed. All the websites are full of employers looking for cooks, and most of them are guaranteeing 36+ hrs/ week, on call is long gone. Most catering co’s Use a web format that emails out a quest for cooks, chefs, bartenders, etc, begging, pleading you to sign up for gigs two and three weeks away.

J cakes, the”boss” is in charge of the baking dept, four staff including myself, and no the guy isn’t very observant, doesn’t communicate well, other staff avoid talking to him, and he avoids talking at all.

I dunno, I’m tired of working short stints, even though I have good reason to leave. Every place has issues, so I might as well stick this one out, because it’s as good as any other place.
Chef, when I hired someone that is asking for full-time I explain what that means. That means when that person gets full-time hours I need them to be invested in what goes on. If something happens I need them to help correct the problem. If thats not part of what they can do then I hire two people at 20 hrs each. This is a business that doesn't yield, it demands attention. This is the reason why Chefs hire as many part-time people as possible. I understand that employment is tough but the needs of the restaurant haven't changed.
 
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Joined Aug 23, 2008
To be fair we are in a technological revolution .. all my bosses contact each other via email, text and or phone call.. we also leave notes ...
It depends ...

I've learned through painful experience that not all 20-something staff fully utilize all of the technological features of their iPhones. I've had cooks and dishwashers that only communicate via text. When you call, the phone immediately goes to voicemail. Moments later, you'll receive a text with "What's up"? The voicemail either isn't set up or the mail box is full. It doesn't matter because won't be checked.

On the other hand, I employ one early 20s dishwasher that doesn't own a cell phone, and lives with his grandparents. (He's a kid with little job experience, but great work ethic; I frequently have to kick him out of the kitchen at the end of his shift.) To get a hold of him, I call the grandparent's landline. Then I've had seniors (that's anyone older than my 67 years!) that use their antique flip phone only as a phone. They don't do voicemail or text.

To put things in perspective, my 30-yearold camp director uses all technology to his (the camp's) benefit. On camp grounds, he'll either see me in person, radio ahead to wait for a landline phone call or leave a note in my mailbox. When I'm off-grounds, he'll call or text for immediate issues. (He is respectful of my day off, as I respect his day off.) We pass a ton of emails back and forth for routine camp business. He likes email because it creates a record.

Technology is hampered at the camp because of our location. Most cell phone services don't work very well on camp grounds. We rely on landlines for most communication with vendors, camp guests, regulators and employees. Even WiFi service at the camp is spotty. I frequently drive into town to place online orders with vendors. No one uses Face Time due to signal limitations.

I am personally very comfortable with most technology. I find that you, within certain limitations, have to tailor your mode of communication for each staff member. I have a relatively small staff (10-12), so this isn't too difficult. Since the kitchen schedule is fairly stable, I only have to call someone in early or delay a shift on occasion. And when I'm able to anticipate the need to adjust the schedule, I make the adjustment in person. And, yes, I fully utilize notes when called for.

My two cents ...
 
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Joined Feb 18, 2007
That's the issue I face - people are using their phones recreationally when they shouldn't be. Using the timer function on your phone is one thing, checking your Facebook feed while you're supposed to be prepping is the problem.

And, we get orders via text, email, Facebook Messenger.... just because a business is on social media, does that mean you should expect a live chat 24 hours a day?! please. Respect my time to be with my family and don't give me grief because I didn't answer the phone an hour after the bakery closes. That's what voicemail is for. When did "business hours" become 24/7?!
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
Don't get me wrong. Cell phone technology is extremely useful but even more so has become extremely disruptive. I compare cell phone companies to be like drug dealers. Put a phone in the hands of a 4 or 5 year old so they can play games and you have them hooked for life. So pretty much they have every man, woman and child in this Country addicted and paying monthly charges.

How often do we see families in our restaurants all sitting around the table, every one including parents with their noses buried in their phones? Sometimes they are so busy that the don't even acknowledge the server or look at the menus.

I consider myself to be in control of my reactions, yet I can be driving and receive a call or text (my blue tooth link to my car crapped out) and I twitch wanting to answer it. Sometimes I will succumb and pull over if I can. We've all become like Pavlov's Dog and conditioned to respond whenever we hear our phones. This is what we've degenerated to.
 
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Joined May 1, 2019
To be fair we are in a technological revolution .. all my bosses contact each other via email, text and or phone call.. we also leave notes.. you should take your phone w/ you i do not see the harm if you are not using it recreationally.
I am in constant contact w the sales reps, sous chef, exec, and lead chef
Well... I guess there are two issues here, the first being privacy and expectations of not being on-call 24/7. The second is addiction, and in this case it’s phone addiction.

Phone addiction is pretty easy to control in a kitchen, just as alcoholism is pretty easy to control in a kitchen: Don’t drink at work, whatever you do on your own time is your own business, but you are expected to show up at the scheduled time and complete your duties. If you can’t do that, get your alcohol addiction under control and don’t come back until you do.
With phones it’s simple: The phone stays in your locker, what you do on your lunch break or coffee break is your business, but the phone goes back into the locker at the end of the break. We are not in sales, and we use the company phone to place orders. If you can’t go 2-3 hours without using your phone, you have an addiction problem, so don’t come back into the kitchen until you have this under control.

In order not to single anyone out, everyone in the kitchen follows the same rule.
Their is a setting to where you can have a schedule for certain numbers to be blocked on specific times of the day.
Well, let’s see now...
I got reprimanded about two years ago when I attempted to incise a new orifice on a cook who I saw was texting while operating a meat slicer. I sh*t you not, The cooks arguement that he was using the phone on work related issues did nothing to slow down my incising of said orifice, but it was true, he was responding to a text from a coworker 40 feet away who wanted to know how much he wanted to reduce his water on the stove, as the pot was almost burning dry. Dumb and dumber....

No, when I work, I work. I multi task, I have timers on ovens, mixers, proofing cabinets, etc. I don’t stop every time the phone goes off to see what the message is about. It’s true that if I did carry a phone with me, I’d check it on a coffee break, but in the scenario I described at the beginning of the thread, even then it would have been too late to react to the text. Thing was, the day earlier I asked my boss about that particular task, and he told me not to worry, he had it covered. As I also mentioned in my original post, staff do communicate via notes, and it works well, so does face to face communication and daily “ huddles” /mini meetings/whatever you want to call them.

It’s also true I am jaded against “technological revolution”. Back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the earth and when cell phones were the size of a briefcase and obscenely expensive, hotels started to issue “pagers” to dept. heads and managers, it was a true technological revolution: the pager beeped or vibrated and displayed a number for you to call. Upon receiving this technological jewel, my Chef instructed me to crack open the grease trap for an inspection. He stood over that pit, leaned, and shook his chefcoat until the pager plopped into the hellhole, and then instructed me the bolt it back up. His logic was simple, the pager was only good if there was a phone around which would be in his office where he was most of the day, or he would be at the pass, where it would crazy to go to the office for the phone, or he’d be at home where the office had his number anyway.

Look, I’m not against phones in general, but for ( deleted) sakes we work in kitchens, not in sales. Leave them in your lockers, and communicate directly.
Most of our staffs communications is with sales reps in corporate or the owner and exec who are at corporate as well. (Which is not 40 feet away) you just work with ridiculously lazy people in my honest opinion. I would not text papito if hes 4 necks down i can use my singing voice,
 
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Joined May 1, 2019
It depends ...

I've learned through painful experience that not all 20-something staff fully utilize all of the technological features of their iPhones. I've had cooks and dishwashers that only communicate via text. When you call, the phone immediately goes to voicemail. Moments later, you'll receive a text with "What's up"? The voicemail either isn't set up or the mail box is full. It doesn't matter because won't be checked.

On the other hand, I employ one early 20s dishwasher that doesn't own a cell phone, and lives with his grandparents. (He's a kid with little job experience, but great work ethic; I frequently have to kick him out of the kitchen at the end of his shift.) To get a hold of him, I call the grandparent's landline. Then I've had seniors (that's anyone older than my 67 years!) that use their antique flip phone only as a phone. They don't do voicemail or text.

To put things in perspective, my 30-yearold camp director uses all technology to his (the camp's) benefit. On camp grounds, he'll either see me in person, radio ahead to wait for a landline phone call or leave a note in my mailbox. When I'm off-grounds, he'll call or text for immediate issues. (He is respectful of my day off, as I respect his day off.) We pass a ton of emails back and forth for routine camp business. He likes email because it creates a record.

Technology is hampered at the camp because of our location. Most cell phone services don't work very well on camp grounds. We rely on landlines for most communication with vendors, camp guests, regulators and employees. Even WiFi service at the camp is spotty. I frequently drive into town to place online orders with vendors. No one uses Face Time due to signal limitations.

I am personally very comfortable with most technology. I find that you, within certain limitations, have to tailor your mode of communication for each staff member. I have a relatively small staff (10-12), so this isn't too difficult. Since the kitchen schedule is fairly stable, I only have to call someone in early or delay a shift on occasion. And when I'm able to anticipate the need to adjust the schedule, I make the adjustment in person. And, yes, I fully utilize notes when called for.

My two cents ...
You are right you have specific millenials and boomers that cannot live without their phones i was fortunate enough to be raised by my grand parents. I am very capable of not using my phone recreationally at work even when its in my pocket. I am currently working an action station at a training facility with the main tent on the other side, im definitely not walking 10 mins nor am i taking the cart to relay my message when i can via text or call. I agree %100 w you seabeecook ..
 
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Joined May 1, 2019
"Not using it recreationally"is never going to happen as long as staff has access to their phones. It's not a technological revolution, it's an addiction. And quite frankly it disgusts me to see people walking around with their cell phone clutched in their hand like they can't live without it. That's because they probably can't.

For example. in nearly every state there are laws that prohibit cell phone use while driving. There are stiff fines, license suspension and other penalties that you would think would deter sane people from using their phone or texting while driving. Yet I can drive down any highway and see the drivers of probably one out of every five cars I pass doing something with a cell phone in plane sight.

So if you think employees can exercise enough control over themselves to not use their phones while working even with the threat of being fired, it's not going to happen.

It needs to be established from the day you hire somebody that the policy is no cell phone use for any reason while you are working your shift. Then provide a locker or other secure place to put their phones until they leave.
See i have no idea what driving has to do with the kitchen my guy.
 
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Joined Feb 18, 2007
If you are willing to let your phone control your behavior while you're in charge of a moving machine capable of serious damage or death (a car being driven by an inattentive person because they're on the phone recreationally) then what will it take to get you to put the phone down while you're working? Unless your company doesn't allow you to have a phone on your person while you are on, it's a behavior that resembles an addition - you have a hard time controlling your (Pavlovian!) response when your phone chimes.

I'm not saying an inattentive cook can wreak the same havoc as an inattentive driver. A distracted cook is going to make mistakes and cost you.
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
See i have no idea what driving has to do with the kitchen my guy.
It illustrates that even with the threat of severe fines and points on their license people still cannot keep themselves from using phones while driving. I don't think even the threat of incarceration would be effective.

So the point is, do you really think that a chef telling his staff that they are not allowed to use their phones is going to have the the slightest impact?

If you want an alcoholic to stop drinking you can't tell him to stop. You have to take his booze away.

If you want to keep a baby from playing with something you take whatever it is from them.

If you want to keep a cell phone addict from using their phone on company time, you take it away.
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
I am currently working an action station at a training facility with the main tent on the other side, im definitely not walking 10 mins nor am i taking the cart to relay my message when i can via text or call.
Most businesses that require communication such as that will provide a means to do it, like 2-way radios, phone system or at least company provided cell phones because they know the abuse that takes place when employees are allowed to have their own phones.

Most employees also dislike having to use their personal phones for company business. Texts going back and forth between the company and you are legally company property and your phone could be subject to seizure in the event there is some legal dispute where the texts could be used as evidence. Same with call logs.
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
halb beat me to it... Do you really mean to say that you rely on your personal phone to communicate with other tents as part of your job? There is no company phone or radio system? Do they compensate you for this?

If I hired you and told you that you had provide your own uniforms but they had to be this colour and that style, would you call me a cheap S.o.b.? If I hired you to deliver food at x$/ hr with your own car, but made no allowances for gas, wear and tear, and insurance, would you call me a cheap S.o.b.?
 
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Joined May 1, 2019
Most businesses that require communication such as that will provide a means to do it, like 2-way radios, phone system or at least company provided cell phones because they know the abuse that takes place when employees are allowed to have their own phones.

Most employees also dislike having to use their personal phones for company business. Texts going back and forth between the company and you are legally company property and your phone could be subject to seizure in the event there is some legal dispute where the texts could be used as evidence. Same with call logs.
Yea you are over thinking it to be honest. at the end of the day foodpump should learn how to use his phone.
 
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Joined May 1, 2019
Thanks for the replies. Just for the record, I am currently Not in a management position, and the pay rate reflects that.

O,k. Let’s say I “get with it”, and carry that ( deleted) thing with me everywhere. Do I respond to texts and calls when I’m in bed with my wife? Do I immediately pull over and respond when Im driving? I can carry it with me at work, but why bother texting me if I’m right there?

At this point I’d like to mention that I quit a previous, well paying job after the fourth time the Chef called me up in the evenings drunk/sh*tfaced with useless chatter.

I dunno, if you want to get a hold of me 24/7 you either have to be a very close family member, or pay me a lot more....
If you don't want that to happen LEAVE DETAILED ASS NOTES so no has to call you simple as that my boss is having that issue where everyone is calling him because he is not giving us that valuable info we need
 
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Joined Nov 10, 2017
Throughout this whole debate the only points against phones in the kitchen have been related to time and behavior. I don't know if no one else considers this, or if I am more sensitive to it working in a hospital, but it is a sanitation issue as well. Our staff are not allowed to have their phones on them. They are kept in a cabinet with their purses, personal effects, etc. They may use them, but then they need to sanitize or wash their hands. Think about it, the phone goes everywhere with you. I have seen plenty of studies detailing the amount of fecal matter on them. Why would you want that in your kitchen, or on a counter or prep surface. 15 second response to a text ends up being at least triple that by the time you stop what you are doing and wash your hands.
 
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Joined May 25, 2015
Throughout this whole debate the only points against phones in the kitchen have been related to time and behavior. I don't know if no one else considers this, or if I am more sensitive to it working in a hospital, but it is a sanitation issue as well. Our staff are not allowed to have their phones on them. They are kept in a cabinet with their purses, personal effects, etc. They may use them, but then they need to sanitize or wash their hands. Think about it, the phone goes everywhere with you. I have seen plenty of studies detailing the amount of fecal matter on them. Why would you want that in your kitchen, or on a counter or prep surface. 15 second response to a text ends up being at least triple that by the time you stop what you are doing and wash your hands.
Excellent point. Contamination from phones isn't really considered in food service probably because they are mostly prohibited. I do think that it should be something that is specifically added to the ServSafe courses and certification.

In healthcare the issue is much more critical. Doctors and other staff do have to carry phones and sanitation is a big problem. I remember seeing one commercial cleaning products company that makes a wash (or maybe wipes) for phones and another that makes a disposable cover.
 

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