Hey guys, I have a relatively quick question for you... So I'm 25, have worked in the best restaurants in the country since I was 20, and am nw the executive chef of a progressive catering company and inventive "gourmet" lunch service. My boss/the owner is someone I respect as a person and has very high standards in every facet of this industry. Him and I have been working with elite chefs and him coming from the front of house, the service staff of those elite chefs. He has very good knowledge of food for someone that has come from the front of the house, so much as I would venture to guess that he's on the same level as a very good line cook, without necessarily knowing how to cook any of it. He knows how things are supposed to look and taste, he just rarely understands how to get it there, which is my job anyway so I'm not that bitter about it. That said, we are a new company (catering less than 3 years, and lunch less than 4 months). He has no investors and that said, we are doing really well in a struggling economy. I am wanting to get some advice to help me decide if my frustrations are valid, or completely normal and being a new chef, need to get used to. 1. Being that we're so small, we essentially only have staff for events, so I prep 80% of the events myself, while also prepping and assembling lunch for 50+ orders a day. I understand that with no investors that we can't afford full time staff, but I feel along with all my other roles I need to fill, I can't be expected to have enough time to be in the kitchen 10 hours a day, then go out and do everything else that has to be done. Am I right to feel this way? 2. Regardless of who prepped something, and especially if I didn't, my boss is extremely critical with what is going out the door. Understandable, but I almost expect something to be said about what I've done less than 5 minutes after I've done it. It's more like a "Are you really going to send that out" situation, than a "How come you have to send that out? situation. I'm mainly speaking of how our sandwiches look, as we don't have the facilities to bake our bread and while delicious, our bread purveyor is extremely inconsistent with sizes. This not only throws off our food cost, but the appearance. I am 100% a flavor before appearance person, and he is the opposite. How do I manage this situation? 3. I work on average 60 hours a week unless there is an event, and that'ss drive it to 75-80. My boss (gratefully) closed us down for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for thanksgiving. This being the eve of the eve, and I couldn't prep for upcoming days, I decided I would get home from the kitchen early to avoid traffic, completely planning to work on logistics and menus for future events as I got home. Less than an hour after I got home, I got a call from my boss (who is out of state), who called the kitchen and was mildy upset and confused. Was I wrong to leave? I feel like I deserve it. While I admit I should have checked that it was ok, I don't understand why my boss wouldn't automatically think I expect it and deserve it, and give me the benefit of the doubt that I would get what I needed to done, as I always do. 4. We have a very small kitchen. We are just now getting to the point of having enough containers and equipment to get the job done. We have a large event coming up in december and that along with our lunch delivery service (which I have to run concurrently) will most assuredly not fit in the same 2 door reach-in. Why is it that I am looked at like I'm unreasonable when I tell him this? 5. I work for a very driven person, and I'm the guy that works in the best places and asks the mosts questions to learn the most the fastest. He wants everything to be perfect, with extremely imperfect equipment and situations that are needed. While admittedly we always seem to pull through, to pull of the type of food in the venues and makeshift kitchens that we do, we need a lot of things. I've been the chef of this company for 6 months, and have been cooking for it for 2 years. I'm really getting tired of having to make things work. I knew what I was dealing with this coming into it, but it's really wearing on me. I'm no sure what to do. 6. I have no problem saying that I make $28,800 a year, and that's not after taxes. I get paid the full amount then am 1099'd at the end of the year, meaning I have a considerable tax burden coming up. I feel like I'm extremely underpaid. I know that my boss doesn't look at like it he scored by getting a young chef with very high culinary knowledge as well as a lot of mechanical knowledge in order to also be the handyman and everything else, but he did. He's getting a great deal. The company can't afford to pay me more, and I actually make the most out of him, and another full time employee. His goal with this company is not to make millions of dollars and be rich, but to provide a superior product that doesn't exist anywhere else in the country. I'm no saying I need to be rich, but I'd like to be able to pay my bills every month without worrying if that's going to be possible. Should I be getting paid more? I don't expect anyone to answer any questions specifically, but just get some insight into how I should be feeling. I feel very taken advantage of. In the 2 years I've been with the company, he has been through 6 chefs including myself. I'm getting to the point where I'm looking through classified ads for jobs. I don't want to quit, but I'm not sure I can take this the rest of my life. He's never threatened to fire me and wants me to be working there in 30 years, but I'm not sure if I do.