The Rage

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by iceman82, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. iceman82

    iceman82

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    I recently started a new chef position, first time managing a kitchen after 20 years of being a line cook.

    I have let one cook go ( due to negligence ) , hired one other, and a dishwasher, explained to them multiple times what I expect, and I have to re-explain what I expect as well as what I said to do ( as it seems everyone needs to be told what to do ).

    I have three of the four line cooks are fantastic workers, and I love them very much. One is over payed , and a bit emotional, and the other two have been with the company for years and are not only loyal but hard workers.

    So there is just that one line cook, who is ticking me off.

    and than I have a dishwasher situation. My good one has been promoted to prep and lunch line, and he is a great worker as well. He sent me his nephew, who has a Cincinnati Reds 'C' tatooed on his  face, and can't be a day over 18. I mean, I get it, we were all kids ( maybe not all who got ink on our faces ), and we all started somewhere, but this little punk has a mouth on him. I cut his hours down to two days a weeks. Hired another guy, who was a friend of the line cook I am starting to be annoyed with . This punk has line cooking experience, but washes dishes slower than two slugs ****** in the desert. WTF!

    what is this rage?!

    I am supposed to be doing a menu change, and R&D'ing new items etc,... etc,....

    I feel like a fish swimming up stream

    I smoke weed, but not at work..... maybe I should? I duno..... I need to learn to calm down.

    I need some wisdom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2017
  2. someday

    someday

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    You just described 90% of chefs jobs out there. Equipment failures, employee issues, vender problems, owners/bosses talking about food cost, labor cost, writing new menus, etc. 

    Get rid of the dead weight. If they aren't working out or working fast enough, get new people in there. Sometimes there is an adjustment period for people that have never worked in restaurants before, so I like to give those people some time to adjust (while still setting expectations) but if they should know better--having worked in restaurants before--they are unlikely to improve much. Odds are your dishwasher-who-was-a-line-cook doesn't like his job and it shows (i.e. he wants to cook not wash dishes).

    It helps to get to people's motivations. Why is your line cook pissing you off, what is he/she doing? Why are they doing that? Why is your dishwasher slow? You are seeing how the problems impact you, and that is making you angry, but does little to solve the issue. Talk to them. Maybe the kid with the tattoo has a problem with authority cause his dad is abusive, or maybe he grew up with a single mom and never had an adult male telling him what to do. Let him know your not his enemy, and you want him to succeed, but tell him what you need to succeed as well. If he can't do it, he needs to go. 

    And no, please don't smoke weed at work. I hope you were joking. Completely unprofessional, and all it will do is enable your staff to think its OK to do it too. If you think that is even remotely an appropriate thing to do at work I would say you've got much bigger issues than your dishwashers. 
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2017
  3. mike9

    mike9

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    Dude - back in the 70's I was managing a take out rib, chicken, fish and pizza franchise for someone three nights a week.  I had a line cook who was a junky ex-con who locked himself in the bathroom one night, shot up and nodded off, a delivery guy who shot a kid who tried to hold him up  with a BB pistol, another one who did a stretch for passing counterfeit money and a pair of check out girls who were making change for mimeograph $10's for their friends.  One night two guys came in, started some shit, threatened everyone and I put a gun in the biggest guys face and told them to get out so they bolted - I find out later it had a broken firing pin!!!  
     
  4. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    Sounds to me like this is an enormous lack of communication.

    If you are to the point of getting angry and name calling things have gone too far.

    This isn't about you vs. them.

    This is about you all trying to make a bunch of very different individuals into a cohesive team.

    First off you all need to have a discussion about whether all of you are up to making that commitment to each other and to the kitchen for which you all work.

    And be honest enough with yourselves to know if everyone is up for the tasks needed.

    This isn't about screwing each other.

    This is about working together.

    Good luck,

    Peachcreek.
     
  5. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    You are letting the situation control you, rather than figuring what you can control about the situation. Don't confuse that with controlling the situation because that ain't gonna happen, there are aspects of it that you can control though.

    The line cook that is pissing you off. Sit him down and explain exactly what he is doing to piss you off. Tell him your expectations for a person doing his job. Ask him if you are clear enough about your expectations.Then tell him that his future is up to him. Set up a definite day, date, and time for a follow up discussion in a week; at which time you two will discuss his progress towards meeting your expectations and after which his employment status will be decided.

    Do the same with tattoo face.

    Do the same with two slugs in the desert guy. Side question for you...Why would you hire a friend of a line cook who pisses you off??? WTF were you thinking!!!  :~)
     
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  6. iceman82

    iceman82

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    Best advice given.

    The day before a rockstar dishwasher was supposed to start, javier, he quit. According to the owner, he had done it before and it is just to get a raise out of his current place. So, I wasn't thinking, I needed someone the next day. At the time, the line cook wasn't ticking me off, per say, just starting to show his true colors. The kid ain't so bad. He has only been clean for a month and a half, so he is really twitchy , if ya know what I mean.... won't shut the  up.

    Setting expectations , and just leaving it at that ( as in, letting the individual decide ). That is what I need to practice, and thank you.


    @Peachcreek  , no, no one is name calling.

    @Mike9  you just made my problems sound like a cake walk. You should write a book, I would buy it :)

    @Someday  Obviously and clearly, I am not smoking weed at work, as I clearly and simply stated. Sorry the facetious tone didn't come through, but I never said I was. Thanks though :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2017
  7. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    I am really surprised a post like this hasn't come up nor often. My whole career in this business and working, owning in over 25 food services war employee nightmare stories. Im my cases I had all my foodservice establishments in rural area. I would say 90% of the people I hired and later fired were only out for themselves. I had people, take money from the register while I watched. Everyone wanted a job until it came time to work. Everyone wanted more money, more hours and then not show up for work the next day. I could write a book on how many people I hired and didn't last a month. In fact a month would have been great. I would say after having 1000 employees over the years there was only 1% I would call top notch. When I started in the business in Hawaii, I managed a high volume coffee shop. My employees waitstaff and cooks worked in this cafe for years. When I first got there they took up a pool on how long I would last. The least amount of service was 13 years and the highest had 26 years. All I had to do is be there for them when they needed help. I remember one waitress telling me if you cant carry more than 2 plates then get out of the way. I could only wish I had these gals in my business when I left Hawaii and continued my career. The thing I do know is, even hiring the best of the worst still isn't going to end well.........Good luck..........
     
  8. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Since Cheflayne has answered your question I'll ask one of my own.

    How do you know the two slugs in the desert are slow?  I mean, getting across the desert, sure. But once they meet, it could be quick.

    I don't have a tv so I can't

    watch the nature channel. 

    (Things to ponder when you're high.)