Walked out of a kitchen because of bullying

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by chrisbristol, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. chrisbristol

    chrisbristol

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    I currently work for a catering recruitment agency. Today I walked out of a kitchen due to bullying. I could handle it if it was just chefs being  abrupt during service but this was all buffet service and it was happening when there was no pressure on. Basically they were trying to humiliate me in front of people, they were picking out every single mistake I made. This wasn't normal banter it was deliberate bullying and I just cracked. I have a meeting with my agency tomorrow to write  a statement about it. They seem to be on my side which is good.
     
  2. chris bruce

    chris bruce

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    Well sorry to hear, but maybe a kitchen isn't the right place for you when you said "they were picking out every single mistake I made." Well point in case you were making mistakes.

    I guess my advise would be suck it up buttercup, your in a kitchen get it right. if you mess up just shut up take it and listen and learn.

    Good luck with your search.
     
  3. chrisbristol

    chrisbristol

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    Pointing out mistakes is one thing. But tying to humiliate someone in front of everybody is completely different.
     
  4. chris bruce

    chris bruce

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    If I can ask how long have you been  working in kitchens? 
     
  5. fablesable

    fablesable

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    I applaud you @ChrisBristol  for walking out and taking it to the agency. In the same position, I would do the same. Noone has to put up with BS from anyone. It's either a team environment or not. I would can anyones arse who thought they could humiliate anyone in my kitchen to the point of which you talk about. Good old fashion banter and teasing is par for the course in kitchens but bullying and being a certifiable arsehole is not. 
     
  6. chef0069

    chef0069

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    It's a different world today in kitchens, probably for the better, but it's tough, because in the old days, under stress, people would yell, curse at each other, just as an outlet, now you have to be so careful with every little thing you say. Companies and such are so worried about lawsuits, they will put up with very little of this type of monkey business. In the day, we would share a beer, talk it out, be glad we got through another night. Now, everyone's feelings are hurt.
     
  7. chris bruce

    chris bruce

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    Yeah I'm with you Chef0069 what the hell happened I used to get yelled at crap thrown at me and called every name in the book in front of everyone. I guess this new Emo generation can't take the heat in the kitchen these days.
     
  8. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    By and large nowadays restaurants understand that the law applies to them, too; you don't automatically get an exception from employment regs and civil liability just because you serve food.
     
  9. youngchefkarl

    youngchefkarl

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    I don't know why this guy posted this twice so I'll repeat what I said on the other thread:

    You need to grow a pair if you want to make it in this industry. You have a meeting with an agency......really? Were you making mistakes? Do you think that guys that worked for people like Marco Pierre White walked out because of "bullying"? Obviously the cuisine isn't the same, but the concept is. If you really feel that it wasn't justified and he was mouthing you off for no reason you should have came back at him in some way professionally (in his office, etc) and if you would have gotten fired, then there's better people to work for. There are many chef's that are jerks for no reason. It's hard to say because I wasn't there. But I do know that you need to develop a thicker skin and you cannot walk out of a kitchen just because you cracked. Justified or not, that will hurt you in the long run. Good Luck.
     
  10. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Hi Chrisbristol....

    Been there and done that.  What a lot of the above posters don't understand about your post are the words "Catering recruitment agency".

    In other words, you are a hired gun, a cook who's disposable as paper bag.  I got an on-call gig in a hoity-toity G & C.C. for their bqt'ing dept.  0 and I mean "zero" introduction to the kitchen or even where the bqt function clip boards were kept (locked up in  the Chef's office)  No one gives a rat's turd about you because you are  disposable, and no wants to take any time to explain things to you (ie the 80 qt steam kettle takes an hour to get up to speed...) because they know that tomorrow or the next day you won't be there and someone else will be standing there, slowly figuring it out in the walk-in that the d/washer is militantly gay and jealous that you are a cook and not him.

    You did right, you complain to the recruitment agency.  They quickly figure out no one wants to work at that place, so they'll either drop that client or up the wages dramatically.  And if a restaurant can't find/hire kitchen staff in without a recruitment agency, you know that that kitchen has some serious problems.
     
    fablesable likes this.
  11. chef0069

    chef0069

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    I see what you are saying, but on the other hand, all the more reason to not give a hoot what some jerkoff is saying. Do your job, blow them away, be better than them, leave smiling, best revenge.

    Have not always been able to do it myself, but try to.
     
  12. chefross

    chefross

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    Ah yes.......the recruitment agencies.

    As a cook in a restaurant kitchen, sometimes we develop a sense of entitlement and ego. 

    Now in walks this rent-a-cook.

    What a great chance to show off by belittling this guy, only to make me feel better about myself.

    Even if the rent-a-cook were a culinary professional, they would still be picked on.

    Human nature.......but...imature
     
  13. grande

    grande

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    There's a difference between stressed out and abusive; i've worked some very busy lines very well & didn't ever feel the need to belittle anyone. And I think Marco Pierre White did quit la gavroche because of bullying.
    Stop giving people excuses to be a bad people by saying, "its the business."
     
  14. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    As much as I love MPW, I really don't think he is the ideal of Best Practices. If you can give him a pass on his workplace behavior because he was successful, would you extend that to the way he treated people I his personal life. In other words, I love to read about him in the 80s but I wouldn't want to hang around him in that time frame.
     
  15. youngchefkarl

    youngchefkarl

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    The point is you that don't walk out of a restaurant and go to an agency because of "bullying". You talk to the chef in private and if you still want to quit because he's a jerk, fine, give your notice and move on. Yes MPW left Gavroche, but he moved on with his life and he was successful. It wasn't the best example because of how long ago that was, but that was the point. Instead of wasting your time with an agency, find another job and move on.
     
  16. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Exactly!

    The o.p. didn't walk out on his employer--the recruitment agency, and he went straight to his boss--again the agency-- to lodge a complaint.  He did it right.

    Guns for hire/rent-a-cooks are not part of the team, they are 3rd party.  It IS inexcusable to walk out on your team members, but if you're not part of the team, that rule doesn't apply.

    make sense? 
     
  17. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    This is an example of utilizing human psychology. In order to do that one must first determine the 

    reason for the .....let's say unproductive attitides on the part of the incumbent cooks. My guess here

    would be along Foodpump's line of thinking, that these guys are resentful of the Temp being 

    there in the first place. And the reason for "pointing out every mistake" (even though not sensible   

    for someone who just arrived) is just due to lack of creativity to come up with something more logical

    to gripe about. :)

    That said, I think the wiser course of action would be to continuously tell these guys, "Look, I'm here 

    because your management feels you need help. So you guys can either let me help take some of the

    crap off your shoulders, or throw it back in managements face. Up to you, just let me know now, 

    so I can go somewhere I'm needed and appreciated." 

    If that fails, THEN you tell Agency what happened and what YOU said, which paints you in a much more

    professional light, and those guys in an immature one. 
     
  18. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    This. Ditto. Well put and thought out. Excellent advice.
     
  19. chefedb

    chefedb

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    It's not the heat in the kitchen It is called mutual respect. Clearly the people who initiate this type of action have a problem. Either it's ego driven or just plain nastiness it should not be tolerated in todays day and age. There are a lot of good suggestions above to use.
     
  20. youngchefkarl

    youngchefkarl

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    Fair enough, I see your point. I guess I didn't realize that he wasn't a team member, but I still would have talked to the guy one on one first, to each their own.
     
    chefmannydlm likes this.