Weird situation, what to doo..

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by rat, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. rat

    rat

    Messages:
    562
    Likes Received:
    21
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Working in a kitchen, very nice and I like it. We hired a new female prep cook who is very good and has skills. Problem is after the shift she comes into the locker room with the guys and just strips down and changes like a marine. Now this has caused some comment especially since full frontal is involved. The girl is good, we like her,  but I dont think this is a proper thing for as new female cook to be doing and i think it damages her reputation. She tries hard to be "one of the guys" but I feel this somewhat crosses the line and I feel in the future I will have a HR mess on my hands. What would you do?? I don't want her to quit, she runs circles around the guys on most nights, what do I say?? I tried to broach the subject in a roundabout way and she called me a old fashioned prude, she has no problem with it. Am I old fashioned?? I always thought I was pretty hip, is this the new way kids these days are going?? I dunno.

    I guess one good thing is the guys all rush to get out and changed at the end of the shift and I am saving some labor if I schedule her out a half hour earlier then the rest.
     
  2. duckfat

    duckfat

    Messages:
    1,354
    Likes Received:
    24
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I'd not waste my time with that much frustration on a prep cook. No matter how good they are. Your instincts are telling you this is a problem and clearly it is. Setting that aside why is there not a M and F restroom? That's where the lockers should be. If you decide to speak to her do NOT do it alone. Bring in another manager, preferably a Female.

    Dave
     
  3. rat

    rat

    Messages:
    562
    Likes Received:
    21
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    it is a unisex locker, most people change their chef coats there, wear their check pants to work. We do have a female employee rest room but it is always dirtier than the mens, ALOT dirtier.
     
  4. chefwriter

    chefwriter

    Messages:
    1,863
    Likes Received:
    411
    Exp:
    Professional Cook
    Discuss it with upper management. If you are the owner, then discuss it with which ever government agency pursues sexual harassment claims. Find out what the laws are and how you will be expected to respond if harassment charges are brought. The fact that your female worker does not have a problem with the current situation does not protect you from the consequences of a lawsuit. Her opinion should be on record in some form. Or your conversation with her about the issue should be on record. Your efforts to counter the situation should be on record with the state agency.  She may not be the one to file a suit. Her comment that you are a prude shows she does not understand the ramifications of her behavior. Back yourself up legally, develop a printed company policy and insist it be followed. If this situation is allowed to continue, it will not end well and the company/restaurant/you are taking all the risk. 
     
  5. duckfat

    duckfat

    Messages:
    1,354
    Likes Received:
    24
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Why? Deal with that Chef. Your employees use that room. Even if those responsibilities don't fall under your purview your a department head so talk to the person responsible and take care of it even if it means sliding some one a steak sandwich for staff meal.

    Assuming you have both M and F restrooms and a unisex locker room I would have dealt with any one stripping down to full nudity in front of the opposite sex in .00001 seconds. There's nothing appropriate about. The longer this goes the more difficult your situation becomes and it's not just the F that can bring a complaint.

     The even bigger problem is that you've tried to approach this and your F prep-cook seems to have sluffed you off. That's two strikes and you know what happens on the third! 

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  6. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

    Messages:
    1,419
    Likes Received:
    216
    Exp:
    Sous Chef, Event Manager
    Agreed, if you hang onto a walking, talking, stripping time bomb just because they have some

    skills you need right now, you're gonna look back and painfully regret it. And if it does explode

    it's going to be far worse if you havent provided equal (cleanliness AND lockers etc) provisions

    for female employees. Claiming "she wouldnt use them anyway" aint gonna fly either.

    Personally I would treat this  as any other issue of insubordination, albeit a bit unusual one. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif

    Chefwriter covered all the points (as usual/img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif)  write it up as you would any other issue like

    tardiness, and that your warnings are being disregarded.

    Time Bomb.

    -Meez
     
  7. someday

    someday

    Messages:
    1,615
    Likes Received:
    390
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I don't understand why you can't just explain to her the potential legal ramifications of what she is doing. Just sit her down, say "Hey, I know you don't mind, but the fact is this leaves the company open for potential lawsuits and such and I can't allow it." Simple. Like it was said upthread, document the conversation, and move on. 

    There is no reason for someone to strip down fully nude in that situation, unless there is a shower or something. And if there is a shower, then there should be separate facilities, obviously. 

    This also sets a bad precedent for future female employees. All you need is some jerk-off line cook telling your new female cook that it's "expected" for her to change/undress in front of the men. Even if he is joking--come on. Dangerous territory. 
     
  8. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    5,056
    Likes Received:
    601
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    No one really cares about the "legal ramifications" UNTIL they get laid off and are scrambling to find an extra buck to cover rent.  Then the fecal matter hits the impellor.

    Get the F locker room cleaned up and instruct her to use it.  If not, no shifts for you.
     
  9. chefwriter

    chefwriter

    Messages:
    1,863
    Likes Received:
    411
    Exp:
    Professional Cook
    l'll jump back in for round 2.

    First, thanks for the compliment Meez. 

    Having a second, preferably female member of the staff present when discussing this with said employee is a great idea. And record that the conversation took place. Have employee sign something. In NY you have to sign a sexual harassment notice stating you have been informed.

    Second. along with the problems already stated above, here are a few more possible scenarios if you do nothing. 

    One of the staff makes a physical move on her while she is getting dressed/undressed. Bottom line-you're screwed.

    She accuses you of sexual harassment for any reason whatsoever. Bottom line-you're screwed.

    she accuses any member of the staff of anything, for any reason whatsoever. Bottom line-you're screwed.

    She decides it is to her advantage to stage a scene or invent a story about something that did not actually happen while she was changing. Bottom line-you're screwed.

    A male staff member decides he is forced to work in a hostile work environment. Having her get naked in the locker room makes him uncomfortable. Bottom line-you're screwed.

    A  female member of the FOH hears about this, makes up rumours about female cook based on her being naked in a room full of cooks. Bottom line-" " "

    I could keep this up all night and never come up with a good outcome. There is not one. 

    The Godfather movie said it best. "It's not personal, strictly business". Be very pro active about this, contact the relevant authorities NOW and get this problem resolved. 

    Meez called it a time bomb. Absolutely correct. The only question is when, NOT if. 
     
  10. twyst

    twyst

    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    25
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    This thread needs pics.

    And what chefwriter said of course.
     
  11. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

    Messages:
    1,419
    Likes Received:
    216
    Exp:
    Sous Chef, Event Manager
    "Then the fecal matter hits the impellor."

    Hmm that sounds oddly familiar... doesn't that go hand-in-hand with:

    "You can place a wager against your gluteus maximus on it?" /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    "This thread needs pics."


    There, that what you had in mind? Or NOT? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

     

    "There is no reason for someone to strip down fully nude in that situation"

    Thats true. Which begs the question, what IS her reason for doing this, if it's not a job-related practical one?

    Seriously there's something going on in this girl's head, other than just having a G.I. Jane complex.

    And whatever it is, it aint good for YOU. And if the guys aren't comfy, THEIR brains must be telling em something too.

    On the other hand......I've worked in places where the guys would mount an all out revolution if such a girl was let go. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif

     
     
  12. durangojo

    durangojo

    Messages:
    2,171
    Likes Received:
    89
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    i wasn't going to post here as it seemed there was nothing to add to all the excellent advice given. as a female chef i feel it is my duty to voice.

    the only sound in the room when i read your thread was of my jaw hitting the floor. OMG Chef Rat...soon to be Drowned Rat if you do nothing.  i am weighing in here to emphasis the importance of doing something Today.....Now.....as in Right This Minute....i think this whole thing could have the potential of ending your career at your current place of employment. in corporate sexual harrassment suits in kitchens, it is usually the offending chef that disappears, not the waitstaff, cocktail waitress or cook. YOU are the offender because you allowed it to happen. i was totally shocked that you allowed it to happen even once...that you let it continue is appalling. perhaps it is you who wants to be one of the guys....

    even if you have to clean out the women's locker room yourself Do It...Do It Now...Today. if there is no one from management around when you speak to the girl, pull out a dishwasher or a cook or a waitstaff to listen in. put a big new sign(even if it's on parchment) on the men's locker room door saying men's locker room...women's sign on the women's door as well....you can also tell the new cook simply that she must use the women's locker room from now on...'rules is rules"...period...it comes down from the top.

    as an aside, i'm not really sure why there is full frontal anything going on anywhere in a kitchen locker room. usually when the staff comes in they hang up their street coats and put on a chefs coat. some may change their street shoes for chef shoes, but that's about it....reverse it on the way out. what is this girl doing? why? when she was hired was she asked her reason for leaving her last job? did anyone check? there are some very very twisted people out there as we continue to see everyday through our tv sets and radios.......and the twisted aren't just males! you do remember the story of adam and eve right?

    i agree with meez here...something just doesn't seem on the up and up with this girl.....not meaning to sound snippy, but maybe she needs a retirement plan!

    please chef, just take of it....NOW

    tick tock, tick tock

    joey
     
  13. chefdta

    chefdta

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Private Chef
    Have her sign a statement that she's doing this on her own and is good with it.... Document 3 other reasons to let her go and FIRE her. Unless you want her to be the new owner of the joint?
     
  14. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    3,230
    Likes Received:
    388
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    Listen to Joey.  Give her fair warning that her behavior must change immendiately.  if she is not agreeable or does not comply - let her go immediately for cause -- not complying with the direction of management.  You only need 1 reason.  Waiting for more is waiting for bad things to happen to you for poor management.
     
  15. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    5,056
    Likes Received:
    601
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    Yup.

    And the caption underneath the pics reads:

    "scam artist bares all".............
     
  16. cheflayne

    cheflayne

    Messages:
    4,195
    Likes Received:
    554
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    A perfect example of why action needs to be taken quickly. Things can get sideways real quick.
     
  17. someday

    someday

    Messages:
    1,615
    Likes Received:
    390
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I think part of the issue is that there aren't separate dressing facilities for men and women...they share a unisex locker room. They have separate bathrooms but share the locker room. 

    I mean, how hard is it to just sit her down and explain the situation? Make a code of conduct or some such thing that explains the use and rules of the unisex locker room, have everyone on staff sign it, and make sure that it doesn't happen. 

    Let me say this...why would you, as a manager/chef, put up with it one time? I mean, at all? What would you say, and how quickly would you stop, a male employee from waving his junk around in a unisex locker room, especially if there were females present? My guess is that you would stop it immediately, so why the double standard? 
     
  18. rat

    rat

    Messages:
    562
    Likes Received:
    21
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    ok LET ME CLARIFY,

    I work here part time as a KM, two maybe three days a week.  the chef is mostly awol, usually at a casino or looking at personal ads in the office. I work full time as a pastry chef elsewhere, I posted this because I sought advice on what to do and thank you for that advice it is all very good and i will take it to heart . I did not mean to mislead and imply this was my kitchen or I had any stake in ownership.  It is all good and what I expected to hear. I also partly posted to break up the regular "my cream sauce broke WWJD" threads.

    I passed on what is going on to the HR manager who is the owners wife, her and him think it was funny and think im a fuddy duddy. The cooks are mostly out back partying and no one seems to care either way, somehow the place is always busy and the bar here is booming. The owners figure if it aint broke dont fix it.     Sooo.... it is out of my hands. To the girls defense this is NOT a regular every day occurance but has happened a few times. Ususally it is just throwing on a coat and jumping in the kitchen. She is definitely unbalanced but one of the best line cooks i have seen in years. I dunno. Like someone posted the GI Jane complex? This place has the craziest staff to date in my career, another cook stuffs squirrels and sells them at craft shows in funny poses like reading a toy newspaper. I dont know where the squirrels come from.  I could go on.

    Again I work part time, I am not in charge of the cleanliness of the bathrooms, the locker room or whatever. I don't want to be the chef here, the owner or a partner. I am here to help pay my bills.

    Again I am not a prude or old fashioned either, I have seen some really insane/crazy/mental/sexual  things in my career but I will leave that for another thread....
     
  19. smork

    smork

    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    13
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    this thread is in need of pictures.
     
  20. duckfat

    duckfat

    Messages:
    1,354
    Likes Received:
    24
    Exp:
    Retired Chef