What Should I Have Done?

1,065
28
Joined Dec 8, 1999
Well, two weeks ago I lost my job and I'm finally ready to talk about it. The alleged chef that I was sous chef for was, by popular opinion in the kitchen, not doing his job. In a nutshell, he's not in the kitchen enough and, when he is, treats his staff like they are a bunch of guys that were just moved up from dish. No input was invited from the staff regarding how anything was done. An example would be the potato crusted halibut that I submitted for the latest menu change. Instead of asking me how it was done (flour, eggwash, pre-blanched hashbrowns), he came up with a mix of breadcrumbs and potato perls(instant mashed potato mix; truck stop food). I told him what he was doing wrong (and that the staff thought the same); nothing happened. I told the owners the same; nothing happened. Eventually, things came to a head one day and I was frustrated and he knew it. He told me to improve my attitude or go home for the day. I volunteered to go home. Two hours later I got a call from him saying my services were no longer needed. From my point of view, I did what I had to do to try to make things run better in the kitchen. As sous chef, I considered that to be one of my responsibilities. Other than finding a new job (which I was trying to do), any ideas on what I could have done without compromising my principles?
The whole thing reminds me of a saying in Latin "Quis Custodiet Ipso Custodet?" (who shall guard the gaurdians?)
 
107
23
Joined Sep 22, 2000
It seems like you did the right thing by going home. There is a saying "if you are constantly being mistreated, it is because you agree with the treatment..." Well it seems like you disagreed with the treatment.
When you become "king " you now know how to treat your people.

D
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Yuck...sounds like it was time to move on....sooo what are you thinking about?
It's gotta be tough right now for you...but what do you really want to do?

I am totally goal oriented and find that at the end of the day I have very few regrets. I've not always been this way it's only been in the last 4 years that I figured out what really turns me on. I hope you find that too.
 
4,508
32
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hey Greg,
I,m sorry to here what happened.
I also agree with shroomgirl..It sounds like it was time to move on.when you find yourself in a envirement that is non progressive and more regressive and you find your talents and recipes are perhaps eclisping your chefs..either your ideas are welcomed with open minds or the other way around,the latter means time to move on.
I know you have a number of years in the buisness and are surly talented....so you should have no problem finding a job you really want. Here in conneticut the unemployment is less then 2% so we are dying for talent.Also Greg, don't forget to post your resume right here on cheftalk under job listings. Keep us posted and good luck
CC
 
1,065
28
Joined Dec 8, 1999
Thanks, people. I knew it was time to move on; I just wish it would have been on my terms. Just heard from my guys still there that the alleged chef changed the MOP on our sauerkraut braised pork ribs. It took me months to perfect that recipe, now it s*cks . Glad I'm gone, but I feel sorry for the customers. My replacement? A guy that had previously been fired for consistantly showing up late and attempting to sexually assault one of the waitresses in his off time. Yikes!!

[This message has been edited by Greg (edited 11-13-2000).]
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
I'm not an atty but I was married to one for 15 odd years......if this guys is being brought back and has this history the chef may be brought to task for knowingly putting his female staff in harms way.....
YIKES
Anyone else?
 
131
10
Joined Aug 9, 2000
I was Chef at a brewery for three years. The treatment was horrible.The owner was a coke fiend she hired staff for the line that I did not want nor need. And a lot of thes guys were raving drug addicts and criminals that were completely worthless. They got in my and mu sous way and free based crack in the bathroom were unreliable and downright dangerous in every way. I dealt with every ridiculous situation you could ever think of on a daily basis. But I came out looking like a d**k to the owners because they just did"nt give a damm. I finally gave up and walked after almost four years. And you know what it was the best thing I could ever have done. It is not worth putting up with that kind of abuse guys. If this industry does not wake up soon and look in the mirror and face up the black eye it gives itself their wont be any industry left.

------------------
 
659
10
Joined Nov 19, 1999
I just found this post, Greg. I hope things are working out for you now? I can't believe how many people I've heard complain about the fact that workers who really give their jobs their all are not taken seriously, and the job slobs are allowed to take over. They get the respect that we deserve! It's incredible that this situation is so prevalent. Both of my sons manage construction crews and say basically the same things.
 
1,065
28
Joined Dec 8, 1999
Well, the chef there moved to FOH management a few months ago. After the restaurant was robbed by his replacement, the brother of one of the owners was brought in to help run the place (I think they were looking for someone they could trust). One month ago, the former chef (turned FOH mgr.) was fired. Seems that the owners brother figured out what I had known all along; the guy didn't do anything. So, the owner canned him and asked him not to ever come into the restaurant again. My employment situation has been somewhat topsy-turvy since then, but in a week I start as a lead cook at an upscale public golf course clubhouse. The chef there seems to be a good guy; I think this is going to be a cool place to work.
The guy that replaced me at the restaurant that had made a pass at one of the waitresses in his off time? That was my now deceased room-mate. Turns out he was drunk when he did that (I don't offer this as an excuse; just a fact) just as he was when he died. The waitress that was involved came to his memorial service last Tuesday; funny how the importance of things, events, etc. changes in perspective.
 
4,508
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Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hey Greg..

Good luck at the club.

I really hope this gig turns into something good for you.

I did one of my externships at a upscale golf club here in CT and I had a blast.

The Chef, unfortunatly enjoyed his cold ones a little to early in the day,But the sous chef was great and really tought me alot.

Remember..look at the donut,not the whole! (make sence?)
cc
 
332
10
Joined Jan 26, 2001
Greg-
I"m glad you found another job so quickly. I believe the problem before is that the chef was feeling threatened. Most people who cook aren't stupid, they can tell when someone is superior to them, and instead of going with strengths, some people have to maintain the upper hand, even if it leads to poor product.

May this new position be one of innovation and collaboration!

~~Shimmer~~
 
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