Working when ill???? Oh man

7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
I had a small virus this weekend as I was catering a weekend 3 hours outside of St. Louis. I made broiche raisin rolls and had to be up at 4 am for the dough to rise for a 7:30 start. The crew went into the woods with a bag lunch but by dinner at 5:30 I was horizontal. I got through dinner and actually felt ok at 4
redface.gif
o this am as I was making pecan caramel rolls (Who was so stupid to do raised rolls for a mushroom group that leaves early?) I could not taste anything for flavor my guts were in knots.
My sous had to do all the salt and flavor alterations...thank goodness he's great.
I made potato black trumpet parmesan onions thick cream filling for puff turnovers and actually winged this and got raves.( Pretty good for flavor memories.....they do come through!!! Trying others cooking only helps improve mine)
****So the question is what stories do you have of working impaired. I'll write about the time I had a 3rd degree burn and cooked with frozen peas rubberbanded to my hand. You all must have amazing stories...Share Please.
 
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Joined Aug 8, 2000
Boy, you like the nitty gritty! One night, I burned my right hand really bad with goose fat. It was New Year's Eve, and I was on the grill. I had a container of ice water in my station I kept dipping my hand into. But everytime I had to put my hand by some kind of hot element, which was all night, it felt as if my hand was being burned all over again!
One night I had the *Hershey squirts* (if you get my drift) really bad. I had to keep running to the bathroom, during service, every 20 minutes. Not enjoyable.
I've only called in sick once in the 7 years I worked on the line. We had an unwritten rule at one of the restaurants I worked at--you don't call in sick unless you're throwing up.
A lot of the cooks I know, women and men, are some of the toughest folks I know.
 
618
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Joined Jul 18, 2000
it probably sound quite gross, but i worked with a chef once who looked a little drawn.

Several weeks later i found out that she had a miscarriage on the job and waited until the end of shift before getting checked out.

Needless to say i was most saddened to hear about it.
 
1,067
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Joined Dec 8, 1999
Took a pretty nasty cut once right before dinner rush on a Friday(the cut started at the middle of the inside of my wrist and ended at the middle of the back of my hand, getting gradually deeper along the way). The ER was busy, so it took about 3 hours before I could get sewn back together. I missed the slam, got back around 10pm, sstill had to close my station, then went out drinking with the chef. As far as being sick, sometimes even throwing up or running a 104 fever isn't a good enough reason to leave. I worked with a guy who would occasionally get an upset stomache while working. If he had to throw up, he'd go to the nearest pig bucket, then back to cooking. I think this ability to work when sick comes with practiced ease from working with hangovers! Seriously, though, there does seem to be this "**** the torpedoes, full steam ahead" attitude prevelant amongst many cooks. Nothing, not even our own well-being, is more important than being there for the rest of the crew and maintaining the smooth operation of the kitchen.

[This message has been edited by Greg (edited September 17, 2000).]
 
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Joined May 29, 1999
the show must go on!
eek.gif


Came back from my honeymoon sooooo sick for about a month. went to work the first few days but couldn't take it... such a wimp!
did work an entire summer with a spaz in the back.
what we do for lunch!
 
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Joined Mar 9, 2000
Having worked for a big hotel where there is payed sick leave was nice, but you didn't leave your commrads hangin'. Recently I came to work sick cause the great cook who would cover me had worked about 2 weeks straight between 2 jobs and hadn't had any time off. As soon as I got to work though I told the Exec that I was working sick and to find somebody for the next day. I know it's wimpy compared to the rest but the point I'm trying to make is that you don't let your team down. What really angers me though is when you have sick time, you call in, and then people give you a bad time when you come back. Hey sick is sick, if I'm not running the whole operation the last thing I need is for somebody to make me feel like a heel because I'm sick. I guess I'm just getting to old to do the 'kill myself for the operation' thing.
 
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Joined Jul 18, 2000
my major concern is that someone with communicatible disease will spread something through out the kitchen. Also someone coughing all over the food.

On the other hand, when my old employer decide to move premises and i had to assist moving the equipment, i popped my back moving a chargrill down the road and then went on to do a 79 hour week unable to straighten up.

Heheh, how do you draw the line?
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Yep~ Typhod Mary~ At first I thought it was just nerves from the Farmer's market opening this next weekend and 6 farmers sending back contracts, but then the low grade fever kicked in.... You are right! If I could have found a replacement 3 hours away and in the woods I would have (this is something they booked me for last year!).

I had forgotten having stitches between my thumb and pointer...boy that one was difficult to manvuer with, bandaged stiff and wearing a stupid glove....how can it be sanitary when your hand drips sweat?

My brother is a chiropractor with 3 massueses(sp?) on call....so my back is maintained and my muscles are unknoted regularly. (I don't know how I could do it without him and his sister rate plan)

You gotta wonder how quality of product is affected by illness.....my timing was sh*t this weekend. Thank goodness for great crews! That can stop you when your giving too many directives at one time and say OK your running in circles chef, two things at a time please.
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
HEY ~ Did you guys know that crazy glue was originally developed as a way to seal cuts without stitching...wooow the answer to ER waits. Now to find someone to close your wound as you apply crazy glue...and hope for no gangreen....I actually signed up for MINI MEDICAL SCHOOL (8 weeks 1x weekly 3 hours) starts next week....we'll see if they've (DRS) come up with better coping skills than saying show up at the ER.....can't wait.
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Oct 7, 2001
I can't count the number of times I have had a garbage can right beside me so I wouldn't have to leave the line to puke. The was also the time when the sous chef and I were very sick and we had three banquets that night. We would lay down underneath the tables between each course to get out strength back up. The worse though, was the day I poured boiling water down my leg. My whole right leg and foot were blistered up so instead of going to the hospital or home I filled a bucket with ice water and worked my station with my leg in the bucket and used that as a pivot point between the front line and the stove.
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
I have NO patience for people that are hung-over, drugged out, total morons etc.....Work is a priority for me and quality product is why I'm paid the amount I make.
 

pete

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Joined Oct 7, 2001
I can't count how many times I have worked so hung-over I could barely see (in my younger days, could never survive it now), but I always held up my end of the station. It was a pride thing. Would never let my buddies know that I couldn't "handle it". Best thing for a hang-over was cooking rissoto over the flat-top. Twenty minutes standing over that thing, stirring the rissoto and I had sweated most of the alcohol out of my body. LOL
 
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Joined Aug 8, 2000
****!! You guys are tough!! I also think it is not good to come to work with a communicable disease. I don't appreciate getting sick off of someone that just wouldn't stay home. That's when I give someone a hard time. This reminds of a time when my chef and I were working one busy Saturday night. The grill guy kept leaving his station. At first, I thought he was listening to a football game or something, but then it turned out to be he was hungover. I had to watch as he repeatedly kept throwing up into the dishwasher's sink. He finally went home. My chef and I kept running in circles, literally, doing each station. As we ran to each station, we kept yelling to each other, "I should be making $20 an hour for this!!!!", then, "I should be making $30 an hour for this!!" The $ amounts kept getting higher as the night wore on. Needless to say, that cook got *fired*. He had put us through many other tribulations to keep him on.
 
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Joined Jul 18, 2000
you must admit, the worst thing to cope with has to be a industrial accident.

Some things that dont really rock are:

Knifey's (3 or more stitches)
Chemical Burns - grill cleaners or any other
alkaline cleaners
Work related dermatitis - never fun
Burns - especially caramel/sugar burns or
microwave steam burns
Seafood spike infections - hard to shake

and this is just on the job stuff.
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Nick.shu I can always count on you to come up with graphically descriptive responses!
amazing! Whether it's kitchen boo-boos or
gross foods you can make me wince.
And I'm glad I've only experienced 4 out of 6 on your list.

[This message has been edited by shroomgirl (edited September 19, 2000).]
 

nicko

Founder of Cheftalk.com
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I think we could all probably write a novel on this topic. I to was a die hard, and there is just something about the business that calls you to an unspoken loyalty to your chef and the kitchen. In all honesty I think I have only called in sick once in all my years in the kitchen (over 12 years). Even when I was in culinary school I got a perfect attendance award for never missing a day of class in two years. In those 12+ years I have:
  • burned my face with hot grease.
  • had hot boiling oil spill on to my wrist from a roasting pan. Nasty burn, the paremedics had to come for that one. Still finished out the night.
  • had hundreds and hundreds of cuts all of which were simply bandaged and I kept working.
  • had many 16 hour work days with only 5 hours sleep.
Boy the lists can go on and on can't they? It doesn't suprise me though, dedication is key in the business and you can spot a cook who doesn't have it a mile away.

------------------
Thanks,

Nicko
[email protected]
 
618
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Joined Jul 18, 2000
i once worked for a chef who went on sick leave for about 8-9 weeks and ran his business for him as well as going to school.

Heh, he told me he wasnt feeling well and i said "if you go over during service, i'll push you under the stove and check on you later!".

One thing that has occured to me, does anyone get those little oil spit burns on their eyes, they seem to get me quite often.

Very irritating and makes me wonder if it causes any permanent damage.
 
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Joined Aug 14, 2000
One time I had a 15 year old girl come to work for me in the kitchen. She had been a busser in the FOH and said she was interested in learning cooking. She worked for me for about 4 months. I had her in the pantry one night and walked in and she was sitting on a pickle bucket in the corner. I told her to get back to work, get the place cleaned up so we could all go home.

The next day I found out she had a baby that night. She was sitting down on the bucket because she was having labor pains! Imagine how I felt recalling how I told her to get back to work.

No one knew she was pregnant. She was trying to hide it from her parents. The reason she wanted to come into the kitchen was so that she could wear a baggy jacket and cover her stomach. She thought she was just going to go to the hospital, have the baby, and leave it up for adoption whithout anyone knowing.

Happy ending- she kept the baby, kept the boyfriend, and her parents didn't disown her.

-Mike
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
woooooo ignorance is bliss I guess, I cannot even concieve (excuse the pun) of laboring in a restaurant kitchen....I can't believe there were not horrific screams coming from the walkin. I guess at 15 you would rather hide than face the wrath.
Some of my farmers have horrific stories too, but that is another sight.
 
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