Worst things about being a Chef

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Been thinking about what the worst things about being a chef are, apart from working long hours being stood on your feet all day, i tried to list and name a few things that make a chefs life harder

- when nature calls in-between service, and you put it off for as long as possible, then when you finally get there you realise your apron is tied in a knot.

- finding the time and opportunity to make yourself a brew without anyone else noticing.

- vegans, celiac's, and vegetarians.

- when the fridge/freezer door shuts and you need to get back in it again but the door won't pull open.

had a few more that i thought of that i would like to this thread when i remember, please add your own worst things about being a chef. in the meantime i try to think of some more and maybe make a thread about the best things about being a chef and compare the two. would be good to see the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
 
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When you've washed and wrapped up everything after a quiet day, and the last ticket comes inn 2 min. before closing.

When you have to work with your ex, who of course is a waiter working in the same restaurant.
 
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 Had a giggle at the loo one coulis-o... being a girl who has had the privelege of three pregnanices..  when i I say I gotta GO I GOTTA GO LIKE YESTERDAY and I run to the ladies'... damn offspring doing the bladder dance they had better get out of my way.. LOL

A-hole people who have 30 years in the biz and are still applying for line cook jobs and treat the female sous like sh** as he is a sexist a**hat  (yeah that one is personal)

Those last minute ones who come at 2 mins to close (who DOES that????)

Cooks that do not stock their station at end of day

the list may grow....
 
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...Those last minute ones who come at 2 mins to close (who DOES that????)
People who have money and are hungry?

I'm really sorry, but I do NOT agree that anything but the front door closes at "closing time" unless it is CLEARLY stated, preferably on the front window as well as the front of menus, placards on the tables, etc.

Certainly, if management so desires, it is perfectly permissible to state, and abide by, posted kitchen hours. If the kitchen hours are posted and someone shows up and orders one minute BEFORE the kitchen closes, they are served as the kitchen is OPEN.

However, if kitchen hours are NOT posted FOR THE PUBLIC TO SEE BEFORE THEY ENTER, then, IMHO, the kitchen WILL serve EVERYONE that enters before closing time.

When my restaurant was open, the line did NOT shut down until the last customer had been completely served! Cleanup commenced as soon as the last customer LEFT the establishment NOT before!
 
 
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If it's your restaurant, do as you wish, but if you're on the clock, I'm not sure how you can complain about not being able to make yourself a "brew" (whether coffee or a beer, actually, it's much worse if it's a beer, since you're working!).

Celiacs have a disease and should be given reasonable treatment.  Vegans and vegetarians are simple mental disorders and not allergies :)
 
- finding the time and opportunity to make yourself a brew without anyone else noticing.

- vegans, celiac's, and vegetarians.
I do agree with Pete about closing time being when the doors are closed to new customers, not when everyone is supposed to be out of the place.  Everyone likes getting out as soon as they can, but IMHO, you take a risk by cleaning before "closing time".  It's a calculated risk, and some days you win, some days you lose.  One of the biggest obstacles to food cost in fast food is the people who want to close down 15-30 mins before the doors lock and cook extra food so they "have enough" and don't have to dirty their clean grills.  Pre-cleaning is fine and frankly, something that should be done the whole night through, but until the last customer is served and the last item is washed, it's not "quitting time". 
 
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RE:Worst things about being a Chef...where I am!


Having the staff come to me asking if I ordered something they needed but never told me...around the time we receive our order as opposed to telling me the day I place the order.  Then proceeds to give me that quirky "Oh, so what am I gonna do now?" look like I can somehow fix their problems by snapping my fingers.  I swear, I need a fracking yak bak and play my whole explanation back "If you need me to order something, tell me the day I order it or just write it down on the order form.  You guys have been working here longer then me, you can't tell me you don't know when we get stuff in" speech because it happens literally every single delivery day.

Managing to put away my orders neatly and FIFO all my perishables only to find it all messed up in less then 1hr.

Getting those last minute catering orders requesting things like lasagna and having the customer questioning why we can't deliver it within the hour.

Trying to find the proper delivery cart to bring catering orders across a busy street only to find that its sitting in our other outlet up 5 flights of stairs not being used because that person likes that cart better then the one originally assigned to them.

Using my timer when I stick things in the oven only to either have someone turn the timer off when it goes while I'm away (because the noise bothers them) which in turn I might forget I got something in the oven and it burns...or someone else sticks something else in the oven and jumps the temp without me knowing and it burns when my timer goes off but their stuff looks lovely!

ok good things about being the Chef where I work. 

amazing some of my clients at what I can do with my limitations in terms of facilities and crew.

I get to meet some pretty cute girls working in a college, not that I get to meet many being stuck in the kitchen 90% of the times.
 
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Originally Posted by leeniek  

Those last minute ones who come at 2 mins to close (who DOES that????)
I'm not a chef but this is a major irritant for me, and not because the customers shouldn't have the "right" to do so.

I work lunch which ends at 3:00, and generally speaking I gotta have my station broken down and cleaned by as close to 3:30 as possible so that the night expo guy can start setting up for dinner.  When customers come in at 2:58 and their orders don't come in until 3:10, I'm going to be late breaking down which causes tensions with the night crew depending on how much they have to do to setup. 

And of course it's usually a 6-top with tons of mods to their orders...
 
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Pete, I agree totally with your comments about late customers!  We close at 4 on Sat, but had a party of 4 come in at 3:45.  They asked if they could still eat in, and the girl out front actually had them wait while she came looking for me to ask if it was okay!   They were in and out in 20 minutes, but I don't expect we'll ever see them again.  We are so overdue for a staff meeting...

Headless, do you work in my cafe?  I can't tell you how many times IN ONE DAY that I said "if you are low on anything, put it on the board so I can order it today".  People would come into the office and tell me that we only had one can of tomatoes left- should they put it on the board? One sleeve of 12 ounce coffee cups?   A couple of pounds of deli turkey?  3 heads of lettuce?   My baker asked if she should put sugar on the board- I said that if she was low, of course she should and her reply was "well how am I supposed to know if you've already ordered it?"  Well....if I already have, then I won't order it again, will I?  Sometimes I think I should take a Zanax before I go in.
 
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Originally Posted by leeniek  

Those last minute ones who come at 2 mins to close (who DOES that????)
I'm not a chef but this is a major irritant for me, and not because the customers shouldn't have the "right" to do so.

I work lunch which ends at 3:00, and generally speaking I gotta have my station broken down and cleaned by as close to 3:30 as possible so that the night expo guy can start setting up for dinner.  When customers come in at 2:58 and their orders don't come in until 3:10, I'm going to be late breaking down which causes tensions with the night crew depending on how much they have to do to setup. 

And of course it's usually a 6-top with tons of mods to their orders...
That situation can only be corrected by upper management, primarily by closing lunch earlier or starting dinner later, IMHO. Of course, the owner/investors could spring for a separate lunch kitchen, I suppose /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
 
 
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If you are doing what you love, nothing is bad. The only thing that comes to mind is Family always looses, a successful Chef always makes the restaurant top priority.................ChefbillyB
 
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 A-hole people who have 30 years in the biz and are still applying for line cook jobs and treat the female sous like sh** as he is a sexist a**hat  (yeah that one is personal)
I realize thats personal but what I hate is how "line cook" has become such a lowly unskilled trade. There was actually a time when most the cooks in good kitchens had many years experience.  Line cook is worth $10 an hour, any other experienced tradesman would want 3 or 4 times that.  
 
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The juggle between family time and the needs of work, for sure.

Being responsible for the actions, or inactions, of others.

Other than that it's all good.

Regarding last minute custies, we seat until 830pm.

You walk in at 829, you get seated.

Fortunately we have a small, professional crew.

I've heard no whining from the kitchen about late arrivals.

We even waited 20 minutes after last seating for a 4 top who couldn't find us.

(we can be hard to find if coming from the North).
 
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Headless, do you work in my cafe?  I can't tell you how many times IN ONE DAY that I said "if you are low on anything, put it on the board so I can order it today".  People would come into the office and tell me that we only had one can of tomatoes left- should they put it on the board? One sleeve of 12 ounce coffee cups?   A couple of pounds of deli turkey?  3 heads of lettuce?   My baker asked if she should put sugar on the board- I said that if she was low, of course she should and her reply was "well how am I supposed to know if you've already ordered it?"  Well....if I already have, then I won't order it again, will I?  Sometimes I think I should take a Zanax before I go in.
I can not tell you how annoying it gets.  My manager was giving me crap about it one time when I forgot to order napkins claiming it was a "basic item" that should always be ordered.  Well I rebuttal with "theres basic stuff I gotta remember for nearly 10 departments plus all the odds and bit."  (for some reason Italics won't turn off)But the worse thing is that I'll get informed when we're completely out of something as opposed to having something on hand.  I'm currently the acting chef after losing ours a month and a half ago so the onus is completely on me for checking our entire stock, what we need for the next few days, anticipate last minute changes/requests, then place the orders which would take anyone else 3-4hours out of a day, I have less then 2hours.
 
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Isn't it great that they know how to speak when you're out, but lack the ability when you're low.

Low I can work with, out, well, not much can be done.

They're so cute before their eyes open.
 
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So, if there's 80 cases of napkins, you should order more?  How about 200 cases?  500 cases?  When will you have enough on hand that you don't have to order more with every single order?

 
I can not tell you how annoying it gets.  My manager was giving me crap about it one time when I forgot to order napkins claiming it was a "basic item" that should always be ordered.  
 
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Haha!  I hate when the freezer door seals shut for a half a minute or so until the pressure equalizes.  VERY frustrating.  For me, I really hate it when the server screws up the order and tells the guests the kitchen made a mistake!!!!  AArghhh!!  What can we do? 
 
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What do I hate about being a Chef?

"Hey, you have to give me more shifts, I can't even pay rent on 4 shifts per week.  Oh, and I also need next Tuesday off"

"You have to do better on your labour cost". (a day later) "Stop messing around with my dishwasher and cook's schedules"

Getting charged $70/hr for labour , plus $30.00 for "truck fee" $60.00 for two &*()%-ing rocker switches, and 14% H.S.T on top of all of that for fridge repairs. Call back the Refrigeration guy and ask him what's up with charging me $60.00 for two freaking rocker switches, and he say's he'll rework the invoice.  A week later I get the invoice, he's charging $50.00 for the switches...

REALLY hate catching staff stealing and firing them, or even worse, working with them for a year, and then finding out that they've filed fraudulent Labour board cases against me.

"Eh!!! Chefe!!! You come!  You come quick!!!  Is raining in dry-store room".........

Salesmen...

Actally I LIKE telling salesmen to poilitely _____-off when they waltz in unannounced in my ktichen during a rush.  And I LOVE catching them padding the bill, B.S ing me on prices, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE educating the schmucks on, say, the difference between dutched and un-dutched cocoa, pure hazelnut paste, and "icecream mix" hazelnut paste, how to tell the difference between purple, stringly Chilean beef and AAA beef tenderloins--which I was invoiced for, why I don't need sanitizer for my hi-temp dishwasher......

Hated working for almost 4 years with "plantar fascitis" (inflamed feet). Couldn't do much about it since it was my own business, and would have fallen flat on my face If I took a month off. 
 
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 A-hole people who have 30 years in the biz and are still applying for line cook jobs and treat the female sous like sh** as he is a sexist a**hat  (yeah that one is personal)
I realize thats personal but what I hate is how "line cook" has become such a lowly unskilled trade. There was actually a time when most the cooks in good kitchens had many years experience.  Line cook is worth $10 an hour, any other experienced tradesman would want 3 or 4 times that.  
that's the truth. But what is worse is that chumps that get to call them selves line cooks then boil mashed potatoes in a bag alongside a bag of gravy and have the audacity to call it cooking. course I guess it just wouldn't sell if restaurants spoke the truth and tried saying "Reheated just like your incompetent Uncle would make it"
 
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So, if there's 80 cases of napkins, you should order more?  How about 200 cases?  500 cases?  When will you have enough on hand that you don't have to order more with every single order?

 
I can not tell you how annoying it gets.  My manager was giving me crap about it one time when I forgot to order napkins claiming it was a "basic item" that should always be ordered.  
ooohh thats a completely different issue.  My napkins will get stolen without me knowing by other units.  I could bring in 2 cases for the week and they'll be gone in 3 sdays because the unit across the street forgot to order some for themselves and they take my whole case, doesn't get recorded which unexpectedly ups my paper cost and I get whipped for it.  This goes for nearly half of my paper product.  I can't bring in more because a) I don't have the extra storage space to keep in stock for 2-3 units and b) if it doesn't get used before we do our weekly inventory, I get whipped for ordering too much stuff.
 
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besides the loss of sleep and brain cells from stressing out over logistics mostly, its the personal time with friends...weddings, birthdays, parties, lunch or a 'night  out with the girls' (the ya ya's) missed, even funerals or celebrations of life, outings, impromptu get togethers, true down time..it ain't as easy breezy as it use to be, for sure...most of the day to day stuff i can deal with.....

joey

on the personal time loss, i meant to add always seeming to be in a time crunch...always rushed, never reading anything other than cookbooks, recipes, trade mags and cooking sites...christ, i've been reading the same non cooking book for a year!..i only get to read a few pages when i go to get a haircut
 
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