You wont freaking believe this act of stupidity

Joined Jul 2, 2011
I'm opening a scratch Italian place in D.C. in two weeks so i have a lot of new staff.

Today today my am sou chefs brother started as dishrat. His brother says this is the dish machine all you have to do is put the dishes in and close the door-when it stops take the dishes out. I leave the kitchen to take care of other s*** and return 5 min later. I'm looking for one of my knives so I check the dish machine.And what to my surprise did i find-strainer,forks,saute pans and dishes-NONE OF WHICH WERE IN A RACK!!! I guess this mental giant didn't have the sense God gave an animal cracker. So i asked him-what on earth made you think that was a good f***ing idea? I'm going to keep him just so I can get a laugh out of his next bonehead move.
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Uhh...nah.   I've seen dish rats "clean" strawberries by dumping them on a flat rack and running them through the dishwasher.

I'd have a serious talk with your Sous.  For starters, he didn't "Train" the dishrat at all. With those instructions given, he'd plug up the sink with crud, dirty up the dishwashertank with the first load, and within  week, f* up the d/washer impellor and pump, burn out the booster heater, drain your hot water tank constantly, and fill up the greasetrap with crud too, not to mention pumping out filthy dishes.  If the Sous can't train up a dishrat, he shouldn't be allowed to train up a cook.

Take this seriously, or within a week you'll have a whining, moaning p.o.s. who can't clean worth a darn, but can complain and demand for things, and get his bro, to demand for him. 

And if they come in together, they almost always leave together......
Joined Aug 15, 2003
Yeah, really, doesn't sound like the dishwasher's fault...I'm assuming this is his first time doing this job. Maybe it's his first job ever. Maybe you should concentrate less on what idiots your staff are and more on training them to do the job properly. Odds are he's never worked in a professional kitchen, never used a commercial dish machine, and has no idea what a "rack" even is. 

Your unprofessional reaction and notion to "keep him just so I can get a laugh out of his next bonehead move" shows more about you than it does about him. 
Joined May 26, 2011
If someone had called me a "dishrat," when I was a dishwasher, I wouldn't have given a f*** either.
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
Blame the Sous Chef. He shold have stayed with the guy for a while or at least through one cycleof machine. And stop degrading the guy by calling him dishrat. How would you like to be called the A-- H---owner?.
Joined Aug 21, 2009
I agree, the sous should have stayed with him and made sure he was doing the job properly.  If he had never used a professional dish machine before he does need to be trained on it and every dishwasher has their own way of doing things.  I did my share of shifts in the dish and I would soak my dishes in the buspans before rinsing and racking them.. it served two purposes... the dried on eggs and other junk came off much more easily and the buspans were treated to a cleaning!
Joined Jun 22, 2011
I can see where this is coming from, as washing dishes (even if you're new to it) isn't exactly rocket science - but I'm going to have to agree with everyone else here and say that the sous chef should have trained him properly, and that calling him a 'dishrat' probably isn't the most proffesional move ever made.

Oh, and, isn't it a dish sanitizer? As in... wash the dishes BEFORE you send them through?
Joined Aug 21, 2009
I agree that the dish machine is just a sanitizer but well you'd be amazed at what some try to send through the sanitizer.  At my last place I had a cook give me attitude when I told her to rinse the dishes before they went into the machine... she said "why should I the dishwasher cleans it" and my reply was "you will be staying past close today to find out the answer".. she was pissed off at me for that and then I showed her why we made sure the dishes were debris free when they went in... again I no longer work there and funny she sitll does... but I got out when the getting was good...
Joined Feb 8, 2009
I think the only as-holes here are the Chef and the Sous..........Great job in training.....................Learn some respect for people you may have them work for you longer......
Joined May 29, 2011
Agreed... you all need each other to make the system run smoothly. Everyone deserves the same amount of respect. I always tell the dishwasher at my place not to worry if they need to put cutting boards below my table or need me to move so they can get their cart through so they can put the dishes away. My job is no more important than theirs. Reality is if they did not do what they do I would not be able to get everything I need to do done in the time I have to do it. 

Now the thing he did do was about as dumb of a thing as I can imagine. If you are not clear on how something works you should always have the latitude in the kitchen to ask the questions that will help you get the job done and done up to par with expectations. 


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
I agree, while a boneheaded move, I think your sous chef is to blame for not training this guy.  I am amazed everyday, by what I take for granted, and what others, new to a kitchen are clueless about.

I have to admit though, I am surprised at the backlash against the term dishrat.  I regularly use that term, dish dog, and others, but that in no way lessens what I think of my dish crew, and they all know it.  They know how important I feel their position is, and train all my cooks that no one is above washing dishes, including myself.
Joined Aug 21, 2004
[h1]You wont freaking believe this act of stupidity[/h1]
Are you referring to the dishwasher's, the sous chef's, or yours?

Once during a rush I grabbed a fairly new inexperienced worker and told him to fill this pot with with water and potatoes and put it on the stove. When I later returned to get the potatoes, they were nowhere near ready because he never turned the flame on underneath them. I couldn't get mad, only laugh because he did exactly what I told him to do. The stupidity was all mine.
Joined Jun 14, 2002
Once during a rush I grabbed a fairly new inexperienced worker and told him to fill this pot with with water and potatoes and put it on the stove. When I later returned to get the potatoes, they were nowhere near ready because he never turned the flame on underneath them. I couldn't get mad, only laugh because he did exactly what I told him to do. The stupidity was all mine.
Lol, how many times have you heard about the guy that was told to strain the stock, and came back with only the bones and the mirepoix?

Dunno about the dishrat backlash. If I were a dishwasher, I'd probably take to that nickname. I've also heard suds puppy and pearl diver. The dish pit is one of those areas where people wrongly thing you don't need any training.
Joined Sep 18, 2008
IMHO, the Chef is the most to blame! The Chef did not train the Sous Chef to train everyone else!

So, dock the Chef two day's pay, the Sous Chef one day's pay, and the dishwasher gets double pay for the training day!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/laser.gifEVERYONE will remember the experience and not repeat it!
Joined Jun 30, 2011
totally agreed.  Egotistical, non-empathetic attitudes like this by some chefs is one of the things about this industry that frustrates me the most. Have some respect for your employees, it's your responsability as chef to train everyone to do their job properly Eato. 
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Years ago dishwashers were refered to as  PEARL DIVERS   we had no electric machins and all dishes were done in a 3 compartment sink  with a gas burner under one for final rinse which was done in a basket. Does anyone here remember that.?  When dish machines came along any breakfast banquet that served eggs of any kind  The dishes were run through first with a cold water feed into machine, them re run normally . Purpose of this is that the hot water would cook the egg to the dish and you could never get it off.  Those were the days!
Joined Aug 26, 2010
I've seen some pretty weird stuff run through a dish machine, but that guy did EXACTLY as he was told. Which is a good thing. He just might be trainable. And I'm going to agree with several of these posts: you have to give respect to get respect.

My fondest memory of the dish pit is grabbing something that was just cleaned, pulling it down from a shelf and getting doused with residual water. I'd like to say it only happened once, but no. Lots of times.
Joined Jul 30, 2007
dishrat, diver, dishpig, disher, ceramic technician...whatever you call them, should get paid atleast as much as the line cooks, not the least as is often the case! a bad disher can bury a kitchen and an entire restaurant. a good disher will keep the whole restaurant flowing...keeping up with glasses and silverware for polishing and resetting. keeping up on the saute pans, which always seem in short supply during service. sorting and organizing the 'pit', dealing with stacks and stacks of dirty dishes, pots, pans, endless silverware and those evil ramekins and ladles that squirt your hair, eyes and face with blue cheese dressing. the mats, the floors, the trash, the smell after a's a hump every single day! in my place the disher gets tipped out by the waitstaff as he gets them out the door sooner, helps to plate salads, desserts, appetizers, cuts bread or whatever else they might need when we're buried....a good one is invaluable....

a few years back at another little place i owned, we had a new night dishwasher who was eager to impress. he was 'all over' straining the fryer oil, so he did....right into a 5 gallon PLASTIC bucket....impressive, for sure! yeah, lots of stories like that...guess that's why it's called TRAINING!

Joined Aug 21, 2009
Call the job as you will but the dishwasher is one of the most important people in a restaurant.  I've left the kitchen many times and done dishes and to be honest I rather enjoyed the break from the line.  At the diner the cooks had to do dishes and like I said before I had one give me attitude when I told her to rinse and clean them fiirst before she parked them into the machine.   All of the debris that was on the dishes she threw in uncleaned was in the bottom of the machine at the end of the shift and it is a B**** to clean out of the machine at the end of the day and much easier to simply rinse the plates and then toss them in!
Joined Jul 2, 2011
My Staff knows how important they are to the operation. They see me scrubbing pots, washing dishes and doing the floors. I have earned their respect through my work, and fair treatment of them. I suppose some people would like me to refer to "the rats" as "sanitation engineers."

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