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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Don't Ever Think Your Job Is 100% Secure

Even if you are the boss.  That's what my boss learned yesterday.

So, I started a new job just a week ago.  My chef was the one who responded to my reply to the craigslist ad.  He asked me to meet him at the restaurant for an interview.  He interviewed me.  I thought the interview went shitty.  A week later, though, he called me.  He asked me to go to his partner's other restaurant to cook for half an hour.

So, I went.  I was directed to debone a chicken breast and fillet a snapper.  Then I was to make a dish with either the chicken or the snapper and some other items on hand.  I had 45 minutes.  I made some boring sauteed chicken breast with a bok choy and red bell pepper saute and a peach cilantro relish.  It looked... amateur.  He said it looked nice and sent me on my way back to the restaurant to interview with the other partners.  I thought the interview with them went better than the first interview and the cooking task.  But, I didn't get a call the next day.  Or the next.  I thought maybe my chicken breast had been raw.  Then, the next day, I got a call from him, and a call from Whole Foods, both within an hour.

I had been waiting for Whole Foods to call.  But, now I was faced with having a first interview with Whole Foods, or accepting a job already offered to me.  So, when I was told how much I was being offered, I called Whole Foods and told the TL (team leader) that I couldn't make the interview.  I told him how much I was offered, and he tried to give me the spiel about how a few dollars an hour in the short term would be exceeded with benefits and room for promotion, etc.  But, how could I turn down one job for another job that I didn't even have yet?

So, anyway, I started this new job last week.  The menu was not really set.  We spent most of the week working on recipes.  Things that I did not expect to do.  I thought that they would have the menu in place and recipes set, as we were supposed to have a soft opening on Thursday.

A soft opening is when a restaurant invites VIPs to dine, free of charge, as a test run.  Well, we weren't ready to do that on Thursday, so it was pushed back to Saturday.  We did have the soft opening on Saturday, but it wasn't as successful as the owners had hoped for.  We wouldn't be able to open on Monday, as planned.

So, Monday, I went in to work.  The chef was checking in an order.  He asked me to finish checking in the order.  He said he would meet with "them" up front and then get back to us in the kitchen with the plan.

He never came back in the kitchen.  The head cheese came in and informed us that the chef had stepped down.  Another chef would be coming in, and that we just needed to go forward and get the restaurant open already.  So, he told us to just get prepped up, because we would be opening Wednesday.  So, we just kind of did what we could, with the inventory we had on hand.  And then we went home.

Here's what's weird.  The restaurant is named after the former chef's dog.  One of the dishes is his grandmother's recipe and named after her.  He worked on the alcohol menu.  And now he's not there.  No one should ever feel safe, or exempt, or above the law.  I don't know if he did.

Today, the new chef worked with us.  We set up our stations, then we prepared one of each dish, so the chef could work on them with us.  Then we packed up and wrote our prep lists for tomorrow.  Opening day.

I'm not sure what will happen.  I don't know how many customers will come in.  I don't know how service will go.  I don't know if I will even have my job after tomorrow night.  But all I can do is do my best to make this restaurant as good as it can be.

So, let's see what happens!


KirkK said...

Good luck FH! I hope everything works out well.

the food ho said...

Thanks Kirk!