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Re: New job, could use some advice

Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:19 pm

Knife Fanatic wrote:"A foot in a large mixer........ Oh please elaborate!" :ugeek: :ugeek: :ugeek:

I was waiting for someone to jump on that... ;)

BIDION <> 10th grade dropout actually.;) Albeit, a perennial honors student, middle-school track record holder, Varsity football as a high school Sophomore - well on my way to a scholarship until the fights at home became insufferable. My incorrigible fury spread to school, and well... fill in the blanks as the reality is probably too graphic for a "family forum" as one moderator once called this here :roll:. First job in a restaurant @13 as a high school Freshman, then after leaving home & high school concurrently, cooking the line overtime @14... @6'2"/190# no one knew. I'm 23 years deep now; excluding when I earned my series 7, 63 & 2-15 licensure & worked 2 years as a securities & insurance broker. I've commanded 2 restaurant Executive Chef posts, the largest grossing 7 million a year on 225 seats. I've since worked intra and internationally... above and below the Equator on both sides of the planet.

Love your top ten. America needs more Hel'nurath...

JACK <> No, we are not down & out in Paris nor London, but the pervasive work ethic amid the hotel caste system in the early 20th century in which Orwell so poignantly depicts, albeit through the lens of social injustice, is something that need be revisited IMO. Bidion, transversely parallels said ethic with his ship reference, and that is why I believe the USA is in the disrepair it unarguably resides. They can blame Reaganomics, they can blame the left, but it is just that... blame and lack of accountability that is at the crux of the slow demise of our dwindling Empire filling exponentially w/ lazy, lazy, lazy people.. with outstretched hands & a look of entitlement in their eyes. Phuck them... all of them. The buck need stop at their desk, but its too easy for them to pass it...

I agree with you, in that, being a line cook doesn't require a Type A personality, but outside of the negative association with Type A's that I'm sensing in your tone & the broad consensus of the American masses, even referenced earlier by Bidion, in that, Type A's are a$$holes... let us please stop, look & listen to Type A vs. Type B theory.

"The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, caring for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving "workaholics" who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence."


"People with Type B personality by definition generally live at a lower stress level and typically work steadily, enjoying achievement but not becoming stressed when they are not achieved. When faced with competition, they do not mind losing and either enjoy the game or back down. They may be creative and enjoy exploring ideas and concepts. They are often reflective, thinking about the outer and inner worlds. Furthermore, Type B personalities may have a poor sense of time schedule and can be predominately right-brained thinkers."

You don't have to be an ambitiously organized proactive multi-tasker to be a line cook, but... it really helps. :lol:

Like I said, I'm an old-school Chef. I learned from old Frenchies that chucked packed escargot shells at you when you didn't perform to perfection, Mexicans that threw knives when you didn't follow dish protocol, a Brit that loved to brawl, Americans that loved beat everyone in every way, Koreans that didn't speak, Chinese that just rocked, and on & on. I work 15-19 hours a day 5-7 days a week depending upon workload, and have put in 3 or 4 35-39 hour shifts in the last 12 months. There is no rest for the weary, and there is only one way to be better than the next guy... outwork them, outperform them, and outshine them. IMO: When you get cut, you wrap a dirty towel around it and finish service. When you get burnt, you wrap a wet towel around it and finish service. When someone dies, be glad its not you & finish service. I don't really care what anyone thinks about that as it has excelled me through 23 years of professional service to the global work force blessing me with ascending earnings that have grown nearly every fiscal year, and I might be wrong to work how I do but I might be right...

Its a standing joke with all my purveyors that have been in the business for decades as they receive my orders @03:00 and deliver to my hands a few hours later, "no Chefs work like you anymore", "you're like a throw-back to yesteryear", "don't you ever sleep.?!" I acknowledge this my way. I'm aware not everyone can nor want to handle it. It works for me though... and well.

Re: New job, could use some advice

Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:43 pm

Melampus you are a great deal of fun to read. If I came off as negative toward type A personalities as are we are calling them, then I do apologize. I have no issues with that sort of drive. I was merely stating an alternative point of view. I'm a middle ground person, cursed with the ability to see things in different ways. I simply didn't want anyone to read the post and get discouraged from kitchen work because they think they are going to have miss their mother's funeral.

I respect your type of insanity, but for me, there is no reason to work myself that hard. A nice life balance and a comfortable living are all I want. I have been through the rigors of the hard core 80 hour weeks, sleeping in the parking lot. Coming in on your one day off. Sweating out the 2 gallons of water you drank that last shift, and freaking out because your Pantry guy is 2 hours late.

Keep it coming though, I enjoy this.

Re: New job, could use some advice

Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:12 pm

Dumb young dishwasher had foot resting on bowl pegs while pizza dough was spinning in planetary mixer; lost balance; hook pulled him in, and busted up his ankle/ lower leg pretty bad....

Re: New job, could use some advice

Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:34 pm

I would had loved to see that x-ray!

Re: New job, could use some advice

Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:21 am

Standing on range removing hood filters and cleaning hood. Works his way from one end of range to the other. He runs out of range and plunges his foot to the bottom of the 350 degree fryer.

Re: New job, could use some advice

Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:07 am

My immediate reaction... frigin idiot. Then I think... I've said it before; I'll say it again, "Common sense is all too uncommon."

You'd think people that dumb would have already made fatal mistakes in life; you know natural selection and all, but strangely enough I still encounter them everyday. :evil:

Re: New job, could use some advice

Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:59 pm

Wow, I think you just need to get used to it dude. Don't give up that fast. It's hot in a kitchen but you get used to it. Most important thing is staying hydrated so drink a large glass of water hours before your shift starts.

For anyone else looking at this thread and wanting advice I have some things to add. First of all no one, I repeat NO one expects you to perform with flying colors, you're just being trained at this point and are bound to screw up. the best thing to keep in mind is perseverance. Never give up, try your best if someone is taking over your station to relieve you don't sit back and watch them do it, work together to rock out the shift.

I know many chefs who will throw a noobie on one of the busiest stations knowing they will fail. They do it to see your employability skills versus your culinary skills. You can teach someone anything but a better personality.

Take this as a grain of salt however, you can't always be the go getter in these situations. Know when to back off.

As for Kitchen Gear goes, I bring bare essentials: chef's knife I like a santoku for line as you are working with limited space and pairing knife or petty for any task you might tackle.
This way you have all you need to do a variety of tasks without running to dish to grab a peeler. People won't steal your shit unless you deserve it. If you brag and gloat people might want to take you down a notch. In four words: Be humble and persevere.


Re: New job, could use some advice

Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:19 am

Not to mention, not all kitchens are stupid hot.

Re: New job, could use some advice

Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:37 pm

Saltydog wrote:Not to mention, not all kitchens are stupid hot.

Most if working a broiler or sauté station get pretty toasty, but nothing you can't handle if you hydrate well.

Re: New job, could use some advice

Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:35 am

I'm kind of in the same boat as Mel, I am not an old school cook, but I'm an old school butcher and that is translating to my new career.

I went into work two weeks ago with a 102 degree fever, I don't even remember driving to work I just remember that I could walk, and therefore work.

You have to power through crap.
One of the best things I do is keep a prep list of what I do daily, we're an extremely busy restaurant, 26 cooks on staff nightly. We all work 14s, 5 days a week, same two days off. Keeping a list shows me what I'm spending the most time on, and where I can improve and when I'm off for a day I look at the list, where can I improve, what can I do faster, can I prep two or three day of one item at once to make the next day faster and better?

And yes, humble pie, unless you're having a chicken breakdown competition then you stomp everyone if you can ;)
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