Here's an excerpt of a yahoo chat The Husband and I had yesterday.
The cast of characters:
Chef-my head chef
Pippi-my recently hired co-worker
Macy-the woman who trained me before going to another account within the company
(anything in parentheses is a little info to give clarification)
lipsticksavior:boy I'm glad today's over.
lipsticksavior:Crazy morning. We're all required to get there at 6:30 because the president of our company was coming to visit. As predicted, I saw him walk through the cafe.
bardiclug:He didn't even stop to eat? Or did Ms. Park (the Korean chef I used to work with) have to make him lunch?
lipsticksavior:So, I've got my plan together about what I'm going to make and put out.
lipsticksavior:I'm feeling like I've got a plan and then Pippi tells me that chef told her he wants to see me pull the leftovers cart and lay all the protiens out to select what I'm going to use.
lipsticksavior:I tell her 'Okay, I'm going to finish up the tasks I've already started and then I'll get that out. I've already gone and looked at it and I know what I'm going to use."
lipsticksavior:She says 'Well, I'm just telling you that he told me that that's what he wants you to do."
lipsticksavior:I finish up and I pull the stuff out and verify to myself what I'm going to be doing.
bardiclug:So why is he telling her and not you? That's annoying.
lipsticksavior:While I'm working she's asking me what I'm doing, I'm telling her and then when she sees me doing something she thinks I should be doing differently she goes to tell chef what I'm doing and comes back with instructions from him.
lipsticksavior:I make egg salad, turkey salad, chicken pesto wraps, beef fajita wraps, bbq sausage wraps, cobb salad wraps, a pork loin sandwich with orange ginger marmalade and slaw and get that all plated up. Then I check to see that we have enough produce for the salad part.
lipsticksavior:As I have done every day since I've taken over this station, I start to take stuff out at 9:30. (everything is set out in a big ice bin, salad bar style and I make everything custom for the customer) I come back to get all the veggies when Pippi walks up and says "Okay, your stuff isn't covered and he says it's too early to put it out." Then chef walks up and says he told me before to not set up before lunch. Get it all plated and put it out after lunch.
lipsticksavior:Okay, THAT instruction was never given. Telling me one day to pull everything, put it in the freezer to chill and bring it all back out later is not the same as saying "Going forward, let's wait until after lunch to pull out your set up."
lipsticksavior:I pull it all onto a utility cart and I'm going to cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the walk in. I'm then told "You can't have it on this cart. This is a utility cart." Okay fine.
bardiclug:It sounds to me like you need to have a discussion with Chef and ask him to speak to you directly about these things.
lipsticksavior:In the middle of all this it's announced that the president is on his way. Okay, got it. I'm trying to pull this cart into the walk in and find space for all my stuff. Pippi walks up and says "The president's on his way. Do you want to finish covering that?"
lipsticksavior:Yes, I know the president is on his way and no, I have to move this stuff off this cart. Then Dave (another co-worker) asks me if I just want to park that, no I have to move all the stuff off this cart. Then Preston (the direct manager of all the kitchen staff and cashiers) comes up and says just put that over here. I say "I have to move all this stuff off this cart, I've told 3 people now. I'm trying to find room for all this."
lipsticksavior:Now I'm crawling on the floor of the walk in looking on the bottom of the speed racks, which are all full, so I can move this stuff. I get so frustrated I started to cry.
lipsticksavior:Preston's telling me "hey it's all good. I will help you with this. get off the floor and let's get this done. "
lipsticksavior:I come out of the walk in and Pippi walks up "The president's on his way." yes, I know.
lipsticksavior:I get all cleaned up, make sure my mini rack has a cover and sticker then I take my break. Meanwhile, all the time I spent pulling the food I already put out and finding space for it I don't have my veggies plated up. When we get back from our break we have our meeting and then I need to get all the veggies into the proper containers and take everything up front and I have 10 minutes.
lipsticksavior:I was 8 minutes late getting set up and there's an issue with deli making enough chips for me to have at my station so I have to go over and take some of theirs.
lipsticksavior:then we had service, the president walked through and at some point Pippi comes over to tell me that chef wants me to get my cart as empty as possible before I leave today
lipsticksavior:I stayed late to do a deep clean yesterday. Usually I'd scrub the floor and some other stuff today but since the president was coming I did it yesterday. I cleaned inside the drains and made sure it all polished and looking good. At 2:35 Pippi comes up and wants to know if I'm on track to be out on time.
lipsticksavior: yes, I have to empty my ice bin and the cleaning that goes with that and I'm done.
bardiclug:Well, that was a day.... I'm glad it's over too!
lipsticksavior:That's the situation I'm in. I work and Pippi goes to tell chef what I'm going. Chef tells Pippi what I'm supposed to be doing. If that's going to work for him, then fine.
lipsticksavior:So I have to watch my back because he's got someone watching me all the time.
bardiclug:It could be Chef, but more likely it's Pippi running off to Chef every 5 minutes.
lipsticksavior:But, it's a frustrating situation at work.
lipsticksavior:pippi keeps saying that S4 isn't going to be her station, but they've got her supervising me and working the station with me. There's a bunch of info that she was given to tell me that I never got from Macy or anyone else.
lipsticksavior:I have the idea that chef will say he tells me to do things and I don't listen. But, again, walking by and saying "you know we have a tomato slicer" isn't the same as saying "use the slicer instead of hand cutting those"
bardiclug:Yes, extremely frustrating. If communication is the problem, the only thing you can do is be more pro-active and talk to him. Don't wait for him to talk to you. And if he says something that isn't clear, ask for clarification. That puts it back on him to be clear about what he is saying.
bardiclug:That's what I've had to do here, and it's a least BETTER than the other way.
lipsticksavior:I need to do that.
lipsticksavior:I'm taking all the feedback and implementing it. And I just wait and see what happens.
bardiclug:Well, you're home now.
And that's what I'm dealing with. Again, I'm not getting direct communication and it looks like that's how it's going to be and I'll just work with that. I'm anticipating a couple of things. One, I had told Preston that I'd continue to run the station through Thanksgiving and then we could revisit. I have a feeling it's going to be suggested that Pippi take it over. If we're looking at it like Pippi and I are applying for the position, she is the logical choice. She has a bunch more experience and knowledge. Two, everything stays the same and I continue to operate under the status quo.
Next week, we are off Thursday - Sunday, a short week.
I'll be back to riding the waves the first week of December.