The ups and downs of the kitchen bitch.
So for a brief synopsis, basically a mercurial boss, the loss of an idiot bartender, a "Chef" who couldn’t stand the heat, and the wonders of service hell...
The boss took over our little bar/grill that’s literally in a one trick town. We have a "tourist attraction" in the form of a distillery and our little bar. That’s IT. But people come from the two neighboring towns to enjoy our burgers and steaks. I’m the only worker who lives less than five miles from work.... Commute much? My coworkers do.
Understand that I wouldn’t even be in this joint if it weren’t for my husband having landed the job then literally two weeks later landing a second job. The old bosses said 'alright we will let your wife work' and the rest is history.
NOW onto the fun. The new boss took over our place and owns two other businesses on top of it. Mid life crisis? Maybe. Now when he took over we had the idiot bartender (DA for short aka dumbass), six waitresses, myself as the dishwasher, fill in fry cook, emergency prep person, fill in waitress, and overall just the kitchen bitch.
A second cook, "Chef," was brought in. Now understand our long standing Cook, while not all there in the head, has been with our place for five years, and has been in food service since he was legal to work. I have been in food service almost five years total myself. Neither of us have certifications in food service. The "Chef"? Graduated top of his class from a top culinary school....
First week we did alright overall. Both cook and chef worked side by side and though they butted heads some, they worked fine together. Second week the very first day Chef was by himself, he panicked. Cue me being called in seven hours before my scheduled shift to come bail Chef out. So I go in and do a bunch of prep work which I have known from the previous eleven months working in our place.
Chef decides that my schedule will now be that I work every morning our place is open AND Friday and Saturday nights are mandatory shifts for me, not our other dishwasher. Ok fine we can handle that. The other dishwasher is my husband so at the end of the day the money still goes to the same place. This week and the next, go on with Cook being threatened to be fired twice because Chef doesn’t like that Cook was right about several things... LOVELY. (Sarcasm peeps.)
Into week four and on the second day, Chef finally cracks. He leaves early, abandoning Cook with a backed up order line and the boss in a rage. I get yelled at; "Call your hubby and get your ass on fryers NOW."
Good thing I was trained on fryers before new boss took over. Bear in mind this is right at the end of summer. We are slammed. Cook and I didn’t leave that night until over an hour and a half after closing time. Crisis averted right? Wrong. We go through about four schedule changes in two weeks until we have a workable schedule that doesn’t leave us so understaffed that the kitchen is a stress zone.
THEN we have another major snafu. Have I mentioned yet that the boss is VERY mercurial? As in literally in a matter of twenty minutes he can go from pissed to “git-r-done” to “oh yeah” to fuck all to joker. Yes ladies and gents my boss has a wonderful switch of personalities at the drop of a pin.
Since the loss of Chef, things went sort of smooth until five weeks ago, minus hiring the worthless dishwasher. My hubby is yet again at a second job that takes all his time so our place has given him the equivalent of layoff status which means that he doesn’t have to work there while working second job. So we hired someone who I was against bringing in from the word go. But we brought her in anyhow.
Worthless coworker worked one week total. The other two weeks she called out. Then she claimed she had a change in availability thus needed to do MY job, not what she was hired to do. Cook saw it for what it was and said nope. Buh bye worthless. Two nights later I brought in a friend, one of my old classmates. Little Bitch (LB) is now successfully cross trained in prep work and dish duties. She has taken everything thrown at her and then some.
Now we get to the best part of all the fuckery. DA, our bartender and “manager” decided he needed to take a week off. Ok no problem. He wrote out schedule for the week he would be gone and was supposed to be back the following week on first day. Guess who didn’t show up? DA.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, DA at that point was fired. Boss asked the three remaining wait staff and the other bartender to work out a schedule. Now bear in mind the waitress with the most seniority (hereafter Basher) is cross trained for bar as is the Russian, a new hire who was brought on when boss took over. Basher and Russian talk amongst themselves but never write a schedule. The other bartender, Blitz (also female and the newest hire of all of them) and Cook and I were all working one morning.
Russian never showed up so Blitz had been called in. She wasn’t happy about being called in during a snow storm but she came in anyhow. Boss asks Blitz and Cook to write up a schedule. Well Cook HATES doing paperwork, period. He would rather go out back and tinker with whatever he can find to do than write a schedule.
No problem, says Blitz and she figures out a workable schedule. All week long everyone follows the schedule until Saturday. Our busiest day AND the end of our work week…
Basher is our bartender and daytime wait staff. We aren’t very busy during the days so no problems with having just her on. Russian is in the kitchen with me as our morning cook since Cook is booked for a full 40 hours and can’t work two days of the week until afternoon. Bear in mind this has been our kitchen schedule in essence for over two months now.
By some stroke of luck I have LB for the morning so we have all of our prep work, cleaning, and the various other little morning chores done by 11:30. That’s only half an hour after opening and roughly three hours before Cook is supposed to be there. LB asks me for a ride home and I say yes since I need to go to the store anyhow and the store is in neighboring town that she lives in.
We head up to my house and I run in, grabbing what I need. On the way back out to head to town we cross paths with the Russian. Strange. I glance down to work since I have a clear line of sight and only Bashers car is there and Boss is up on the roof working on fixing a leak. Ok then. I ask LB should we go check things out and she says no so we head for town.
Fast forward a few hours. I am on my way home and realize I forgot a few things at work that were supposed to go home. Oops. Ok head down to work. Cook is there but now Basher's car is gone. I go in and Cook looks at me weird.
I got into the fridge my goodies were in and grabbed my stuff and he says, “You forgot things again, didn’t you?”
Yeah, yeah I did.
Cook then comes over and says, “By the way I need you here between 3:30 and 4.” So I ask what happened to Russian and Basher. “They walked out. So I’m waiting, bartending, and cooking. By myself.”
So I run home, scarf down my lunch, spend fifteen minutes with my podling who has been spending the day with grandma (my mother) and head back for work. I get there and immediately get thrown on the grill. Cook is running back and forth trying to get everything done. I tell Cook to focus on the customers and I'll handle the cooking.
He agrees and heads off to do the now absent Basher and Russians jobs. A little while later in comes Blitz, yet again called in and we call in one other person, Alley Cat. So now we have two bartenders, two cooks, and no wait staff. Alley Cat and Blitz rose to the challenge and we faced a busy for winter (think a slow summer night aka about 150 customers) with just us and LB when she got there for her normal dishwash shift.
Mercurial boss is in a good mood by the end of the night and even did some wait duties himself.
The real kicker of all of this? Basher came back today begging for her job back and boss gave it to her.
Let’s see what fuckery gets pulled next ladies and gents… goodness knows what to expect now.
--The Kitchen Bitch