Thursday, April 16, 2009

the catastrophe of complacency

I have found that as of late you are becoming more relaxed and, yes, even lazy in your duties at the restaurant. Anybody who knows you would most likely tell me that when it comes to work, you don’t like excuses; and its true, you really can’t stand them. And yet, I see that you are giving more and more of them to yourself and everyone else as the days of poor leadership and management at what could be a very, very good restaurant continue.

You work in an environment that breeds conformity to a very low set of standards. A very low set of standards that I try to break for myself and, more importantly, for you. For the longest time I have seen nothing but struggle in my kitchen. I am at a loss as to how in the world I can make things more manageable for my crew, but I have come to realize that, despite your abhorrent protests to management changes, procedures, and even product received, you are very content in staying right where you are. My wanting something cleaned more or more efficiently is always met with the ubiquitous rolling of the eyes, so common of a teenager being told that they need to clean their room before going to that movie. “Hey, lets keep the chatter down and focus our attention on making this food great” is countered by, “I’d rather keep my balls down and in your mouth.” I get it. Its good for a laugh. Hell, I even chuckle sometimes. But recently it occurs to me that I am starting to respond in the same way. And I can’t stand it. I hate to put the blame on my environment, but people really do take on the characteristics of those they hang out with–especially when they hang out with those people for 15 hours a day…

Is it really that shitty of an economy that you must be completely miserable where you work? I know that there might not be many cooking jobs out there and that cooking might be your only interest, but what about taking a job at the local butcher to learn how to better fabricate your meat since we can’t order primals anymore? What about going to the local salumi shop and learning the wonderful craft of charcuterie, since we are not able to “waste” any product on frivolous passings of time like education? Take a part-time at the bakery and learn what fresh bread looks, smells, and tastes like–learn how to make it! Work on a farm and find out what grows in summer and what tastes better in the fall. Like Gandhi said, “you must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Whether it is cleaning harder or faster, or reading more books, or staging, or moving to another fucking city to work under a better chef who can actually teach you something–who actually gives a shit about his employees–in order to succeed or to fail, first you have to actually try. You have to actually do something to fix your situation. 

If you can’t find a way to fix your situation, or at least to try and make it better, then shut the fuck up about your so-called professionalism because your attitude is wearing very thin.

But know this: I am not just speaking from the heart, but to mine, as well...


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