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Inept Coworker from hell


xochi74
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Do you know the type? Arrogant, dumb, incompetent, disorganized, a ass kisser, who shifts blame? :wacko:

I work as a cook. I work with an 18 year old kid who cannot take any criticism what so ever.

His sanitation skills make me think that eating out of a cat box would be more healthy than serving the food he cooks.

He has managed to anger nearly everyone I work with due to his lack of preparation, inability to prioritize, and his constant blame of other people.

Nobody wants to work with him.

Due to his sanitation issues alone I cannot recommend this establishment to my friends.

My boss confronted him on how he handles food, he blamed the person who trained him (false) he blamed me for not supervising his work (when there was constructive criticism offered he throws insults). He found out I am gay and makes anti gay comments. Tonight after arriving to work and having 200 guests, his food was not ready, his station was a mess, he ran around like a chicken with his head cut off.

I am embarrassed for our restaurant in Saint Paul, this kid completley screwed up a fundraiser for the Republican party by saying he did a great job and we were just trying to make him look bad. He stinks. His "work" cost us 5,000 dollars tonight as we essentially had to comp the entire event due to his errors.

To put it simply I have never worked with a more frustrating individual than "Rob".

We have tried to show him the way, yet he ignores the rules and does it his way and shifts blame on others.

Tonight as he was preparing a simple waldorf salad with creme fraiche mixed with white truffle oil, sliced grapes, micro mint, honey, and walnuts he decided to peel the lables off the apples with his teeth!

When confronted, he lied. And threw a tantrum saying that myself and the other cook who were doing the prep were just trying to make him look bad.

We had to throw out the entire prep for 200 people, for that reason as he handled that portion of the dinner.

Which in turn slowed work on other must do work.

This kid thinks he is the boss. He tells the dishwasher what to do (a guy who has worked there for 8 years). He kisses butt big time, but many staff members are seeing his true colors. He seems personable at first, but lurking deep down is a spoiled child with no skill, and dangerous habits regarding food.

What can I say? He's young. He is about to become a father. Is homophobic, immature, rude, arrogant, and not very smart. Yet he is the first to put others down.

We all want him gone, yet the chef is blind to all this. He thinks it can be worked out as we train him. We think he is untrainable, and given his sanitation issues alone fear that we will be closed down if he gets somebody sick.

The restaurant itself is very well known. Yet in the six weeks we have had this kid here he has tried the patience of many.

We are going to have a meeting with the chef regarding this issue. He is making what was a great work environment into one we dread.

I have worked at this place for 1.5 years and been in the restaurant business for 14 years.

I have never dealt with such a person, were I the boss he would have been gone after the first day of work.

How he got promoted from a dishwasher (a bad one) is a mystery to many of us.

What do you do when your boss thinks the kid just needs time, yet the people who have to endure him want to strip off their clothes and run screaming into the cold Minnesota night and jump into the Mississippi river at the mere thought of cohabiting a workspace with this miscreant?

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A mean solution could be to bully him into a corner and force him to quit. Peer pressure wears on people after awhile. If that doesn't work, could always sabotage his prep. Or use it all for family meal, throw it away, etc. etc..

If the chef doesn't recognize that his kitchen has not been running as efficiently as before, there must be an issue...New Chef, perhaps?

Jim

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I don't advise sabotaging him, or stooping to his level in any manner.

It belittles you, and I'm a firm believer in not letting others determine how I am going to act.

Talking to him at this point would be futile, he has shown that he is unwilling to listen or learn.

All you can do is speak to the Chef.

If the Chef chooses not to do anything about it, your choice is to tolerate it or leave.

I don't recommend a group confrontation with the Chef, and I wouldn't make any demands.

If you don't see the result you want, I'd start looking for other employment, as there is more to the problem than just this one employee.

All that being said, I know that sometimes it is difficult to find a replacement for a problem employee, and the Chef will keep someone on longer in the hopes that they will turnaround, which does happen, albeit not all of the time.

Speaking for myself, I have found myself in a situation where I finally determined that I could rid myself of a problem employee without jeopardizing customer service, only to have 1 person quit and another punch a coworker and get fired, leaving me in the situation of keeping the problem employee so I won't be suddenly 3 people down.

Sucks, but it does happen.

I still want to hear from my valued employees their take on the situation, but expect tolerance as I try to find the best remedy.

I am actually dealing with this situation as we speak.

Edited by Just Jim (log)
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"He found out I am gay and makes anti gay comments."

That right there would have a high probability of getting walked out immediately in places I have worked. Does your business have a harassment-free workplace policy? Stuff like that is a legal liability to the employer.

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I am embarrassed for our restaurant in Saint Paul, this kid completley screwed up a fundraiser for the Republican party by saying he did a great job and we were just trying to make him look bad.  He stinks.  His "work" cost us 5,000 dollars tonight as we essentially had to comp the entire event due to his errors.

A five grand comp and the kid is still working there? Unbelievable.

Start looking for another job. You don't need to put up with his crap. Life's too short.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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"He found out I am gay and makes anti gay comments."

That right there would have a high probability of getting walked out immediately in places I have worked.  Does your business have a harassment-free workplace policy?  Stuff like that is a legal liability to the employer.

I am not sure about the laws where you are but in Canada it is illegal to give someone a hard time about their sexuality on the job. The boss should deal with it but you could always go to the human rights commision if they won't. Incompetent workers are no fun to work with but no one has to put up with personal attacks on the job. I realize this can be like using a sledgehammer to drive a nail but it is a nice backup plan.

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Build a case. Give management the ability to see this as you see it, in as objective a form as possible. Document what he says; put quotes in quotation marks. Document what he does -- and say only what you know he did, not what you think or heard he did. Date everything. Send yourself emails of your notes if possible.

Then when you have a strong, impartial case, sit down and present it as clearly as you can. Pitch it as something that's in the best interests of the restaurant, not a means to get an asshole out of your hair. Remember that jerks make good food, lots of money, and managers happy; if you make the case that he's screwing up the food and the money, management should get it.

If they don't get it? Well, even if this guy goes, there will always be another inept coworker from hell. The question is whether there's any real staff supervision and accountability, and doing all this will let you know how it'll play out the next dozen times it happens.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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There is a solution to this mess, but it will cost you: Dental work, from gritting your teeth, hair loss, from pulling your hair, stomach complaints fromt the bile rising, but it is a solution that is used in countless situations like yours the world over.

You have every legal right to complain to human rights/ local labour board about harrassment.

I wouldn't.

True to red-neck nature, a red-neck will retaliate when complaints are brought forward about him. Since the complaints originate from the workplace, the logical place to retaliate would be not at the workplace. It would also suggest that you are weak and not in control of the situation, hence the whinging and "running to Mommy".

If I read beween the lines of your post, you like your job, the co -workers, and the challanges, if I also read correctly your bigest fear is that redneck will poison half the town and then fobb off the blame on you.

The solution?

Document, document, document. Every union hotel Chef knows this.

Document the training on how to make a clubhouse--step by step, including putting in 4 frill picks. Get a signature on the recipie card acknowledging training recieved. Don't want to sign? No problem, go back to washing dishes, no promotion or pay increase untill you can prove that you can make a clubhouse. Same goes for removing the label of an apple....

You need ot go to the Chef and admit that redneck hasn't been properly trained. Copies of signed training forms done EACH DAY will be issued to Chef and HR, and the orginal goes into your lawyer's safe deposit box. If Chef doesn't catch on, the HR will, and if neither of those catch on, then it's best to leave the place.

Hygiene. Here in BC we have a "foodsafe program", a Provincial gov't sponsored 6 hr. course for all foodhandlers. It costs $50, and is very basic. I'm sure your State/municipality has something similiar. Everyone who passes gets a certificate. "Encourage" the Chef to display photocopies of EACH kitchen worker's certificate on the wall. When redneck pulls a stunt, ask him if that was covered in the foodsafe program. Basically shame him for passing the course and then not knowing better.

Either the guy shapes up or ships out with the documentation program. It is very hard on the trainer, but it is the only intelligent and logical way to go about it.

Hope this helps

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Today the staff had a meeting with chef and the GM. We discussed in detail our issues with Rob; our attempts to correct the situation before escalating to management, his behavior and food safety concerns.

In all 7 people spoke up.

One by one we told our tales of frustration.

Rob was fired today.

In a way I feel sorry for the kid. He had a golden opportunity to learn a trade for free, but chose to take the low road.

He's 18 and is going to be a father in 6 months.

Were I in his shoes I would bust my butt and take the advice as given. Now he's jobless in a very difficult market. Due to his own stupidity.

It's his fault we tried to help him.

At least we can get back to making food that we trust.

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Geez getting canned sucks.

It's easy to feel bad about it, so I can't fault you for that.

In truth, he was done a great favor, given a gift.

He can start over somewhere with a new attitude.

Hope he gets it though.

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A mean solution could be to bully him into a corner and force him to quit. Peer pressure wears on people after awhile. If that doesn't work, could always sabotage his prep. Or use it all for family meal, throw it away, etc. etc..

If the chef doesn't recognize that his kitchen has not been running as efficiently as before, there must be an issue...New Chef, perhaps?

Jim

I get bullied a lot at work, but its the whole break you down, build you up technique. If this lad really wants to be there, a bit of bullying with show his true colours... if he really wants it he will push on so he can stay there, if he doesnt, he will bugger off on his own accord!

Wozza

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A mean solution could be to bully him into a corner and force him to quit. Peer pressure wears on people after awhile. If that doesn't work, could always sabotage his prep. Or use it all for family meal, throw it away, etc. etc..

If the chef doesn't recognize that his kitchen has not been running as efficiently as before, there must be an issue...New Chef, perhaps?

Jim

I get bullied a lot at work, but its the whole break you down, build you up technique. If this lad really wants to be there, a bit of bullying with show his true colours... if he really wants it he will push on so he can stay there, if he doesnt, he will bugger off on his own accord!

Wozza

Bullying works with some people, and with some it doesn't--it backfires.

I've only been in this biz for maybe 25 years, but I've seen people's cars being vandalized, broken bones, lawsuits, food posionings, revenge attacks outside of the workplace, smear campaingns, and alot of nasty business just becasue either the person won't fit in or refuses to do what is expected of them.

Basically, if you live by the sword, you die by the sword, and kitchens can become very dangerous places.

Many union places are not pleasant to work in, because it is the Union who thinks that X person should be moved into such-and-such-a job. Very rarely is this decision based on merit, competance, or potential, and then the stresses begin all over the place. In many cases the Chef's hands are tied and the only thing he has on his side are rules and documentation, documentation, documentation, and a lot of patience and wishfull thinking that all the good people stay until the rotten apple is gone. Pity the Chef.

The only way to play it safe--and smart, is to go by the book.

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A mean solution could be to bully him into a corner and force him to quit. Peer pressure wears on people after awhile. If that doesn't work, could always sabotage his prep. Or use it all for family meal, throw it away, etc. etc..

If the chef doesn't recognize that his kitchen has not been running as efficiently as before, there must be an issue...New Chef, perhaps?

Jim

I get bullied a lot at work, but its the whole break you down, build you up technique. If this lad really wants to be there, a bit of bullying with show his true colours... if he really wants it he will push on so he can stay there, if he doesnt, he will bugger off on his own accord!

Wozza

Bullying works with some people, and with some it doesn't--it backfires.

I've only been in this biz for maybe 25 years, but I've seen people's cars being vandalized, broken bones, lawsuits, food posionings, revenge attacks outside of the workplace, smear campaingns, and alot of nasty business just becasue either the person won't fit in or refuses to do what is expected of them.

Basically, if you live by the sword, you die by the sword, and kitchens can become very dangerous places.

Many union places are not pleasant to work in, because it is the Union who thinks that X person should be moved into such-and-such-a job. Very rarely is this decision based on merit, competance, or potential, and then the stresses begin all over the place. In many cases the Chef's hands are tied and the only thing he has on his side are rules and documentation, documentation, documentation, and a lot of patience and wishfull thinking that all the good people stay until the rotten apple is gone. Pity the Chef.

The only way to play it safe--and smart, is to go by the book.

Haha, ive only managed the 7 months full-time, so i will take you're word on that one :D!

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