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Craig Camp

Gordon Ramsay demands drugs tests

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What we have in this country and will continue to be for many more years the most free thinking society on this planet (now im not saying its perfect).

Are you serious?

"free thinking"?!?!

I wouldn't describe the US as "free thinking" much less the most "free thinking" society.

Go to Canada.

Go to Holland.

Go to one of a dozen countries where differences are tolerated and even celebrated and where change is accepted and even embraced. Go to one of a dozen countries where Ashcroft would be described as a lunatic nut job fascist.

Ok, youre right, im wrong :raz:


Edited by inventolux (log)

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Don't make the site administrators pull rank here, folks. Keep it on the drug topic, with reasonable frolics and detours -- we are very flexible about this stuff -- and we'll be fine. But as soon as we go down the road of this becoming a full-fledged off-topic political debate we'll send everybody to lockdown.

Please continue.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Invento...totally off topic but there's a pattern forming here. Go back over the last three pages of your posts and you've gone back and edited almost all of them. Are you second guessing your position? There something oddly Dr. Smith of Lost in Space fame about you...and I think I like it. I can't explain that, just a feeling.

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There's only one nation I'm a part of that is composed of nearly 100% free thinkers, and that's the People's Republic of eGullet.com.

Theres a time and place for everything.


Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Self-destructed. (The post, that is.)


Edited by Nickn (log)

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Ooo... Great thread.

One thing got lost along the way though.

Spencer, who seems generally accepting of drugs in the workplace and indeed thinks he did he best cooking on pot and would rather work with crackheads that alcoholics, is in direct disagreement with Bourdain, who gave a fairly definitive list as to why each class of drug users (from pot-heads to crack-heads) are not good things in a kitchen.

The discussion moved on to the realm of the legal-beagles, but I'm intrigued: Is the board generally for or against the idea that 'drugs have always been in kitchens and always will be, and do not really have a negative impact (indeed are positive in terms of destressing and endurance)'?

Cheers

Thom


It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Its not so much about the law as good humanitarian common sense.

If you can help someone get their life sorted, you end up with a much better and loyal employee.

This is not just substance abuse (think alcoholic) but goes to things like support during family or health crises, bereavement, paternity leave etc.

Of course its still up to the person to accept that help.

If you are the sort of employer who will fire a someone during a family crisis (for example a single parent with a sick kid), then I don't want to work for you, or in the extreme case you make it not possible to employ a whole range of talented people.

Of course with the economic decline in the US its easier to get staff, so you might not care, but it is still hard to recruit the best. Its also wasteful and disruptive to lose staff once you have trained them, got them settled in and part of the team, and got them up to speed.

I guess a good example is Jamie Oliver's 15, which takes kids off the the dole queue, sorts their problems and trains them up.

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Fascinating thread

All of this should be prefaced ( as many have ) with the fact that we have not had any lab reports on Dempsey nor do we know the situation that faced him with his cancer treatment, so it may be too early to blame this whole sad incident on a drug frenzy

Drugs are prevalent in all areas of society, not just kitchens as people have pointed out. The question is should they be anymore tolerated there than in the wider society?

The argument of many seems to be that Kitchens are such high pressure environments where people work long hours for little reward that it can be tolerated if not acceptable as long as it is kept under control and does not affect the work of the person concerned or indeed of others

My views, I am afraid are a little more reactionary. In this instance, GR is 100% right. It is his kitchen and his rep. He, like any other employer can have any level of tolerance they see fit. If , as Tony points out very lucidly, they choose to turn a blind eye, then they have to face any possible consequences for injuries in the work place that come as a result of their negligence.

In many workplaces now, drug tests are common place and zero tolerance policies are strongly executed not just because of the poor performance of those operating on drugs or suffering from the after effects of a binge but also because of the detrimental effects of drugs on those who work with users. people have the same views on booze. I have the odd days of coming into the office the morning after the night before, but

a) I never let it interfere with my work

b) I never take out my sore head on those who work with me or for me.

Dealing with the drug problem ( and it is a problem despite some of the stoner talk we have had on the thread ) is both prevention and cure. Ramsay's treament of those who turn up positive in the tests will be an interesting thing. From my point of view I would offer different levels of sanction for various grades of drug, from cautions and warnings ( both written and verbal ) for pot etc to summary dismissal for hard drugs. that being said, the dismissal should also come with the offer of a rehab programme and the chance to regain the employent.

I would rather have someone with 60% of the talent of a stoner working for me if they were reliable that a hugely talented addict who was only in the office 3 days a week because they were off chasing the dragon

S

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Couldn't this whole disagreement be settled over a...forget it.


Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

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Ooo... Great thread.

One thing got lost along the way though.

Spencer, who seems generally accepting of drugs in the workplace and indeed thinks he did he best cooking on pot and would rather work with crackheads that alcoholics, is in direct disagreement with Bourdain, who gave a fairly definitive list as to why each class of drug users (from pot-heads to crack-heads) are not good things in a kitchen.

The discussion moved on to the realm of the legal-beagles, but I'm intrigued: Is the board generally for or against the idea that 'drugs have always been in kitchens and always will be, and do not really have a negative impact (indeed are positive in terms of destressing and endurance)'?

Cheers

Thom

No...I will not employ crackheads. I will employ pot heads--only if I've worked with them before and know they're capable of the hours, heat, and cooking well. There, I think, Tony and I agree. I think Tony's blanket statement that pot makes you lazy, sleepy etc. is based on the fact that the last time he ran a kitchen Strom Thurmond was making cohesive arguements on the floor. Ask Tony about drug abuse and conducting operations on an independently produced television show and I'll bet you get the post of the year.

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This has been an engrossing thread -- thoroughly enjoyable and nice to see passions running high! I was struck, when reading this, that the American chefs have a clear idea of what's needed to run a professional kitchen successfully; but I was also struck by the fact that in Europe, most of what they want and get in the US (relatively weak unions or none at all, at-will Ts&Cs, etc) is outlawed! Yet there are still successful kitchens in Europe, producing great food in an environment that is heavily regulated and frequently unionised as well. I doubt that European restaurants will stop producing great food even if they do institute drug-testing regimes, although I find the idea repugnant.

Steve

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even if they do institute drug-testing regimes, although I find the idea repugnant.

Steve

Could you say why you find it repugnant? I find it a purely common sense response to a growing problem

I would be interested to hear the other side

S

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I think, Tony and I agree.

Spence,

It's ok to disagree with bourdain. We're all human here.

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even if they do institute drug-testing regimes, although I find the idea repugnant.

Steve

Could you say why you find it repugnant? I find it a purely common sense response to a growing problem

I would be interested to hear the other side

S

My two-pennyworth:

Drug testing regimes would show up the user who confined their use to their own time, and didn't let it affect their work (for instance, I believe I'm right in saying that cannabis can be detected in the hair some weeks after intake).

I take drugs occaisonally (perhaps 6 times a year) and don't let it affect my work. Working in a traditional profession as I do, I would be very unhappy about my colleagues knowing about this. We're talking about people who still believe those US "reefer madness" films of the 50s.

However, if it's affecting your work on a regular basis, then it's a problem that needs to be addressed.

W.

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I think, Tony and I agree.

Spence,

It's ok to disagree with bourdain. We're all human here.

Well, while I do agree with Mr. Bourdain on a lot of things because he did what I'm doing I have no starstruck predisposition to be a Bourdainian sycophant. I'm sure he gets enough of that at book signings and world tours. And, if you read the rest of my post I totally discounted his pot stance due to his celebrity status. If he zings out with some bullshit you can bet I'll jump off the top rope.

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Sounds like the start of the "whose kitchen bitch are you" thread.


Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

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I feel that those of you who have claimed that the drug use is ok " as long as it does not affect their job performance" are looking at the small picture...the guy who parties too hard after every shift is sleeping until 1/2 hour before his next shift begins, not spending any time with his wife or his kid or his mother or his hobby or his bills or his gym or his dog....the ramifications extend into his personal life, which will then loop back around to affect his professional life.

We had a thread on what determines a chef from a cook..CWS declared it was passion and paying your dues. I said a component was leadership..and this thread illustrates my position pretty well, I think.

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the guy who parties too hard after every  shift is sleeping until 1/2 hour before his  next shift begins, not spending any time with his wife or his kid or his mother or his hobby or his bills or his gym or his dog....the ramifications extend into his personal life, which will then loop back around to affect his professional life.

Thank goodness there are no generalizations here.

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the guy who parties too hard after every  shift is sleeping until 1/2 hour before his  next shift begins, not spending any time with his wife or his kid or his mother or his hobby or his bills or his gym or his dog....the ramifications extend into his personal life, which will then loop back around to affect his professional life.

Thank goodness there are no generalizations here.

that was just and example matthew, no? and i don't think that it's a very far-fetched one either. :unsure:

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It's unclear what is being tested.

Certain legally proscribed drugs?

Legal drugs Alcohol, Caffeine, Nicotine?

Performance enhancing drugs? (Top chefs take nandrolone?)

Drugs as part of a medical regime?


Wilma squawks no more

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The arguments against workplace drug testing are, primarily:

- It compromises civil liberties, particularly privacy and due process rights, by punishing people for activity that may not affect job performance at all.

- It is a surrogate for good management, because the only thing that should matter in the workplace is job performance and drug testing distracts managers from evaluating actual performance and from focusing on other factors that affect performance such as morale.

- The scientific studies do not necessarily support the finding that casual drug use affects workplace productivity, and there is some evidence to indicate that the harm to morale from drug testing makes it on balance counterproductive.

- The tests themselves are flawed, they register false positives, they are expensive, and the whole drug-testing movement is mostly propelled by a multi-billion dollar industry that makes money from selling the testing equipment.

The ACLU's report on drug testing ("Drug Testing: A Bad Investment") lays out many of the arguments in more detail.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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