Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Heated Kitchen

For the past few days, at work the Head Chef has been away, so the Sous Chef has been in charge. Today, he seemed to be in a foul mood. He'd had me peeling onions this morning. The thing I don't like about peeling onions is that it's time consuming. Whenever I peel onions, I get behind on my other work. Today was no exception, so after our breakfast break, I was very busy trying to get caught up. At about 11:30AM, I was using the pot washing machine to wash the cookware. I was very busy, trying to get caught up before lunch. All of a sudden, Pritam came along, pushing a trolley loaded with shelving from the walk in fridges. He wanted to wash the shelves in the machine. I looked at Pritam and told him that he could have washed the shelving by hand, in place. It's quicker. He doesn't want to wash the shelves by hand , as it's more work. Using the machine is easier, although it takes longer.
The Sous Chef overheard me telling Pritam to wash the shelves by hand and yelled out that they can be put in the machine. The Sous Chef then walked up to where we were standing. I explained to him that if Pritam put the shelves in the machine, I wouldn't be able to use it for the stuff I was cleaning. This would result in me being late finishing and I don't get paid for any extra time, if I don't finish on time. The Sous Chef responded by screaming at me, calling me a lazy (expletive deleted, expletive deleted). As he walked off, I shouted after him, "if you ever speak to me that way again, I'll sue your ass." Pritam just got out of Dodge and took the shelves with him. Actually, Pritam had the best response. He just took the shelves to the plate wash room, which is quiet at that time of day, and washed them in the machine there. I wish I'd thought to suggest that.
About an hour later, the Sous Chef asked Chef Anthony to do something and Anthony complained. He accused the Sous Chef of sitting in the office with his feet up and not helping. Once again, the Sous Chef got angry. He stormed into the walk-in freezer and stats bringing out stuff himself. From the way he slammed the door, I got the sense that he was angry. After a few minutes, Chef Anthony joined him. Anthony started to walk away, again, when a package of frozen chicken is thrown on the floor, behind him. He decided that the Sous Chef had thrown the chicken at him, deliberately. This got Anthony angry and he picked up the frozen chicken and tossed it at the Sous Chef. The Sous Chef complained about that and they begin shouting at each other. Suddenly, Anthony announced that he'd had enough and was going home. He walked out, in the middle of service. The rest of us were a bit shocked. I've never seen a chef walk out before.
For the rest of the day, the Sous Chef was rather quiet. I guess he was brooding to himself. I joke around with Pino, Jum, and Phil, about leaving." The old saying goes, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen." It will be interesting to see if Anthony turns up in the morning.

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