Sunday, July 23, 2017

Millenials in the Kitchen

"What is the thing you hate the most in the kitchen?"

     Saw this in my Instagram feed and was triggered into writing a thing...

      I try and keep Nerdy away from being too political. Not that I steer clear of politics all together, I am human and I do have opinions on things, but I do like to try and keep my political stances on things from alienating my reader/viewership (or any potential therein). I let the politics play out on Eclectica Cafe or ObZeen. But this one is a little different. My standing on EC being somewhat in limbo, and this being specifically about my nerdy passion for food are kinda forcing me to voice some politics on Nerdy.

     That being said... FUCK MILLENIALS!

     I fully realize that I am a part of this generation. I fully realize that someone looking in from the outside could very well draw some conclusions about me based on the stereotypes associated with my generation, and potentially those conclusions won't be terribly wrong. Still though.... FUCK MILLENIALS.

     Why am I so down on my generation? Well this is a specific anecdotal reason today, but it seems to be indicative of the general issues associated with us. The specific reason is work related, I had a cook walk out on me at work.

     Let me paint you a verbal picture. A few weeks ago (I suck at remembering specific expanses of time, and as of this writing it has been roughly a month ago) I interviewed and hired a relatively green cook. At the time of hiring he was presenting himself as a bit more experienced than he actually was, having on his resume that he was a Sous Chef at one restaurant and lead cook at another. By the end of the interview I knew he was NOT as experienced as he wanted me to believe, but it was teachable and I took a small risk by hiring him.

     Or so I thought.

     He was employed at my restaurant for nearly a week when he walked out just before the end of a shift.

     Now, I didn't realize immediately that he had left. I figured that because he finished what I had asked him to do, perhaps he stepped out to have a cigarette. When he didn't return within a few minutes my brain went to the next possibility, the bathroom. Maybe he had to take a shit. After about 45 min (keeping in mind that we are still in the dinner rush, towards the tail of it but definitely still in it...) I thought that maybe he assumed that he was done for the night after completing what I had asked of him, so I headed to the bar to check if he was enjoying a shifty. No dice. Finally I came to the conclusion that he had left. No one saw him leave, and he didn't tell anyone he was doing so, but he was nowhere in the restaurant, so that was the only option.

     I called the owner and informed him of the state of things. Told him that I was going to call the guy and see if maybe there was a miscommunication or something. Called, answered, "Hey man..." hung up. The building my restaurant is in hates cell phone reception, so maybe I dropped the call. Stepped outside. Called. Nothing. Well, not really nothing. It only rang once and then went straight to voicemail. So the fact that it rang means it wasn't dead, or off, he simple pressed the "Fuck You" button on me.

     Shot a text to the owner, updating him. So, now he texts the guy. Only to receive something akin to the following:
     "Yes I really enjoy working for you, but Dustin is hard to work for. He has had it out for me since day one, nit picking everything I do. And that really drives me insane. He never talks to me, but he is always is joking and laughing with everyone else, and that makes me feel like an outsider. I know I probably should have said something sooner, but I'm the new guy, ya know? What I have to say doesn't matter, but my feelings do. So I'm sorry but I just can't continue to work in a place that makes me feel like that."

     That is a paraphrase, but it was pretty close to that.

     What the hell did he expect? He was only there for a week, and he is a timid guy, so I hadn't exactly figured out how to communicate with him. More to the point, he was TRAINING. The proper response to being corrected by your chef is, "YES CHEF!"

     I have no time or tolerance for someone who is so lacking in a spinal column that they can't tell their boss that they feel picked on. I have no time or tolerance that feels picked on by their boss when they are being corrected for doing something incorrectly.

     This is purely anecdotal, but it is instances like this that have me convinced that we are a generation of participation awards and "Good enough."

     "Exactly. Parker's a young kid, pretty good on the sax. Gets up to play at a cutting session, and he fucks it up. And Jones nearly decapitates him for it. And he's laughed off-stage. Cries himself to sleep that night, but the next morning, what does he do? He practices. And he practices and he practices with one goal in mind, never to be laughed at again. And a year later, he goes back to the Reno and he steps up on that stage, and plays the best motherfucking solo the world has ever heard. So imagine if Jones had just said: "Well, that's okay, Charlie. That was all right. Good job. "And then Charlie thinks to himself, "Well, shit, I did do a pretty good job." End of story. No Bird. That, to me, is an absolute tragedy. But that's just what the world wants now. People wonder why jazz is dying. I'll tell you, man - and every Starbucks "jazz" album just proves my point, really - there are no two words in the English language more harmful than 'good job'."  ~Whiplash (2014)

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