Open Letter To Jeff: 2012-01-07
I would kindly appreciate it if you stopped making more work for me. I realize you might not realize you are doing it when you are doing it, perhaps you just don't think things through that well. I'm going to make you a list of ways you make my life more difficult, and I'm going to ask that you stop doing these things, as they aggravate me and cause me much frustration. Again, I know you are probably doing these without realize how much they piss me off.
- When you work hot side you keep leaving knives, tongs, cloths on my side of the line. This wouldn't be too much of a problem, but you leave it on my cutting board, usually on top of or touching the lid to the middle, so every time I need something I have to move all of your stuff to get it. If I have to make sandwiches I have to move all of your stuff off of my cutting board to get my work done. In the future could you please leave your knives on the hot side cutting board, along with your tongs, cloths, and miscellaneous items.
- At the end of the night you put the soup straight into number one, that is not where it goes. Soup should go into a bucket, and into number two. This is so the soup pot can start soaking for the next day, which helps the dishwashers. I try to keep the coolers as organized as possible, and when you put it into number one, usually on Friday I have to be the one who puts it in a bucket and gives the pot to the dishwasher, to keep the coolers organized.
- You don't fill your inserts properly. New stuff should go on the top, old stuff on the bottom. Don't just fill all the inserts at the beginning of your shift, and then flip them at the end. If you do this you are using new product all day instead of the old, until the inserts get flipped. We try to use the freshest product possible, F.I.F.O. is very important to quality food. For example today when I started there were new artichokes on top of the old, in the same old insert so they were sitting in old juice. I can tell because Tony halves his artichokes, and the halved artichokes were on the bottom instead of the top. So I have to re-flip all the inserts when I come in, so I can use up the oldest stuff first and try to maintain food quality. It is also aggravating when you start to do the middle inserts for me improperly. This makes more work for me as I have to then stop what I'm doing, get a new insert, and properly flip the insert so the freshest food is on the bottom. I understand when it's busy that you just fill things up, you don't have time to follow F.I.F.O. and that's fine, but when it's slow and I'm doing my inserts, don't try helping me if you're going to do it incorrectly. This is especially important for inserts like the tomatoes, so that the same tomatoes aren't sitting in the juice for days and go sour.
- You are flipping my chicken, salmon, burgers etc. too early. Burgers should be one minute each side on the flattop before hitting the grill. You will flip my salmon a minute after it hits the flattop, so it cooks 1 minute one side, and 6 minutes the other side, it should be half and half. This creates more work for me because I have to once again stop what I am doing, go back over to the flattop, and flip the salmon, chicken, etc. over again so that they get properly cooked. I do this so that one side doesn't get burnt or dry, it should be cooked half on each side. Just because you have no bills and you're bored isn't any reason to be getting in my way, if your side is clean and stocked go do some prep or find a cleaning job to do, don't just stand there watching me work, or creating more work for me.
- You don't take enough pride in what you make, everything you do you should be looking at that and saying it's something I will serve to a V.I.P. I constantly have to wipe your plates down before they go out, as there are thumbprints all along the edges. This creates more work for the servers too, as they almost always have to clean your plates before they go out. They usually do this in the server alley so as to not invoke your wrath. Every guest is important, make your food like it is that way.
- You are always leaving the coolers open, this makes it harder for the coolers to keep at temp, and the food on the surface will spoil faster. I have to always close them after you, especially before you go for a smoke break. I don't mind you taking smoke breaks when there is nothing to do, but make sure the coolers are closed, the line is clean, the sauces are away and you aren't in the middle of cooking something. You have cravings, I get that, but they can wait one minute to make sure the line is in order before you leave.
- You do not wash your hands enough. If your hands are dirty you shouldn't touch any other surface except the wash basin. I'm tired of dirty, sticky handles on all the cooler doors, I clean them but they don't stay clean as you go about your shift. Like the sauce bottles on Thursday, when I came in they were covered in oil and salt and pepper, so I had to take the time to change the bottles before service. If your hands are covered in salt and pepper, or anything really, a quick rinse or wash is required before you spread the mess. This will help keep the cooler doors clean as well.
- Stop trying my sauces etc. with your fingers. Use a fork or spoon, we are civilized and don't just dunk our fingers in whatever is tasty. I don't want to have qualms about serving food that has had your fingers in them, especially as you have a habit of dirty hands. I notice a lot of times when you put up a bill you have dirty thumb prints smeared all over it. Sometimes it's so bad I can't stand to stare at the bill and throw it out, and just make the bill from memory.
- You are constantly leaving empty inserts in the coolers, meat cooler included. If an insert is empty take it to the pit, if it's the last of something make sure to write it down. I dislike having to keep the coolers organized and having to always get rid of inserts that are already empty. Just Friday night after you left there were two empty inserts in the meat cooler, ribs and salmon. This means that there's two extra inserts for Sherwin to clean tomorrow, and that no ribs were pulled from number two to the meat cooler, so there isn't a back up ribs pulled from the freezer now. Especially when it's this slow we have to stay on top of things and really keep this place running well.