My job.......on one hand I am in a coveted position based on salary alone. I make triple what I made in 2000; not hard to do since I took a huge paycut when I moved to Oklahoma from California. However, there has been many studies conducted to gauge employee satisfaction and salary amount scores way down on the list. I could be a poster child for this study.

Here is an analogy of my job if I was a chef:

I have been told that my restaurant will be serving a seven course meal to the President of the United States and all of his cabinet. The date for this is set in stone. And just to punch it up they all have dietary restrictions!

The event planner has thrown out some meal ideas that have not been finalized and are exotic to the US and no one attempted to ever serve in a restaurant before. The President, excited that he will be the first to try, wants two of those new dishes, tweaked to accommodate the dietary restrictions. Hey! No problem.

There isn't even a name for the new dishes just the general idea that it is a new fish---found only in the waters of Iceland--during the last El Nino. The other dish involves a vegetable grown by a native tribe located "somewhere" off the Amazon River.

The event planner and restaurant owner assure the President and his cabinet that their choices are spectacular and everyone will be raving. In fact, the restaurant owner contacts a prominent food magazine and books a photo shoot. This will all happen in seven days!!

The event planner and the owner now approach me, the chef. They give me the menu with comments that it is exactly the same as we have on the menu but with minor changes. I am the chef, I am in charge of producing, I am responsible for meeting the deadline, I am responsible for sourcing my ingredients, and I am responsible.

I have done some research and I know what I need to order. I call all my vendors and ask for a RUSH/EXPEDITE for these rare ingredients. They laugh. I contact National Geographic, they laugh. I contact the delivery driver, just in case.....he can do it!! I don't know how, I don't know from where, but I have to give it a try, OH! it will cost a pretty penny. I have been told to make this happen no matter what, drop dead dates, no room for mistakes, the restaurant's reputation is on the line.

I prepare my staff and try to get recipes finalized. Somehow someway the ingredients have arrived. We start to assemble the menu for the photo shoot. It will not pass the dietary restrictions specified in the booking contract. We only have enough ingredients to make the meal one more time for the photo shoot and the main dinner. And I am responsible.

Have I mentioned that the restaurant is still open the normal hours and booked solid up to and beyond the President and his cabinet's dinner???

The meal gets prepared. The photo shoot has a few hiccups but nothing that food coloring and garnishes won't solve. The meal gets served without a hitch only because the President and his cabinet arrived one day later than planned.

Now for the fun part, the recap. The restaurant owner and event planner want to know why the invoices add up to more than the President's meal??? How could the chef, who is responsible, let this happen? What is this expediting bill? What is this extra labor cost? What can the chef do next time to prevent these overages??

I am going to be in meetings all this week going over cost reduction analysis. I can give a few ideas right off the top of my head how to reduce cost. Don't let Sales know what Engineering has in research and development until it is developed, sourced, product structure in place, drawings on line, and tested!! GRRRRRRR
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2 Responses
  1. louann Says:

    Great post! I get it now!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    OOOHHHH so you are chef right?