August Pearls

People Aren’t Sorry, But Should Be

Screw Urban Meyer and to Hell with Ohio State University.  I hope they never win another football game.  College sports in general is dirty and so are the coaches, athletic administrators, and booster clubs.

A few nights ago, a couple dined at the Wine Bar and on their way out thought it was ok to pull a sunflower from a display near the host stand and walk out with it.  A member of the WB team walked out and asked them for the return of the expensive flower.  The couple expressed no apology and claimed that they thought we were giving away the flowers since they were by the door. One of the problems, like the one in the Urban Meyer/Ohio State case is that people are not sorry for their bad behavior.  Urban Meyer apologized to the Ohio State Community (boosters) for poor judgement, but he has failed to be sorry for his true crime against the victim of his ignoring decent human protocol.  While stealing a flower from a restaurant that has just done its best to make them feel welcome and to provide them with a good experience, two people felt no compulsion to show any remorse, and convey any sort of acceptance of blame.  This is one of the things wrong in our world right now. No one is willing to accept responsibility on any level.

Organizations, institutions, and establishments are getting too big.  The human factor is dwindling, the importance of the dollar is growing.

Finding a Good Employee

I’m not perfect and my writing isn’t perfect, When I write to you people my purpose is to express some feelings, point some things out in my life as a chef, and try to illustrate in basic terms what the restaurant life is like.

When it comes to those things that are important, I find a proofreader or at least reread my text several times to make sure it reads well.  One of those important writings is an ad placed for new employees.

I like to read the craigslist ads for entertainment.  I recently came across this one:

It’s so bad it makes me think it’s not a legitimate ad.  It is wrought with spelling and grammatical errors, typos, and poor punctuation.  The worst part of the ad is that the prospective employer has no idea what a Chef de cuisine is.  They’re looking for a kitchen manager and pairing that title with chef de cuisine.

Better ads get better employees.  If this is a real ad, shame on them, and good luck drawing decent candidates from an already shallow labor pool.

It’s not a bad idea to have your neighbors think you might be crazy.

It’s Travers Weekend.  We’re booked.  Track season is starting to wear on me and I’m not convinced it’s the longer hours and the increased work load as the sole reason for my increasing exhaustion and irritability.  It seems to me that out-of-town customers are a bit more demanding and less tolerant of anything they view as not in line with their perfect weekend in Saratoga.  Perhaps the increased volume simply puts a greater number of difficult people in the mix of predominantly pleasurable clientele.

Last night, something that rarely happens added to my disdain for unreasonable people.  A dish came back to the kitchen with the claim that the scallops were not cooked all the way.  I quipped that the server should thank the customer for the compliment and that it wasn’t necessary to bring the plate back to show me the perfectly medium-rare bivalves.  The reality was that they wanted the now half eaten and hacked up scallops cooked more.  Since I can cook scallops as quickly as trying to make a presentable plate out of the mess handed back to me I made a new plate for the individual that had apparently been complaining from the time of arrival.  I thought they would be impressed and the extra effort would be a salve that would soothe whatever wound the grump had come in with.  Instead, upon being presented with the new plate the diner said they were no longer hungry and asked for the check. This is the type of person that writes a Yelp review about how the place was too noisy (during August in Saratoga), and they were served “raw” scallops.  They’ll fail to mention that they ate all their sweet corn and crab risotto and their starter.  They’ll fail to mention that they were offered another table upon arrival, and that they were given a new, full plate when they weren’t pleased with the preparation of their entrée.

It’s almost over.  I’m looking forward to a vacation in a cabin at Minerva Lake in a few weeks.

Fall menu on September 27th.

3 thoughts on “August Pearls

  1. I have been honing the crazy neighbor shtick for a while now. I swear at my next door neighbor, a miserable soul if there ever was one, in southern Italian dialect. I don’t directly confront the ugly bastard, although I have a few times. I just utter the words into the air loudly enough for him to hear. I also burp loudly for his enjoyment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do think there is a feeling of entitlement among some (certainly not all) the tourists who are paying thousands of dollars to be packed into Saratoga in August. They cross against the lights at Church and Broadway as if traffic laws didn’t apply to them, and then honk angrily at pedestrians when they get in their cars. And it’s always a treat to pick up the garbage in front of my house on Lake Ave after a big night. (After Travers, a big piece of construction lumber appeared somehow…)

    Liked by 1 person

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