Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Update, August 10, 2010

So, here I am, having been caught up in a family business in which "Blood truly is thicker than water". I now find myself in the market for a job. Of course, I had no idea that this was going to be the case when I accepted the position in October 09. In fact, it was never even mentioned to me at all until late November 09.
I began the Executive Chef position October 19, 2009 and, in November 2009 I was being told that the grandson was going to be groomed to take over the hotel portion in January 2010 but, that I would have autonomy with the restaurant and lounge and would answer only to the owner and the CEO. My comment to the owner and the CEO was, "If you had told me this during the interview, I would not have taken the position".
Now, to put this into perspective, I should say that none of the parties involved have ANY background in the hotel or restaurant business, aside from being owners. I was informed by not only the CEO but, the owner/Grandfather that, his grandson had no experience in any business, running a business, in fact, no business background at all! I was told that he did try his hand at real estate once and, I quote, "He failed miserably" end quote. I was also informed by the owner/Grandfather that, the poor kid (27yo) had no direction in his life and that letting him run the business might help with that. The grandson had recently graduated from some university with a degree in English literature (Really, just graduated at 27) Wow, I was taken aback. I still cannot believe it.
Anyway, by the time January came around, I was being told by the CEO that I should probably begin looking for a new position (Happy New Year! Right!) which I promptly began doing. Then a week later I was told to stop looking and that it would be OK because the CEO was going to continue to oversee the operation. By this time, I was clueless as to what was going to happen or not happen. In hind-sight, I should have continued my job search then. The CEO asked me to trust her and I had no reason not too, so I did.
By April 2010, just as we were getting ready for the busy season and a menu change I was told by the CEO that things between her and the grandson had spiraled out of control and that she would be leaving her position at the hotel and I should do the same. So, once again, I began looking for a new position. Then, a week and a half later I was told by the CEO that she had jumped the gun and I could settle back for a nice long relationship in my current position. Cautiously, I agreed but I also kept one eye on the job market which, was, as it is now, getting worse.
Then finally, in June 2010 the bottom dropped out. We had a managers meeting at which time we were told by the CEO that that day, in fact, that moment was to be her last at the hotel/restaurant and that, the grandson would assume total control after she left that day. GREAT!!!
Within a week the owner came to me and suggested that I begin looking for a new job since I was far to professional to be able to work with his grandson. Of course, by this time, I was up to my eyeballs with this shit and ready to do so. Christ, my head is still spinning! So, as I began, Here I am.
What irritates me about the whole situation is that, I finally found a restaurant that I loved to work in. Really! I mean, I was excited about what I was doing everyday! and, excited about what I wanted to do in the future. And now, that's gone.
I truly enjoyed the working relationship that I had with the owner and the CEO. As unusual as it is, the CEO and I saw eye to eye on practically everything. I say this is unusual because, generally speaking, I rarely find that sort of working relationship with someone above me. It really was a joy to work with these people and they shared the same sentiment about working with me as well. Also, gone.
The fact that I moved all the way out here on my own dime. Signed a 1 year lease the whole time knowing, there was no other place that I could work out here and, exclaiming as much to them when I accepted the offer. It looks terrible on my resume and, is a real pain in the ass to have to explain that to the next prospective employer! Christ, I'm starting to feel like Peter Chang. This just sucks!
The good news, I am looking for a less dis-functional restaurant that will allow me the setting to produce "My Cuisine". Which is everything that I have learned about all the cuisines that I love. I just want to cook good food that's accessible to everyone. I hope I find it soon!

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