Wednesday, January 4, 2017
The Time I Worked for this Guy and I Had to Call an Ambulance
It was a husband and wife operation with his wife running the front of the house and doing all the hiring while he cooked in the kitchen. He demanded such respect even his wife called him chef at work and I heard rumors she even called him chef at home.
Anyway he had a genuine mistrust of everyone. Servers were treated so badly that his turnover rate was 1-2 a week. Why I even went there was because it was the only fine dining spot in town and my dream of working locally hinged on this place.
His rules were crazy though. Let's say at the far end of the dining room by the window there was a table with 3 people eating. He would only let you carry 2 plates at a time. Usually because I was the only one working that would mean I would have to carry those 2 plates then run back to get the other on the pass to deliver.
At the end of the night I had to clean the bathroom. Not your type of thing to be doing with usually a last table still eating their meal. The goal was of course to be ready to shut it down and turn the lights off as soon as they left. Anyway appropriately while mopping the floor you would usually mop it from the far end out toward the door so you wouldn't get your shoes wet leaving wet footprints on the floor. Well apparently this was not the right way to do it. He would make a fuss about everything.
Finally it was during the Christmas season and I showed up for work. I was getting stressed working for this guy. This night I started getting really dizzy. So dizzy in fact I had to lay down on the floor and watch the ceiling spin around. I said to his wife there is no way I can work. She pleaded with me to hang on that give it time I will feel better. No way I said.
I called 911 and got my things waiting outside for the ambulance. I called the wife telling her what happened and to keep her updated. We only had one car and that was with me. The ambulance showed up ready to get the stretcher out only to find me standing outside already feeling better having exited this restaurant. I knew the problem was the work place.
So I got in the ambulance and they checked me out. I was admitted and put on a heart monitor to see how I was. After about an hour and a half I was falling asleep and yawning. The nurse came in and said it just looks like you can do with some rest. I said yes I work for this asshole.
Needless to say I never worked there again. That was the end of the crazy French chef from Lyon!
Radio talk show host of "The Hospitality Industry News Network" and author of "You Only Live Once" about his early years traveling around and working on ships and foreign countries Steven blogs about his thoughts on the restaurant industry as he sees it today.
Check out his web site at www.stevennicolle.com for more information.