Ever wonder what kind of work ethic is expected of people who work in restaurant kitchens? Well, FARMBloomington actually laid it out fair and square in a recent “help wanted” ad for line cooks. Line cooks must “show up early and work hard all day”, as well as “show respect for the chef, the food, how they want things done in THIS restaurant (not in any of your previous restaurants), and your co-workers.”
Sound fair, or at least familiar to those of you who have worked in a restaurant kitchen? Apparently, FARMBloomington is taking heat for its honest-if-brutal advertisement, which was posted on Craigslist and then retracted with an apology. Their junior managers had posted it without approval from senior management, using copy-and-pasted snippets from elsewhere on the Internet. That is a big no-no on both counts, but as far as I’m concerned, those junior managers get bonus points for telling it like it is. If you can’t respect your boss and your co-workers, do the job, or even bother to show up when you’re supposed to, you shouldn’t last long in any job.
Look, I’ve never worked in the food service industry, but my sister was a waitress at a local restaurant and she used to come home with stories about how lame it is. The hours seem endless, the pay is low and demanding diners can really sap your energy. However, you’re expected to keep a certain level of professionalism if you plan on staying employed or moving up in any particular business. I’ve heard of employees who started out getting dumped on by pretty much everybody else at businesses that provide food and hospitality services, only to end up running the place. You could get stuck at the heel end of the kitchen forever, or at least until times get tough and the manager decides to lay people off to save money. Or you could be the chef, manager, or owner someday. It’s up to you.
FARMBloomington employees may have recognized some elements of the ad. “Sick associates are most often just hungover,” one employee said of some of the requirements in the fake ad. Besides, some of the requirements sound like good advice for a lot of life. “Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be able to laugh at yourself … but learn from [your mistakes],” the ad advises. So maybe it was just some mid-level employees poking fun at both job searchers and employers looking for help. But that was one of the best “help wanted” ads I’ve seen in a while.