Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Day In The Life

Do you ever fantasize about being a chef? I always imagined it like this - you come in, put on your apron, take stock of the amazing ingredients you have in the cooler and get to work coming up with brilliant dishes reflecting the honest flavors of each ingredient. You spend all day hovering over the stove stirring, tasting and seasoning. By the time dinner service rolls around you've whipped an amazing array of specials and guests and food critics alike swoon...

Well, not to crush anyone's dreams of chefdom but it is most definitely NOT like that. I mean, they do cook but they also have to deal with the daily strife that we all deal with in our jobs. Too many emails; employee drama and people who don't do what they say they are going to do. Case in point; our chef spent his morning firing off one frustrated email after another as certain vendors have been arriving late or without our full orders. So, what is it like to be a chef?

Hey XXX,

I really hate getting on you; but these ridiculous late deliveries are either going to stop or I will be taking my business elsewhere…And as you are well aware, I currently do enough business with a multitude of other vendors who carry all of the same products as XXX. I certainly appreciate the relationship that the two of us have developed; but the level of service that XXX is currently providing is unacceptable. Moreover, the balance of our business relationship is completely one sided. In an effort to get my Thursday delivery earlier, I compromised and sacrificed the luxury of another delivery day to make the situation more appealing and beneficial for XXX…I now put more money on one truck and yet I still get my deliveries whenever the truck feels like getting here, usually mid to late afternoon. Another fantastic part of my relationship with XXX is that instead of focusing on remedying my prolonged delivery problems, XXX opts to continually “bust my balls” on receiving payment…I am so tired of hearing that my account is being “red flagged” because I am few days past my current terms…I would urge you to send word to your XXX executives in their ivory towers that we are currently in a recession and that the past year’s turbulent financial times have not been kind to small business owners. XXX is honestly the only vendor who receives a check from me every week!! Many of my other vendors, some of them small business owners themselves, have afforded me latitude when I’ve needed it. Not XXX, instead, I am often made to feel like a criminal because my account is two or three days overdue. And I can certainly see XXX’s concern…The entire company would probably shut down if they weren’t able to collect my $800. How about this; instead of trying to arrange meetings for me to chat with people and food brokers whose product I would never even consider using or getting me down to a food show to see the latest jalapeno poppers and freeze-dried pre-cooked chemically laced sausages; try having some of the idiots who actually run XXX learn about the economies of scale pertaining to their customers and address the menacing problems that plague these customers each week. Moreover, perhaps XXX should consider shifting its balance of power from their “Nazi Like” credit department and focus more attention on their transportation department, which is seemingly run like a third world country.

Obviously you are going to forward this on to your bosses, who are probably eagerly awaiting the weekend and their Saturday T-times. Please do not have your bosses physically drop on me with their business cards (over the years I collected enough to wall paper a house) and complementary XXX portfolio with matching calculator and fountain pen. Instead see to it that my order next Thursday arrives no later than 10:30AM…I don’t care if a convoy of XXX managers have to bring the delivery themselves in their cars. If my delivery arrives @ 10:31, it will be shipped back along with a check reflecting the balance of my account.

How can you be expected to make amazing specials night after night if your ingredients don't even arrive at the restaurant until 3 or 4 p.m.???
***This is an actual email sent to one of our vendors. Obviously, we took out any names as we aren't looking to start a war with anyone; we just want our order when it is promised to us!

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