The New Bakers Dozen
Sexual descrimination????

The The Bakers Dozen: Sexual descrimination????
By W.DeBord on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 07:29 am: Edit

Typical, I move ahead one day and back the next....I don't want to whine about work but I guess I'm thinking I have a sexual descrimination problem at work. I wondering if I should mention those "buz words" to wake the joint up or just keep my mouth shut and find a lawyer?

I don't really know how to go about this...who to hard is this to prove, etc...does anyone know? Any info. would be appreciated!

By MarkG on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 01:19 pm: Edit

I don't have much experience with sex. discrimination but have spent years managing people. You need to document everything and I would recomend you talk with a lawyer. It's difficult to prove from what I've heard, especially since business owners and managers can be intimidating. That's why you need to chat with a lawyer to see if it's worth it. I have a friend in Chicago who was my personal attorney for years and was great at giving helpful, realistic advice. I'd be glad to give you his name if you'd like.


By chefgbs on Friday, February 16, 2001 - 02:43 pm: Edit

W.DeBord you don't say whether you personally are having a problem or it is happening among your staff. If it's you doing the harassing, stop it. If it's you being harassed, there are lots of ways to go about handling it. Let the harasser know that his (or her) behavior is unwanted and unwelcome. Document everything no matter what or else you won't have a case no matter who's involved. Go to the harasser's boss if that fails. If you're the harasser's boss and you've got staff complaining to you, you've got to let everyone know on staff that kind of behavior could land them in court and having to pay a big fine or even arrested, as I've seen happen. Unfortunately, I've been exposed to too many situations regarding this, so let me know specifics, and maybe I can help.

By W.DeBord on Saturday, February 17, 2001 - 06:50 am: Edit

I went to the EEOC's online site and I discovered they only mention sexual harassment, which isn't what's happening. I don't know what kind of discrimination I'm experiencing but I know it's discrimination.

I'm the only female and the only non-spanish speaking person in my department. The top people are the head chef, the sous is his ex-brother inlaw (the chef is the uncle to the sous children), the chef's brother, the chef's cousin and me (plus dishwashers). Their all related, they all borrow money back and forth (mortgage and car loan amounts). This is not a family owned and operated business this is a country club owned by it's members.

The chef covers his guys to the extreme and leaves me out event after event after event. I make my own hours even though I'm a member of his department. Every employee at the club has noticed this and over time each has asked me why they don't help me. I even have this written on my last employee review by the manager ("she recieves no help").

By W.DeBord on Saturday, February 17, 2001 - 07:09 am: Edit

I'm getting tired of talking, asking, begging and pleading for equality. They think keeping up with my dishes is giving me equality.

Chef staffs 6 guys to handle a buffet for 30 guests all the time. I alone handle up to 1000 people a week in our busy season. I did recieve a helper last summer (she's an office girl) but she only worked the one day a week I took off, plus the 4th of July (previously I handled the 500 guests by myself). I keep our party sheets, I can prove I make 1/3 to 1/2 of all the food served.

I'm not going thru the hassle of finding a new job, starting over etc...I am being discriminated against and if I need to go to court to stop it I will. How?

How do I document my case?

By George (George) on Saturday, February 17, 2001 - 10:19 am: Edit

Perhaps the best solution would be to just move on.

By momoreg on Saturday, February 17, 2001 - 10:52 am: Edit

I'm curious as to why you won't look for a new job. This problem has been going on for a couple of years, and is not likely to change. The owner will not fire all those people, and those people will not change.

By Yankee on Saturday, February 17, 2001 - 02:40 pm: Edit

I don't think you can sue your boss for being an idiot, can you?

You also need to realize what the long term effect would be from trying to take legal action against your employer, especially if you are not in a Union.

It sounds to me like the guy is an idiot, and likes the fact that he can get the work of two people for the price of one. Perhaps he gets a bonus for keeping his labor costs below a certain level.

Then again, if you are putting in long hours, and are not being paid for OT, you may have a case. It is much easier to document your hours than it is to document what sounds like neglect.

You might want to contact your local labor board, or try and get a referral from your local Union on where to go for help.

In the end, you need to take care of yourself. Momoreg is right. Control your own fate.

Best of luck.

By Panini (Panini) on Sunday, February 18, 2001 - 10:41 am: Edit

This is going to offend you but what your experiencing is what minorities have experienced for centuries. It sucks dosen't it. There is nothing wrong with starting over and moving on.

By W.DeBord on Sunday, February 18, 2001 - 11:13 am: Edit

I like country club hours, they're the most reasonable in the business. I love the variety of the work involved especially the presentation of sweet tables. It's a small world, every club manager knows every other clubs business so you can't look for another job with-out broadcasting it.

I have power equal to the chef (from the members and manager) and it's growing as out perform the rest of the kitchen staff. I'm managed to prove my point (slowly), two guys were "released" for not helping me when I've asked for help, just last fall.

I go to the manager when I have a clear problem and she has spoken to the chef repeatedly about these issues. There are idiots everywhere you work, in the past I've left crazy kitchens. I'm done running!!! If RIGHT is on my side and I'm just trying to do a good job why should I leave? Why should I start again somewhere at a lower wage?

I think I am controling my fate! I'll leave when I'm ready for better reasons then running from a jerk.

By chefgbs on Sunday, February 18, 2001 - 03:14 pm: Edit

I have to agree w/Yankee,George, & Panini.You're in a no-win situation. Unfortunately, the only way you're going to control a situation like that is to have your own business. I'm male, but I've been through a few of the situations you describe. It does suck and if you keep trying to do something about it, you'll probably be forced to find a new job anyway, but you'll be unemployed while you're finding that new job. Been there, done that.

By Panini (Panini) on Sunday, February 18, 2001 - 04:08 pm: Edit

or beat them at their own game, do you speak spanish? If not than start learning.English is our second language here. At least let them know that you are attempting to understand them when they are talking about you.

By W.DeBord on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 08:15 am: Edit

I've really wanted to learn Spanish but I keep seeing examples of Americans who think they know Spanish (people who took 4 years) who can't converse more than a line or two. The guys all laugh behind those peoples backs. So I back off, because it seems like if I learned Spanish it wouldn't be street language fast enough to be practical. I've learned enough that they have to talk around certain words I do understand.

I really believe I can beat them at their own game and play it honestly too. I don't want to play any games...I just want right and wrong to exist. I have to make sure I don't wear the manager down with small complaints but I've landed a few big ones between the chefs eyes.

Why run, why let the idiots of the world run it and ruin it? There has to be away to prove my points legally (if needed). Maybe I'd come away from it with some start-up money for my own business if this process burns me? There has to be a way to document my position?

By momoreg on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 09:31 am: Edit

You have to learn some basic Spanish before you learn street Spanish.. At least learn the basic verbs and nouns. And believe it or not, I have a book called Street Spanish. Look for it in your bookstore.

By Yankee on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 10:35 am: Edit

I think you would be better off getting an sba loan than trying to get blood money out of your job.

Perhaps you should plot out where it is you really want to be in five years, and see if where you are is going to get you there.

If it is, then stay and do what you need to do. If not, then get out. It's not worth putting yourself, as well as those around you, through the "I hate my job" syndrom.

By W.DeBord on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 04:56 pm: Edit

Yeah, yeah, yeah of course this isn't going to make me rich! I make the mistake of talking about this junk too much here....I do it because your my only contacts to people in the same business who know what I'm talking about. You all usually have some good ideas...but I don't think leaving is your best advice. Now this book on street Spanish sounds like a good idea!

It's logical to get out, but all the jobs I've seen (online) start at $10,000 less to run a higher volume less creative position with worse hours where I probably wouldn't be hands on. This is basicly like owning my own bakery (I decide what I'm making and when I get there) with a sure paycheck and insurance. So I guess the point is I have something good to loose by closing up shop and running.

By Yankee on Monday, February 19, 2001 - 10:20 pm: Edit

Methinks you need to first go back and read the title of this thread and your first post...then read your last post. One minute it's raining disrespect and the next it's all sunny.

Remember that story about the kid yelling about a wolf? Help us out here a bit, ok? We've been down the "Spanglish" road before, too.

Vent and rant all you want, it doesn't bother me. I get a kick of knowing that it's not just me that gets bent over certain things. We all need to look at where we are and where we are going once and a while. Every job has it's pitfalls and idiots, you just have to find the job that fits your own strengths and weaknesses. Just focus a bit for us.

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 01:10 am: Edit

Nothing will ever change till WE change first. As always, my free advice is worth every cent. But think for a moment: has running away from an abusive situation ever really worked? Sure the names change, but the abuse doesn't. If you allow yourself to be a target then you are one. The next abusive person you work for will treat you the same as the last one. As long as we tolerate these conditions, they will continue. Stand up and let it stop. This thread lights upon one of my favorite workplace topics: the nature of voluntary relationships. Just one more thing to think about.

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 08:15 am: Edit

Hum...I am a gemini but I didn't think my view changed. I believe running is wrong and I have something to lose by doing that. Everyday isn't hell, I'm trying to be rational and figure out how to stop the bull and then most days would be pretty good.

I'd like a quick fix (can you blame me?), instant Spanish would be help-ful! But even so, speaking Spanish will not change the differences we have in how we interact with the opposite sex based on our cultural backgrounds. Choose a work place with-out different cultural backgrounds...ha. We have laws regarding descrimination, laws to protect you so you don't have to run from a idiot at a decent job. Whats the point of having laws if they protect no one? Most jobs have aspects we dislike (that is my problem to deal with) but I was/am asking out loud is this dicrimination? If it is (it feels that way)it's not o.k. and I'm not going to let it win. I thought it would be smart to document the facts, one day I may have to prove my point.

By kaosfury on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 11:48 am: Edit

All I can really say about the situation is document the facts. See if it is a recurring situation that only happens to you, or is it a family thing. If it is the family banding together against everyone else, you don't have much of a chance of doing anything about it.

Sorry I can't help out any more than that.

Back to lurking...

By Panini (Panini) on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 01:46 pm: Edit

document all the facts but I feel it would be useless to sue for discrimination, you would never get punitive damages, but all the documentation might get you mental anguish. The problem here is that you don't really have damages.

By mad simon on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 03:37 pm: Edit

When it's familia power in the kitchen - that's nepotism not discrimination, which although frowned on, isn't against the law.

For a long term fix, get some of the family peons interested in your work and helping you. Train them to be your proteges and you'll get more work out of them than if you treat them as your draft horses.
Short-term, what about off the property? Many hispanic cultures are centered on person-to-person relationships - even on the job. So, while you're never gonna be a member of the clan, if you occasionally ask about the relatives, the next christening or grandmother's birthday, you'll come across as more human and trustworthy and (here's the point) valuable to cook with. I'm sure you're a wonderful person, but you've got to let them know that you really care so they'll care about you in the job. After all, it looks like they're gonna stick around and so are you.

By W.DeBord on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 08:24 am: Edit

Just my little one read this!!!!!!!!!!

Dear diary,

Yek, had a meeting with the chef and manager yesterday. Discovered the reason I need help is I make too many complicated pastries. Making cookies, cookie bars, strawberry shortcake and icecream is too complicated for the 4th of July and that's why I can't handle 500 people 500+ feet away from the kitchen by my-self. Then I got lectured from the manager that my dessert (the chef plated) when I wasen't there looked bad and there wasen't enough truffles served (even though I had more than he plated still in the cooler)????

I learned from the chef yesterday the best defense is a loud hell with logic! Charge!!!!!or is it hike?

Oh yeah, I'm supposed to hire someone full time to work my shift when I'm not there and make less items. Score one for the chef....or is that a score for me?

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 03:45 pm: Edit

"Dirty Work" off of Steely Dans' "You can't buy a Thrill" should be the Official Foodservice Workers' Theme Song. Note to chef & gen. mgr: Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it!
I hear Sara Lee is looking for a job. And everybody likes her!

By bratgirl on Wednesday, February 28, 2001 - 01:27 pm: Edit

have been lurking here the past 1 1/2 years. look at it this way if you fight them in court what will the situation be after it really worth your remaining in a horrible situation? I'd rather move on. with your experience you could start your own place!

Move to NY !

By W.DeBord on Thursday, March 01, 2001 - 06:54 am: Edit

I'm just waiting for the right time to repeat your Sara lee comment....brilliant!

Bratgirl you should know we make fun of lurkers...welcome! Thanks for the help and advise everyone! My plot has thickened...our manager is moving on. I kept singing "ding dong the witch is dead" in my head while everyone else was frowning yesterday. At least now if I quit I won't have to face being screamed at! Probably can still use her as a reference....

To the god in charge of Managers....PLEASE send us one with-out drug or alchol problems?!!

By bratgirl on Thursday, March 01, 2001 - 01:14 pm: Edit

W. DeBord

It'll get better. I am the only female at work and have had to deal with a lot of dumb stuff. am now fluent in spanish, conversant in german and Portuguese know about rugby, baseball and football yuk... it'll get better.

god of manager is St. Jude!!

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 07:39 am: Edit

O.K., O.K. I know I drive you all crazy! Please, read my post from feb 22nd if you would, help me????????..........

The manager decided to stay**()&^#@ UH, F****!

I got a look at our Easter invitations sent to our members. Last line on the damn thing says something like....."and Wendy's Specatular Easter Desserts".

They just told me to stop doing fancy items and that I make too much!

I've been "bowing down to the chef" since I got this little lecture letting him pick all my numbers. Then I sit and read books with all my free time (as I was ordered to do). I have 0 waste!

SO............ I asked the chef what quantities he wanted me to do for Easter. He looks at my past menu and says "well you still have to make that many, to be safe". O.K. fine, he's kept my quanitities all the same since I've been asking him. He's just cut my selection, instead of 8 different mini's on a party for 200 I now only should make 4.

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 07:48 am: Edit

Continued....Part of me wants to shove this down their throats and not make anything special for Easter (as I was dirrected). The other part of me will be embarrassed serving a simple buffet like every other place in town. I have members who come earily to these events to photograph my buffets (swear to god) so they can get a good shot before the kids start touching.

What should I do?? I think that takes ALOT of nerve to print a big lead-in on a invitation
after she just clipped my wings!

P.S. Yes, I'm looking for another job, but until then??????

By D Rivers on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 10:23 am: Edit

I agree that that it takes "something" to ask you to go the extra mile after clipping your wings.And I understand that you want the event to reflect your work ethic and quality.On the other hand however, why should people who browbeat you and under appreciate you be allowed to capitalize on your talents without giving you your due? It says something about the business when you are praised in public but spit on private for the same things.Get a new job,I know its a sacrifice but you don't sound happy there, you only sound happy talking about the work you do, which doesn't have to be there.strengh in numbers and you my friend are only one where as they are entrenched. Do your Easter thing( if you don't have a new job already)what date is easter anyway? Do what they expect not what you want(probably to over the top)and to quote amytiville "GET OUT"

By Yankee on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 12:37 pm: Edit

"...but until then..."

Got me.

I'd ask for more money. What do you have to lose. ;)

By W.DeBord on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 07:10 pm: Edit

It's killing me, but I'm just hanging around all day doing close to nothing....when I can think of a zillion garnishes I could make and have ready for the season.

I've finally decided to quit trying, since that's what they want. Maybe I'll learn to be a lazy slob like many others there (just kidding, but a working vacation pays alright).

Sorry! I can't seem to not's just reaching out for help, I think.

Sometimes it seems like only the lowest of people work in the food business. I sure wish I worked with all the great profesional chefs that I meet on line! Where are you all hiding?

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 11:41 pm: Edit

W. - Sorry to hear things are so bad for you. Sounds like it's definitely time to make a change. I have to put in my recommendation for going out on your own somehow. From everything you say here, you've got what it takes to start your own....something! The problem with you working where you are now is that you care. You care about your work, and about how your guests/customers/clients like your work, and you're willing to work way harder than most in this business.

You shouldn't be doing all that unless you're getting the satisfaction and credit and monetary rewards that it brings.

Since my hubby and I opened our place, I am amazed every day at how many compliments we get. Even when I am fretting because the cinnamon rolls are too brown or the scones seem kinda flat, or some other item isn't up to my standards, we still get people saying how wonderful everything is and raving about the food...

On a busy Saturday recently, when we had had a waiting list since 15 minutes after we opened, and we had all been cranking at full speed for about 6 hours, I looked around at a dining room full of people eating and enjoying our food, and I was amazed. We really just serve the kind of food we want to eat, nothing we consider special, and alot of times we worry we're not living up to our own standards, but people love it!

What I'm trying to say is that anyone who is willing to work hard like you are, has a skill like you do, and who puts a little heart and soul into their work will have customers beating a path to your door.

It's incredibly hard work, but it's a lot less complicated than it seems. I'm sure you can do it!

Good Luck, Renee

By W.DeBord on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 07:59 am: Edit

Renee, IT'S GREAT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How are you? I've missed your imput!

My husband nags me constantly to open a place but I've been burned in two prior business attempts (catering and fine art). I'm just really scared to loose again. There's more to a sucessful business than a great product!

He wants a small restaurant in the mountains where we make breakfast then close and ski all day. Yeah right!

By Alissa (Alissa) on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 04:40 pm: Edit

Although I don't know you, I have been reading your "saga" and have an impulse to help/encourage.

I can completely understand your being scared to step off your path and try again where you say you have failed before (in your two previous attempts). It is a totally natural reaction, but look at it this way: the only way to *guarantee* failure is to never try.

Let's assume you do try it and the worst happens. You will have to go out and find another job, that's all. You've obviously been in that situation before and handled it quite well. At least you won't be in the same negative situation you're currently in, so no matter what, to a certain degree, things will have improved for you. People tend to regret more the things they didn't do, than the things they did.

A little historical note:

He failed in business in '31. He was defeated for state legislator in '32.He tried another business in '33. It failed. His fiancee died in '35. He had a nervous breakdown in '36. In '43 he ran for congress and was defeated. He tried again in '48 and was defeated again. He tried running for the Senate in '55. He lost.
The next year he ran for Vice President and lost. In '59 he ran for the Senate again and was defeated. The following year, Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States.

All the very, very best to you; and courage in your journey.


By ramodeo on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 07:48 pm: Edit

W. - A small restaurant in the mountains sounds great! You can do it! Breakfast is easy - and great food cost, too. Sell a few baked goods out the front door and you'll be all set. I tell ya, bake some people a decent scone and they'll be your customers for life.

When it comes to where you decide to set up a place, I have to say that knowing our town and location so well has helped us alot. We really understood our potential locations well, and my hubby's family knows every other person in this town, I think. You know that 6 degrees of separation thing? With his sister, it's got to be one degree of separation here. If she doesn't know the person, then she knows someone who does. Those kind of personal connections bring people in and keep them coming back. Not to say you can't cultivate that kind of atmosphere in a new town, but it was pretty convenient for us to have it built in!

By W.DeBord on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 07:51 pm: Edit

Thanks for the words of encouragement! I do understand your points and realize your right. But... Taking risks becomes more scary as you get older, you do have more to loose then when you were young. I can't forget some of the lessons life has taught me either.

One day I'll take another risk....but it's really only been the last few years where I've worked for someone else and gotten a steady pay check with extras. I will tell you, there's alot to be said for working for someone else!!!!!!!

Owning your own place doesn't mean you don't have to take alot of **** any more. Or that you won't have to deal regularly with unreasonable people, you still do!

When I've figured out how to make a successful bakery happen I'll go for it. As of yet, many of the answers to the problems I see, still elude me.

It's about misen place (sp?), got to have that worked out.

By Panini (Panini) on Saturday, March 31, 2001 - 06:11 am: Edit

When you guys get a break, pack the bags and head south for a visit. My concept is a little unethical but I don't experience a lot of the negatives. Your always welcome for a visit, maybe you can pick up ideas. You already know about the hours and all the bad stuff,my poor wife has 10 consultations today! We will be exhausted tonight but will catch a second breath when we see numbers.
Hang in there,

By W.DeBord on Saturday, March 31, 2001 - 06:53 am: Edit

O.K. Panini, you can't just tells us your "concept is a little unethical but I don't experience a lot of the negatives" THEN not go into any detail! WHAT???? What does unethical have to do with food? Please explain what your mentioning....

Romodeo we frequent a restaurant like yours in our area. I feel bad when we miss a Sunday breakfast,(he notices too) because we're Tonys' loyal customers. He makes us feel like we are apart of his family when we enter his restaurant. Sometimes his cook has an off day, but I'm not sure at this point if we really care about the food quality, we go there for the company. My husband just loves that concept, Mom and Pop's place. I do also, but my heart and talents belongs to baking.

There's a place in Winter Park, Co. that serves only breakfast. They have about 8 tables and the cook brings your plate out to you when she's done. They open at 7:30 unless the sign on the door says 8:00 today. I just can't understand how they break even?

By dustman on Saturday, March 31, 2001 - 10:50 am: Edit

In places that small ( I have a friend that does the same thing) there usually is low to no overhead. My friend payed 400 a month for a turn key operation, granted it didn't have 200,000 dollars worth of equipment but it had enough to do breakfast and lunch for 50-60 per meal. You buy flour and eggs so you know how little these things cost. The expensive thing is your time W. He runs it with his wife and a friend and they all do the dishes. The restaurant is only open b&l they are all out at 3pm. He and his wife just bought a house so I am sure their financial situation is good, I'm not that nosy.
The thing is , there are deals like that out there you just have to look. They got in on a standard lease and after one year(their test run)they bought it for an unbelievable 10k complete. Just look around, its out there.dustman

By Panini (Panini) on Saturday, March 31, 2001 - 01:00 pm: Edit

There is no great secret. Hard work and a quality product. We expect everyone involved in our operation to become part of out extended family. Our customers are always telling us oh! I thought she was your sister,daughter,brother,son,refering to our work force.Our business is wide open for all to see, they know how much we make,how much everything costs, we don't have schedules, no one is hourly, everyone shares in the profits. They all are cross trained, they cover all the shifts themselves. I'm not even sure what the staffing is for Easter but I'm sure I'm covered.
I developed this business as a stand against the franchises. I hope one day I will encourage others to open family style businesses.

By d. on Saturday, March 31, 2001 - 04:18 pm: Edit

Hey Panini, can I go work for you if I happen to lose my job? You remind me of my old German boss,very conscientious and decent to all his employees.
W., I'd say hang in there but I do agree it is time to look somewhere. I share the same fears with you about opening up a little bakery/cafe. I really would like to but I don't know how and it scares the sheet out of me. I keep thinking one day, and next thing you know that one day turns into a year then turns into 5 years.
I'm really sorry your work sucks. Keep doing what you do best and don't become a lazy slob like the rest. Use up your time in the club writing down in a notebook all the questions/ideas/recipes of things you would like to do when and if you open your own place.

By W.DeBord on Saturday, March 31, 2001 - 06:44 pm: Edit

How do people have these businesses in Mountain areas, where condo prices start over 300,000? You can't tell me their leases aren't ski high? Plus you have to live somewhere around your business?

Another thing I get stuck on is, logicly a restaurant is a much better risk than a bakery. Everyone goes out to eat but not everyone goes to a bakery, etc...

Well, I could fry eggs etc... but then I'm jumping into a career I don't love as much as baking. I just can't see a small bakery making enough money and a big bakery isn't a bull I want to ride.

I need to find a niche with my abilities. I think about it...but I can't visualize it.

Panini I still want to know what you meant by unethical.... you mean a mini version of that what you were thinking?

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Saturday, March 31, 2001 - 06:51 pm: Edit

Panini - The other side of the "family" question: when we first opened, and things were crazy, we had alot of people asking us if one of the high-schoolers we hired was a niece or much younger sister. I thought it was strange because she only looked a tiny bit like me. Actually, they were asking cuz they figured that the only reason she could have gotten the job was being family! Needless to say, she was not one of our "stars" and didn't last very long. Now whenever anyone asks if someone is family, I think twice!

Now that we're into it and we've actually found some employees that are great, I'm starting to wonder about how to keep them. (Financially, we don't have a lot to work with yet, but we're on the right track.) For example, we have a server who has been with us since a month after we opened. She has the early shift (starting at 5:30 am) and works full time, she shows up every day, she works extra when we need it, she has good instincts, she is unfailingly good to our customers, she gets along with all the other employees, (except for the bad ones)....So far she's been great. I believe she's trustworthy, but we haven't let her in on any financial details yet.We've come a long way when it comes to evaluating new employees, but we've had enough bad ones that we don't feel confidant we won't trust the wrong person. Can you tell me about how you evolved into your current "management model"?

By Panini (Panini) on Saturday, March 31, 2001 - 11:01 pm: Edit

Hi Renee,
I'm very glad to see everything is going well.
You will see that things will fall into place.
In the beginning I went through people like you are doing. After three years I figured out that insteda of concentrating on bettering the shortfalls of people I would start focusing on their strenths. Let me stop and tell you that things are not all roses all the time. The gentleman who runs the wholesale bakery , I trained as a dishwasher over 12 yrs. ago, he and I are always getting after it. My wife laughs and says we need a marriage counselor.
I never hire someone that I can't vision to be with us till they retire. I make sure that all of their needs are taken care of. I also expect them to take care of the business needs. I don't know if your supplying benefits but that is the biggest hicky for me. I do not carry workmans comp. for everyone knows I will take care of them like family if they are injured. I make a point to work side by side each and eveery one of them so there is no doubt what I expect of them. I section off all parts of the bakery and give total responsibilty. Everyone cross trains but everyone knows that certain duties pay different monies. I have kind of stairsteped the positions so they can set their own goals. Fortunately there has been enough growth to accomodate everyone. I now have a manager in our retain shop who is gradually moving into wedding consultations and tastings.I just raised the prices of wedding cakes 10% to cover her commission if she wants to work into my wifes position. I think the most important thing is to talk with your people. Never take the family atmosphere to social. Do with your coworkers only things that you would do with your family members.
Everyone here knows that if it's bedtime and your not feeling well or if your out partying and your sh..faced you better pick up the phone and cover your shift. We have no sick time or vacation, we all get a weeks pay for a weeks work. I hardly keep track of time off, they will take whatever they need during the slow times. I don't know if this mirrors communism,I think thats what DeBord wrote, I'm not really up on that, but it works. At the end of month I ask each one what they think they deserve in additional bonus.
I'm rambling I appologize.
I will end now. I will say that there is never enough monies. If you have identified someone who you like, see what her needs are and set goals for both of you. More often than not, its not $'s. Sometime they want responsibility, shift change, better vehicle, help with day care, find out what extra monies are going to do for them. Some of their needs can sometime be met by the business and expensed through the business.
Funny, I have a new time clock I bought in the second year, never put it up.
Hope to hear from you soon

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Sunday, April 01, 2001 - 08:29 pm: Edit

Jeff - thanks! My first instinct was to just ask this good server of ours what she'd like to see first in the way of benefits/etc. Think I'll do just that. I know one thing we're definitely going to do is to make full use of her good instincts by bringing her in on any future hiring decisions. Hopefully that will help us make better decisions, but also allow her some control over who she's got to work with.


By Alissa (Alissa) on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 07:33 pm: Edit


Thanks for your honesty with regard to my other post. :) Lastnight I had an idea for you: How about opening a Tea Salon? Obviously from my limited experience I don't fully understand all the business aspects that would go into it, but it seems to me to be something that might work for you.

You could bake all sorts of cakes, pastries, cookies, breads, etc (and no frying of eggs!). You could decide to only be open in the afternoons ("tea time"), and you could operate a tiny place (just a few tables and a counter). In addition to buying the baked goods, customers could also buy teas in bulk to take home, and possibly all kinds of accessories (teapots, mugs, infusers, etc.) if you wanted to do a little retail thing to supplement the income. And maybe tea-themed gift baskets too?

You could even get really gimmicky with aromatherapy teas and "seasonal blends," etc. if you wanted. Your shop could also offer tea-party catering for bridal showers, etc. (Perfect "in" to get wedding cake business, too!).

I'm thinking quaint, although quaint might make you barf, for all I know. ;)

Just a thought.

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 07:47 pm: Edit

Thats a great way to start with her. Sorry I rambled in the past post, can you tell I have not talked business with anybody lately. Hey, we are almost in the fudge business. Kettles installed, product comming. We al;ready have a standing order for 350 lb. a week. I'm sure you will experience some of these things, just when you have things fine tuned,you jump back into the fire again. Our grilled panini sandwiches have been a great sucess. I'd love to hear how things are going. Is your better half still working elsewhere? If you have a minute drop an e-mail,

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