Saturday, November 21, 2009

The cook tries it on 20/05/09

The ‘cook’slid up to the bar at around 1am last night leaving the aiuto cuoco to do all the cleaning in the kitchen. He was all friendly and familiar, and ‘I hear everything, I know all the bar and restaurant owners and I hear what they are saying …’ Is this supposed to be some kind of threat? He stays on at the bar with his beer and I seem him deeply engaged in talk with my husband and I imagine he is complaining or something.

So later on our terrace, in the lovely cool night air with the smell of jasmine and the softly lit Via Montecastro leading up to the Spanish castle, my husband tells me he was asking for more money .. already. After the shame of Saturday night! You must be joking! I would have sent him packing, so perhaps it is useful that I was not there. My husband managed to be diplomatic: ‘We had two ‘difficult’ days and then two days which went well enough. We need to see how you get on this weekend and the weekend after ...’ The ‘cook’ was talking about a raise at ‘fine mese’, at the end of the month that he had mentioned when we offered him the job. My husband said, I don’t remember that, I remember you seemed happy with our offer, but we can check with Lola as she was there too’.

The cheek. The tables of people who walked out hungry on Saturday, and me standing there. It was ME who had to go and excuse myself with those people, ME who passed them on the stairs leaving. And his disgraceful fit in the kitchen. He is full of himself too. He doesn’t deserve any more than he is getting: he is totally dependent on my suocera– he uses her as a factotum, as his aiuto-cuoco, his dishwasher, and in reality it is she who knows how to run the kitchen, and she who should be telling him what to do.

He would need to prove he can work without the support of Salvo’s mum, that he can organise the kitchen without merely delegating to everyone, and also contribute to the cleaning. If not, the money we may be able to give him in the future, will have to go on a third person in the kitchen. As he said himself, ‘any extra help in the kitchen is welcome.

My husband is paranoid since we lost the first cook that this one might also just up and leave, so he says, all we need from him is the guarantee of good food that will make a good reputation for our restaurant. Well, that means no more people leaving unsatisfied, and I would need more than a month’s proof. He said that the cook is not interested in having a contract etc, he just wants the money. He has said he doesn’t care about benefits and health etc, just wants the cash. So that would save us on taxes and the accountant’s fees etc. But what if there were checkups? Surely we should have everyone in order anyway? My husband says there are never checks unless someone files a complaint…

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