Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Another cook gone 30/05/09

I am exhausted. It is not easy going up and down all those stairs in 33 degrees. My legs ache and my feet ache. This job requires physical fitness! The mosquitoes are getting me, and the heat and humidity are getting to everyone, not least the chef. Mi suocera advised us to get rid of him because he orders everyone around, doesn’t do half enough himself and can’t manage the orders in a way to be fast and time efficient and also he takes them off the hook, he squints at them, and then sticks them back up in the wrong order. Everyone is complaining about how rude he is. So we have been thinking that we need to have a word again. But when we arrive in the kitchen tempers are rising in the high temperatures. Mi suocera is giving the cuoco a piece of her mind and telling him to stop delegating everything, to take responsibility for his actions and do the things properly that need to be done. It all sounds exactly right, except that the cuoco doesn’t like it and he is roaring back at her! How rude. Now is not a good time for our little chat I fear, but we go on anyway, because now it seems he has things that want to be said.

We go off to the side room and he rants about how mi suocera turned on him and how he is getting paid too little for all the hours he is doing, that he works for pleasure and enjoys cooking but this is not enough. I point out that we are getting enough either because we still are not satisfied with the kitchen; that he needs to get glasses, delegate less and take more responsibility. He then says he will not talk to me at al, but that he wants to address mi marito only! While my husband tries to placate him I see it all coming. He has realized he is totally incompetent and has decided to blame the salary as a reason to leave. I hear him reassure mi marito that he won’t just up and leave, that he will give us time to find someone else, but somehow I don’t believe that either.

I feel like we are getting rid of an immense ball of negative energy and things can only get better, but we do need a cook, and it seems so difficult here to find one.
The aiutocuoco, on the other hand, seems to thrive when we have problems, he was all relaxed yesterday and making jokes. The cuoco was sly; whenever I appeared he would pretend he was helpfully collaborating with the others: ‘Right now, let me show you how to chop mushrooms.’ But I took order the way he wanted, 1+1 for additional orders of the same dish, and he STILL got it wrong, he said here’s the burratina and I looked at him, and he said, ‘Ah,there were two; scusa.’

Afterwards, mi marito tells me that between us, his mother and I succeeded in making the ‘cuoco’ leave (he told his mother that the cook had already decided to leave on Sunday anyway, to make her feel better, but told me I didn’t know how to be diplomatic). Some cheek. He should be thanking us. The three weeks he was with us have probably been totally damaging for our reputation and we will have to work hard to get it back.


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