This Spring Chicken Is Just Too Tender

, , , , , | Working | May 12, 2021

The restaurant I work at received a new hire who isn’t the sharpest crayon in the box. He is polite and shows the drive to help, but he can’t follow basic sanitary or cooking procedures that were recently explained to him. I am left to train him by myself one night. I’m trying to be as patient as I can, since many new hires don’t catch on as fast as others. The following events all occur within a fifteen-minute span.

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], could you make me a run of tenders?”

Coworker: “No problem!”

Me: “Stop! Put your gloves on! Use the tongs!”

Our restaurant’s chicken tenders are breaded in-house. He was about to stick his bare hands into the raw chicken even though I lectured him on why that’s a terrible idea an hour ago. He comes back to the cooking table after getting the tenders in the deep fryer.

Me: “Just want to make sure: how many tenders did you drop?”

A “run” usually means ten.

Coworker: “I didn’t count. I just made everything that was in the pan. There were like twelve of them. Where can I get another pan of chicken to replace it?”

Me: “Good job! The tenders are in the cooler, in the far left corner.”

I pointed at the cooler door and motioned to him where the raw chicken was. He thanked me and then went into the freezer. I decided to let him figure it out on his own since orders were starting to come in. When the timer on the chicken went off, I moved to pull out the twelve tenders [Coworker] had made. There were six.

He came out of the freezer telling me he could only find frozen chicken. I reminded him I’d said the cooler and he entered the correct door this time, coming out with a new pan of chicken. Although I didn’t notice until later, he didn’t replace the pans properly and just set the new one — with the lid off — inside the old one.

He then asked if he could help me cook something. I asked him to take care of an order that had two of the same burger (and to get some gloves on). They were among the simplest to make and he had a cheat sheet in front of him. The first sandwich was made correctly with no input from me. When he was making the second one, I had to stop him from putting on extra ingredients that weren’t on the burger.

After getting the orders taken care of, I asked him to get me another batch of tenders to make up for the smaller than expected first batch. He gave his affirmation… and then went into the freezer to find another pan of chicken.

He was finally let go a week and a half later, after showing no improvements and openly admitting he didn’t care enough to memorize anything.

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