kicking and teeth. NICE LEGS I want to see NICE LEGS

Did everyone else fall for that parenting malarking? You know, the one where you use positive phrases rather than negative? So instead of STOP KICKING YOUR BROTHER you say, Rupert my darling, nice legs please.   It forms part of the family: inside voices, nice hands, nice words, nice legs. Nice. The absolute trip about this new-age namby pamby parenting style is that it works. Harrumph.

Chef’s (ex)boss’s wife is expecting their first child and while he is stepfather to her son clearly he has not learnt the fine art of negotiation or the concept of nice words and certainly no kicking in of teeth, even if it is a metaphor.

Eight weeks ago Chef had a meeting with him and put forward his case for a pay rise. His boss said he would look at the figures and see if what they could work out.

He then proceeded to say absolutely nothing to Chef about it. So Chef, capitalising on a rare lunch service where it was just him in the kitchen and his boss front-of-house, raised it with him again. His boss flatly said no, he did not have the money to pay him any more than he already is. Chef questioned that by raising the fact they are busier this year than they were at the same time last year while also having the whole additional revenue stream of now offering breakfast and lunch. His boss recognised this but simply said that while they are busier he did not have the money to pay Chef any more.

Saved by lunch customers the conversation ended.  

Once that was over his boss said they needed to talk about it. They sat down and he told Chef he didn’t see Chef as being part of the future of the business. Chef, somewhat baffled and fast descending into shock, asked what he meant. He repeated that sentence and said, I’d like you to pack up your things and leave.

Can you believe Chef didn’t stab him a few times? Or yell? Or call him a fucking dickhead? I’m not sure I would have had the constitution to contain myself but as Chef said, he was kind of in shock.

He gave him a cheque for a couple of weeks pay (which has blessedly not bounced) and that was that.

I must say I am surprised at how calm I am about it. And deeply impressed and proud with how Chef is handling it.

I know Chef was not that happy working there. Not hating it but just not having the fun that his last job offered. We had talked about it last week and started thinking about some possible changes in direction Chef could explore – maybe teaching? maybe moving into sales in the hospitality arena?

But it’s one thing to have those conversations as you mooch on the couch or lie in bed together and another to have it foisted onto you by a boss who just does not know – or like – having someone hold him to account or question his judgement.

So here we are. Two days later. The resume is in wide circulation having been sent off to 10 different gigs. Conversations have been had with previous colleagues who are going to keep an eye out for him.

And life goes on.

I have this feeling in my heart that something far better is going to come of this.


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  • trash

    Definitely something better in the offing and may the gods visit a devil-spawn toddler on him once this new baby gets big enough.

  • Ms Brown Mouse

    Fingers and toes crossed something good does come of this. And brava Chef for not bursting into tears, or is it only girls who do that?

  • peskypixies

    well done Chef
    well done Kim.

    hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs

  • Alex

    You guys are so grown up! I would have handled that scenario in much more of a dummy-spit and throwing toys out of the pram method.

    Glass half full, good for you!

  • Bec

    TAFE's coming up to second semester – would be worth a try for teaching. If you go that way (and I reckon he'd be a great teacher) make sure you say the switch from chefferie is for family reasons – they're suspicious of chefs who aren't working. That's the best TAFE intelligence I can glean from the Prof over here.

    And, I know this is probably totally impractical, but wouldn't the two of you be a TOTAL powerhouse in a catering business?


    ps, word verif is 'ilismso' – if you say it with an Italian accent it sounds optimistically culinary… I call it a sign.

  • bec

    Sorry – forgot to say you currently need a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment to teach in TAFE You can get one relatively cheaply through your local adult community college. But the Prof says check that, because he thinks they've recently changed the base qualification!


    (wv is now nosedb, which is just disturbing)

  • Jodie

    So why is no-one screaming at chefs boss…"NICE JOBS BOSS-I WANT TO SEE NICE JOBS"

  • jac

    Boo. Although there does seem to be a higher proportion of psychos in hospitality, I think.

    … Not YOUR Chef, though, of course. [slinks away]

  • sooz

    My sister was a chef and then taught at TAFE and now case manages people in retraining programs and the like at TAFE. Let me know if she can help – she'd be happy to (if she ever wants another handknit)

    You are doing very well the two of you, considering. Congrats.

  • Mary

    and how my head is whirling now reading Bec's suggestions!

    In a good way..

  • Badger

    I'm having that feeling, too. That "something better is coming soon feeling". And I am a little bit psychic, you know.

  • Duyvken

    Something better will definitely come of it and, in the hopefully not too uncertain meantime, he will be around to help with all the extra care that Oscar currently needs.
    I'll keep my fingers crossed that it all comes together QUICKLY and WONDERFULLY for you guys.
    Lots of love,

  • kim at allconsuming

    Jod – my best solution so far has been for him to get a job at the competition on the other side of the road. The place with water views.

    Badge – I immediately thought of you when he got home and I could see bad news written all over his face. I thought, 'Badger will know. Badger will tell me she sees something much better coming from this'. And here we are. dodgy knees, crumbling teeth and a feeling in our waters.

    Bec – OMG – the Prof is TOTALLY in the know. Thanks for the heads up re the Cert IV – am researching it now.

    And the catering company? Let's just say that you've planted a seed for something a little further down the track.

    Oh – and Bec – your sign? He has a phone interview tomorrow? saturday? (can't remember) for a job offering excellent $$$ for an Italian restaurant.

    Alex – I don't think I have the energy to throw anything anymore. Not this week anyway…

  • Janet

    Life is just throwing it to you at the moment isn't it! It must be illegal to fire someone for asking for a pay rise. Surely. Not to mention being insanely wrong. Not that I'm surprised about wrong or illegal really, I see employers doing lots of dastardly things in my job. Ex-boss is sure to get his turn on the karmic wheel for this.

    Fingers crossed that chef gets something lucrative and fun soon.

  • Frogdancer

    Holy hell….

    I can't believe that someone can lose their job in five minutes…

    (Well, I CAN believe it. I didn't mean that you were lying! But it's still so unbelievable, if you know what I mean.)

    Yeah, life goes on. At least it's bot boring around at your place! Always something happening….

  • librarygirl

    Best of luck to you all.
    Things can ONLY get better from here!!

  • blackbird


    On the parenting front, I must say that, in my day, (20-something years ago) we did NOT do the NICE LEGS chat. WE simply said: NO. And we might swat a butt (report me now).
    I have no time for this nice crappe. Parents are the boss.

    On the job front: we ARE, apparently, leading parallel lives!
    K made over a quarter of a million dollars for his firm in a matter of months and was told he was "a luxury they could no longer afford."
    Penny-wise pound-foolish as we say.
    His resume is out with a dozen people, he had an amazing meeting today for high paying freelance work and they will use him, and through a connection at my workplace is lining up something else.
    I do need Badger to weigh in but feel confident that yours and mine will land someplace – and, as you know, am not losing sleep (yet) over it.


    I send all my love.

  • Lara

    No. I'm sorry, but I read your Tuesday blog entry on Wednesday and I have only just calmed down enough today to be able to write something. Unfair dismissal… Bueller? Anyone? You can't sack someone for nothing. At least you're not supposed to be able to, with a Labor government in power. Good for you guys, for emotionally moving on — Chef definitely needs a new gig.
    But, to put it bluntly, f#@k serenity and calm — get angry. Contact Fair Work Australia — that's why my hard-earned taxes fund it.
    I'm assuming this sh%tbag employs fewer than 15 full time staff?
    Here is a link to the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code — from my cursory reading of it, you totally, definitely, ABSOLUTELY have a claim.
    And exactly which (now) salmonella-infested dive is this? Because I'm seriously thinking of organising a picket. That is the mildest course of action I'm thinking of taking, anyway.
    Letting this go would be like… voting for Tony Abbott.
    The next entry I want to see in this blog is your case file number.

  • Paola

    Taking the high road is for the brave, clever people, so kudos to Chef.
    Sure I don't know him but I still don't see him throwing a fit, screaming and cursing. What would have been the revenue anyway …
    It is amazing that Chef and K are in the same situation at the same time.
    May they both find their pathway to follow soon. A nice, pleasant pathway.

  • Reality raver

    Holy crap you are so much more mature then me. I would have twittered and blogged the name of the restaurant. What a fucking revolting guy that owner must be.

    Is it legal that he can actually do that? Was your husband casual or full time?

  • kim at allconsuming

    I'm afraid it is – I've checked it all out with Fair Work.

    1. Company w/ less than 15 full time employees can fire anyone w/out any warnings if the employee has been there for less than 12 months.

    2. The payout he gave chef covered 2 weeks pay and 1 weeks leave – what he legally had to cover.

    The end.

    Pretty jarring really.

  • reality raver

    Well I hope he hires a crap cook next time, and rues the decision he made. He is definitely carrying some bad karma.