I am losing a cook. Just before summer starts. Which is good and bad. The bad is obvious, a hole in the schedule, a good brain who comes up with decent menu items, a trained person who can train others and a very likable person is leaving. The good? Payroll has gotten quite high with the GM mostly at home and me trying to cover two roles, and this cook is getting stale. He needs a change. He's going to work for a local winery, which he hopes will allow him to spend more time with his new family and get him out of the stress of the kitchen.
He said it was a hard decision because he "didn't want to do this to you." I assured him he wasn't doing anything to me, that rather he was doing something for himself, and his family. He thanked me for being understanding and I replied, "My job is to get people ready to leave here. Yes, it's great to have a couple of long-timers, but in general if people don't leave, I'm not doing my job. For you, this is a way station, not the end of the line."
This will also probably be better for our familial relations. His wife and the GM have become friends, our children are a couple of months apart. It's easier to hang out with people when there isn't the employer/employee power thing going on.
Another exciting thing this does is open more doors for one of the Mayan guys. The one who told me he's going home this year (hopefully to get married). I've insisted he go to English classes (don't think he has), and told him I would be speaking to him and expecting him to reply in English (which I should have done a long time ago). His comprehension is pretty good, but he has been loath to speak, due to mortal shyness. I would love to see him running the kitchen, but his communication has to improve for that to happen.
This also means our most recent hire will have to go to 5 days a week. He's a mellow neo-hippie type, very nice guy, quick to learn. He would prefer to work 4 days, but is up for the 5th. I told him it would go that way through September, then drop back down, which suited him fine.
I feel in good shape crew-wise. Ask me at the end of the summer, the answer may be different.
* The first person to identify the the title and artist of the song the title of the post refers to wins a pound of our house-smoked bacon.