Had a good night with the sous. I realize I've complained a good bit about him so I feel I need to clarify a little. He's at heart, a good person and I recognize we have more in common than either of would probably want to admit. We're both loners to a degree. We may have a number of acquaintances but let's just say our home phones are not ringing off the hook. We were both outsiders at school, having that combination of intelligence and willingness to display it which isn't endearing to our peers. We're both mama's boys whose father's were gone early on. We've both at various times sought solace in drink or other substances.
We have a number of differences as well but that's not the source of conflict. Although superficially I'd like to work with someone who had a lot of the same interests, either musically, artistically etc. that's not really important.
Also, some of the things I lay at his door are really mine. The level of disorganization belongs to me. I often wish I had been wise enough to take a job with a really precise chef who would have given me hell about organizing. Some of his dealings with coworkers are in part my fault as well. The sous position is extremely tough because I expect him to run the place but he has no real level of authority.
So what's the problem? The involvement with food, his level of personal responsibility and the seeming lack of pride in himself. Every menu change I ask for ideas and over 3 years I can only think of one concrete idea he's put forth. He's really intelligent but uses that intelligence mostly to make jokes and puns. It would be so refreshing to see him apply that to a more positive creative outlet. I'm just not sure if he's interested in cooking professionally anymore. And I'm not sure he'd be aware of it if he weren't. He doesn't seem to read much about current happenings in the food world and he never seems to go out to eat (not that's there's much around here anyway). He at times has interest in food but usually relating to his dinner (sometimes the food for a coworker). I've tried to coax the interest out but have given up. I'm sure he would come up with a lot of interesting things if that fire were rekindled.
I'd also like him to just be able to admit a mistake without an excuse. One of my more valuable lessons in cooking school came not from an instructor but a fellow student (who is the chef of a place about 15 miles south of us). Whenever any of us made mistakes we all came up with a bunch of lame excuses. Except Steve. He just said, I'm sorry chef. I messed up.
And lastly, be aware of other people's space. We've never been able to click in a seamless way on the line. He always seems to be in the way (and so I'm sure I'm always in his way from his point of view) and doesn't seem to use peripheral vision very well. Being in a small space is like dancing, the movements have to be fluid.