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Problems Working for Bakeries - Page 2

post #16 of 74

Boy, it sounds like a dictatorship to be working for a baker that is greedy, inconsiderate and mean!!! I am so sorry for those of you who are having to go through this!!! I know it can not be legal for any company to force people to work for one whole day without getting paid for it!!! They should be reported to the labor board!! I did not know that it was that bad!!! Will be praying for you to find a decent place to work where they will treat you better!!!!
 

post #17 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by remnant3333 View Post

Boy, it sounds like a dictatorship to be working for a baker that is greedy, inconsiderate and mean!!! I am so sorry for those of you who are having to go through this!!! I know it can not be legal for any company to force people to work for one whole day without getting paid for it!!! They should be reported to the labor board!! I did not know that it was that bad!!! Will be praying for you to find a decent place to work where they will treat you better!!!!
 


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stage_%28cooking%29

post #18 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post

words of wisdom, embersmom

Thank you.

 

I don't like bursting bubbles.  I don't like dashing hopes and dreams.  OTOH I believe that you shouldn't go into something with your eyes closed,  Bakery work is less cutthroat than "savory" work, but it can be just as cutthroat in other ways.

post #19 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by embersmom View Post


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stage_%28cooking%29

 

yes and though it's spelled s-t-a-g-e it's pronounced stahj with a soft 'a'

one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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post #20 of 74

Though I see what the word stage says in wikipedia it also says something about it originating by the french. This is America not France.  I had no idea they did this in America too!!! It still does not make it right, just my opinion!!!! Glad I do not have to work in a place like that!!!!
 

post #21 of 74

staging is industry standard --not that it's allowed everywhere

 

it might be restricted some places

 

but it's the culture of food service

 

not as much in pure baking establishments per se as it is in restaurants

 

it's done all over the u.s. all the time

 

even when chefs just work a day or two for another chef

 

not even as an internship

 

just as a favor or to spend time with a friend even

 

it's often referred to as staging

one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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post #22 of 74

now the people who were employees of the place

 

that gypped them out of legitimate pay

 

hey, that ain't staging

 

that's stealing

one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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post #23 of 74

K8 and others are right on the mark - it's industry standard if you want a job in food service outside of fast food and chain restaurants.  At least you aren't trying to get a job at a Michelin star restaurant - they expect staging for many, many hours and even then - even after you've worked there for free for 6 months -  they may never offer you a job.  But you get to say you worked there which makes you more hireable to other restaurants.

 

If you want to work for me first you have to bring your best baked good to the interview on your own dime (and be prepared to be quizzed about it from the recipe, the brand of ingredients, and the techniques you do).  If you pass that part you have to stage for me for at least one full work day, and my current assistant staged for an entire weekend wedding - about 20 or so hours.  It's perfectly legal and I'm not a horrible person for having that standard.  Lets keep some perspective - I do not have the time or resources to teach someone how to tort and ice a cake like a pro.  I do not have time or resources for some to play with cake on my dime to figure it out.  And even if they DO know how to ice a cake, they never know how to make flowers, work with isomalt, do figures, etc. - complicated stuff that I'm willing to teach but I'm not willing to pay anyone to learn - I'll pay them when I can tell them "make 300 green hydrangea" or "make 3 ruffled peonies with apple centers and cosmo tips" and they just do it to my standard.  So I pay my assistant for production days, but if she wants to learn my flowers or any of the other decorative details she stages for that free education.  

 

Edited to add:  If this is a run of the mill bakery you've been trying to work at you can expect to work one shift for free, but after that if they want you to work there more they should start paying you.

 

And yes, restaurants are gross.  People really have no idea what goes in in the kitchen.

post #24 of 74
Staging also happens outside the food industry...when hiring for business analysis/IT positions some companies will give candidates real business problems and either have them come up with solutions on their own or work with existing employees to put something together (after signing an NDA of course). I have no idea if this is legal or not but for some jobs it is the price of admission.
post #25 of 74

i walked into a bakery for an interview for a deco job 

 

was handed a sheet cake and told to make a beer bottle sculpture

 

  • for a pending order

 

  • no picture

 

  • no pattern

 

  • no computer

 

  • didn't even know if they wanted 2-d or 3-d

 

  • do they want chocolate icing or brown?

 

  •  10,000 questions in my head

 

  • no advance notice of anything other than a face to face interview where you talk

 

and sure i have had to decorate before in an interview

 

the time they gave me cold stiff white icing for a chocolate cake and nary a crumb on it when finished

 

but the beer bottle cake srsly took the cake

 

it's just not how i roll -- i plan and sketch and get proportions straight

 

i did it but thought i might explode--i wanted to bolt repeatedly

 

working conditions were not a+

 

i had to ask for whatever i needed--not even supplied a viable work station

 

i had a postage stamp to stand on and had to move when other workers needed to get by

 

i did everything but the fine print on the label--i just couldn't fake that

one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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post #26 of 74

I worked at a michelin star resto in NYC, many years ago and it was common to work for free for at least the first week or two and bust your butt in trying to get that job and make a great impression (not just a good one!)...actually all the restaurants that I worked in -in NYC- did the same thing. It's a common practice and that's the way it goes. C'est la vie, chou chou!

post #27 of 74
I was buying supplies at my cake shop one day, and saw they were looking for a decorator, so I filled out the application, the clerk gave it to the owner, and she was going to call me, then saw I was a decorator, so she had me come back right then and pipe some borders, roses, and ice a board. I got the job and found out that they typically have someone do a cake, but it was bake day, and they didn't have one ready for me. I got to see the biggest messes when people interviewed, it was rich! Some I felt bad for, but you weren't allowed to help. I was self taught, without even the Internet when I started there, so I can see helping, and teaching, to see if they pick it up quickly, but when I get to the point where I will need help, I'm going to do this staging thing, because like Jen said, no way can I afford someone messing about on my dime. Show me what you got, then we'll talk!
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #28 of 74

This just reminds me of what doctors go through before they become doctors...so it's in every industry.  Same for teachers...you student teach first.

post #29 of 74

I did a 40 hour a week internship at the police station - for a whole summer - unpaid.  That same summer I worked 30 hours a week as secret security at a retail chain for minimum wage.  I even had to pay for my internship, 10 college credits.  By the time I graduated I landed a spot as a full time Corrections Officer because of my experience and the fact that I knew everyone and they knew I did a good job.  Great pay, fantastic retirement, all the benefits, etc.  You get the great jobs by going through the crappy jobs.  It's life.

 

Then, when I had kids, I quit to be a stay at home mom because who the heck wants to be sworn at, fought with, do cavity searches, sprayed with pepper spray, etc, etc...  My idea of fun changed I guess  icon_lol.gif  

I homeschool because I've seen the village and I don't want it raising my children.

 

http://whynotethiopia2.blogspot.com/

 

 

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I homeschool because I've seen the village and I don't want it raising my children.

 

http://whynotethiopia2.blogspot.com/

 

 

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post #30 of 74

LOL, true, right?  I just think, hey, I PAID big bucks and spend countless hours practicing on my own dime - no way am I PAYING someone to learn sugar art from me. I understand everyone needs to earn a living and pay rent, but I don't think any of us can afford to run a scholarship program for those that decide one day to enter the *illustrious career of "cake artist" or "baker".

 

*Sarcasm intended since what we do is a heck of a lot harder and nowhere near as glamorous as people imagine - buttercream in your hair, tendonitis in your thumbs, spider veins, short stubby nails, and cracked peeling hands from all the dishes.  :D

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