Most grueling common job? Chef?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by 63dot, May 20, 2010.

  1. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    Yes, we know about people who wrestle wild animals for a living, or are in the special forces, but what common job do you consider the most grueling? has a cook respondent who talks about 14 hour days, six days a week and I have heard similar stories. They stated the chef works longer hours.

    Last night, I saw two guys pull a 21 hour day, then get three hours of sleep, only to repeat what will be 20+ hour days for the next three days. A Food Network event is happening and most of the sous chefs either had other commitments or were/are sick, thus the crazy hours for the remaining three sous chefs.

    To make matters worse, the three sous chefs had to prepare for 1,000 people, feed a hungry crowd last night, and later tonight, even before the Food Network chefs show up tomorrow.

    I consider this breed of cooks and chefs extremely remarkable.

    I want to hear your cook/chef stories.
  2. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier

    I am a retired Chef.

    One time I had to open a new cafeteria for an airline repair facility that fed 3500 people three times a day. Thats almost 11,000 meals. I had to buy supplies 3 times a week. Fresh produce came in every day by the semi load.

    The kitchen was very small. A one room kitchen with three stations and 15 employees working shifts from 3AM to 12 midnight.
    I had to train all of them because the company wanted all new employees. I fired the old crew and brought in a new crew.

    I had one month to re-do the kitchen,buy new equipment,set up menu's for a week at a time. Three times a day. Breakfast,lunch and dinner. Then we had to have snacks for the midnight crew.

    I personally was there from 2AM until 5PM. Took a 2 hour break then came back and worked until midnight.
  3. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Restaurant work is the most evil thing you can do. It's stressful, long hours and mostly thankless. I've done it all from cook, manager, waiter- all of it. It's tough. Advertising is a walk in the park, by comparison.
  4. RawBert macrumors 68000


    Jan 19, 2010
    North Hollywood, CA
    That's a hard ass job. It is thankless. Nothing but stress.

    Hey, that reminds me... Hell's Kitchen's back in June. :)
  5. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    I've worked as a bus boy. It's tough ****. Not only do you have roller-coaster physical demands, but you've got to deal with a lot of dissatisfied people (I worked at a crappy restaurant).
  6. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816


    Dec 16, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    I've generally found that to be true of most retail work, but I'll gladly stipulate that waitstaffing is in a class all by itself.
  7. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    I worked in restaurant kitchens for the first ten years of my adult life.

    Grueling? I think not.

    Try commercial fishing for a living. I only lasted a handful of months doing that.

    That was grueling work. Nothing else has even come close.
  8. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    Yeah, watching Deadliest Catch makes me glad I never had to do that. The worst job I ever had was working with my dad in the oilfield when I was in high school. Working in a barren oilfield in 100+ degree heat convinced me that 1) I never wanted to that kind of work for a living, and 2) I needed to get off my lazy butt and do everything I could to get into college.

    Offshore oil work is pretty grueling, as well. Of course, I don't know if that counts as common.

    Edit: With all that said, I still think food service sucks. I avoided it at all costs.
  9. ethical macrumors 68000

    Dec 22, 2007
    Like Deadliest Catch? :eek:
  10. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    Not even.

    Just salmon fishing (in the days when there still were salmon) off the coast of California was enough for me.

    Seasickness didn't help.
  11. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    Wow, to me that sounds like grueling going on to more grueling.

    The worst thing I had to do was put in a drip system onto an acre with 103 widely dispersed plants on a hilly lot. The soil was very rocky and required a lot of work with a pick. The stupid job took 18 months to complete after working once a week and catering to many, many changes. If we had done it every day, we would have banged it out. But since it was a once a week project, many brainstorms led to crazy changes. The mentally ill previous homeowner wanted to recreate Monet's Garden in a very dry climate and he pulled it off. I only put in the watering system with the new owner. The previous owner was said to be a genius with schizophrenia. Voices led him to make this garden, well that and a ton of money. I wished I had pictures to show of this property with a backdrop of the dry desert and freeway in the background. :)

    Another 18 month project was a band I was in trying to make a 10-12 song CD back when the technology was new. Dozens of takes and then fighting over every bit and piece that would go on the final print. To make matters worse, we never liked the final result. The real work was working out the harmonies and variations of harmonies, and thankfully I didn't have to work on that part. The lead singer was tone deaf, and he was the leader of the band and was very aware of his vocal shortcomings. So through the persistence of many takes and very carefully placed harmonies, there wasn't evidence of tonedeafness throughout the CD. I heard one professional musician call this type of tedious, perfectionist recording style as "sawing BBs". I can't think of a more appropriate term. Somehow, we didn't kill each other but it turned me off to recording for years and it sucked all the fun out of music and creativity.

Share This Page