By; Speaker Gerald A. Polley

Finding good help is EXTREMELY difficult sometimes. I've seen that very often in places I've worked. One time we lost a cook that had been there for several years, and had an awful time replacing him. We must have gone through fifteen people in the period of three months, before we finally got somebody. And some of them only lasted a few hours. One guy in particular, comes to mind. He wasn't there long enough for me to remember his name. I'll always refer to him as Puffer.
It was an absolute rule that there was no smoking behind the line; or, in any of the prep areas. Puffer had only been there a few minutes when I saw him take an ashtray behind the line and light up a ciggarett. I told him that this wasn't permitted.
"Mind your own business!" he grunted. "Who are you, Lord God, Almighty? I smoke when I want to smoke."
I went out and got the manager, who came back and told Puffer to put out the ciggarette and not to smoke again except in the break area.
"Yeah, yeah!" Puffer grunted. Less than a half hour later I saw him behind the line with a ciggarette in his mouth. The manager came through the door before I could even get out. A waitress had informed him Puffer was smoking again. The manager again told him to put out the ciggarett and that smoking behind the line was prohibited.
"F--- this!" Puffer screamed, taking off his apron and throwing it on the counter. "I can't go hours without a ciggarett. If you people can't be reasonable I'm not working here!"
He walked out in a huff, and never came back. A couple of days later we hired another guy, and he worked for a day or so, and then I noticed that he was obviously half crocked. Though he was doing a fairly good job he was definitely drunk.
I couldn't catch him drinking, however, nor could the manager, and this went on for several days. Then one afternoon as the evening shift came on, the night cook went to shake some cooking sherry into the frying pan. Instead of getting the usual little burst of flame there was a termendous WHOOSH! and flash of fire. The chef staggered back.
"What to hell?" he screamed. "That isn't cooking sherry!"
They took the cap off the bottle and poured some out. It was vodka. Up in the back of the shelf we found another cooking sherry bottle that actually had the sherry in it.
The next morning when the new cook came in the night chef was waiting for him and personally informed him his services were no longer required, and he was lucky he didn't get his face pounded on.
"Well that's your loss!" the cook grunted. "Just because I have to have a nip once and a while to get through the day doesn't mean I can't do my job! But if that's the way you feel it's all right with me!"
He left and we started interviewing again. Eventually we found somebody, but it took some effort. It took some CONSIDERABLE effort!


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