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Former Poole chef uses work Twitter account to vent anger over sacking
10:30am Tuesday 17th December 2013 in News
A FORMER Poole chef sacked from his latest job just days before Christmas took to Twitter to vent his anger.
Head chef Jim Knight, who used to work for the Lighthouse in Poole in 2010, used the Twitter account of The Plough pub in Great Haseley, Oxfordshire, to vent his anger, with his messages getting thousands of retweets within minutes.
Landlord of the The Plough pub Steve Potts defended the decision to dismiss Mr Knight, who he said had informed his employer he could not work Christmas Day or any Sundays “in the near future”.
Mr Knight, who said he had set up the Twitter account with the permission of his bosses, began tweeting from @ploughpub on Sunday night.
He posted: “We’d like to inform you that we’ve just fired our head chef.
“Unfortunately he wanted to have a weekend off this month and Christmas Day this year for family commitments so we thought we’d sack him.
“Yeah a week before Christmas!
“We don’t care that he has a 7 and a half month old baby daughter.”
Within minutes the account had picked up hundreds of extra followers and Mr Knight’s posts had gone viral.
Yesterday, Mr Potts, landlord of the pub in Rectory Road, said: “When Jim, as head chef, informed me that he would not be working on Christmas Day, and other Sundays in the near future, I was left with little choice but to end our arrangement.
"I had been quite clear with him when he started here in October that Sundays are our busiest days of the week, and that all our chefs have to work that day.”
The Plough employs three chefs, all of whom are remaining in their posts over the Christmas period and Mr Potts says he is now recruiting another head chef.
He said: “I’ve been in this business 25 years and have a lot of contacts who have been asking me on an ongoing basis if there is a position available, as this is a fantastic pub to work for.”
Mr Knight said on his personal Twitter account that he asked for the time off so he could spend it with his new baby daughter. From his personal account – @chefjimknight – he posted: “It’s my daughter’s first Christmas. I wouldn't miss that for ANYTHING.”
He also claimed the pub buys some of its food from Asda, but Mr Potts said that was untrue and that the pub only visited its nearest supermarket – which happens to be an Asda — for “certain staples”. He added: “The implied suggestion that we are buying cheap meat and passing it off at a premium is, frankly, outrageous and untrue.”
Charles Methven, one of the shareholders, said the pub had changed the password on the account.
The Plough was bought by the local community in June 2012 after the village’s residents raised £400,000 to keep it open.
Bruce Seymour-Taylor, who lives opposite the pub and was involved in trying to save it, said: “We set up a company with a board to manage the purchase of the pub but we have a tenant in there who manages it on a daily basis.
“I don’t know about this so I cannot comment.”
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