"Four years ago, after graduating culinary school, I was given what I thought would be an amazing opportunity to work with a chef who'd been running a three-Michelin-star restaurant in New York for over 10 years. He had recently left the restaurant to cook for New York's elite. My father knew him from the restaurant and connected us when he needed help with a dinner party. It was my first gig out of school. I was going to get $25/hour. Awesome!
"When I arrived at the client's house, the chef was totally unprepared and ended up making a half-assed effort with the meal: a poorly executed ceviche, plain chicken with glazed carrots, and a chocolate soufflé. I couldn't believe when he told me he was getting paid $10,000 to cook this mediocrity and for only eight people! I can't even tell you if it was good or not, because he didn't even bother to feed me. You always feed the staff!
"After the dinner was over, the chef told me he'd forgotten to go to the ATM and would pay me the next day. He lived in my neighborhood, so I took his word because, you know, his client just paid him $10k and he was kind of a friend of my dad's friend. But to this day, almost four years later, I still haven't got paid for the job, even after following up twice. Never again!" -- Liz, private chef, four years