Sometimes I Don’t Say Much

March 29, 2009 at 9:41 pm (Attitude in Overdrive, Crazy Shit, Work)

This can be a problem. You would think that keeping my mouth shut would keep me out of trouble, but is the exact thing that got me into trouble. Sort of.

Something happened at work. I can’t say I was entirely right about the situation, but I can also say I wasn’t mostly to blame. I will say that I was so angry that I was shaking and crying and had to continually tell myself to breath and override my desperate desire to drop my apron and quit on the spot.

Restaurant Manager’s sparkling blue eyes stopped holding any appeal for me about a week after he started, maybe a little more. We had a minor run-in a couple of days ago, but yesterday, it was more like a major collision.

Unfortunately, I tend to be very persistent and I’m not really afraid to question or to even point out a more logical course of action. Most of the time I just throw my hands in the air or shrug and move on with it because its not worth it to try and have an intellectual conversation with an unarmed person.

Of course, I thought of my friend Juan who says  I should examine my own feelings as to why something upsets me. Well, its because he reminded me of Jeff. Overbearing, interrupting, illogical, everything, right down to the booze on his breath. Except, given that he is my boss and this incident was instigated by him in front of my co-workers and guests, I can also say he’s unprofessional and when I tried to diffuse the situation by acquiescing and saying, “Okay. Its whatever you want,” and attempting to walk away, he dogged me, telling me not to walk away from him, etc. etc.

Well, far be it for me to just shut my mouth. The sky didn’t fall, tsunamis didn’t swallow New York, and the moon didn’t crack in half so you know I didn’t keep my mouth shut.

One part of our conversation just completely flabbergasted me. He said I should have asked my table if they wanted tartar or remoulade with their crab cakes so that we wouldn’t waste money on taking it out to the table if they didn’t want it. My response, “But you took the order.”  Which was the God’s honest truth.

I normally do try and ask my guests what they want for burgers and fish and crab, because then I’m not wasting time running back to get it. Sometimes I forget, but I’m only human. I wasn’t trying to irritate him when he asked if remoulade normally goes out with it, because I had never served one before. I assume its whether or not the guest wants it and frankly, I had my mind on the table that was being sat, not whether or not the folks at another table wanted sauces. I would take them out, if they did, they did, if they didn’t, then on my next trip back to the kitchen I would bring them back.

Anyway, things just escalated from there. It moved on to how I see him as the enemy and how I’m always contentious, except he can’t use big words like “contentious.”

When I talked to GM about it, I also pointed out there was another incident, in which I felt he was purposefully just getting in my way. I felt as though he was provoking me into a confrontation. I even verbalized to him that I was very frustrated with him and his actions. He responded by saying that I was frustrating him and he was only trying to help while I kept reiterating that I didn’t need his help.

Of course, one problem is is that I won’t back down especially if I feel that I’m right or that I’m being wronged. Even if I momentarily acquiesce to keep the peace at that point, I will revisit it later if I feel the need to bring closure to a subject or to receive more clarification of what is expected of me.

I also told my GM that that had it not been for the respect that I have for her and Owner Boss’s wife, I would have walked. I’ve never walked on a job before, and I don’t intend on starting now.

What I really, really hated, is how it affected me and how it is so very hard for me to hide my feelings. I wear them all over my face. Luckily, there were some regulars there and knew something was going down but it doesn’t change the fact it should have never happened and it shouldn’t have affected anything. I shouldn’t have been hiding in the wine closet, drying my angry tears, trying to still my hands from shaking, and giving myself a pep talk to just keep breathing, keep moving.

I hate that.

Please don’t cry one tear for me

I’m not afraid of what I have to say

This is my one and only voice

So listen close, its only for today ( from Second Chance)

Thats how I want you to feel tonight.
You’re only here once, so do it well.
Find your own way to rise up and
Give ’em hell.
There is no reason to wonder if you
Should go.
Tell them you can’t be bottled,
So break your silence and tell them
Who you are.
‘Cause they’re all witness to a shooting star.

Who cares?
He’s there to stare and
Tell you how to look.
I’m not even sure they know
You by name.
Who cares?
He’s there to share what they
Think of you.
Everybody in there plays the
Same fucking games.

Alright, alright, alright,
You’re such an energy.
Alright, alright, alright,
You’re such an energy.
Let me see your fire,
Put your fist up in the air.

Tell me, are you feeling strong enough?
Tell me, ’cause all eyes are on you now.  (from Energy)

Thank you, Shinedown.

The good news is, I think we can work this out. I don’t think he shouldn’t give me direction, I just think he should let me do my job and if he has constructive criticism, then I’m all about that… when I’m not in the middle of working and he’s respectful. I may respect his position, but I’m very far from respecting him.


  1. Marie (themom) said,

    I completely understand where you are coming from. It appears you handled yourself quite well. There are way too many people in “management”, who are clueless. I worked in food service, albeit temporarily but as a customer I have been known to confront the so-called mangement, when they had the audacity to ream a server’s ass in front of customers. I should think there would be some repercussions headed his way. Good luck.

  2. kenju said,

    I have never worked in food service, so I can’t say much about the manager and a wait person’s relationship with the manager. I do know you are a good server,and probably he should just let you do your job and back off.

  3. blackpunkin said,

    Marie, I don’t think I handled it very well at all. I tried, up to a point, then I just decided to give him what he wanted: a fight.

    Kenju, I know my job. Not that I can’t do it better, because we can all do it better, but he wasn’t being constructive, he was being a dick.

  4. Jammie J said,

    Why, oh why does it seem as if the same kind of people always turn up in our path of life. It’s frustrating, isn’t it? And, hey, I don’t think you did anything wrong. He did. Yes, he was pushing you, but if you gave in and didn’t fight with him, he would have just kept pushing you. He probably will anyway, but at least he knows you’re not a pansy for him to walk on.

    Where you’re frustrated with yourself, I think (or at least I would be), is your reaction to the situation… crying, shaking, etc., that you’re letting it get to you. Anyone would find that frustrating, but it’s understandable. Because the situation isn’t resolved, he’s still in his position as your boss, and he’s still a jerk.

    Just hang in there, honey, and remember, he’s just not worth it. Make that your mantra… or something, anything that might help you take a deep breath and remember the blessings of those who love you. Us, Nate, your family… it’ll be OK. One way or another.

  5. Evil Twin's Wife said,

    I hated it when I worked around people who were difficult. Luckily, in the food service industry, you don’t always work the same shift with the same people. I hope you get a break from him for a day or two.

  6. blackpunkin said,

    Jammie, that’s what I kept telling myself – He’s not worth it, he’s not worth it, breathe, breathe, breathe. Thanks for your insight.

    ETW, I’m afraid not. He’s working today. Meh. I’m stronger and better than that.

  7. Tammie said,

    Does this guy feel like he has something to prove? I have run into managers in food service and otherwise who adapt this “big me, little you” attitude and feel like they need to prove their superior.

    I hope things get better and he chills the fuck out.

  8. Vince said,

    You NEVER knock down your employees in front of everyone. NEVER. If he had an issue with you it should have been a private conversation away from staff and customers. Unprofessional is right.

  9. Slick said,

    Agreed. There is a time and place for direction….and it’s totally not appropriate to address any issues in front of customers….

  10. trashman said,

    H ecould have an “accident” in the parking lot late one night on the way to his car. Ypu know one where his legs get broke. I’m just saying….

  11. Zelda said,

    Ha! Mouth open, mouth closed…there’s nothing that will keep you out of trouble. 🙂

    And your manager sounds like a little bitch. Bite him on the face next time.

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