Day Fifty Eight!!
How I Said No!!
I had a run in with my old boss the other day, went to visit to say hi since I was in the area. I brought my friend who was visiting for the weekend as well. Now you have to appreciate the fact that for the past couple of summers I worked her restaurant. I worked my way up from being in the dish pit to actually serving. When I was a kid I wanted to be a chef, actually at first I wanted to be a baker, but dad despised that idea. As a family we love chef Ramsey and we have watched every episode of Hell’s Kitchen, my dad even has a Hell’s Kitchen apron in the kitchen.
Unfortunately what I quickly learned about myself was that when I cooked I became angry. Not entirely my own fault though. My family has a habit of flocking together. And I mean as soon as someone has something important or time sensitive to do all of a sudden we are all joined at the hip in a small space, and in the moment the only way to make them scatter is to tell them to “kindly go away” chef Ramsey style.
What I learned working at the restaurant is that anger seems to be the way in which restaurants work and thrive on. The chef I worked for has an intensity and can cut like a knife with her angry outbursts. Most people either scatter or cry and I have learned to nod my head with a blank face; the chef never knows what to do with that. So most of the time I walk away smiling at myself and giving myself a thumbs up, ‘good one girl’.
Part of our pay check is having what’s called a staff meal. The chef, very proud of her food, creates a bounty for us to have before service. As you can well imagine, I really started to rack up the pounds. What I realized was that when I started to voice my concerns the chef quickly shut me down and the expectation that I needed to just eat it became extremely heavy and overwhelming. Nothing seemed to work, no matter what I said. I even tried to take a doggy bag so that I could have a choice of whether I was going to eat it or give it away, but that didn’t work. One time I tried to bring in my own lunch, but was met with a very intense glare and disapproving passive aggressive comments.
So fast forward to the weekend and my visit to say hi. We walked in and the chef met me with a cheery welcoming and hug. Not a minute in did she suggest I stay for staff meal. I told her we had already eaten and that I was on the low carb diet. This of course was met with a scoff and she countered with, “It’s just sausage and lentils”. Well, we all know from looking at the package that sausage has hidden carbs in them and lentils are not apart of the diet. I also don’t like lentils but that is another matter.
In the end it became an awkward power struggle between us, one in which I won. Unfortunately in the end she sauntered back to the kitchen and stayed there without a goodbye hug. I also found out later that a former coworker of mine had asked her to go out to have a drink with us but the chef hastily declined. Oh well.
This is a great example for how difficult it is to assert yourself and yes peoples feelings might get hurt. Only if I really had an allergy it wouldn’t have even been a question so I have learned that I come first. Even when I’m up against chef Ramsey or his counterpart.
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