One Very Small Person

Darcy O'Neil :: December 6, 2009 11:37 PM

Irony seems to have an unnatural affinity for the bartending side of my career. I find cocktails and drinks fascinating, I seem to have an ability to create new cocktails that are well received and I have the gift of the gab, a perfect trait for a bartender. The confounding problem is that for years I have attempted to bring good cocktails to this city, but each time I run headlong into a wall of resistance. On Friday I was convinced that I had broken down that wall, only to discover on Saturday that I was to be foiled once again.

Opening a restaurant is an endeavour driven by passion, but it is also difficult, stressful and riddled with ups and downs. One of the difficulties is finding great staff, but there are people just as passionate about the industry, myself included, who are willing to do extra to help.

If I'm asked to work, I work in any capacity that is required but I, rightfully, expect to be treated with decency and respect.

When I go out of my way to transport 3 backpacks filled with part of my personal booze collection and buy fresh ingredients to demonstrate some cocktails, with a descriptive menu and then get asked to design the cocktail menu for the restaurant, on short notice, again tasting and testing with my inventory, then rearrange my whole weekend, inconvenience my wife and children, take a day off my other job, come into the bar/restaurant an hour and half early, willingly answer the request to pickup a U-Haul truck, charging the rental to my credit card, and then proceed to fill said U-Haul with junk from the basement, spend the day cleaning, sitting through "training" and then unload the U-Haul at 11PM at night, long after most employees are long gone, then return the truck, not getting the invoice 'cause it's too late, then go back the next morning to get an invoice, because management needs one to reimburse me, finding out the guy is busy, then tells me the other guy will be back, which doesn't happen, so I leave and show up maybe 10 minutes late because I was doing work you requested as a manager DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING:

Start the meeting by making comments about people being late, then proceed to single me out, and then ask who would like to clean the washrooms, while standing beside me and highlighting that this would be a good job for late people while physically grabbing my hand and attempting to forcefully raise it to indicate to the whole staff that I was "late", with the sole intent to humiliate me.

How would that make you feel considering that you've helped as much as you could and were already doing work that said manager had requested?

Personally, I'm not a fan of being called out like that in-front of 25+ staff members and, as a matter of fact, I have never been called out like that before. For me it was an exceptionally belittling experience.

It is well known among my good friends that I am rarely ever late. The running joke is that if you invite me to come over at 8PM I'll be there by 7:45PM. I usually drive around the block just to avoid being annoying.

I'm also not a fan of people forcefully grabbing me, which is not due to any phobia, I just have a general respect for another persons "personal space". I'm even less inclined to allow you to touch me if your only motive is to embarrass me.

If I mess up, absolutely I deserve some discipline and I'd willingly accept it, but I draw the line at public humiliation. That is a juvenile, asinine, moral destroying course of action.

The problem is that I work exceptionally hard at what I do. I do not lack motivation, intelligence or the necessary sense of urgency required in the bar business. I take a lot of pride in what I've accomplished and how I handle myself, but for some reason this public belittling strikes right to my core.

At other places of employment I've been yelled at by managers and nattered at by tyrants, which usually doesn't bother me, as those taskmasters are pushing for standards and were not attempts to abase me. In this case it was with full intent to disparage me in-front of all of the staff.

Whether it was a bad day, a power-trip or other egomaniacal reason, there is no place for this management style in any business. It goes against the very basics of human decency.

This was the action of one very small person, so I'm refraining from speaking about the business as I know a number of good people who work there and they do not deserve to get flak for the actions of one very small person.

It is often said that a restaurant is only as good as the last meal served, but it can also be said that a person is only as good as their worst moment.


Fix the Pumps
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