Did everyone else fall for that parenting malarking? You know, the one where you use positive phrases rather than negative? So instead of STOP KICKING YOUR BROTHER you say, Rupert my darling, nice legs please. It forms part of the family: inside voices, nice hands, nice words, nice legs. Nice. The absolute trip about this new-age namby pamby parenting style is that it works. Harrumph.
Chef’s (ex)boss’s wife is expecting their first child and while he is stepfather to her son clearly he has not learnt the fine art of negotiation or the concept of nice words and certainly no kicking in of teeth, even if it is a metaphor.
Eight weeks ago Chef had a meeting with him and put forward his case for a pay rise. His boss said he would look at the figures and see if what they could work out.
He then proceeded to say absolutely nothing to Chef about it. So Chef, capitalising on a rare lunch service where it was just him in the kitchen and his boss front-of-house, raised it with him again. His boss flatly said no, he did not have the money to pay him any more than he already is. Chef questioned that by raising the fact they are busier this year than they were at the same time last year while also having the whole additional revenue stream of now offering breakfast and lunch. His boss recognised this but simply said that while they are busier he did not have the money to pay Chef any more.
Saved by lunch customers the conversation ended.
Once that was over his boss said they needed to talk about it. They sat down and he told Chef he didn’t see Chef as being part of the future of the business. Chef, somewhat baffled and fast descending into shock, asked what he meant. He repeated that sentence and said, I’d like you to pack up your things and leave.
Can you believe Chef didn’t stab him a few times? Or yell? Or call him a fucking dickhead? I’m not sure I would have had the constitution to contain myself but as Chef said, he was kind of in shock.
He gave him a cheque for a couple of weeks pay (which has blessedly not bounced) and that was that.
I must say I am surprised at how calm I am about it. And deeply impressed and proud with how Chef is handling it.
I know Chef was not that happy working there. Not hating it but just not having the fun that his last job offered. We had talked about it last week and started thinking about some possible changes in direction Chef could explore – maybe teaching? maybe moving into sales in the hospitality arena?
But it’s one thing to have those conversations as you mooch on the couch or lie in bed together and another to have it foisted onto you by a boss who just does not know – or like – having someone hold him to account or question his judgement.
So here we are. Two days later. The resume is in wide circulation having been sent off to 10 different gigs. Conversations have been had with previous colleagues who are going to keep an eye out for him.
And life goes on.
I have this feeling in my heart that something far better is going to come of this.