Waiting for the day that the one who desires me also wishes to fulfill my desires.
I love to laugh.
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I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.
Albert Einstein (via ybb55)
I work in a restaurant that could be a case study on how not to manage people. We consistently put out good food and earn high praise from the public and press for our efforts. And, we are treated like shit everyday. We’ve come to expect this as the norm, but we shouldn’t. In addition to the cooks, part of what makes any restaurant run smoothly, is having a good team of dishwashers. A basic rule of the kitchen is that one must always show respect to the dishwashers. If a dishwasher calls out — the restaurant is going down. No dishes. No pans. No food. It’s as simple as that.
When Amadou walks through the door, I smile. He joined us four days after he left the Ivory Coast to live in the U.S. with his uncle in Harlem. He is kind and well spoken. He speaks 4 languages, wants to be a chemist, and is hoping to start college in the spring. Though he works as hard as any man there, he still retains a little bit of the impish quality of an 18 year-old boy. Maybe I’ve developed a soft spot for him because he is at an age in which he could be my son (he mentioned to me that his mother and I share a name — who knows when he will see her again). I understand that I may feel more protective of him than others that I work with. But, that being said, I don’t care if you are an 18 year-old dishwasher from Ivory Coast; a 25 year-old cook from Arkansas; or a 40 year-old butcher from Puebla. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. I cannot abide by someone being threatened for standing up for themselves. No one should threaten to fire you as a tool for corrective action. Speaking confidently does not make you right. I was so proud of Amadou for having the presence of mind to say “No” when he was treated so disrespectfully. It’s so ingrained in us to just respond with “Yes, Chef” after being berated, that I sometimes lose perspective of what is really happening and what I did to deserve the lashing. He had the presence of mind to know that he did nothing wrong. I am very proud of him.
I changed my whole life to try a career in cooking and I’m good at my job. My old life was killing my soul. I don’t want this place to do the same.