“If I knew he’d be quittin’ I’d a baked a cake. Baked a cake.” Okay, so it’s not exactly the lyric one thinks of when humming the classic Sesame Street song. And I would be downright flabbergasted at such a display of meanness from my old pal Ernie. Though putting up with grouchy Oscar and buzzkill Bert for all these years, who could begrudge Ernie a celebratory song? Not me, that’s for sure. Not the woman who stood in her kitchen yesterday afternoon tapping her foot and singing out loud while she whipped up a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. I also may have mixed in a verse or two of “Ding! Dong! The witch is dead.”
Well, he’s not dead, just out of my life. Forever. The Princess Persnickity walked off of his shift late Friday afternoon. Woo Fucking Hoo!
My coworkers and I deserve some cake.
His behavior, while never stellar to begin with, had become increasingly unbearable over the past six weeks, or so. How he lasted as long as he did says more than I care to get into about the management style that exists in our restaurant. Way more.
I’ll bet you’re wondering if I had a hand in his demise. I did. Staff complaints compelled management to launch an investigation. This was a few weeks ago. (Anyone who thinks the wheels of justice move slowly should spend some time working for my company). As a result of their findings, they were supposed to have a “sit-down” with him. They didn’t. I was slightly pissed. So, I, very politely, requested my own “sit-down” with them.
At this meeting I confronted them with all of my grievances regarding his horrible, bullying behavior. Truthfully, he no longer involved me in his pettiness. He understood that tangling directly with me would probably not end well for him. But I watched him pull a whole lot of crap with others. Because I no longer said a word to him, I think that he chalked my silence up to disinterest. That was a grave mistake. I was definitely paying attention.
I used our “sit-down” as an opportunity to convey to the managers that my only recourse, if his nonsense continued to go unchecked, would be to file harassment charges against him and, by extension, them for being unresponsive in the face of so many staff complaints. I promised that I would not be the only one. I gave them thirty days to resolve the issue. I put all of this in writing and had it signed and witnessed. I was finished fucking around. Finished.
On Wednesday I found out that he had made one of my coworkers cry the day before. While we were a few days shy of the thirty day mark, I figured we were close enough. I was assured that he would be spoken to on Friday.
I waited patiently for them to keep their word. It was going on 3:30 and I was beginning to doubt anything was going to happen. And then he did something really, really stupid. Unbeknownst to him (or to me), one of the manager’s was on the cook’s line and witnessed him take a drink that I had made and throw it across the service bar in my general direction. He then proceeded to come behind the bar and remake the drink as he carried on that I was an idiot who couldn’t read a recipe. He was claiming that I had forgotten that orange juice was an ingredient in this particular cocktail. I hadn’t. It was in there. But I didn’t say a word. Because at this point I knew the manager was witnessing this Academy Award worthy performance.
Within seconds the manager approached the service bar and told the Princess that I would deliver the drink and keep an eye on his tables, as they needed to have a conversation. So, off to the office they went. I wasn’t privy to the conversation, but I did hear the Princess shrieking shrilly. Then the door slammed. He came flying into the kitchen and told me that he hoped I was proud of myself, as I had finally gotten him to quit.
I literally just stood there, shaking my head at the absurdity of the situation. I told him that while I couldn’t really complain about the outcome nor would I pretend that losing him as a coworker would cause me to lose any sleep, that at the end of the day he was ultimately responsible for his decision to leave. I might also have worked in what a terrible excuse for a human being he was. Mention may have been made that, in future, he might not want to underestimate a Jersey girl. Yeah, he used to call me that. In a derogatory manner. More often than not, he did so behind my back. I never cared. I am a Jersey girl. And I’m proud of it.
Whateva (that would be “Jersey” for whatever). Jersey girls rock! And we make a mean chocolate peanut butter cake. Ask anyone. They’ll confirm this.
Photo credit: no‑princess.jpg kubalak.com